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Discussion Starter #1
Is it necessary, or even a good idea, to bring a gun on an extended river trip?

I'm on a group launching this Saturday for my first MFS trip and it sounds like there is plenty of wild life along the river. I'm a big fan of sharing the hot springs with some deer or other critters, but want to be cautious about bears, woolly mammoths, big foot, etc.

My thought was to bring a .223 rifle just in case. It packs up pretty small and is fairly loud. It probably wouldn't stop a big animal in it's tracks but may scare them enough to leave us alone.

Does anyone else think about this crap?
 

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I am pretty sure we had a couple on our tip that ended two weeks ago, they never left the dry boxes on the rafts. Never any need for them as no bear issues or sightings on our float and the ranger said as of our put-in date on 7/7 there was no reported problems on any trips yet. My guess is with black bears you could get away with loud noise and bear spray, but that's just an opinion.

I guess the only trip I would says is firearm mandatory is when your in grizzly country.
 

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A .223? What are you scared of, Coyotes? Thats a varmint round. Personally I would carry a 1911 .45. Easier to pack and carry. Also packs more knock down power. Would be easier to win the personal defense argument over a rifle also. Just my thoughts.
 

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I knew someone would say the .223 is too small. Unfortunately, the dual mounted .50 cal is a little too top heavy for the boat. Plus, those ammo cans are already allocated to the groover.

Joking aside, a gun is going in the dry box. It's the biggest gun in my limited arsenal so it will have to do.
 

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Nope bring lots of guns so everyone can have one or two consumpe mass quanties of ETOH and protect your food..... No a gun is not a good idea. I have been boating in Idaho on multiday trips for 20+ years and have never had any bear problems. Just be smart with your food. If you think you will stop a pissed off bear with a .223 or a .45 you're deaming. Just find someone who you can run faster than
 

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Guns are waste of weight and space on Idaho multi-day trips. Like yak1, I have been boating and guiding over there for 20+ years, never needed one. Saw tons of black bears and only one minor confrontation that was solved by having three people lock arms and run straight at the bear, problem over. Bear spray maybe, but you don't need any guns.
 

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A .45 has more "knock down power" than a rifle?????? dont know where you learned your ballistics my friend but a .45 is way down on the list of "stopping power". Having loaded ammunition commercially for 7 years and produced over 21 million rounds of ammunition I think I would take any (semi-auto) .223 over the 1911......

Lets see... a standard .45 230 gr. FMJ is going 800 fps (feet per second) and hits with about 400 lbs of force at the muzzle. A standard .223 .55 gr. FMJ is going 3300 fps and hits with about 1300 lbs of force at the muzzle. Lets not even talk about hollow point ammo, because you need at least 1000 fps for them to expand and the .45 cant make that velocity in a standard load. Lets talk magazine capacity, 7 rounds for the .45 vs. 30 rounds for the rifle, hmmmm thats a no-brainer. You are correct in thinking it packs more easier though. (tuff to go on a hike with a rifle slung on your back)

So Leery, why not take your rifle along. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.. Just my opinion, have a great float!!
 

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A .45 has more "knock down power" than a rifle?????? dont know where you learned your ballistics my friend but a .45 is way down on the list of "stopping power". Having loaded ammunition commercially for 7 years and produced over 21 million rounds of ammunition I think I would take any (semi-auto) .223 over the 1911......

Lets see... a standard .45 230 gr. FMJ is going 800 fps (feet per second) and hits with about 400 lbs of force at the muzzle. A standard .223 .55 gr. FMJ is going 3300 fps and hits with about 1300 lbs of force at the muzzle. Lets not even talk about hollow point ammo, because you need at least 1000 fps for them to expand and the .45 cant make that velocity in a standard load. Lets talk magazine capacity, 7 rounds for the .45 vs. 30 rounds for the rifle, hmmmm thats a no-brainer. You are correct in thinking it packs more easier though. (tuff to go on a hike with a rifle slung on your back)

So Leery, why not take your rifle along. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.. Just my opinion, have a great float!!
Finally, someone who points out the truth about the lousy ballistics of the overly revered .45 auto. Good job. Why does everyone think it's some kind of magic 'hand-cannon'???? I have a Glock 10mm that I hand-load for that makes the .45 seem like a pop-gun. A short-barrel .44mag or .454Casull would be a much better use of space and weight, if you're really going to pack iron.
 

