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Thread: Thoughts and questions on first brown bear hunt.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts and questions on first brown bear hunt.

    My hunting partner and I are going on our first brown bear hunt next week, we leave Saturday. I have read a ton on this forum and on the ADF&G site about shot placement and have also talked to a few more experienced hunters. What is the group think on first shot placement on one of these large, dangerous critters? Should the first shot be in the vitals or should it be a front shoulder shot to "pin" the bear? I am thinking the ideal distance would be 75-150 yards depending on surrounding escape routes, does this sound about right? I took my black bear this spring at 30 yards and that was at the edge of my comfort level for a blackie haha. I'm shooting a .300WM with Remington factory loads of the 200gr A-Frame and my partner is shooting a .338 RUM. Our plan is solid first shot then basically open fire with both rifles until movement stops. Thoughts from experienced brownie hunters are appreciated. We're going to 16B FWIW. Thanks

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Your shooting range is spot on. Closer is always better but if you are not comfortable with that then don't do it.

    Using the calibers you guys are I would shoot for the vitals instead of trying to break the bear down. They are tough but just like anything else, if you put the lead where it needs to go it will do the job. Take the lungs and hearts out and you guys won't have problems. Keep shooting till it stops moving!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Taking both shoulders is a much better deal as on three legs he can still outrun you. With your bullet both shoulders may be had but as bronco says maybe the heart/lungs would be better.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts and questions on first brown bear hunt.

    Touch off as close together as possible. .300 lungs. .338 shoulders....might be a good idea. I know I tried to take the shoulders with an 06 and only took one. Luckily it didn't run. Did the bounce and spin instead and I was able to empty the rifle into him at a close distance.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    heres a topic we've never discussed....

    just kill it with your first shot, then stop it. pretty simple, if you can do both of those with the same first shot then great....
    its not bulletproof, your not undergunned, your not gonna die without a back up gunner, bullets still go thru bears at 200 yards, like they do at 20.
    just take a comfortable shot... and relax. biggest mistake some guys make is overthinkin' this process.
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    I was told years ago to anchor the bear so you don't have to root him out of the alders, then if need be make the killing shot, bullet holes are cheap to repair, getting stiches is a little more expensive

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    Last May I went to Pilot Point to kill a bear, for 6 days my guide kept telling me to shot for the lungs but when the shot came all I could think of was taking out his running gear so I went for the front shoulders.A 338 ultra mag shooting 250 a frames crumpled him and we never found the bullet.At 193 yards he was a little farther than ideal but every thing worked text book.

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbone View Post
    I was told years ago to anchor the bear so you don't have to root him out of the alders, then if need be make the killing shot, bullet holes are cheap to repair, getting stiches is a little more expensive


    Ironically it's the same procedure...

    I'm in the same boat. I'm taking a .300 RUM with 180gr Barnes TTSX to Kodiak in a month. Debating the same scenario. I think I'm going to let the terrain dictate. If I see a bear that I want and it's near alders, I'll be leaning towards shoulders. If it's out in the open, vitals. This is all based on my incredibly limited (read: none) brown bear experience. This is also assuming I see and have an opportunity for a bear while I'm there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elim View Post
    Last May I went to Pilot Point to kill a bear, for 6 days my guide kept telling me to shot for the lungs but when the shot came all I could think of was taking out his running gear so I went for the front shoulders.A 338 ultra mag shooting 250 a frames crumpled him and we never found the bullet.At 193 yards he was a little farther than ideal but every thing worked text book.
    elim with all do respect to you why would you not listen to your guide.... A double lund shot means one thing....A DEAD BEAR(low risk big kill zone area).. a bad shoulder shot means A WOUNDED BEAR and possible foot chase(high risk smaller target area)....

    OP Kill him on the first shot with a double lung and when he spins put one in the biggest bone you can hit or right up the poop cutter and you will have a dead bear...

    Just like BRWNBR said dont over think it...

