I am going Kayaking for 3 days and I wanted to know if you could only take one gun to hunt and defend yourself what would you take? Or would you take two?
I am thinking a Ruger Mark 3 22/45 .22lr. S&W 3913 just in case I have to shoot a small black bear and defend against humans. I do feel that that is rare and that a .22lr would deter anything.
I did pack a 4oz of pepper spray Fox 5.3 for bear and people. I wanted to be able to hunt to so I was leaning towards the Ruger mark 3. Perhaps I will take the Ruger GP100 along for defense/critter control. I wanted to shoot small game though for food as I am going to pack light on food and depend more on hunting and fishing to feed myself.
I routinely take a GP-100 in the woods here for both 2- and 4-legged critter defense, but noise is usually your best bet. Bear spray is also light and handy. You can also load up .38 Special/..357 shot-shells if you don't want to put big holes in things.
I would like to offer that I am a semi auto type of guy. But for a camping/kayak I would suggest a 22LR revolver. Less to go wrong as I have seen just a little dirt make a problem. Water can cause a semi to lock up. 22 long rifle is good. For the bear and first defence a can of spray works well.
Presuming you are speaking of the near future for your river trip , and you're in North America , there won't be any game in season , only varmits if any.
In general , I would be inclined to stainless steel for corrosion resistance.
Big factor is your realistic threat assesment for needing bear defense. Defending against Yogi is totally different requirement from small game and casual plinking. If you need a Bear Gun , then by all means bring your interpetation of a Bear Gun.
If instead you wish for small game , casual plinking , while not totally helpless for human SD , then so be it. By sheer popularity , .22lr will be leading choice. Being an afficianado of less common cals , and wanting a little more power , I'd go differently.
.22WMR is a great ctg when fired from at least a 4in , preferably 6in bbl. .32 S&W Long is also a very handy ctg. ( Or a .32 Mag gun , with a handfull of mag ctgs also for SD.) If you had a .32acp of sufficient accuraccy for small game , it would fit this niche also. Pushing the upper boundries would be a .38spl. Wadcutters ( or your mild , accurate handload of choice) , with handfull of SD loads also.