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  • May 10, 2013

    Loaded For Bear: Choosing a Shotgun and Shell Combo for Alaska

    By Phil Bourjaily

    You can argue—and many do—that pepper spray is a more effective bear stopper than any gun. We’ll leave that aside for now, because this blog is not called “The Spray Nut.” Instead, we’ll assume you have already debated guns vs. pepper spray and opted for a gun. (Or you may decide to carry both.)

    Not surprisingly, I would tell you to take a shotgun over a handgun. Shotgun slugs have about three times the muzzle energy of a .44 magnum and make much bigger holes. Unless you are a practiced handgunner, a .44 magnum is a difficult gun to shoot straight—even at a very big target.

    SitePage: 
    n6747.fieldandstream/alaska
  • May 9, 2013

    Hunting in Alaska: Which Rifle to Bring?

    By David E. Petzal

    The question is not so much what you’ll be hunting as, will you be in bear country? I have hunted caribou in Alaska with a .270, .270 WSM, and 7mm Weatherby Magnum, and all three did fine. Except that, on the hunt where I had the 7mm, I was checked out by a young boar grizzly, who seemed to find the guide, my friend, and me mildly disappointing and wandered away. If he had been a mature boar grizzly, I might have wished for a much bigger rifle.

    I’ve known, personally, two guides who had to kill bears (one a brown, the other a grizzly) who were trying to do the same to them. One guide did the job himself with a .416 wildcat. The other guide had a .44 Magnum revolver, and the attack took place very suddenly over the disputed carcass of a caribou. The guide told me that if his client had not stood his ground and shot very quickly and very accurately with a .338, he might not be there to tell me the story.

    SitePage: 
    n6747.fieldandstream/alaska
  • October 9, 2012

    A New Folding Knife from Knives of Alaska (And Other Knife Notes)

    By David E. Petzal

    It occurred to me that I haven't done anything on knives in a while, so here goes. As a brand, I’ve seen more Knives of Alaska cutlery in the hands of guides and outfitters than any other maker’s stuff, which is probably due to the fact that Charles Allen, who heads the company, has been a game biologist for something like 40 years, and is an Alaska guide, and knows what he’s doing.

    Latest in the line is a series of small slip-joint knives that are just about right for carrying in your pocket. My favorite is the Ranger (pictured here), a drop-point with a 2.3-inch blade made of D2 steel, an orange-and-black micarta handle, and a price tag of $69.99. It’s a very strong little knife that can do just about everything except clear a path through the jungle, and if you went to Princeton, or your kid goes to Princeton, the Ranger’s handle is in the school’s colors.

    SitePage: 
    n6747.fieldandstream/alaska