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    For those of you advocating breaking a bear down you obviously have not seen how well they run on three legs. Just an idea but you might want to listen to the two guides that have responded on here, just a guess but they might have a bit more good and bad bear experience than the rest of us wannabe bear experts.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    On a side on shot it would be hard to hit the heart without going through the front leg/shoulder which also gives you plenty of lung.Folks talking shoulder shot Are not talking about the upper shoulder blades. Around a thrid of the way up the body through the front leg/shoulder is where its at.Now to find that perfect stright on side shot.A bears heart and lungs sit much like a humans.Try getting on you hands and knees head looking forward.Now have someone messure a third up from your chest and mark a spot on your upper arm at the one third mark and you will get a very good idea of what will be taken out.Bears are built different than say deer and moose but close to us.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Very simple formula for this that I repeat often to people on the phone, at the lodge, across the counter and to my family when they come up after bears. Step 1, get close, 100yds is great and 50 is better yet, hard to miss up close. Next shoot them in the armpit, that is the gateway to the pump house. When you've completed step 2 the bear will often react by spinning, biting and growling, this is when you commence to pour the coal on, my advice for this is the same as my bosses wife gives for all game shooting "Shoot em in the front half". Step 4 involves smiling and taking pictures with a very dead bear.
    Good luck with your hunt, have fun and be safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    ". Step 4 involves smiling and taking pictures with a very dead bear.
    Good luck with your hunt, have fun and be safe.
    Make sure bear is really dead before step four...its the dead ones that get away or almost..Right you know who you are. taxidermists have plenty of thread..
    Last edited by Bear; 09-19-2012 at 23:15. Reason: cpntent

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts and questions on first brown bear hunt.

    Ha! I like that...shoot them in the front half. After the initial shot, during the bouncing an rolling and growling, that's great advice.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    unless he's running away...then i'd shoot for the back half...or if he's strong quartering away..or i can't see the front half...or.....
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    I can tell you after an experience two years ago and bear can move really fast with both front legs broken. Not as dramaatic this year with an interior grizzly, first shot through the lungs and second through the shoulder, 220 grain 8mm Rem Mag and I went to step 4 (after checking to be sure).

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    I'm still a cheechako myself, but I have been around for the killing of a few. I like to get close, 150 yards, less if possible. I want that slight quartering away shot, taking out the vitals and striking the away front leg. I then pour it on trying for the spine. I have seen more than one bear run off after being hit in the strong part of the shoulder. Kill it, then stop it...

    This is the last Grizzly I shot, just behind the elbow through the vitals, breaking his away leg.

    Hope you have a great hunt.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I can't say that I understand why someone would aim for the shoulders instead of straight for the vitals if they're near alders. If they're on the edge of the alders, one struck in the lungs may indeed run into the brush - but then he's going to die rather quickly. Yes, you'll have to go into the alders to retrieve the bear, but he'll be dead if you hit where you were aiming. On the contrary, if you aim for the shoulders and don't hit the lungs, your bear still very well may make it into the alders. Instead of looking for a dead bear, though, now you're going into a limited visibility situation chasing a wounded and potentially dangerous bear.

    Vitals first, then a stopping shot if given the chance. Always, regardless of terrain.

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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts and questions on first brown bear hunt.

    IF you hit where your aiming. Inevitably people miss target once in their lives.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I can't say that I understand why someone would aim for the shoulders instead of straight for the vitals if they're near alders. If they're on the edge of the alders, one struck in the lungs may indeed run into the brush - but then he's going to die rather quickly. Yes, you'll have to go into the alders to retrieve the bear, but he'll be dead if you hit where you were aiming. On the contrary, if you aim for the shoulders and don't hit the lungs, your bear still very well may make it into the alders. Instead of looking for a dead bear, though, now you're going into a limited visibility situation chasing a wounded and potentially dangerous bear.

    Vitals first, then a stopping shot if given the chance. Always, regardless of terrain.

    Brian the shoot them in the shoulder theory has been around a long time to my knowledge. A lot of old time guides preach this method. Heres my take as I used to have hunters take the bone shot so to speak. I you are using gun with a good constructed bullet and a fair amount of energy and hit a big bone all the energy of the bullet will shock the animals system and immobalize him long enough for a second shot thus not being able to make the alders.(Taylor wrote a book about and has a formula.... TKO ) this does work great on paper and in the field when done properly... from my experience very few can get these shots right..meaning when it comes time for the shot nerves and such are going so hitting the high risk shots are more difficult..well if it is a true broadside shot and you shoot for the shoulders there is apossibilty to miss the bone and vitals all together I have personally witnessed this (more then once which is why I changed where I want a hunter to shoot)and it became a foot chase through the alders... with a double lung shot the energy is not transferred but to my knowledge there is no animal alive that can live on a double lung shot.... the trick is a FAST second shot.. What folks should practice is for a fast second shot at the range wayyyyy to many are used to pulling the trigger then kind of willy nilly putting a second round in. Bears almost always do a little spin before heading to the brush so there is almost always a second shot chance and if not and they make the brush its like you said they are laying in there dead not wounded..
    I absolutely love quartering shots you can take out a lot of realestate on them shots...

    A bear is a bear he is not bullet proof or magical put the shot in him right he will die...

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