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Author Topic: "Bear calibers"  (Read 3231 times)

Offline dmoua

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2017, 10:01:00 PM »
.243 or .308. They both do the job just fine.
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Offline tgomez

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2017, 12:03:35 AM »
What is your "Bear caliber"? I'm using my savage 110 7mm Rem mag. No bear with it yet, but hopefully I will get one this fall since I struck out on spring bear :bash:


My father use to own a 7mm Mag in a Savage 110 with a fiberglass stock nicknamed "black death." He shot 10 bear with that rifle and many deer, elk, and coyote. My personal choice is my Remington 700 in 30-06 with 180 grain Core-Lokt ammo. Best of luck to you this year! I hope everyone gets to experience at least 1 bear in a lifetime. It's such a great animal to hunt and my favorite! Looking forward to September 😀👍
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Offline Tiger1358

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2017, 12:17:10 AM »
Savage 111 Trophy Hunter in 300 Win Mag. You got the right caliber, shoots well, got a lotta power, and its maximum effective range is almost the same as 338 Lapua Magnum. 7mm rem mag rocks!

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2017, 07:08:13 AM »
30-06 mauser action with dbl set triggers.  Uncle used to show off for us kids with it by sticking a wood match in the middle of the hundred yard paper target then light it with the first shot and watch the target burn up.  Shoots dimes all day long.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2017, 07:28:55 AM »
Bear are tough critters, I think more wounded bear are never recovered than any other animal, a lot of the bear we get have been shot before and healed up, so it's not so much the size of the gun as it is hitting them well. Know that you will hit vitals or don't pull the trigger. Having said that, I do prefer larger calibers and/or lots of powder, but it's not necessary if you put the bullet where it belongs.
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Offline JDHasty

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2017, 08:46:08 AM »
Bear are tough critters, I think more wounded bear are never recovered than any other animal, a lot of the bear we get have been shot before and healed up, so it's not so much the size of the gun as it is hitting them well. Know that you will hit vitals or don't pull the trigger. Having said that, I do prefer larger calibers and/or lots of powder, but it's not necessary if you put the bullet where it belongs.

When I was young and hung out w/lots of hound guys the number one choice was 18.5 inch barrel Marlin 336 in 35 Rem.  I used a 45/70 Mod 1895 SS and it was a well respected stopper too.   

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2017, 09:36:56 AM »
They will all work if you hit them right. Many old time Alaskans used 30-30s and other assorted smaller calibers for bears including brownies. I have even heard of "old timers" using .22s but I wouldn't recommend it.

.375 is a popular caliber there now.
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Offline 1972Pinto

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2017, 02:04:35 PM »
My dad uses his savage 110 30-06, not being a very good tracker, he has always opted toward heavy bullets. So he bought 2 cases of 220 grain corelokts and he's used them ever sense. For deer, bear, coyotes, and even a couple grouse :chuckle: I know bears are tough but I don't think they're THAT tough. But then again, I saw a 250 pound bear shot with a 12 gauge 3" slug and he ran almost 100 yards up hill before he kicked the bucket

Offline Machias

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2017, 02:11:26 PM »
I don't want to start a big ol debate, but just my not so humble opinion, lots of wounded bears are from guys shooting too far at an animal that has an outline and body features that are hard to tell even at close range.  Plus the whole going to break them down mentality.  You take out both lungs and that bear is NOT going to go very far.  My opinion, bears are easy to kill, as long as you take out BOTH lungs.  Their movements and lack of features makes guys "think" they are breaking down a shoulder and they are not.  So many guys try to shoot punishing rounds and can't shoot them accurately so they have marginal hits.  Marginal hits on a bear is most likely a lost bear.  Caliber?  Whatever you can shoot effectively and actually place the bullet where it needs to be. 
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Offline JDHasty

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2017, 03:16:37 PM »
My dad uses his savage 110 30-06, not being a very good tracker, he has always opted toward heavy bullets. So he bought 2 cases of 220 grain corelokts and he's used them ever sense. For deer, bear, coyotes, and even a couple grouse :chuckle: I know bears are tough but I don't think they're THAT tough. But then again, I saw a 250 pound bear shot with a 12 gauge 3" slug and he ran almost 100 yards up hill before he kicked the bucket

I tried to mash 'em. 

