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Ancient Bear Defence


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#21 Mk 1

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 1627 PM

Or a member of the "What the hell, I could die in my sleep tomorrow." club.


Well, as the old saying goes...

I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep, like my dear departed uncle ...
... than screaming in abject terror, like his passengers.

-Mark 1
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#22 Christian Lupine

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 1536 PM

Reproduce at an alarming rate, industrialize, chop down all the forest that the bear could live in and then just sit back and watch all the bears die.
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#23 Colin Williams

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 1540 PM

I'd go for Greek fire myself. Kill and cook in one operation!
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#24 DougRichards

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 0404 AM

An open helmet and a mail hauberk would be good enough protection against claw swipes without weighing one down too much. Plus an arming sword and a dagger in case things go pear shaped.

If the bear advances on all fours then spilt his skull with the axe blade. If he rears up then thrust to the upper body going for the lungs and heart - he won't be able to reach you. Keep circling so he can't line you up for a charge.

In closing, men with tools are much more formidable.

Matt

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The only bears that I have seen are in a zoo, there was an outline outside the enclose of just how far a bear could reach up - it was about 15ft / 5 metres.

I think to reach an analogy to a man in a mail hauberk going against a bear, you would have to consider an NFL nose tackle with a large mace in each hand against a six year old child wearing mail. The mace may not be able to penetrate the mail too deeply, but it would break bones and tear muscle. A bears claws, when gripping mail, would be able to lift its human target off the ground and leave that human absolutley helpless, not to mention the physical capacity to rip off limbs and the head. mail would not stop that, plate may have some chance, but thye bear would still be able to rip pieces of plate away from each other.

I don't know if anyone has posted this link yet, but it is worthwhile checkingout:

http://www.improb.co...troy-bear2.html

Also remember what a 1300lb / 600kg bear would do if it just fell on you, or even just trod on you.

Edited by DougRichards, 24 March 2005 - 0807 AM.

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#25 scj1014

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 1220 PM

I'm not seeing how these bears are so super tough. Guys armed with stone age tools killed short faced bears which were far larger than any bears around today.

I have personally witnessed a large (550 lbs IIRC) blackie killed dead with two arrows. The second was actually just for insurance. The first arrow punctured both lungs. He climbed out of the tree he was in (going for someone's food) and died.

Some guy at Netsword went to the abbatoir and had at it with a sword vs. a cow carcass. He was able to sever limbs.

Supposedly a Dane axe could decapitate a warhorse in a single stroke.

Bears are just meat like you and I. Just more of it. Plus, I have heard their bodies are actually pretty soft.

Now tigers are another story. But you'd never see it coming. :)

Matt

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Sir,

I have examined any number of very dead black bears. When touching them the fur and heavy fat make them feel relatively soft...the muscle is very heavy and hard.  They are enormously strong. I have watched black bears tip over rocks with one paw that I could not lift with two hands (I am 6'2" and weigh 250# and am very strong). I have seen them move logs with ease that I couldn't budge. I have also watched an angry black bear simply shred a six-eight foot spruce tree in about 30 seconds. Very strong animals. Grizzlies are even more powerful and much more aggressive.

                                                                        Sincerely,
                                                                                  Steven C. Johnson     


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#26 rmgill

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 1421 PM

How about a .45-70 Govt Derringer as Bear Defense? :blink:
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#27 gewing

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 0223 AM

Maximillian plate mail, (or perhaps half plate)
Boar spear.
Short sword.
Cienqueda dagger.

PRAY!!!
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#28 gewing

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 0229 AM

I'm not seeing how these bears are so super tough. Guys armed with stone age tools killed short faced bears which were far larger than any bears around today.

I have personally witnessed a large (550 lbs IIRC) blackie killed dead with two arrows. The second was actually just for insurance. The first arrow punctured both lungs. He climbed out of the tree he was in (going for someone's food) and died.

Some guy at Netsword went to the abbatoir and had at it with a sword vs. a cow carcass. He was able to sever limbs.

Supposedly a Dane axe could decapitate a warhorse in a single stroke.

Bears are just meat like you and I. Just more of it. Plus, I have heard their bodies are actually pretty soft.

Now tigers are another story. But you'd never see it coming. :)

Matt

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Bears afaik have enough fur to be a little difficult to get through with a slash/chop. Kind of like pigs.

under that I believe is often a fairly heavy layer of fat.

then there is the rather dense muscle.

Top it off with an adrenal system that turns them into berserkers...

It is MUCH easier to kill a bear that is not charging you. I know someone who took a black bear cleanly with one shot from a .243. I'd rather not...

