Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Wild Kingdom Meets The 'Burbs.

What gun for suburban black bear?

And this wasn't the first one in the area, either. I'd say that conservation efforts have been successful if there are enough of these things to come wandering out of the parkland and maul joggers.

What gets me is that this is not some new Knoxville or Asheville exurb back in some hinterland valley of the Smoky Mountains where they have to pipe in the daylight and the McMansions butt up against half a million acres of National Park; this is suburban Orlando for heaven's sake. One of these things could eat Mickey!

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it time to trade the J-frame S&W for a Ruger Alaskan in .44 Mag?

og said...

Stay in the jeep.

Erich505 said...

I've enjoyed so many posts discussing this topic in various forums. Living in what's been known as "Bear Canyon" since the Spanish Colonial days for the past 14 years and hiking up the mountain behind the house, I've learned that concerns about black bear attacks are maybe overblown: they're not grizzly terminators, but more like overgrown raccoons. The story you report is certainly unusual - most of the black bear predation attacks one sees involve sleeping people. Anyhow, no one wants to tangle with one, but friends here in the high desert kill them all the time with the lowly .357 Magnum, and a nice 12-bore would work fine around the house. (BTW, yours is the second FL bear attack story I've read in a couple months.) cheers, erich

Ian said...

A neighbor of mine had a black bear come through his living room window a couple years back. He didn't have time to get to his rifle, so he shot it several times with a pocket-carry 9mm (not sure exactly what model). He didn't kill it, but was successful in driving it off.

It showed up a couple hours later at another neighbors home, where it was scared off Biden-style. Nobody else saw it, and we never found a carcass.

Stuart the Viking said...

Florida cities tend to sprawl oddly. Probably because there are so many swampy areas down here that would have to be cleared and filled to raise them up high enough that any buildings on them don't flood every time it rains. Generally, those places are left alone either because it would cost too much or maybe EPA regs (I'm not sure which, probably both). So, no matter where you live, unless it's in the city proper, you are usually not far from a "Wild Area". There are a few such places not far from my house. So far, I've only seen wild pigs come out of them, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that deer, black bear, and/or Gators.

We've had some problems with people living on the outskirts feeding the black bears over the years. They are small and cute (or at least small for what you would expect from a bear) and some people just don't understand how dangerous it can be.

s

Scott J said...

"Flick says he saw some grizzly bears near Pulaski's candy store"

Anonymous said...

We're seeing black bears in the inner 'burbs of the Atlanta MSA.

State wildlife agency guy in the local fishwrapper opined that the long, cool, wet summer had caused more (and faster) spoilage than usual of ground-level forage (acorns and whatnot).

This means hungry bears, and a hungry bear will come out of the woods.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that folks in the area are sleeping better knowing the dog was unhurt.

I blame George Bush!

Gerry

Goober said...

I've lived in bear country for years. Made even worse when my state banned every practical method of hunting them years back. Any time some edumacated urban lib-type questions me as to why I need to own a gun I show them the black bear my buddy and i killed off his back porch last year.

The bear was on the porch. Not us.

Erin Palette said...

I live in Palm Coast, FL, which is about 30 minutes north of Daytona Beach, which is itself about a 60-90 minute drive (traffic permitting) from Orlando.

My neighborhood is a semi-rural chunk of suburbia: it's a 15 minute drive to Town Center, but my backyard butts up against several miles of forest and wetlands.

And I've told you all that to tell you this: about 2007ish, we went outside one day at dusk to see that our next door neighbor had left his garage door open, and a black bear was rooting around inside of it, then going outside onto his lawn to eat whatever it found and then roll around.

It might have been a cub. It was certainly pretty small, and was acting (like someone else said) more like an overgrown raccoon than a predator.

But I never once in my life thought I'd have to utter the phrase "Don't go outside, there's a bear in your garage" over the phone.

Tam said...

I guess I expected bear in outer K-town, what with the Great Smokey Mountains national park, but the area these bears live in is apparently a 2900 acre "wilderness" area, which makes it smaller than Eagle Creek Park out 56th street here.

I know that Iggle Crick supports (or rather, doesn't quite support) a large deer population, but for some reason I'd always thought bear liked more elbow room than that.

Ed said...

Longwood is just a few miles south of Sanford, florida. Too bad they disarmed George Zimmerman...

Just last year, a black bear was recaptured on Busch Gardens Tampa, Florida property after wandering across the nearby University of South Florida campus. Shhh! We don't want to scare the tourists!

http://tbo.com/ap/offbeat/two-weeks-two-captures-for-bear-in-busch-gardens-tree-423281

Ferret said...

