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8 Survival Knives That Might Help You Win A Bear Fight

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  • 8 Survival Knives That Might Help You Win A Bear Fight

    This past week, F&S published an article by Steven Dick concerning what knife to carry that "Might Help You Win A Bear Fight".
    https://www.fieldandstream.com/survi...in-bear-fight/

    In the article, he noted that it's hard to find someone who has used a knife on a bear so he went to another source for first-hand information; feral pig hunters. In that light he presents a few fixed knives and discusses their merits. Mr. Dick thinks the best solution would be to give the bear one arm to eat while you pull your blade with the other hand and stab for the heart.

    This was on my mind last Sunday as I went scouting with my Henry .22 magnum in an area with feral pigs. Granted, I've killed a couple of pigs with the rifle but that takes well placed shots. On my hip was a Ruger .357 magnum 5-shot for back-up. But other times I've gone without a handgun and just carried a long knife. I consider a 6-inch blade to be the minimum length but prefer a knife with at least an 8-inch blade.

    So, what's your thoughts on the matter? Do you ever wear a long blade as a back-up weapon against predators or wounded game? If so, what have you carried?

  • #2
    My first thought is that if it comes down to a blade I’m probably screwed. That said I carry a four inch Pendleton Hunter, not the Lite Hunter, on my belt. It’s pretty stout and if I was facing the predator would likely be better off striking at it’s face and neck.

    Not to hijack, but related that you might be interested in, our guide carried a KelTec semiauto .22 mag handgun with a 30 round mag filled with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Can’t recall the exact model. He said no bear would take a face full and keep coming. Given that we can’t use .22 mag ammo at our range because it penetrates through the steel backers, and witnessing him touching off a10 round burst I’m not inclined to argue. When he went in for the meat he toted his AR-15 with 30 rounds of .223 fmj as well.

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    • #3
      Reading the article in the link, I was surprised to note that the Gerber Mark II was not mentioned.
      Many of them saw service as fighting knives in Vietnam.


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      • #4
        I also own a Swiss Army bayonet with the muzzle ring ground off that would provide deep penetration with its 9 1/4 inch blade.

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        • #5
          On the TV show Wild West Alaska, the crew went to the home of the guy that killed a grizzly with a Buck 110. He did have a lot of scars from the attack but he survived.

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          • #6
            The Guide has a point with the 30 round mag. I have seen a lot of AR's carried in bear country on TV and they to have the extended mags. Tyler Freel who writes for OL has gone to Glock 10mm for his side arm when he guides. I think if I was a Guide in Alaska I might carry the Ithaca 12ga Mariner SS shotgun

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            • #7
              When selecting a knife for the outdoors focus your selection on its use as a tool, not as a weapon. I have hunted for, and around dangerous animals for 70 years. During that time I have been mauled by a leopard, attacked by a lion, charged by Alaskan brown bear, knocked down by an elephant, dropped a couple charging Cape buffalo. An never once would my knife selection been of any use. These days pepper spray might be of use if you have time to get your hands on it.

              remember the old bear guides who when asked what handgun to use for backup indicated better to shoot yourself with the pistol than the bear.

              i recall when the leopard was slamming me around I could not have gotten hold of my knife if I had tried. Just some old mans thoughts. But have been there. Kindest Regards

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=fitch270;n717745]My first thought is that if it comes down to a blade I’m probably screwed.

                Then with that in mind fitch, let’s hope you only run into a female bear !! If not, good luck, and try to stay out of a compromising position lol !

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
                  My first thought is that if it comes down to a blade I’m probably screwed. That said I carry a four inch Pendleton Hunter, not the Lite Hunter, on my belt. It’s pretty stout and if I was facing the predator would likely be better off striking at it’s face and neck.

                  Not to hijack, but related that you might be interested in, our guide carried a KelTec semiauto .22 mag handgun with a 30 round mag filled with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Can’t recall the exact model. He said no bear would take a face full and keep coming. Given that we can’t use .22 mag ammo at our range because it penetrates through the steel backers, and witnessing him touching off a10 round burst I’m not inclined to argue. When he went in for the meat he toted his AR-15 with 30 rounds of .223 fmj as well.
                  Fitch, I'm in total agreement, it would be a very bad day if I had to rely on a knife for self defense. I like the looks of the Pendleton Hunter with it's drop-point, hollow-ground blade. That grip material makes for a secure grasp. That's the same material that's on my Cold Steel Boar Hunter. The Pendleton's 3.5-inch blade must be handy when field dressing game. Have you used it much for that?
                  https://www.coldsteel.com/pendleton-hunter.html

                  No worries about hijacking the post. I'm relatively new to the .22 mag and always like hearing how others view the tiny round. PigHuntress has a Heritage single-action revolver with a .22 magnum cylinder but most of the time it stays in the safe. I've never considered the .22 mag for self protection but then it's all about shot placement anyway. I guess the guide must like the round partly because of the light recoil and carrying a lot of cartridges without hardly any extra weight.