I'd rather face a Tiger, I think, than a Grizzly. Not that much difference, but I doubt a tiger would go berserk and no longer care what you did to it.
Though bears can't jump on you from 20 feet away...
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#29 Stevely

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 0902 AM

I want that bear armor that Troy dude from Canada built. Project Grizzly!
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#30 Brad Edmondson

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 1354 PM

Judo.

Some bear jumped a Judo black belt in northern Japan a few years back and ended up hip tossed so hard that he scurried back into the woods :)

Now, a grizzly would be another matter. Shoud enter one in the next UFC and see how Gracie Jujitsu fares against...

As to Troy and his bear suit, I hope he has better luck with a flame resistant material I saw him demonstrate. If he can market it he'll make a bundle.
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#31 DougRichards

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 2021 PM

I want that bear armor that Troy dude from Canada built. Project Grizzly!

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Better picture here:

http://www.improb.co...troy-bear2.html

It sort of shows why a simple old fashioned suit of armour would be of not much use against a large, angry or hungry bear.
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#32 Benjamin Etxaburu

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 0609 AM

some of the old crossbows were hugely powerful, needing a windlass to cock them; iirc, up to a ton drawing force, with a race of about six inches, that would make about 1000fp of raw energy, have not idea of efficiency, but bolt could get perhaps 500fp; ought to push a huge broadhead bolt deep into a bear, as opening attack.

what about a barbed spear, chained to a log?
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#33 toysoldier

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 0636 AM

Judo.

Some bear jumped a Judo black belt in northern Japan a few years back and ended up hip tossed so hard that he scurried back into the woods  :)

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i believe theres a martial art created specially to SURVIVE against predators. i think its called pa-kwa or anything like it.
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#34 Sami Jumppanen

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 1806 PM

some of the old crossbows were hugely powerful, needing a windlass to cock them; iirc, up to a ton drawing force, with a race of about six inches, that would make about 1000fp of raw energy, have not idea of efficiency, but bolt could get perhaps 500fp; ought to push a huge broadhead bolt deep into a bear, as opening attack.

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I don't know about those old ones, but some guy mentioned that he had owned crosbow that was suposedly most powerful one there is (or was then), he sold it away because there was no bolts that woud last longer than one shot (second shot and it woud break at firing) and those carbonfibre bolts were too expensive just for one shot.
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#35 Noble713

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 2027 PM

Used in this order:

Crossbow: with chain tied to tree on the first bolt
Pike: to impale the bear
Halberd: backup impaling weapon, plus the ability to chop from a distance
Morningstar: How effective would this be, assuming you could connect with the bear's head?
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#36 Lentzner

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 2117 PM

Bears afaik have enough fur to be a little difficult to get through with a slash/chop.  Kind of like pigs.

under that I believe is often a fairly heavy layer of fat.

then there is the rather dense muscle.

Top it off with an adrenal system that turns them into berserkers...

It is MUCH easier to kill a bear that is not charging you. I know someone who took a black bear cleanly with one shot from a .243. I'd rather not...

I'd rather face a Tiger, I think, than a Grizzly.  Not that much difference, but I doubt a tiger would go berserk and no longer care what  you did to it.
Though bears can't jump on you from 20 feet away...

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I agree that large bears are likely harder to chop than a person, but I was talking halberds. The are skulls from Towton that are literally split top to bottom by halberds. I don't think a bear or pig will stand up to that in spite of a thicker body or skull. Maybe not a top to bottom split, but deadly enough. Using your halberd with the extra reach could allow you to wound a leg that slows the bear down enough to cut him up at your leisure.

Please keep in mind the squared/cubed law also. A bear that is eight times your weight will only be 4 times as strong. A fit man will have a much better power to weight ratio even if his top speed is slower. That is, he'll be more manueverable. Also 0.5" nicked aorta is equally bad for a man or a bear in spite of the bears size. The bear may take a little longer to bleed out, but his body's ability to clot that hole is essentially no better than a persons. It's not like the bear's platelets are 8 times bigger also.

Everyone seems to have a story of bear getting killed by a supposedly unlikely means. Is it really so unlikely then?

