What to use for lions and bears.


New member
Mar 4, 2002
Last night I talked with my sister in law who lives in northern Calif. She has five acres that are surrounded with state park land, and the place is crawling with black bears that show absolutly no fear of humans. To make things worse, yesterday, while pulling up the driveway, there was a mountain lion sitting on her deck! She honked the horn twice befor it walked slowly away. She watched it for forty or fifty feet till it went behind the house, and it was "hissing with its ears flat back on its head the whole time". These are her words. She called the park ranger and was told that it most likely would not bother her, but if it showed up again to call him. (His office is almost 65 miles away). She told him that the next time she sees it in her yard, the only call he is going to get is to come and get the carcas.
Anyway, she asked me what kind of rifle she should buy. She wants two. One for the front door, and one for the back door. She is not a big girl, about 5'4", and 115lbs. Recoil might be a factor, and I don't think she has ever fired a gun befor. I told her that what ever she gets, she needs to be taught how to use it. She needs a hunter safety course, and many hours at the range. In the mean time, I told her to get pepper spray for everyone in the family and learn how to use that. Still, What caliber shoud she get. I was thinking a Marlin 1894S in .44 mag. What do you folks think?
I know this is a bit late but a big dog would work better than a gun if she doesn't learn how to use the gun properly.
I would recommend a shotgun with double OO buck and have her learn to use it accurately.
If she wants to use a centerfire rifle then I would go with a 270 or a 308 in a bigger stock/size. The weight of the rifle will help with the kick but might be detrimental to her because of the weight.
Have her go to the local range with someone with a few guns and get a feel for them before deciding to buy one.
I would also recommend a shotgun with buckshot, a semi-auto would probably be best as it will recoil less, Remington 11-87 would be a good one. If she doesn't want a shotgun, the 44 Mag would be good, maybe in a Ruger semi auto. I would think in the case of a cougar she would want as many shots in the least amount of time possible.

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