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chaffmj

Firearms in the BWCA why?

32 posts in this topic

I have never brought a firearm in the BWCA except for hunting. After the Basswood incident and some of the comments made on it I was wondering how many of you bring a firearm into the BWCA for reasons other than hunting. I have never thought about bringing one in before and I am just curios, not trying to start a debate over whether it should be allowed or not. If you do could you tell us why and if it is for protection from what, bears, moose, wolves, humans or what?

Thanks,

Chaff

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Because it's my constitutional right and I can't throw small pieces of lead a few thousand feet per second.

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Mostly, I bring it for Bear's (along with choice #1 Pepper Spray). There are other reasons - signal etc. etc. - but, mostly with defence in mind...

Butch

P.S. This is a loaded (baiting) question (plain & simple)

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I have never been there, but i would carry for personal protection. Animals (human and furry)....but, i would also carry cuz if there is a problem, law enforcement(CO) don't travel to you at 1400 FPS!

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Duluth Guy,

It wasn't meant to be a loaded question. I have been making trips into the BWCA since 1971 when my dad took me. I have never had any problems with any bears or people and I was just curios because the thought never entered my mind to bring one in before. It has now since this incident and after reading the posts in the Basswood arrests listing I kind of got the feeling that a good number of people do. I have hunted for grouse and moose in the BWCA and I am not against people having firearms with them. I hadn't even thought of the use for a signal and in just two posts I have already learned something. Really just curios, that’s all.

Chaff

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I have seen this subject go crazy on a couple of other forums already. It's kind of like religion or politics but I'll take my chances. I carry for piece of mind. I will probably never need it but I don't want to ever second guess. I'm not scared of anything in the woods but when I watch the news I see ALOT of nut jobs out there. Sad but true.

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This thread could go sour in a hurry guys. Lets not let that happen. Stick to the questions asked and lets not get into a debate.

I have never had the reason to bring a gun into the BWCA because I do not hunt. Nothing against hunting I just never had the time when younger and never learned. Some day I hope to give it a try.

If I hunted the BWCA or thought I needed it for protection I would bring 1.

This was a isolated incident and I still believe the BWCA is a very very safe place to visit. Your more likely to fall out of a canoe and drown or lose your footing and fall off a cliff than be shot at.

As far as a gun for calling in help I think a flare gun would work better. Its a visual and just not a "BANG".

Regardless of our feelings about guns I hope everyone still visits the BWCA and enjoys all it has to offer.

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Yeah, I wouldn't go to help someone because I heard a gun shot. Quite the opposite actually. That's a poor reason for having a gun. The most common methods are a flare gun or whistle.

My grandma told me to take a gun when I first went solo camping. I bought a hunting knife instead for protection. The more that I've been out there, the more I realized that even that wasn't needed. I think it is just as likely that I get shot by accident versus someone or something harming me. I'm cool with others carrying guns if it makes them feel safer. Some people need to drive big vehicles to feel safe. It's just a security preference.

Just my opinion though.

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chaffmj,

Never took one to make a political statement, but I have always thrown a pistol in the pack or carried it in a shoulder holster.

Took it for bears, signaling for help, or any other circumstance that might warrant one. This recent incident is another justified reason, though never heard of anything like this happening before.

Never fired it in all the years I went camping.

Never occured to me and my fishing partner not to take one.

Most of us were in the military in the 60's and it was just a habit that carried over (I guess) confused.gif

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Only time I carried one was a solo trip. Just in case.

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A little phrase I picked up in the military.

"Better to have and not need, than to need and not have".

Im always armed while campin'.

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I've been taking my BWCA trips at the end of August or beginning of September since '86. We always run into bear hunters, during bear opener, telling us we're nuts coming in without a hand gun. I've had four run ins with bears. We've never had to abandon camp because of a bear visit. I've also heard of cougars in the BWCA and I doubt, if being stalked, a hand gun would help save me. The only real answer to why carry a firearm? Because you can...

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You know, Im starting to think the cougars are big foot stories.