I shot a 200 lb black bear through the heart and it spun 180 degrees, and took off down the trail it was on for ~25 yards, took a 90 degree right turn and went another 50 yards and all traces of blood disappeared.  This left me standing there scratching my head and wondering.  The trail went right along the left side of a five foot diameter Douglas fir dead fall and so after a bit I says to my self:  self, do you think that bear sprung over the tree and landed on the far side?  Only one way to find out, so I pulled myself up to climb over and there was another trail heading away from  the tree and it looked like someone had walked down it slinging red paint everywhere.  So I jumped down and followed the trail about 40 yards around a bend  and there was the bear lying there dead, with leaves and other forest floor matter pushed up in front of it's face and it's back legs up under it. 

The bear had squeezed through a hole under the tree trunk the size of which you could probably barely push a basketball through. 

After that day I wanted a shoulder if I could get one either before or after taking both lungs out.  I will also say that I helped other hunters hack our way into bear that had both lungs blown to atoms and had run a hundred yards into a blackberry tangle that made getting them out of there a terrible ten hours of hell experience. 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 03:46:37 PM by JDHasty »

Offline pashok23

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2017, 03:39:18 PM »
First 2 bears i shot with .270 130gr and the last year i shot with .300WM 185gr at 530 yards .I dont think i could of shot last bear with .270 cal at that range.I kept doing a few follow up shots at over 600 yards.So my bear rifle is .300 WM

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2017, 07:10:36 PM »
I don't want to start a big ol debate, but just my not so humble opinion, lots of wounded bears are from guys shooting too far at an animal that has an outline and body features that are hard to tell even at close range.  Plus the whole going to break them down mentality.  You take out both lungs and that bear is NOT going to go very far.  My opinion, bears are easy to kill, as long as you take out BOTH lungs.  Their movements and lack of features makes guys "think" they are breaking down a shoulder and they are not.  So many guys try to shoot punishing rounds and can't shoot them accurately so they have marginal hits.  Marginal hits on a bear is most likely a lost bear.  Caliber?  Whatever you can shoot effectively and actually place the bullet where it needs to be.


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Offline mountainman

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2017, 09:38:44 PM »
Preface my comment to say I have been in on the harvest of many bears. Seen them shot with many calibers and bullets placed in many placed. Yes, lung shot bears will die. Sometimes on the spot, sometimes they have run a long way. Typical bear country is right cover, so my thinking is bigger caliber and break them down on the spot. Some may say bears aren't built any sturdier then a deer, and that may be almost true comaring a 150# deer to a #150 bear. But a #250 old mulie buck is nothing compared, none wise, to a #450 bear. Break the shoulder down. Dead bear on the spot 100% of the time👍
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Offline Machias

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2017, 10:09:10 PM »
Average bear in WA is 140-150 pounds.  450 pound bear in WA is like 7 foot 6 inch man, sure they are out there, but they are few and far between.  Not arguing and your logic is solid.  The problem comes from guys "thinking" they are breaking down a shoulder, particularly at long range using weapons they cannot shoot with pinpoint accuracy.
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Offline Alchase

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2017, 10:27:11 PM »
I don't want to start a big ol debate, but just my not so humble opinion, lots of wounded bears are from guys shooting too far at an animal that has an outline and body features that are hard to tell even at close range.  Plus the whole going to break them down mentality.  You take out both lungs and that bear is NOT going to go very far.  My opinion, bears are easy to kill, as long as you take out BOTH lungs.  Their movements and lack of features makes guys "think" they are breaking down a shoulder and they are not.  So many guys try to shoot punishing rounds and can't shoot them accurately so they have marginal hits.  Marginal hits on a bear is most likely a lost bear.  Caliber?  Whatever you can shoot effectively and actually place the bullet where it needs to be. 

I would agree with this, I came across an exception that scared the crap out of me at 17. I was hunting elk near Ilwako in the 70's. I was sitting on a ridge finger, when I heard multiple shots coming from a clearing about 400 yards away. I made my way down to the clearing and there was an elderly gentleman in his 60s, sitting on a log who had obviously been chain smoking cigarette after cigarette, trying to recover his composer. The ground around the small clearing was total devastation! The underbrush had been ripped up and thrown in up the trees, and the small alders within the clearing had been knocked down or bitten through.
I asked "what happened?" he said he shot the bear from about 30 yards. He said his first shot was a hit, the next shots all missed. In the couple minutes it took to die, it completely tore up the surroundings in a huge circle, attacking everything within reach. 
When gutting, we noticed the bear's heart was gone. It his first shot been a perfect heart shot.
In the two minutes it took to die, the bear caused havoc on everything in reach. This bear was 140 lbs (guessing) not a big bear, yet the damage he caused in the last two minutes of life, was freaky.
He was so freaked out how lucky he was that the bear did not see him in its death throws, he had tears coming down his face.

