"Load for Bear" is a principle of preparedness well worth knowing.
Load for bear is a phrase used in the outdoors. But which do you load for? Do you load for bear, rhino, lion, elephant? What does it mean? My name is Steve Marvel. And I'm going to tell you exactly what you load for and why. And what this strange phrase means. Loading for bear means you load your rifle with a bullet that is associated with the killing of bears. Not because you're hunting bear, but because if you need to kill anything, it's the bear because the bear is the one that's going to kill you. If you were hunting deer in bear country, then you don't load for deer you load for bear in that a deer a distance isn't going to come kill you. But if a bear comes around the corner, you want to be able to shoot that without reloading. When I was in South Africa, we were loading for Rhino we were walking around Highveld. And on a range where there was rhino, there were no lion. So we loaded for Rhino, because we were on foot, and if we had a problem with a rhino, then we would find ourselves in a position where we would have to shoot it, though we wouldn't want to. And we would avoid that where possible. And that's a completely different discussion to do with pressure zones and avoiding animals. We had to load for Rhino in terms of rifles. And I asked what this strategy was all about? And he said, yeah, it's to do with runners, I said, Why? Why can't you just use the same bullet? And it is because if you want to kill something with a bullet, you do not want it to go through. You want it to dissipate all of its energy within the animal. So you cause the maximum damage, so that you kill it. And as I say, is an unfortunate thing. This is a self defense strategy, in that you are reloading your rifles to kill the thing that is more likely to kill you should you encounter it. So yes, if the bullet enters the body cavity, you don't want it to leave, you want it to stay in so that it dissipates all of its energy within the body cavity, causing as much damage as possible, thus killing the animal. If you put a round in, that will penetrate the skin of a rhino and you shoot a lion with it, it will go straight through and out the other side. And this is no good for killing lions. And if you put a rifle bullet in, in a rifle that's associated with killing lions, then you try and hit rhino with that, then it's going to lose a great deal of its energy trying to get through the skin and may glance off, which is no good at all. So in South Africa, which one would we load for? And the answer is you need to know which one's, a lion or an elephant similar, are going to be around so, a rhino or an elephant versus a lion or a tiger. You need to know which one's around and that's largely habitat oriented. You would find in the low felled in the grasslands, there would be lion and in the high felled in the bush, you would find Rhino. And it was the case that we knew that rhino's were in the area because they had been seen and this knowledge was commonly known. So in summary, you load your rifle with a bullet that is most associated with the killing the thing that is going to kill you and it's largely a self defense mechanism. And yeah, keep that in mind. Know your habitat. Know your wild, crazy animals and be careful out there. Load for bear, See you next time!