Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Puma pants.

There is a phenomenon on internet gun discussion boards whereby people get completely obsessed with bears. Countless electrons have been slaughtered over the years in interminable discussions about what the proper (or, alternately, the "best") gun is to take fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing, bicycling, or to the mailbox in any location that has had a bear sighted anywhere within a 500-mile radius in the last fifty years. It has even spawned a term for overgaming underlikely scenarios: "bearthread".

Sometimes people get bored with bears and will shift to mountain lions for a bit.


Ride Fast said...

All I have to say is if I put a round or two of something currently worth it's weight in gold into a bear, I hope I'm carrying something sharp enough to dig them out again.

Anonymous said...

"Bearthread"? What kind of clever, handsome, well-groomed, but modest genius came up with that term?

Beat/Puma Threads=>drunks with guns.

Best way to avoid bear or puma attack, put the bottle down and step away, and then step to a 12 step program.

"I saw a bear."
"You saw the bottom of a whiskey bottle."

Shootin' Buddy

Turk Turon said...

Threadbare? Threadbear?

Weer'd Beard said...

Might I recomend a Carbine in .477 OMG!

It will not only kill the bear but launch it into ORBIT!

the pawnbroker said...

i saw puma pants but my brain read:

"cougar pants" :o)

horribly disappointed :o(

but, to the subject: best way to deal with bears...toss him a pic-a-nic basket? actually, though the ones that wander into our neighborhood from the adjacent highlands hammock state park are just rummaging through the trash; they won't bother you if you don't bother them.

except polar bears: those damn things will hunt you down and eat your ass...

as for bearthreads, a nice fur coat, necktie and fedora always looked good on yogi.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Bears, shmears! The zombies will eat all the bruins and great cats within a week or two.

Brandon said...

From the linked article: Sightings show cougars expanding into central US. So what? Hell, I work in a building full of them.

WV: bersorer. What happens when you shoot a bear with a sub-caliber round.

DJ said...

I used to live in bear country. I was never "obsessesed" with bears, but, when I was outside, I was always aware that they could be about. Actually, I'd rather have bears than tourists, 'cause bears are a bit predictable, and the police get pissed at the shooting of uppity tourists.

Ken said...

It's all fun until someone says "Take off and nuke the site from orbit," which is pretty much Godwin for bear threads.

Timmeehh said...

Yeah, it's not like a couple dozen people have been killed by bears in N. America just in the past 9 years or anything.

WV = kings

As in, bears are the kings of the outdoors.

buzz_knox said...

"they won't bother you if you don't bother them."

Not necessarily. In the Smokies, bears have been fed so much that they occasionally attack those who refuse to do so. There are also a couple fatalities around here that disputes the claim. It's still rare, but the common wisdom about them leaving you alone is no longer exactly correct.

Wolfwood said...

I can't seem to find it, but my favorite one was on either TFL or THR where someone wanted to know how effective Muay Thai would be against a wild boar.

Also, for the record, .477 OMG may be effective on bears east of the Mississippi, but my dad's friend was reading a magazine article about a guy whose uncle tried that in Colorado and it the bear actually absorbed it and incorporated it into hardening its claws. You need at least a .500 WTF. Taurus is making a snubby revolver in it next year; ima get the one with the night sights.

Kristopher said...

But what do you use on Zombie Bears with H1N1 virus?

Anonymous said...

That article has some of the information wrong. The cougar sighted in Spooner, WI was in Washburn county, not Barron county. It happened about 10 miles from my house. I know one of the hound hunters that treed the critter. He said it was quite an adventure.

Tam said...

"But what do you use on Zombie Bears with H1N1 virus?"

Depends. Do they know ninjutsu?

Adrian K said...

You make fun of the mountain lion thing but here where we still have real live wilderness, it's not really a joke.

In a really bad winter, the 4-legged cougars will occasionally stalk people here in the PacNWet and have absolutely no problems noshing on family pets such as cats and medium sized dogs.

Of course, one must be careful of the 2-legged ones year round. They usually are rather relentless in search of their prey.

Crucis said...

Joking aside, cougars are moving into metro areas. One was hit by a car and killed a couple of years ago in north Kansas City. I've personally seen tracks 4" across in a wildlife preserve not far from Kansas City. A farmer acquaintance had a calf killed by a large cat a few weeks ago.

When fishing, I used to take a revolver along with my usual .38spl +P LSWCHP load. Now it's filled with 158gr JSP .357. It makes sense to take precautions. It wasn't all that long ago that some hikers win CA were killed by cougars.

I don't laugh at the stories.

Anonymous said...

When I was a Danger Ranger at Philmont, we were told endless bear stories, bears here, bears in traps, bear tracks found over there, hang your packs, no food in tents because of bears . . . I never saw a single bear, live, dead, or a track all the time I was in New Mexico.