The tiger has the means to negate your reach advantage by leaping on you. You would likely lose to either of these animals if you got into a wrestling match. Tigers are far more dangerous to people than bears are and still routinely prey on people. Enraged hippos are even more dangerous, but that's another thread. ;)

Regards,

Matt

P.S. Windlass crossbows are a waste. They were designed to be used against plate armor. Bears are just meat. A lighter weight crossbow or bow would give you just as good results and possibly allow for follow-on shots.
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#37 scj1014

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 2312 PM

I agree that large bears are likely harder to chop than a person, but I was talking halberds. The are skulls from Towton that are literally split top to bottom by halberds. I don't think a bear or pig will stand up to that in spite of a thicker body or skull. Maybe not a top to bottom split, but deadly enough. Using your halberd with the extra reach could allow you to wound a leg that slows the bear down enough to cut him up at your leisure.

Please keep in mind the squared/cubed law also. A bear that is eight times your weight will only be 4 times as strong. A fit man will have a much better power to weight ratio even if his top speed is slower. That is, he'll be more manueverable. Also 0.5" nicked aorta is equally bad for a man or a bear in spite of the bears size. The bear may take a little longer to bleed out, but his body's ability to clot that hole is essentially no better than a persons. It's not like the bear's platelets are 8 times bigger also. 

Everyone seems to have a story of bear getting killed by a supposedly unlikely means. Is it really so unlikely then?

The tiger has the means to negate your reach advantage by leaping on you. You would likely lose to either of these animals if you got into a wrestling match. Tigers are far more dangerous to people than bears are and still routinely prey on people. Enraged hippos are even more dangerous, but that's another thread.  ;)

Regards,

Matt

P.S. Windlass crossbows are a waste. They were designed to be used against plate armor. Bears are just meat. A lighter weight crossbow or bow would give you just as good results and possibly allow for follow-on shots.

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Sir,

I am not quite sure that the "squared/cubed law" really applies to wild animals...bears are incredibly strong. I have read reports of grizzlies breaking the neck of steers with one swipe of a paw. If you have ever touched a live steer,you know that swatting one on the rump is a lot like hitting a very solid wall.


Tigers have been filmed dragging water buffalo over a quarter mile. Leopards have been filmed carrying antelope that weighed considerably more than themselves quite high into trees.

As for humans being more manueveable than bears, there is a well-known film of a rather average-sized grizzly chasing down and killing an elk. The film shows a grizzly chasing the elk around a very large clearing,up and down a rather steep incline,through what appears to be two-three foot tall brush. The elk turns this way and that ,running quite long distances twisting and turning and changing direction. The "unmanueverable" bear manages to make extremely quick course corrections and eventually catches the elk. In case you have no experience with elk,they are large members of the deer family and are well-known for their speed and endurance.

Sincerely,
Steven C. Johnson

P.S. For those who wish to do close quarter combat with bears, my advice would be to use a very sharp,long handled spear. And bring several equally foolhardy friends with very sharp,long handled spears. But be advised,some of you are probably going to get hurt or dead. Bears are generally ill-tempered about being poked with sharp objects.
My point is that you are contemplating something that was done in days of yore by people that were trying to survive by hunting/gathering methods. They generally took on large predators either out of desperation or in self-defense. They also generally hunted in groups. They would probably use traps or fire to gain whatever advantage that they could. Five or six men with spears could attack a bear or large cat from several directions at once or drive it into a trap where it could be killed in relative safety. I doubt very few people would have willingly took on such animals alone. Even if successful in killing the animal,they would probably suffer serious injuries,which they well knew would be fatal. No surgeons or antibiotics back in the "good ole days". Those people were no less intelligent than modern man, just less technologically advanced. They also knew that if they died, it was probably a death sentence for their female and children. No welfare state or Social Security back then.
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#38 gewing

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 2342 PM

I disagree on the strength. Chimpanzees are 3-4 times as strong as a human. multiply that by 4, or 8...

Bears can charge at 30mph. they are not a tall soft target like a horse. A halberd is one of the few things I considered as an option, but I don't like the odds of actually getting in a solid hit as it charges.

There used to be a guide in Central america who hunted Jaguars with a boar speer. They leaped at him, he set the butt and flipped them over his head impales, iirc.

Tigers are bigger, but... Similar tactic might work.





I agree that large bears are likely harder to chop than a person, but I was talking halberds. The are skulls from Towton that are literally split top to bottom by halberds. I don't think a bear or pig will stand up to that in spite of a thicker body or skull. Maybe not a top to bottom split, but deadly enough. Using your halberd with the extra reach could allow you to wound a leg that slows the bear down enough to cut him up at your leisure.

Please keep in mind the squared/cubed law also. A bear that is eight times your weight will only be 4 times as strong. A fit man will have a much better power to weight ratio even if his top speed is slower. That is, he'll be more manueverable. Also 0.5" nicked aorta is equally bad for a man or a bear in spite of the bears size. The bear may take a little longer to bleed out, but his body's ability to clot that hole is essentially no better than a persons. It's not like the bear's platelets are 8 times bigger also. 