I can almost guarantee one of two things happened to precipitate this incident. Either she walked up on a bear that was chowing down on someone's garbage or pet food and startled it or she ran across a mama bear and her cubs and didn't have the sense to give them a wide berth.

I've had a few bear encounters in the Ocala forest over the years and never had any issues with them. As soon as I notice one wandering in my direction, I just say something rude about its mother and it goes galumphing back into the trees.

Eric said...

I work at UCF (east of downtown Orlando) and we had a black bear on campus back in June: http://mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/6/11/black_bear_seen_roam.html

Anonymous said...

"Scary Things" that are all over "suburban" teh fla, but will leave you alone if you (and your dog) leave them alone:

Gators.
Black bears.
Rattlesnakes.
Rednecks.

There's a Croce song in there somewheres.

Paul said...

The guides up north carry pump 12's loaded with double 0 buck.

I think that would work pretty good.

mikee said...

As a resident of suburbia in central Texas, I feel like I am missing out on a lot of good stories by having only opossum, raccoon, armadillo, roadrunners, ducks herons, egrets, hawks, buzzards and coyotes regularly visit my neighborhood.

Black bear would be an interesting addition to the nightly raids on the very-well secured dog food bin on the back patio.

Anonymous said...

I knew a bear hunter who was often called in when too many bee hives were destroyed. He used a 45-70 lever action Marlin. More capacity (shotguns are legally limited to 3 rounds in Ontario, and semi autos to 5) and very quick handling in the thick brush.

Al_in_Ottawa

Mike_C said...

We were delighted to see fox cubs in our yard this spring, but the coyotes may have driven the fox family off (or ate them?). There is a coyote den nearby and I've had one give me the hairy eyeball the odd late night as it strolls down our street.

Neither armadillo nor roadrunners here in suburban Baahston, but this spring a 66-year old guy bagged a Frizzy-Haired Chechen Bomber about a mile from my house. Not sure about bears locally, but given a choice I'd take ursine visitors.

Robert said...

Here in central Asheville a bear wandered through our parking lot at my office the other day. Too bad we hadn't got the surveillance video system up and running yet or I'd gotten some good video of it. Cow-orker gets them regular at his house.

Props for spelling Asheville correctly.

Bram said...

"The dog was not hurt." Time for a new dog and a new gun.

We have had some encounters in Northwest NJ. The bears tend to amble off when a large dog starts barking.

Weer'd Beard said...

M&P45 converted to .460 Rowland (which appears to be an impossibility, but the kit did exist)

On a more serious note, even if you live in the city, Coyotes, Pumas, bears, and feral dogs are all reasons to remember that you don't carry your gun for just the two-legged threats.

Critter said...

A few years ago in Lower Alabama there was a hunter in a tree stand looking for deer when a black bear climbed the tree and began noshing on our hero's foot. Startled, he discharged his .270, missing but stunning the bear. The bear fell out of the tree and our man finished it off with his trusty Ruger .22 before hobbling to his truck to seek medical attention.

John Richardson said...

This reminds me a bit of the time when newly elected Gov. Bev Perdue spent her first night in the Governor's Western Residence in Asheville. It left her "shaking".

It was probably a Republican bear.


http://www.wspa.com/story/21486919/nc-governor-bev-perdue-has-close-encounter-with-bear

harp1034 said...

People in South Florida also have to worry about pythons.

Hunter said...

Heck, we get 'em as shoppers. Google fu bear cub grocery store Alaska. That little fella in a local IGA made the morning news shows. He loved him some veggie department.

Ed said...

Florida also has panthers, known as mountain lions in places unlike Florida that actually have mountains. One was hit and killed by a vehicle near the intersection of I-75 and I-4 between Tampa and Orlando.

The local foxes seem cute, until you realize that the one that attacked and bit a neighbor kid in your yard was rabid (true story). That one took seven shots of .45 ACP to stop from attacking the deputy sheriff that responded to the "fox bites kid" 911 call (the answer to "What caliber for zombie fox?" question).

Erin Palette said...

@Ed: if it takes 7 shots to put it down, I wouldn't say .45 was the proper caliber for it.

Historian said...

It's Florida. For 6 months out of the year, very few suburban people spend any time out-of-doors. Wildlife is probably less likely to encounter a human in suburbia, where the AC runs 9 months out of the year, than out in rural areas where farming and ranching are the norm.

As regards dealing with a known bear in a Florida suburb, probably the ideal would be a 300 Whisper SBR with a 225 grain Amax subsonic and a can; possibly a .458 Socom. Discreet, quiet, effective. Absent the ability to use NFA stuff, I'd use a 12 gauge.

IIRC the Hornady .45 JFP has superior penetration power, which I'm told is one essential in managing bear problems, so I'd load a .45 with those projectiles for bears ILO expanding bullets.