                  There's no question that the .223 FMJ has penetration power and a bear's skull wouldn't stand a chance. I find the AR-15 to be very easy to carry in the field and quick to get into action. With the pistol grip and low recoil it can also be effectively used one handed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
                    When selecting a knife for the outdoors focus your selection on its use as a tool, not as a weapon. I have hunted for, and around dangerous animals for 70 years. During that time I have been mauled by a leopard, attacked by a lion, charged by Alaskan brown bear, knocked down by an elephant, dropped a couple charging Cape buffalo. An never once would my knife selection been of any use. These days pepper spray might be of use if you have time to get your hands on it.

                    remember the old bear guides who when asked what handgun to use for backup indicated better to shoot yourself with the pistol than the bear.

                    i recall when the leopard was slamming me around I could not have gotten hold of my knife if I had tried. Just some old mans thoughts. But have been there. Kindest Regards
                    Happy Miles, thank you for the first hand account. I had forgotten about all your close calls. If you don't mind, would you tell us again the details of that leopard attack? How badly wounded were you?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll have to agree with H. Myles. Except in a hand to hand combat setting, any knife I select will be with thoughts of field dressing, skinning, quartering and other sundry chores.
                      I do have a Ka-Bar "Paratrooper" model. It's exactly like their "USMC" model except it has a plastic/rubber handle and a plastic sheath that can be strapped to your lower leg.
                      It's too big and cumbersome for anything but a "camp" knife or maybe self defense.
                      Dude is surprisingly sharp for a blade that size!
                      It would definitely be a plus in a "survival" situation.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PigHunter View Post

                        Fitch, I'm in total agreement, it would be a very bad day if I had to rely on a knife for self defense. I like the looks of the Pendleton Hunter with it's drop-point, hollow-ground blade. That grip material makes for a secure grasp. That's the same material that's on my Cold Steel Boar Hunter. The Pendleton's 3.5-inch blade must be handy when field dressing game. Have you used it much for that?
                        https://www.coldsteel.com/pendleton-hunter.html

                        No worries about hijacking the post. I'm relatively new to the .22 mag and always like hearing how others view the tiny round. PigHuntress has a Heritage single-action revolver with a .22 magnum cylinder but most of the time it stays in the safe. I've never considered the .22 mag for self protection but then it's all about shot placement anyway. I guess the guide must like the round partly because of the light recoil and carrying a lot of cartridges without hardly any extra weight.

                        There's no question that the .223 FMJ has penetration power and a bear's skull wouldn't stand a chance. I find the AR-15 to be very easy to carry in the field and quick to get into action. With the pistol grip and low recoil it can also be effectively used one handed.
                        You are correct about the guides choice in handgun.

                        That's the exact knife in the link, but I picked mine up from Midway on sale for $40. It holds an edge well and is good for field dressing. It has a thicker spine than I'd been accustomed to, but for deer I'm not concerned with keeping the cape of it cuts through the sternum with ease. It also skins very well. The blade is a bit wide for cutting out the sphincter easily but it's not that much of an issue.

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                        • #13
                          You would think they would have some bigger Bowie knives. I would rather fight of the Bear with my Rambo knife. Heck even my machete would be a better reach than a pocket knife.

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                          • #14
                            Pig hunter, let me think on sharing my story again. The hate mail I received last time upset my kids and grandkids badly. Most attacks are over in a few seconds, the damage is done before you have a chance to defend yourself. Leaving one trying to get even, rather than preventing anything. My injuries were enough to require service of plastic surgeon. I have fired off one of the huge, industrial grade pepper sprays. Wow, they are like a bomb going off, do not require a lot of accuracy. A big plus!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              fitch270, this passage of yours got me to thinking.

                              "... The blade is a bit wide for cutting out the sphincter easily but it's not that much of an issue. ..."

                              Most folks call it the pelvis. Indeed, it is part of the pelvic girdle, but it's true name is the "aitch" (pro. "H") bone.

                              Since you and the boy both carry backpacks, carrying a small set of "lopping shears" shouldn't be a big deal.
                              Four quick snips with lopping shears and a section of the aitch bone can be removed to facilitate easy field dressing with no danger of puncturing bladder or bung.

                              If you are interested, let me know. I'll try my best to describe how to do it.

                              Comment

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