I learned as a teenager that bears/pumas serve as "ghost stories" for outsiders for the drunks to get a big laugh at outsider innocence.

As well, bear stories are a scam to justify silly Western notions of being "rugged" (*snicker* give me more of something for nothing, I want my BLM land, give me my check for living here, give me, give me, give me, ad naseum).

If you want to carry a gun, carry a gun. One does not need a fantasy life of imgainary creatures such as invading Chinee, zombies, the UN, or bears and pumas.

I laugh at the stories.

Shootin' Buddy

fast richard said...

The article implied that the closest breeding population is in the Black Hills. That means the young males travel hundreds of miles, and could show up anywhere in the midwest. If the females travel at all it would not be hard for a breeding pair to establish a den in the rural parts of almost any state.

Farm dogs out chasing rabbits would be the first to know about it. Game Wardens and other experts would be the last to know.

Tam said...


True, it's a possibility, but a lot less likely than being attacked by a killer ape.

Or being struck by lightning.

Although to read the gun boards, you'd imagine it was a lot more common...

Tam said...

Shootin' Buddy,

Imaginary Bear.

Anonymous said...

*flips through photos from time out West*

Oh, here are all the photos of the bears I say out West. Wait those are just discarded booze bottles. Here's a photo of an empty whiskey bottle, here's an empty vodka bottle, here's an empty tequila bottle, inter alia.

I will wear a blanket of bacon and hike the Tooth of Time and not be in any danger from bears, pumas, unicorns, Democrats that favor lower taxes, or other imaginary critters.

Shootin' Buddy

fast richard said...

If someone could figure out a way to use a gun to stop lightning, that would be the new most popular topic. It would be even better than troll sightings.

TJP said...

I guess it depends where they live. There are very few cougar sightings here in Southern New England, and the black bears are spooked easily.

A better discussion would be which is the better auto insurance policy when you accidentally run over a bear, because my own experience has revealed that they generally flip out and run into the road when they see a car coming.

Somerled said...

I'm still waiting for the ideal one-shot stopper for the dreaded Toxicodendron radicans, aka poison ivy. Napalm is getting expensive.

LabRat said...

Uh, okay.

I live in New Mexico. Have I seen any bears? Yeah, there was one in my back yard one evening, and the tracks and piles of old scat showed he'd been through many a time before. Fence took care of that. The local paper runs occasional human-interest stories when the bears get cheeky enough to get into locals' fruit trees. Los Alamos isn't really panicky about wildlife, so they tend to be more human interest stories than anything else. Ditto mountain lions, though they don't go after fruit or garbage so much as get sighted occasionally and spied by tracks often.

Funny thing about the yard (about two acres worth), when we were scouting the place to buy we found all sorts of tracks- elk, bear, mountain lion, this leg of the neighborhood is basically the highway in and out of the adjoining canyon during the right seasons. The owners of the place, who had been there twenty years, had no idea their yard had ever been visited by anything bigger than a bunny. People just don't *notice* this stuff unless they know how to look and bother to, two things in short supply.

Large predators in Western regions and even largish cities aren't a myth or a campfire story, but they're also not that big a deal either. Don't leave your little yap dogs loose by themselves, don't lard up your trash with goodies, and don't ever expect to see your cat again if you let him run loose, but otherwise they're not much interested in causing trouble. Yeah, sometimes folk do get munched or mauled (hint: trail jogging while wearing headphones in lion country is a really bad fucking idea), but given the numbers of humans and predators in proximity, it's a far better track record than humans tend to have with each other.

Predators that aren't sick or majorly acclimated to humans are extremely good at the great game of How Not To Be Seen, as they must be to survive. Doesn't mean they're not there.

Rev. Paul said...

We have a lot of bears living inside the city limits of Anchorage, in the parks. There were three maulings inside the city limits last year.

The city is closing a bike trail this summer because it's too close to a salmon stream; it's where the first mauling (near-fatal) happened last year.

We don't laugh; we DO take precautions. #1 rule: "don't be stupid - they're WILD animals."

Vaarok said...

I'm more afraid of cougars on dating sites than bear threads on gunboards.

Anonymous said...

Fighting lightning with a gun. Plant a M91/30 baoynet down, step back 3 feet, you should be safe the lightning will go to the tallest object the Mosin.


Anonymous said...

conversation at gun counter last summer.

Lady w'husband looking for a gun and clerk a little fuzzy on the idea of, "And for what purpose do want a firearm, m'am?"

Engage in conversation, and find that the couple live next to Great Bear Dunes, up on the West Side of Michigan. Now Mich has NO cougars, or so the DNR says, at that time anyway.

Problem for lady and husband is resident cougar population, coming across the road from the park. she said one, in particular, would just sit about fifty yards away on a little knoll and look her as she sat on her front porch.