I know this is not normal behavior for a bear, I learned a new respect for how tough bears can be that day.
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Offline ghosthunter

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2017, 10:46:26 PM »
So this thread is conderdicking what I have read.

Most what I have read says wait on broadside shots until the fron leg is foreword.
But many here are saying hit the shoulder straight through.

What's the vote?
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Offline mountainman

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2017, 11:06:49 PM »
Front leg forward when archery hunting PERIOD.
Shoulder with suitable caliber the rest..
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Offline mountainman

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2017, 11:08:38 PM »
Average bear in WA is 140-150 pounds.  450 pound bear in WA is like 7 foot 6 inch man, sure they are out there, but they are few and far between.  Not arguing and your logic is solid.  The problem comes from guys "thinking" they are breaking down a shoulder, particularly at long range using weapons they cannot shoot with pinpoint accuracy.
yes, of course assuming an accurate shot..
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Offline JDHasty

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2017, 05:43:20 AM »
I don't want to start a big ol debate, but just my not so humble opinion, lots of wounded bears are from guys shooting too far at an animal that has an outline and body features that are hard to tell even at close range.  Plus the whole going to break them down mentality.  You take out both lungs and that bear is NOT going to go very far.  My opinion, bears are easy to kill, as long as you take out BOTH lungs.  Their movements and lack of features makes guys "think" they are breaking down a shoulder and they are not.  So many guys try to shoot punishing rounds and can't shoot them accurately so they have marginal hits.  Marginal hits on a bear is most likely a lost bear.  Caliber?  Whatever you can shoot effectively and actually place the bullet where it needs to be. 

I would agree with this, I came across an exception that scared the crap out of me at 17. I was hunting elk near Ilwako in the 70's. I was sitting on a ridge finger, when I heard multiple shots coming from a clearing about 400 yards away. I made my way down to the clearing and there was an elderly gentleman in his 60s, sitting on a log who had obviously been chain smoking cigarette after cigarette, trying to recover his composer. The ground around the small clearing was total devastation! The underbrush had been ripped up and thrown in up the trees, and the small alders within the clearing had been knocked down or bitten through.
I asked "what happened?" he said he shot the bear from about 30 yards. He said his first shot was a hit, the next shots all missed. In the couple minutes it took to die, it completely tore up the surroundings in a huge circle, attacking everything within reach. 
When gutting, we noticed the bear's heart was gone. It his first shot been a perfect heart shot.
In the two minutes it took to die, the bear caused havoc on everything in reach. This bear was 140 lbs (guessing) not a big bear, yet the damage he caused in the last two minutes of life, was freaky.
He was so freaked out how lucky he was that the bear did not see him in its death throws, he had tears coming down his face.

I know this is not normal behavior for a bear, I learned a new respect for how tough bears can be that day.

A friend was shook like a rag doll by a dying bear that got him by the pants leg.  Had his knee not slipped out of it's mouth it would have been bad.  As it was, it didn't do him any good.  He was bruised up pretty bad. 

Offline 1972Pinto

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2017, 08:42:42 PM »
Now THAT would change the way I do things! Being that I've never seen a cougar in the wild and only seen 4 bears I don't carry a sidearm. However now I might!! :chuckle:

Offline wooltie

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2017, 07:20:42 AM »
I don't want to start a big ol debate, but just my not so humble opinion, lots of wounded bears are from guys shooting too far at an animal that has an outline and body features that are hard to tell even at close range.  Plus the whole going to break them down mentality.  You take out both lungs and that bear is NOT going to go very far.  My opinion, bears are easy to kill, as long as you take out BOTH lungs.  Their movements and lack of features makes guys "think" they are breaking down a shoulder and they are not.  So many guys try to shoot punishing rounds and can't shoot them accurately so they have marginal hits.  Marginal hits on a bear is most likely a lost bear.  Caliber?  Whatever you can shoot effectively and actually place the bullet where it needs to be. 