How come you never see any dead cougars? How come no one ever shoots one? How come there are no photos of them?

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I'll use the Scout motto here. "Be Prepared".

I'm probably not going to need my first aid kit, spare paddle, extra boots, a third change of clothes, signal mirror, and a whole lot of other stuff but I bring them along anyway. I'm prepared for pretty much any situation should it occur.

If I bring a firearm I expand that preparedness to the next level. Bear or cougar attacks are rare but they do happen. Whats not so rare is a human being taking the life of another. Don't think it can't happen because it happens everyday and the victims thought it would never happen to them. I have a right to bring a firearm with and I have the "Personal Responsibility" to defend myself.

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Call me ignorant or uninformed, but aren't firearms illegal in the BWCA?

Just asking.

If the Gov and representatives of my fair state ever remove their heads from their nether regions, we too may be able to LEGALLY carry a firearm. Until then, call me an outlaw.

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I'll settle for uninformed. Open carry is legal in the Superior National Forest. You don't even need a carry permit.

Speaking of being uninformed. The reason that you don't hear much about mountain lions is that there exists a unwritten agreement between locals and the DNR to down play legitimate sightings. Imagine if you will the brewhaha the huggers and the Sierra Club would raise if they had another animal to save. You should have seen the ruckus when we had a couple of Lynx hanging around for a season.

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I refuse to take one into the BWCA unless I'm hunting. Why? It's a few extra lbs., my chances to getting attacked by a bear or cougar aren't good and I'm really not scared of people attacks.

What's scary is that fear seems to be motivating people to carry guns. I hunt/shoot all the time, have taken several deer and grew up target shooting. Fear will never be a reason I carry a gun. People are still 99.9% good and I'd take that bet any day of the week.

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I don't think anyone has mentioned "fear" as a motivation for carrying a sidearm. I find that usually the ones that bring the "what are you afraid of" side to the discussion generally are the ones that don't trust themselves carrying a side arm so they don't believe anyone else should either. I think ST put it best. It's about being prepared. Carrying a weapon does not make you safer, situational awareness makes you safer. Do you fear fire? If not, why do you have fire insurance?

I also disagree with the statistic that 99.9% of people are good. I think that that number is a tad optimistic.

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At the risk of sounding hypocritical toward my other posts, some people REFUSE to be a helpless victim of, well, anything they can think of. Like it was stated before, "Why do you buy insurance?"

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Believe me, there are cougars around here. I have also run into hostile bears up on Knife Lake. They destroyed my camp and ransacked everything. They went so far as to chew the rope that was suspending my food pack from a tree- and it was rigged up exactly the way you are supposed to. They were just plain hostile bears that chased us out of our camp. It was a good thing we had a large dog up there, because they we not afraid of people. They growled at us and were fake charging us all the way to the lake. The dog finally chased them off. I later heard the Forest Service went up there and killed those bears.

Have any of you guys seen that footage of the guy being stocked by a black bear? I think it was on "When Animals Attack" or some show like that. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be in that guy's shoes. I certainly think it wouldn't hurt to have some heat up there...you just never know, especially after the encounter I had. You never know when you might come between a mother bear and her cubs and have to run for your life! A moose when in the wrong mood can also be a very dangerous animal.

Just my thought,

Justin

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Quote:

You know, Im starting to think the cougars are big foot stories.

How come you never see any dead cougars? How come no one ever shoots one? How come there are no photos of them?


I know this is a little off of the initial topic but it is interesting. I saw a cougar about 18 months ago. It crossed County Road 21 north of Babbit (just passed the Superior National Forest Sign). There were two other cougar sightings that week, one was in the mine by Babbitt. Then nothing for about a year. Then three more sightings and like before it dissapeared like a fart in the wind.

Outdoor News has a pretty good article on cougars. One interesting point is that they can have a huge range, one collared cougar roamed 700 miles as the crow flies. I think that is what is happening here. They will make an appearance here from time to time. About three years ago a guy that lives east of Ely had a horse taken down by one in the winter. I think part of why this happened is he lives in the deer wintering area. I would guess the cougars hang out there because there is an abundance of food, i.e. deer and it isn't too far from some decent habitat for them (the BWCA).

