If you will be hunting or fishing in bear country, you should consider how you will protect yourself should you encounter a bear.

In most cases, black and brown bears are more afraid of humans than people are of bears, but that’s not always the case.

I once hiked to a bear viewing area in Alaska when I came upon a group of young people laughing about a cell phone picture. It seems that one of the group had spotted a brown bear and sneaked close enough for a cell phone image. Luckily for the young man, the bear was not aggressive.

Bear sprays are popular defense mechanisms, yet many hunters want the comfort of a firearm. Even one of the most inexpensive models will work, as this post describes.

ftd-9-foot-bear-620x330It was in July of this year when Jim Landress heard loud banging on one side of his home. The 3:30 a.m. pounding shook the two-story Alaska home like a BB in a boxcar. The racket roused Jim’s young son Montana and he went from his ground-level bedroom to the front room to see what was going on. He opened the curtains and looked straight at a big brown bear that started sizing up Montana for a possible early morning snack! Jim and the family dog quickly joined the affair and the combination of yelling, barking, and Jim firing couple of warning shots from his .45 ACP Hi-Point handgun convinced the big bear to leave the property. Then everybody went back to bed, because visiting bears are normal for many Alaskans.

 Two hours later, the bear came back and hammered the house again – except that, this time, he was on the porch and posing a real threat of breaking through the door and entering the house. Having a big bear in a bad mood inside your house is not normal, even for Alaskans, and Jim knew that this bear would soon be inside, no doubt about it. Jim’s heart started pounding like pistons in a Formula One racecar as he ran to the upstairs outside deck so he’d be in a protected position to fight the bear. From that outside elevated position, Jim sent seven well-aimed rounds into the center of the bear before he could get into the house.  Jim said the bear went crazy on the porch for a few seconds, then ran about 50 feet from the house and fell over dead as a doornail. While Montana and the dog inspected the dead invader, Jim notified Alaska state troopers and got the information on what he should do and complied. There were no legal problems, as this was an obvious case of serious self defense. Jim’s adventure proved that you don’t necessarily need a high-dollar handgun or long arm to defend yourself even from a 500-pound bear – a proven, accurate, tough, reliable, not-so-pretty Hi-Point pistol that costs $200 will do the job in the hands of a good shooter with a cool head. Just ask the bear – well, maybe not the bear, but ask Jim and Montana; they are still around to tell this story for many years to come.

This July 2014 true story was related to Charles Brown of MKS Supply, LLC, the marketer for Hi-Point Firearms, by Jim Landress in Sterling, Alaska. Jim likes his not-so-pretty but  effective Hi-Point pistol a whole bunch.  In fact, he purchased the Hi-Point just three weeks prior to carry while fishing – it is bear country! The bottom line is handgun bullets don’t know or care whether they are launched from a tough, reliable, accurate $200 handgun or one that costs $3,000. Alaskan Game and Fish estimated this bear to be five years old.

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SOURCEHi-Point Firearms
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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.