No attacks or stalking, per se. But, mos' def there is a coupla beeg kittys hangin' roun'. Lady settled for a Model 60 J, 3" bbl, in .357, but bought regular SWC loads for practice and some FBI 158'ers for carry.

which is what the lady wanted: a concealable gun, comfortable to her grip and balance, yet small enough to be readily concealable and handy when out and about.

betrunch, but I'll bet ya a sushi dinner.

J, t R

Anonymous said...

I've seen several bears in the wilds of Idaho and Washington, but I've never been killed by one. Not even once. -- Lyle

Cybrludite said...

What, all this time and no mention of the tactical wheelbarrow full of full auto 11" barreled suppressed ARs with .22 LR conversion kits? It's not a bearthread without the USDA recommended allowance of Gunkid references.

As for bears, never seen one in the wild. I have heard a panther's mating call up at the parents' weekend place in southwest Mississippi, though. That'll raise the hair on the back of your neck for true.

Rio Arriba said...

Bears should be tossed an occasional tasty Democrat. Mountain lions deserve apostate Republicans. With BBQ sauce.

Frank W. James said...

I don't know, Chicago Police killed a cougar in the north part of town last year. Obviously, said pussy-cat took a wrong turn somewhere south of Madison, WI and like most out-of-towners had a really bad run-in with the CPD.

Just a reminder...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

ChrisTheEngineer said...

I've seen plenty of bears in north Idaho. Many years ago, when I was a little tyke, the bears were afraid of people. Even little people, they would run away. Then for some twenty years there were very few bears. Been back in quantity now for about 10-15 years. They are no longer afraid of people. I walked (~30 ft away) by a juvenile griz a couple of years ago, and he just stared at me. I expect it is just a matter of time until a tourist has an "event." Go team bear!

Test question: What does it mean when a mama bear barks at you?

On a Wing and a Whim said...

I've had two meetings with black bears inside city limits, on the bike trails, and one with a juvenile brown bear when out fishing. In the black bear cases, they decided to go one way and I decided to go a different direction as soon as we realized each other's presence. The brown bear, though, had to be, ah, actively motivated to go elsewhere. Fortunately, he interpreted the fishin' buddy's charge toward the gun as a charge at him, and was scared off by being charged by a large 6'8" man.

But then, the wildlife biologists note that there are at least twelve brown bears inside city limits - they're just much better at laying low and out of sight than the blackies.

Chris: If mama whoofs at you, it's time to slowly start backing up and getting the heck out of there without triggering any prey instincts. Because that huffy *whoof* comes right before a charge to protect cubs or a kill. Usually bluff charge, at least the first time, but don't bet your body parts on it.

Matt G said...

It amazes me the things people piddle themselves over.

Ft. Worth ISD shut down schools for ten days because a single. Solitary case of Swine Flu has been ID'd in Ft. Worth. Death toll for Swine Flu in the US? 1 (a Mexican kid, straight from Mexico.). Death toll from regular old influenza last year? 36,000.

I know people who carry reloads for their backup guns, but won't wear a seatbelt.

As for "Which gun for Mountain Lion?", I will note that guides in CO often encourage a .22 WMRF on them, after they're treed. (Yes, I recognize the difference between dispatching a treed critter and stopping a charge.)

Shermlock Shomes said...

I missed this thread yesterday and when I first read the opening line, "There is a phenomenon on internet gun discussion boards whereby people get completely obsessed with bears." I got worried thinking that Tam referring to these bears.And considering the numbers of us larger, bearded guys who come to the BlogMeets, hey, it's possible.

Cybrludite said...


Regarding the flu, it takes at least five days from the onset of symptoms before the severe respiratory distress to kick in. (That being the symptom most likely to snuff you) We've got a few days yet before many of the folks who're infected reach that stage. As for the school closings, you're contagious for two days before you start showing symptoms. It may be a case of barring the door after the horse has left the barn, but it beats keeping the kids there until they're all sick.

staghounds said...

Woofter said, "When new pipeline workers asked what gun/told us what gun was good for bears, we'd remind them than whatever they chose to file off the front sight. Because it would hurt less when the bear inserted the gun in the questioner."

Anonymous said...

"Predators that aren't sick or majorly acclimated to humans are extremely good at the great game of How Not To Be Seen, as they must be to survive. Doesn't mean they're not there."

And there we have it--one must have faith in Bear. Yahuh, Bear does exist, one must be strong in his faith.

It's good to know that despite offers to walk the Tooth of Time in a bacon blanket and dispel the Old, Drunken Campfire Tales, some cling to Bear and Guns. Like Barry sez, they must be bitter.


Shootin' Buddy

Shootin' Buddy

Standard Mischief said...