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Nope bring lots of guns so everyone can have one or two consumpe mass quanties of ETOH and protect your food..... No a gun is not a good idea. I have been boating in Idaho on multiday trips for 20+ years and have never had any bear problems. Just be smart with your food. If you think you will stop a pissed off bear with a .223 or a .45 you're deaming. Just find someone who you can run faster than
Yeah but you never know when Kevin Bacon and John C Reilly are going to show up and threaten to kill you and your family or force you to run a forbidden section of the river! Law enforcement will tell you they are not here to protect you, they are there to investigate after the fact. Buy a pistol. I've never had a bad experience on the river but about the time you start thinking nothing will ever happen is the time you will wish you had protected yourself.

I just read story about a lady that conceal carried for 15 years without incident. The very week she decided to take the pistol out of her purse because she felt like she was being paranoid, she and her father walked into their bank to apply for a loan. They were sitting at the loan officers desk when a bank robber walked in a shot the security guard, shot one of the tellers and a few moments later put a bullet in her fathers head as he tried to tackle the guy. Not the river, but I know of similar real life story's in the back country. It would be great if it were but truth is that's it's not always peaches and cream out there. Cheers!
 

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No you don't need a gun

Although just about everybody in idaho has one or two at any given time.

I never bring one unless I'm hunting. Some of my buddies always bring a handgun, but I have never seen them take it out of the dry box.

Also you'll probably need a hunting license if you are in the field and have an uncased rifle.

I'd leave it at home unless you are hunting.

Ps

223 is a fine round. Maybe not the first choice for black bear but I can shoot a 223 accurately, cant' hit a basketball at 30 feet with a 1911, but that's just me.

Also a 223 varient has been used to hunt much more dangerous game than a black bear---think M16 (5.56mm)
 

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Saw tons of black bears and only one minor confrontation that was solved by having three people lock arms and run straight at the bear, problem over.
Sounds fun. Is there more of a trip report than that. Would like to hear.

Tons of Middle Fork trips and only one bear issue. A young mother got a way with a prime rib. It did piss me off. Even if I had a gun I probably wouldn't have shot her. Cuz I was sleepin.

Most bears I have ever seen out there turn tail and run very quickly.
Those that have been habituated ( re: successful cooler raids) will likely come back until moved or scared off. But they are more nuisance than threat.

A pistol would be a better bet. Me thinks. I like .223 as a round though. And I love to shoot and hunt. Just don't need them on the Fork.
 

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A .45 has more "knock down power" than a rifle?????? dont know where you learned your ballistics my friend but a .45 is way down on the list of "stopping power". Having loaded ammunition commercially for 7 years and produced over 21 million rounds of ammunition I think I would take any (semi-auto) .223 over the 1911......

Lets see... a standard .45 230 gr. FMJ is going 800 fps (feet per second) and hits with about 400 lbs of force at the muzzle. A standard .223 .55 gr. FMJ is going 3300 fps and hits with about 1300 lbs of force at the muzzle. Lets not even talk about hollow point ammo, because you need at least 1000 fps for them to expand and the .45 cant make that velocity in a standard load. Lets talk magazine capacity, 7 rounds for the .45 vs. 30 rounds for the rifle, hmmmm thats a no-brainer. You are correct in thinking it packs more easier though. (tuff to go on a hike with a rifle slung on your back)