Everyone seems to have a story of bear getting killed by a supposedly unlikely means. Is it really so unlikely then?

The tiger has the means to negate your reach advantage by leaping on you. You would likely lose to either of these animals if you got into a wrestling match. Tigers are far more dangerous to people than bears are and still routinely prey on people. Enraged hippos are even more dangerous, but that's another thread.  ;)

Regards,

Matt

P.S. Windlass crossbows are a waste. They were designed to be used against plate armor. Bears are just meat. A lighter weight crossbow or bow would give you just as good results and possibly allow for follow-on shots.

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#39 Lentzner

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 0114 AM

I disagree on the strength.  Chimpanzees are 3-4 times as strong as a human. multiply that by 4, or 8...

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I've heard that before, but how do you measure it? Since chimps use their arms for locomotion then I would imagine their arms would be stronger. Whereas a human's legs would likely be stronger than a chimps. They sure can't throw a rock as hard as a person can. You've got to compare to a fit human and not a desk jockey for it to be fair.

Anyway, I never said that bear's were not immensely strong.

Bears can charge at 30mph.  they are not a tall soft target like a horse.  A halberd is one of the few things I considered as an option, but I don't like the odds of actually getting in a solid hit as it charges. 

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Are you saying a bear's muscle tissue is somehow tougher than a horse's? Does a bear have some armoring on it's body of some sort that I'm unaware of? Horse hide is delicate, but OTOH arrows can penetrate a bears body deeply enough to kill it.

A halberd has a spear head and is intended to be used as one. You use the axe head as the opportunity presents itself. Standing with the halberd held high for a stroke as the bear charges seems foolish to me.

There used to be a guide in Central america who hunted Jaguars with a boar speer.  They leaped at him, he set the butt and flipped them over his head impales, iirc.

Tigers are bigger, but...  Similar tactic might work.

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That kind of makes my point. A person with tools and ingenuity has huge advantages over beasts. Being attacked by a wild animal is a basic fear for humans. I think this colors a lot of people's opinion of the prowess of a bear. If you are able to keep you wits about you and fight intelligently then you can at least give yourself a fighting chance.

Although, I'm not volunteering... :)

Matt
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#40 Benjamin Etxaburu

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 0624 AM

I don't know about those old ones, but some guy mentioned that he had owned crosbow that was suposedly most powerful one there is (or was then), he sold it away because there was no bolts that woud last longer than one shot (second shot and it woud break at firing) and those carbonfibre bolts were too expensive just for one shot.

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probably he has using standard (long) bow arrows. in bows, arrow must be long because must reach from drawing hand to holding hand. that makes them slender and less rigid, prone to break by buckling.
on the crossbow, bolt rides a groove or similar, and can be as short (hence fat, for a given weight) as you want. some crossbows fired even spherical balls or stones. your friend could simple handmade his own bolts, from short thick dowels of plain wood.

P.S. Windlass crossbows are a waste. They were designed to be used against plate armor. Bears are just meat. A lighter weight crossbow or bow would give you just as good results and possibly allow for follow-on shots.

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most difficult tactical problem is the charging bear. if bear charge, you will probably have time only for one shot, no matter crossbow reloading speed. if bear does not charge, you will probably get more shots, no matter crossbow reloading speed (either bear stays on the spot, or he runs, then you want to allow cooling time before tracking it; both cases you have time).
the issue of overpower is not for extraordinary piercing power against metal, but to allow use of a huge broadhead (in fact, as broad as can still penetrate deep enough); 4, 6, 8 inches? if we have, in worst case, a single shot, i want that shot as powerful as possible; in a cutting slow projectile, that mean as wide a wound cut path as possible

Please keep in mind the squared/cubed law also. A bear that is eight times your weight will only be 4 times as strong.

square/cube law holds only for exactly scaled design, and nature tweaks its designs precisely to adjust to square/cube law.
a horse scaled up to elephant size would have weak legs, because the squared/cube law. that is why precisely an elephant has (relative to body) thicker legs than a horse.
a bear eight times heavier than an athletic man would in all probability be eight times as strong as an athletic man of same living ways than bear.

Morningstar: How effective would this be, assuming you could connect with the bear's head?

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probably more effective, assuming you connect to bear skull, would be a war pick (simpler, a piolet of the kind used by alpinists to escalate ice).

interesting topic. anyone on dinosaur killing?
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