What weapon to use? I would go with one of the bigger calibers mentioned. Sept '01, four of us floated a little over 100 miles down Birch Creek. Wild and scenic trip, Gods country for sure. I, in my youth(ie- stupidity), took my bow to use while hunting. I had a 44 Mag pistol for backup but it didn't see like much insurance in such big country with BIG grizzlies around camp. We never saw any while we there. We did see huge tracks that would swallow both of your hands place side by side. So my suggestion would be to carry the biggest caliber of rifle you can shoot accurately. Take plenty of pictures to show us when you get back. Good luck and good hunting.