Python Snakes, An Invasive Species In Florida, Could Spread To One Third Of US

41 comments and nothing about Pythons?

Tam said...

Shootin' Buddy,

"It's good to know that despite offers to walk the Tooth of Time in a bacon blanket and dispel the Old, Drunken Campfire Tales, some cling to Bear and Guns."

That must have been some awful snipe-hunt hazing they did to you, to leave you so scarred these decades later.

Would you wear the bacon blanket while bicycling in Anchorage?

Stretch said...

Best bear protection is a companion that runs slower than you.

LabRat said...

And there we have it--one must have faith in Bear. Yahuh, Bear does exist, one must be strong in his faith.At this point I'm genuinely not sure whether I'm being trolled or this guy thinks Fish and Game departments are hoaxsters.

Anonymous said...

Shootin' Buddy: I was a Ranger at Philmont in the summer of '77 when Ute Gulch was a starting camp. We renamed it "Bear Gulch" that summer. Plenty of Rangers had trouble with the bear there that year. I was at the Ranch last August and one of my crewmates got a photo of a bear at the daytime (guess he/she wanted to share the chuckwagon dinner). Get a copy of the book "Tales from the High Country" from the Philmont Staff Association (you are a member, aren't you?) and read Forkys' story about his bear at Crater Lake...

Steve V.
Ranger 76-77

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Shootin' Buddy:

To be fair, bears aren't the problem animal in Anchorage. Moose on the trails (and roads, and lawns) are the problem animals. Okay, so last year the weather was so bad the wolf pack got hungry and started snatching jogger's dogs off the trails for lunch, but usually they're out of sight and mind, and if you don't have a bird feeder, dog food bowl, and don't take your garbage out until the last minute to attract Mr. Bear's stomach, then it's just Mad Momma Moose who's trying to kill every mammal near her little ugly calf.

I have faith in bear, but I wouldn't run around Anchorage in bacon. It's bad enough being a small, cute female pilot what shoots - if I added bacon to the mix, I might have a hard time avoiding the hunters and pilots, while the bears would probably still lay low!

Netpackrat said...

"It's bad enough being a small, cute female pilot what shoots - if I added bacon to the mix, I might have a hard time avoiding the hunters and pilots"

I've taken part in my share of bear threads, but I've never seen one hijacked into a unicorn thread before.

And yeah, for some of us the bear discussions are more practical than hypothetical. In addition to the maulings last year, a year or two before that, there was the hiker who stopped a charging bear on one of the outlying city trails using some sort of .416 magnum rifle.

Timmeehh said...

"killer ape"

Tam, you just said the two words that send a cold cold chill through my "u-no-wat"!

Tam said...


They're all over the place around here. Scientists say there may be as many as 800,000 in the city limits alone...

Anonymous said...

"That must have been some awful snipe-hunt hazing they did to you, to leave you so scarred these decades later."

Decades? Aw, geez and crackers, you just had to say that.

Decades she says. O.K., maybe a couple of decades (or slightly longer). Geez.

The only danger I was ever in out West was the danger of drunk drivers, which were legion. Bears? Maybe on bottles of Snuggle (if it was around then) and the drunken tales of hilljacks but in real life I did not believe in Bear enought to see them, down in Bear Gulch, up Mount Baldy all covered with Bear, on the Tooth of Bear or at Bear Springs.

The only bears I believe in are the Chicago kind and Peyton Manning, PBUH, vanquished them a couple of Superbowls ago.

Shootin' Buddy

Zendo Deb said...

I'm surprised no one brought up the other kind of Cougar Attack. Or is that an urban legend as well?

LabRat said...

You are aware that there's a difference between the Campfire Bear, scourge of boy scouts and city slickers everywhere, and Ursus americanus, shy mostly-vegetarian omnivore, opportunistic scavenger of meat and sugar, and native species of American large mammal, right?

ChrisTheEngineer said...

I've never read or participated in a bear thread, until now that is.

On a Wing and a Whim had a great answer to my test question. I would have been far less helpful, something like leave mama alone or she will rip you to shreds.

So the mama's bark is a warning, often to papa. But anyway bears understand barks. My plan (given time) is to light off the bark of thunder from a .44 mag. If the problem does not end, I'll still have five .44mags to try to put a stop to the situation. And I'd be happy with less boomstick too.

But, being that I'm not a complete fool around wild animals (I'll cop to moderate fool--I've been touching close to an adult male moose, though I had no choice), I expect that it is far more likely that I would have trouble with two-legged varmints than a bear.

Anonymous said...

My criteria for a grizzly handgun is a ramp front sight, so that when the bear shoves it up your ass it doesn't hurt as much. Those S&W baddass-in-a-can kits make me giggle. The only advantage I can see is that with those neon stocks the search party would at least know which pile of bear dung to send to the widow.