Flashlights as a Deterrent against wild animals?

mporter

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Re: Flashlights as a Deterrent against wild animal

Defense against bears. In Glacier National Park the rangers recommend both carrying pepper spray and also wearing small bells so that the bears can hear you coming and move out of the way. It avoids suprising a bear.

They also say it helps to know the difference between the black bear and the grizzly by their scats so you can be aware of who is in the area.

The black bear scats contain a lot of berries and fur of small mammals. The grizzly scats, on the other hand, often contain small bells and smell like pepper.
 

Avix

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Re: Flashlights as a Deterrent against wild animal

up in our neck of the woods (North Idaho), 'yotes are a almost daily problem. so far, I've had 'yotes stop and stare then walk away when hit by the beams of 3C and 5D Maglites, if you see one, there are most likley more around. haven't had a chance to use my Legend LX on one yet, but I am looking for something to mount on a M1 Carbine for just that problem. OC doesn't seem to work well on canines as well as it does (sometimes) on humans according to friends in the Post Offal and PD's
 

binky

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Re: Flashlights as a Deterrent against wild animal

Avix the Tigerlight just came out with a gun (Picatinny) mount for that big light. I don't know the geometry of either that or your M1 Carbine (do you have a mount on it?) but it'd sure be a relatively inexpensive, bright light.

Dukester did you see the post where Dan (TacticalWarehouse) had a bear out on his driveway and tried several lights on it? I recall that only the KumKang had any effect.

All I've needed my lights for so far are skunks & possums as I clean up the kiddie toys from the yard at night. The Arc LSH-P has no effect. Luckily, the Tigerlight does the job. We have coyotes but I've never run into one on my yard.

Now I'm gonna back up and read BlindedByTheLight's good looking epic. :)

[edit] Wow. Great stories! And mporter that's a good joke about the grizzlys. I read one once, I think in an Outdoor Photographer magazine. The topic was that it's very difficult to tell the difference between a grizzly and black bear during some times of the year because their fur changes and can look pretty similar. But a black can climb trees, and a grizzly can't. So if you see a bear climb a tree. If it climbs up after you and eats you, that's a black bear. If it just rakes down the whole darned tree then eats you that'd be a grizzly.
 

natearmus91

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they definitely don't work on black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, or wolves..

hiking around northern maine and parts of bordering canada, i've run into all four..

black bears tend to be the most shy of the animals from what i've seen.. they don't really seem to be bothered by the light as much as your presence..

mountain lions don't like the bright light, but again, they don't seem to be all that bothered by it, aside from squinting.. i've also found they're the least cautious of the other animals.. if you run into a mountain lion they're more likely to take interest than bears, coyotes, or wolves.. also these are the animals i'm most cautious around.. they've honestly scared the sh*t outta me on two seperate occasions..

coyotes are just *******s.. they seem to associate the bright light with possible danger better than the other animals tho.. and they're most likely to be driven off by it..

wolves i can't comment much on, as i've only run into them a few times in canada.. they're really nice and i've never even felt a need to flash them other than to get a look..

all of them are disoriented briefly tho.. so it could buy you a few seconds in a dangerous encounter..

that's how my experiences have gone.. altho the brightest light i've used to spot these animals is the Legend LX.. which is about a typical 2XCR123 light with the exception of lighting up coyotes on old logging trails with a 1 million candlepower Vector.. i usually use my PT40 on hikes tho, and it's probly not bright enough to be used for self-defense..

so i'd say don't bet on using them as deterrant unless that's all you have at your disposal.. *lol*

-Ryan
That was super insightful, thank you for the information. I just googled could a bright light fend off a mountain lion and it took me to this sight. I was just curious because a few years ago I had a face to face with a mountain lion in a creek in the middle of town. And it was terrifying. It was night time and at the time I was homeless and I was just trying to get back to my camp to go to bed, and I saw huge yellow eyes glowing about 250 feet from where I was. They were super low to the ground so I assumed it was a possum or something of that nature.
I continued on the trail and a few minutes later I noticed that the eyes were considerably closer to me. I didn’t think anything of it though. And all I had for light was an energizer head light that needed new batteries. Anyways I looked once more and noticed it was even closer so I stopped and turned in that direction and took a couple of steps towards it. Then the lights slowly got higher off the ground. Realizing I made a mistake,and that animal was definitely not a possum I froze. It walked very slow towards me never breaking stride. I didn’t notice what it was until it was about 15 to 20 feet away from me. Instinctively I began to walk backwards slowly hoping to good I did not trip. I picked up a decent sized rock and threw it as hard as I could an hit the mountain lion. I know I hit it for a fact because it jumped in the air upon impact but as soon as it hit the ground I blinked and it was about 5 feet in front of me, I was a little confused on how it got so close so fast. I was homeless and had a back pack on with almost all my belongings in it. With those belongings was two Gerber Machetes and I put my arms behind my head and grabbed them both by the handles and pulled them out and started frantically banging them together and yelling. It stoped dead in its tracks but did not retreat. A house up on the street about 50 feet away turned on a light and their German shepherd started barking like crazy and the mount lion finally turned and trotted off. I was just wondering about the bright light for two reasons, 1) if my head lamp was considerably brighter would I still have been stalked. And 2) I did a lot of research after that and realized how lucked I actually was and found out that mountain lions can see 7 times better at night than humans can in the day, so with such sensitive eyes could a powerfully bright flash light with a strobe feature have Had any effect on the animal in my situation.
No judgements lol i have never had an experience like this before I am a city kid who has never left California and was in the middle of town.
 