So of the old guys that I used to work with and worked north of Isabella a lot had seen cougars from time to time 40 years ago.

It appears that these cats are more than likely young males just passing through.

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I bring a pack of Black Cats ( Firecrackers ) with me. You see I can pop a few of those off & most bears head for the hills, although I have been chased off an Island on Thomas by a grumpy bear but I blame that one on the sites general squallor upon arrival- food half burned under the grate & fish remains nearby.

With the fire crackers the bears only THINK I have a gun...

Later -CLoma

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Is that the video from Canada, I think?...where the guy keeps backing further and further into the lake and saying go away Bear or something like that...yet keeps filming while chest deep in water til the big bruiser finally goes away???

That was a big one, probably a male who thought they were Trespassing in his Kingdom. Think I saw it on the News a few years ago. confused.gif

I have had to rap on a tree, very loudly, with my walking stick, to get the attention of a good size bear loping straight for me.

It was'nt paying attention, and did'nt see me til I rapped a few times, then it stopped, gave me a look, and made a 90% left turn and took off Hello-bent-for leather, as I proceeded to pretend the stick was a rifle and made the loudest BOOM-BOOM-BOOM I could muster.

No wonder the Rottwieler that had recently adopted me, would't go for a walk over that way... that evening!! crazy.gif

I have also scared one off with a shot in the air, and another on up a tree just by displaying a rifle.

It sat up there crying like a baby, and til I went back in side and closed the shade, it would not come down, then it wandered about the yard just a pretty as you please...I stayed in.

Up in the BWCA though, they are much more wild and possibly agressive, though usually the noise of a firearm or cracker would send them on their way.

If not, or they return...those few are the ones you really may need to defend against...same with people.

Also note if you see a raven do a tight circle in the air and dip down, they are warning everyone in the forest where a predator is, usually a bear, canine, or human, and you can even follow where it is traveling to. They are usually calling when this happens, but sometimes are silent, except if it is quiet out, you may hear their wings before you see them...

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I've had half a dozen encounters with bears while camping. A few situations ended up with the bear running off and not coming back. On two occasions the bears showed no fear and either returned or hung around close by. I moved camp those times.

Chances are the bear will leave in a hurry if it has an escape route or its feels its cubs aren't threatened. Having food around and a hungry bear might mean he'll return again. If the bear is used to human encounters and theres food around it won't leave till it eats.

I saw that video with the large healthy bear. It certainly had one thing on his mind and that was to make a meal out of that guy. Thats strange behavior from a healthy bear.

I did a little googeling for bear attacks. Heres what I found for the attacks in 2000-2007. Note most attacks are from Black Bears. Note: It doesn't show mauling where the victim survived, just deaths so count on the number of mauling to be higher.

Robin Kochorek, 31, female July 20, 2007 Black The 31-year-old woman was reported missing on July 20th after being separated from friends while mountain biking at Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia. She was killed by a black bear who was right where the body was recovered at 8 a.m. July 21st. Indications were that the bear had preyed upon this person or obviously was trying to claim ownership.[1]

Samuel Evan Ives, 11, male June 17, 2007 Black Taken from a tent in American Fork Canyon in the Uinta National Forest in Utah County, Utah where he was sleeping with his stepfather, mother and 6-year-old brother. The bear was later destroyed by state Wildlife officials.[2]

Elora Petrasek, 6, female April 13, 2006 Black She was killed and her mother and 2 year-old brother seriously injured in an attack in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.[3]

Arthur Louie, 60, male September 20, 2005 Brown Killed by a female and two cubs while he was walking back to his mining camp after his truck had a flat tire at Bowron River, British Columbia.[4]

Jacqueline Perry, 30, female September 6, 2005 Black Killed in a predatory attack at the Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park, north of Chapleau, Ontario, Canada. Her husband was seriously injured trying to protect her. Ministry staff shot and killed the bear at approximately 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 10, 2005, near the area where the fatal attack occurred in a remote area of the park. [5]