So Leery, why not take your rifle along. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.. Just my opinion, have a great float!!
Ahhhhh, the paper world. Gotta love those who live their lives on paper. What are you gonna do when you realize all your .223 did was piss him off and he's still coming. You gonna tackle a bear, get the full mount and throw down some ground and pound. I think not. Apparently you over looked a simple flaw in the statistics, the .223 has no mass(55gr vs230gr). I prefer not to shoot a pissed off animal with a jelly bean. Sure it will put a hole in it. It's not gonna stop it though. What if you end up on the bottom? How you gonna swing a rifle into position to shoot? Sure you have the upper hand in the long distance scenario. How many bear attacks happen at long distance? Most are CQ encounters, in which I would prefer a short barrel and short swing time to get on target. Not to mention the increased mass of the 230gr slower bullet that will break bone instead of putting a hole in it. Go ahead and live in the world of laboratory tests, I gonna stick to the real world and go with what works out here. If you need more than 7 rounds, you need to learn patience, self control and how to shoot.

Killing animals is a far cry from putting holes in paper.
 

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Having spent alot of time hunting, fishing and boating in Idaho, I always carry a gun with me. Its not for the animals, but the people that you will run into if you spend enough time here. (And Im a little paranoid in my old age)
If you really want to have protection from a bear, look at 1 person with bear spray, and 1 person with a shotgun. You can get marine 870's loaded with buckshot and slugs for not too much green, and stick it in a dry box. I have run into alot of bears up here, and have never fired a shot in defense. That being said, Im not going to tell you that 'its never going to happen'.
Now here comes the grief from everyone: I have been part of a few interactions between pissed off people with 5.56's and .45's vs. 7.62's and a rusty knife's. When you shoot a person with the 5.56 once, they say ouch and run off. Two, three, four times, they get pissed off at you. You shoot them once with a .45 (centermass) they seem to remember it a little bit better.
Now think about shooting a bear that is 4 times the size as said people with a 5.56. Yes, it will die eventually, but will it die before it tries to protect itself or its young from the mean dude that keeps shooting it with a small caliber rifle?


Just my 0.02 US.
 

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Now here comes the grief from everyone: I have been part of a few interactions between pissed off people with 5.56's and .45's vs. 7.62's and a rusty knife's. When you shoot a person with the 5.56 once, they say ouch and run off. Two, three, four times, they get pissed off at you. You shoot them once with a .45 (centermass) they seem to remember it a little bit better.
Now think about shooting a bear that is 4 times the size as said people with a 5.56. Yes, it will die eventually, but will it die before it tries to protect itself or its young from the mean dude that keeps shooting it with a small caliber rifle?
If you are shooting other rafters often enough to file that kind of report, I would say your communication skills might need some work.

If they deserved ( like took your camp or had stolen boating gear) it, then carry on.
 

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Just get a bow and be a bad ass and a can of peper spray. As far as gun talk .223 is like a 9mm and will go right through what ever you shoot and not stop it .45apc will knock most things down at 10 yard and a .44 rem mag will punch through 3/8 steel at 100 yards. Guns are fun and great tools in the right hands. I almost always take my .44 along on trips but no one knows about it. But I also always have my bear spray and everyone knows about that. Gun makes me feel a lot safer but the bear spray and a clean camp are by far the best things
 

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There aren't many bears on the Middle Fork....

...and I would not worry about them. In fact, any bears you encounter there are likely to be very docile. We had a bear come into our camp near Sunflower last year, and were able to teach it to do little tricks in exchange for cheese and crackers. It would sit up on its hind legs and growl, roll over, etc. Just don't tease them with food, and you should be ok.
 

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A .223? What are you scared of, Coyotes? Thats a varmint round. Personally I would carry a 1911 .45. Easier to pack and carry. Also packs more knock down power. Would be easier to win the personal defense argument over a rifle also. Just my thoughts.
In my experience, a .223 worked pretty darn well on Viet Cong and NVA regulars.
 

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Huh? Why isn't anyone pointing out that, yes, bringing a gun on river trip for protection is just neurotic and stupid? How many people have been killed by bears in the last 10 years?

There's lot's of better ways to stay safe. The wilderness isn't that dangerous. Carnivores are the least of your worries.

Just enjoy it!
 
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