Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

Why you should ALWAYS carry a sidearm when you go hunting

You never know when a black bear is going to chase you up a tree and chew on your leg.

Washington State bow hunter Jerry Hause found himself in the unenviable position of being on a black bear’s dinner menu when he was out hunting on Labor Day.  House, 60, was out with his 26 year old son in a remote section of forest near Abernathy Creek, about 8 miles west of Longview WA.

After a hike of about 3 miles into the wood, Jerry took a rest against a tree before starting to flush game towards his son.  He set his pack and bow beside him as he leaned against the tree and that is when he saw it.  A black head about 80-100 yards away that he figured was a bear.  At that point, Hause decided it was time to move on.

 “I stood up and in one motion that bear jumped out of the creek it was in and was on level ground with me. And as soon as it was on level ground it was on a dead run after me.”

Hause stated that he didn’t have time to pick up his bow, notch an arrow, and shoot it true with the speed on which the bear was coming at him so he turned and climbed up the tree.

 “I knew the tree was right there, so I headed up that to get far enough up the tree that the bear couldn’t get me.”

Hause didn’t make it far enough up that tree before the 300 lb black bear chomped down on his leg and started clawing at him, trying to get him out of that tree.

“It totally amazes me how fast that bear got on me. In three seconds it was on me.”

Black bears can run up to 35 miles an hour and can climb 100 feet up into a tree in about 30 seconds.  Hause didn’t do himself any favors by turning his back and trying to climb away up that tree as it only helped to foster the bear’s natural chase instinct.  Fortunately for Hause, in this situation he was able to pull himself up enough to get some leverage and plated a well placed kick with his good leg square on the bears nose.

The bear released him and eventually  moved on but Hause understood what was at stake.

“I was thinking, ‘If it gets me out of this tree I’m a dead man.’ It was mad, it was growling. It was serious about what it was going to do.”

After the bear left, Hause waited for 10 minutes before climbing out of the tree, hiked/hobbled the three miles back to his truck to where he had cell service and called his son, who was still hunting, and wife.  The latter taking him to St. John’s Medical Center where he is expected to make a full recovery from the scratch marks and puncture wounds.



Suffice it to say that Jerry Hause got off lucky.  And he knows it.

He plans on carrying a pistol with him from now on when he goes hunting just in case something like this were ever to happen again.  While one may not get an arrow shot off with enough accuracy in hardly any time, a few rounds from a handgun come quick and LOUD.  The second may be the only aspect that is really needed in detering a bear attack.  Yet having the ability to put a few rounds into a charging animal is not to be discounted.

Of course, a handgun that shoots .44, .357 magnum or .45 is a better choice to discourage animal attacks than tickler rounds like .22 and 9 mm.

If you think about it, we carry sidearms with us all the time, not expecting to need it but always ready in case we do.  Why should going out into the remote woods with wild animals change our mindset?  Take a large caliber handgun just in case you find yourself in the same situation as Jerry Hause.  Then your life doesn’t solely depend on your climbing ability and a lucky kick.

For Jerry’s part, when wildlife officials initially planned to track down and euthanize the bear, Hause said he talked them out of it because it’s in a remote area and may have just been protecting its young.

“It either had cubs out there or I was threatening its food. It’s bear country. They live in the woods. I don’t.”

Good for you Jerry.  I’m glad you got out of it with light wounds, that you will carry a sidearm from now on just in case and that you’re story may protect others in the future.

Win, win.


  • durabo

    I ALWAYS carry, mainly because of two-legged varmints, since I live in a Border state. Of course, I carry when I bow-hunt too, just in case I experience an event with puma or bear.

  • ElderAmbassador

    It was not all that long ago, maybe last season, that a woman was bow hunting and spotted a wolf on the other side of a small clearing in the woods. The wolf immediately started loping toward her. She hollered, waved her arms, etc., but it kept coming. At that point she dropped her bow, drew her .44 Mag., and finally killed the wolf just a few yards from her. It took two men to load the carcass into the bed of a pickup. We only know this because she was well armed.

  • Rattlerjake

    Sometimes hunter, sometimes hunted!

  • BlueEyedAl

    Many states do not allow you to have a firearm during bow season.

    • Bullets First

      Unfortunately those states leave hunters disarmed for situations just like this.

    • Sparafucile

      That’s about as sensible as NY’s “SAFE” law.

      Arrows, even well-placed ones, are notorious for leaving animals grievously wounded, suffering a slow death. And a large knife may help when you get close enough for a coup de grace, but do you really want to hold the head of an eight-point buck still to administer it?

      A pistol is not just a precaution; it is an essential tool for the humane hunter.

      • BlueEyedAl

        Tell that to the States that do not allow you to posses a firearm during archery season. And they will ask for proof of how many hunters have been killed by wild animals while bow hunting. I agree with you, the States are wrong.

        • carlcasino

          I equate the no firearm rule in the woods with the Free Kill Zone in town. I just ignore….I still have enough faith in the justice system to allow me to be judged by 12 in lieu of being carried by 6. And my Lawyer is a genuine dyed in the wool gun slinger. He goes for the aorta every time.

          • BlueEyedAl

            I don’t have the advantage of having a lawyer. If I did carry a gun in a gun free zone, I would never tell anyone as it could be used against you in a court of law.

          • carlcasino

            I have carried concealed for more years than I can count and have worked in a lot of Free Kill Zones, Of course you never ,NEVER, advertise. I am not a paid sponsor for anyone but if you are a novice I suggest you google web sites like concealed carry dot com and inquire about their insurance for providing a lawyer when needed. I was a subscriber to the magazine and it offers some sound advice. I was fortunate in that one of my customers is a Gun Slinger in all areas of Law so I keep his offices cool and he keeps my 6 covered.
            In the 1700’s this was called barter.

          • BlueEyedAl

            You missed the point, prosecutors are normally anti-gun and will use everything they can find to convict you even in clear cut self defense. By stating that you carry concealed in a gun free zone and that you archery hunt with a gun when illegal, may very well sway the jury against you as the prosecutor will say you are a gun nut and do not obey the law. I have a CCW and for many years. Gun free zones do not get my business.

    • carlcasino

      The Brady Bunch must be in charge of the Dept. of Parks & Wildlife ?

      • BlueEyedAl

        Who ever they are, they are brain dead.

  • Gary Griffiths

    And that’s why I’m loading up some barnburner .357 Mag 180-gr loads for my old S&W Model 28.

  • TyreByter

    Some states require minimum ft #’s of energy at 50 yds. 10mm makes it 357 no…

  • carlcasino

    extreme snark factor ON..What were you doing in the Bears bathroom in the first place ?
    Never in my 76 years have I entered the woods for ANY reason without my sidearm, I might be confronted by the Obozo.

  • Pingback: In Gun News This Week | Guns And Gunsmiths()

  • Pingback: Why Bullets Kill You()

Send this to friend