The bear involved had already attempted to attack two fisherman an hour before this attack occurred

Harvey Robinson, 69, male August 26, 2005 Black Fatally mauled while picking plums at Selkirk, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rich Huffman, 61, male; Kathy Huffman, 58, female June 23, 2005 Brown Killed in their tent at a campsite along the Hulahula river 12 miles upriver from Kaktovik in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Isabelle Dube, 35, female June 5, 2005 Brown Killed while jogging with 2 friends on the Bench Trail in Canmore, Alberta

Merlyn Carter, 71, male 2005 Black Found dead in the main cabin of his fishing camp located 300 km Northeast of Ft. Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Timothy Treadwell, 46, male ; Amie Huguenard, 37, female October 2003 Brown Found by their pilot, dead and most of their bodies consumed at Kaflia Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska on October 6, 2003. Treadwell was world-famous for his books and documentaries on living with wild bears in Alaska. State Troopers investigating the incident recovered an audiotape of the attack. Only a few days before, Treadwell filmed himself with the bear that killed him in the background, while commenting that it was a bear just like this one---older, struggling to bulk up for the winter--that posed the most threat to humans. The two were killed on the last night before their pickup, after spending several months in the Alaskan bush. [7]

Forestry worker April 17, 2003 Black Stalked, killed and partially consumed by a large, black bear near Waswanipi, a village in northern Quebec.

Christopher Bayduza September 2002 Black Attacked and killed at a remote oil rigging site in northeastern British Columbia.

Maurice Malenfant September 2002 Black Attacked and killed in his campsite in Gaspé region of Quebec.

Ester Schwimmer, 5 months, female August 2002 Black Bear grabs and kills 5 month old infant from stroller on the porch of home in Fallsburg, New York

Adelia Maestras Trujillo, 93, female August 2001 Black Bear breaks into a house in New Mexico and is confronted by the elderly owner who dies during the attack.

Kyle Harry, 18, male June 3, 2001 Black Attacked and killed at a rural campsite 25 km. east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

George Tullos, 41, male July 14, 2000 Brown His partially consumed body was found at Run Amuk campground in Hyder, Alaska.

Mary-Beth Miller, 24, female July 2000 Black Attacked and killed while on a training run in Quebec, Canada.

Glena Ann Bradley, female May 2000 Black Killed and partially consumed by a 112 pound female and her 40 pound yearling. The attack occurred near the Goshen Prong/Little River trail junction 1.5 miles upstream from Elkmont, Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee

In addition to my encounters with black bears in MN I lived in wall tent in the Alaskan Bush for 3 summers. Seemed like every month you'd hear of a Grizzly mauling. Living in "Fear" wouldn't do well there. You live in a heightened state of awareness and preparedness. AK is a beautiful place but you sense right away that you don't go around nilly willy. You respect the swift ice cold glacial melt rivers, extreme weather changes, rugged and wild terrain, and bears that are extremely defensive of their kill. What they don't eat they hide and you can bet they aren't far away and will come after you.

Someone mentioned moose cows and calves. Its true, you don't want to experience the determination of a 1000 lb cow defending its calf.

In AK the preferred choice was a 12 gauge pump with a sling, loaded slugs and 00 buckshot alternated in the magazine. Since those days in AK I started to bring a handgun along into the BWCAW. Before that I hadn't and I did many solo trips. IMO the BWCAW is thought of too much as a play ground of peace and tranquility where a permit is a guaranteed ticket to good times by the USFS and Friends of BWCAW, nothing bad could ever happen there. Lets face it, good and bad stuff can happen. Times are a changing were the human life doesn't mean much to some folks.

The added weight of a handgun isn't an issue with me. Chances are if your on a canoe trip with me you might have a rock added to your pack on every potage when your not looking.

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anyone here ever seen the movie "deliverance"

thats a pretty good reason to carry one imho- people are weird, and do dumb stuff. nothing offers better protection than a .45 caliber bullet.

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