A buddy of mine and I are planning a 100+ mile 3 - 4 day river camping trip. On this trip we will be going into some pretty remote areas. After we put our boats in the river, there are no boat launches for probably 50+ miles. The location is East Texas on the Sabine river.
I would like to bring either a rifle or shotgun for personal protection. Black bears are known to be in the area where we are going, as well as everything from coyotes to wild hogs.
I am more concerned about running into a rabid raccoon, then having problems with a black bear, but you never know.
The options are:
My first choice is the Ruger 10/22. Its lightweight, ammo is easy to carry and the 22 has a low report.
My second choice is either the Mossberg 590 or AK-47. The mossberg loaded with slugs or buckshot is capable to taking down anything in this part of Texas. The thing with the AK, its reliable. I dont think I have to worry about the AK getting muddy and not working.
My third choice is the AR-15. The 223 is loud, and I am not sure how the 223 would work on black bear if one where to enter our camp site.
I am not "that" concerned about black bears, but I think they should be taken into consideration.
For nighttime shooting:
The Mossberg 590 and AR15 lights on them.
The Ruger 10/22 and the AK47 have no lights or night sights.
If you wanted something that can light up the woods or slough, the mossberg or AR would be the way to go.
I thought about bringing a pistol, but some law enforcement people get ****y when you have a pistol.
If it was me I would carry a 41mag or 44mag if you do not have one then a 357 mag with 158gr SWCL it is easy to carry a hand gun. But use a holster that lets you strap it in. About a 100 rounds so you can practice when going down the river. If you have a 40cal it would make a good one or 357 Sig is a good on.----GOOD LUCK
the shotgun is going to be the most versatile with a variety of ammo. slugs for the big stuff and some small game loads in case your trip runs longer. also a hand gun on your person is good in case you get swamped and lose your gear.
didnt deliverance start out as a three day canoe trip and look what happened to them. also giligan's island started as only a three hour tour.
.223 will do the job on black bear or hog if need be... but -
Think of the AK as a semi auto .30-30 - it does about the same thing on target if you use SP/HP ammo. In Hawaii we consider it good Hog medicine. and from experience, small/medium black bears aren't very tough, I had to put one down with 3 rounds a 9mm pistol loaded with Corbon 115 grn +P a few years back (not going to tell you what state... but it wasn't Hawaii.) it was head and neck shots at about 15 yds. I'd guess he weighed somewhere around 200-300 pounds?
and a shotgun is just that - a shotgun... the swiss army knife of firearms there is not much a shotgun loaded with Buck or slugs in north america can't handle... if it has legs, wings, or wheels.
personally - My vote would be the AK or the shotgun
It's already said and done but here's my 2 cents. I've had a lot of years in the woods had some close encounters with bears but never anything I'd term a close call. Keep a clean camp, don't bring any food into your tent, hang your food and trash, and have something to make some noise.
I've done solo rides to Alaska on my beemer and couldn't take my pistol (going through Canada) and didn't have any problems with bears. I did have one come through my camp in Portage Valley, AK that scared the piss out of me, but again no problems.
If you really want to go crazy and you're in bad bear country remember the triangle rule: sleep, store food, and cook at three points of the triangle about 100 yrds apart. Don't bring anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that could potentially attract a bear to your tent, including seemingly innocuous items like a water bottle or chapstick. Always a good idea not to wear the clothes you wore while cooking or eating to bed either.
Did you even see any bears? Personally mountain lions scare me more, they'll stalk you, your horse, your dog, and if you're unlucky enough to stumble across one with a kill you're about to have a really bad day.
Location: Oragun-still clinging to my religion,guns,and sour mash!
I've done all kinds of trips-rafting,horseback,backpack and seen nothing in North America that a 12 ga and the right ammo can't stop including the big bruins of alaska!Now for the lower 48states-I always have a handgun-even a 22,And If I was near lowsianna-I think that an ak would be appropriate-if not a 12 ga and a few dif't kinds of rounds!
So Kevin;what did you take?
I live in East Texas, If it were me I would take a shot gun, the most likely critter that you are likely to find is a big ol mean cottonmouth. There are not enough bears in the area to worry about, and the ones around are pretty small. Hogs are another story, they are mostly nocturnal and if left alone not likely to bother you, deer and squirrels are out of season. Have fun.
Hands down, the Mossberg 590 as its only for defensive purposes. Or the Mossberg AND the 10/22.
When my wife and I go back to the reservation in the desert, filled with coyotes, cougar and black bear. Then also Yeti and skin walkers, if you believe in such things. I take a brace of .357's, and my wife usually takes her 10/22. Her grandfather had a 30-30 they used on plenty of blackies over the years, and now he has a .270 bolt action rifle. They killed three bears last year which were messing with the sheep.