3_gun

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I'd trust track shoes to make a bigger difference in the out come. I have a 357mag with me in the woods so I have better choices available. I don't believe in less lethal defense against animal attacks.
 

richbuff

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.... ... ... ... I don't believe in less lethal defense against animal attacks.
Well said, to the point, succinct, and correct, and I agree very much.

Force is need to defend against determined attack. "Less than lethal force" is an oxymoron. If it is a physical force, it is potentially lethal. If it is less than lethal, it is not a physical force, or it is woefully inadequate force.

Form and function. Tools that are designed to illuminate are not designed for other things. Tools that are designed to surviving unscathed are not designed for other things.

In my neighborhood, loose, attacking canines are umbrella resistant. I do not intend to shoot the rain. I do not intend to illuminate the rain. I do not intent to keep the rain off of my attacker. I do not allow confused, erroneous thoughts when it comes to surviving unscathed, illuminating things, and protection aginst rain.

In before close.
 

Bps7us

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Deer I encountered recently. He didn’t seem to care about my Noctigon K9.3 SST20’s blasting him.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I did successfully scare off a mountain lion with a Fenix P3D Q5 on strobe once. When backpacking at the Kearsarge Lakes in the Sierra Nevadas, our group scared off a large group of black bears temporarily with camera flashes. So flashlights do work to a degree on some animals. I’d suggest having a backup plan for the animals that can kill you. A gun, knife, spear, flare taped to a long stick, flare gun, stink bomb, bear spray, etc. Remember that security is the fifth essential in survival. There’s heat, shelter, water, food, and security (protection against being eaten/killed). Without doing something for security, you aren’t going to last long in a hostile environment. Also, always have a plan b and c when it comes to anything where your life is on the line. A flashlight on strobe can be your plan a, but you better have other ideas ready in case it doesn’t work.
 

bigburly912

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Flashlights on strobe don’t work the animals were more afraid of the people than the lights. I wish we could delete all these threads before someone gets seriously hurt. Black bears don’t know they are 300 pounds of death that’s why they are so scared of 20 pound dogs with big mouths.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Flashlights on strobe don’t work the animals were more afraid of the people than the lights. I wish we could delete all these threads before someone gets seriously hurt. Black bears don’t know they are 300 pounds of death that’s why they are so scared of 20 pound dogs with big mouths.
This isn’t Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube where half the population’s posts and videos get deleted because people don’t agree with them. We have the right to share our own views and experiences here despite your disagreements with them. I’ll leave it to our moderators to deal with vulgar, political, or off topic issues. If you read more than a couple sentences of my last post, you’d realize I didn’t suggest people confront a bear or mountain lion with only a flashlight. I suggested carrying weapons or deterrents for safety and security. How will that advice get someone seriously hurt? Just because I survived large predators a couple times when I wasn’t able to have a weapon with me doesn’t mean I recommend putting yourself in that situation voluntarily. It worked a couple times for me. That doesn’t mean I would suggest a flashlight as your only line of defense (unless it’s mounted to a gun or also shoots out a taser). Stop trying to put words in my mouth one minute and a gag in my mouth the next. How would you like someone to try to silence you because of their wrong interpretation of what you said?
 

bigburly912

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This isn’t Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube where half the population’s posts and videos get deleted because people don’t agree with them.

Sorry I hurt your feelings. Telling someone a flashlight is ok as plan A is still as bad as any of the words you say I put in your mouth. I was speaking of these threads in general, you get people that have probably never even seen an animal in the wild in their lives looking for “expert” opinions since this is an enthusiast forum. Every time somebody sees the comment “I scared off Bigfoot with my nightsabaaaa 1200000 on my tafticoool wowzer strobe” they think they can go to the mall and fight off satan or a host of meth heads with any light that has a strobe. So no hard feelings to you hooked on fenix. It’s just these threads in general. There’s always gonna be instances of people doing something that works that one time. I’d suggest always having a proper plan a.
 

fuyume

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When i got home from the grocery store last night, a neighborhood cat surprised me by bolting out of the weed bed next to my front door as I pulled up on my bicycle with my PD36 TAC in 150 lumen mode.

It ran out into the street and then sat down and stared at me, so I flipped the PD36 TAC into 3000 lumen mode, from about 10 yards away, and the stupid cat just sat there staring right back at me. 😂

So, while I think a good flashlight is still a good thing to have on hand in areas where wildlife contact is possible, I wouldn’t expect even my 3000 lumen flashlight to deter a critter.
 

wweiss

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My experience is using a very loud air horn is very effective. Hurts the animals ears and sends them gone. This has worked for coyotes and black bear in the CT region. Lights don’t seem to do much, but a 5nm green laser pointer has also been very effective aimed at their eyes.
 

Unicorn

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Coyote have just looked at me like I was stupid when I used a bright light both continuous and strobe on them.

I WILL use less lethal 90% of the time when an attack is imminent. I can OC a bear sooner with less of a guarantee of an attack than I can shoot one, and it will be using pain avoidance to teach it to stay further away from people. I'm not planning on killing anything unless necessary for survival. At that point I will do a mag dump of full power 10mm into it. But that won't be my first defense. Especially since it's sort of been proven that true bear spray (not some gas station crap with only marketing numbers) is more effective than a handgun. And I'm not taking my 45/70, or even a 12 gauge Rem 11-87 with slugs (much, much faster followups than any pump) on a normal day hike in the woods, so it's either a 10mm or a .44 mag. Which are secondary to the UDAP bear spray (which also works well on those tweakers you wish you could just shoot but legally and I suppose morally you can't).
 
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