I would agree with this, I came across an exception that scared the crap out of me at 17. I was hunting elk near Ilwako in the 70's. I was sitting on a ridge finger, when I heard multiple shots coming from a clearing about 400 yards away. I made my way down to the clearing and there was an elderly gentleman in his 60s, sitting on a log who had obviously been chain smoking cigarette after cigarette, trying to recover his composer. The ground around the small clearing was total devastation! The underbrush had been ripped up and thrown in up the trees, and the small alders within the clearing had been knocked down or bitten through.
I asked "what happened?" he said he shot the bear from about 30 yards. He said his first shot was a hit, the next shots all missed. In the couple minutes it took to die, it completely tore up the surroundings in a huge circle, attacking everything within reach. 
When gutting, we noticed the bear's heart was gone. It his first shot been a perfect heart shot.
In the two minutes it took to die, the bear caused havoc on everything in reach. This bear was 140 lbs (guessing) not a big bear, yet the damage he caused in the last two minutes of life, was freaky.
He was so freaked out how lucky he was that the bear did not see him in its death throws, he had tears coming down his face.

I know this is not normal behavior for a bear, I learned a new respect for how tough bears can be that day.

A friend was shook like a rag doll by a dying bear that got him by the pants leg.  Had his knee not slipped out of it's mouth it would have been bad.  As it was, it didn't do him any good.  He was bruised up pretty bad.

Yikes.  So how did your friend come in contact with the dying bear?  Was your friend following a blood trail, or did it approach the dying bear thinking that the bear had already seen the revenant?

Offline JDHasty

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2017, 09:12:46 AM »
I don't want to start a big ol debate, but just my not so humble opinion, lots of wounded bears are from guys shooting too far at an animal that has an outline and body features that are hard to tell even at close range.  Plus the whole going to break them down mentality.  You take out both lungs and that bear is NOT going to go very far.  My opinion, bears are easy to kill, as long as you take out BOTH lungs.  Their movements and lack of features makes guys "think" they are breaking down a shoulder and they are not.  So many guys try to shoot punishing rounds and can't shoot them accurately so they have marginal hits.  Marginal hits on a bear is most likely a lost bear.  Caliber?  Whatever you can shoot effectively and actually place the bullet where it needs to be. 

I would agree with this, I came across an exception that scared the crap out of me at 17. I was hunting elk near Ilwako in the 70's. I was sitting on a ridge finger, when I heard multiple shots coming from a clearing about 400 yards away. I made my way down to the clearing and there was an elderly gentleman in his 60s, sitting on a log who had obviously been chain smoking cigarette after cigarette, trying to recover his composer. The ground around the small clearing was total devastation! The underbrush had been ripped up and thrown in up the trees, and the small alders within the clearing had been knocked down or bitten through.
I asked "what happened?" he said he shot the bear from about 30 yards. He said his first shot was a hit, the next shots all missed. In the couple minutes it took to die, it completely tore up the surroundings in a huge circle, attacking everything within reach. 
When gutting, we noticed the bear's heart was gone. It his first shot been a perfect heart shot.
In the two minutes it took to die, the bear caused havoc on everything in reach. This bear was 140 lbs (guessing) not a big bear, yet the damage he caused in the last two minutes of life, was freaky.
He was so freaked out how lucky he was that the bear did not see him in its death throws, he had tears coming down his face.

I know this is not normal behavior for a bear, I learned a new respect for how tough bears can be that day.

A friend was shook like a rag doll by a dying bear that got him by the pants leg.  Had his knee not slipped out of it's mouth it would have been bad.  As it was, it didn't do him any good.  He was bruised up pretty bad.

Yikes.  So how did your friend come in contact with the dying bear?  Was your friend following a blood trail, or did it approach the dying bear thinking that the bear had already seen the revenant?

Got cheap.  He was given some ratty old ammo that had a "little corrosion" on it, but since you rarely shoot a bear over dogs at a distance of over five or ten yards.... 

This was over three decades ago, but I think that I remember most of the details correctly:
The first shot was so weak that it ricocheted off the skull, but knocked the bear out of the tree.  The bear was not in the mood to talk things over and work out their differences when it landed on the ground at his feet, and the empty case was stuck in the chamber and the dogs were tied back and the bear got him around the knee and the dogs couldn't help him out. Luckily, he rolled and the bear ended up with just the seam of the double front Carhart's and was giving him a pretty good stirring when he was finally able to get the gun unjammed and finished the fight.

He was all black and blue that night all the way from his toes to his shoulder, but then turned the damnedest shades of green and purple I have ever seen after a couple days.     

Offline Machias

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #47 on: March 30, 2017, 09:19:22 AM »
Rodeo!!  :chuckle:
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Offline JDHasty

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #48 on: March 30, 2017, 09:21:59 AM »

Offline buglebrush

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Re: "Bear calibers"
« Reply #49 on: March 30, 2017, 09:27:09 AM »
I've killed a lot of bears with my .270  Really the only animal I still hunt with a rifle as everything else is archery.