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Thread: Help me decide on caliber.

  1. #1
    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    Default Help me decide on caliber.

    Now... I know how these threads can go. I'm very aware of pros and cons of both rifles... I just can't make up my mind so... A friend will be using a bow out of my stand this weekend and we do take brown bears. So to go find this animal I am choosing between my .375H&H w/270 he tsx hand loads and my 45-70 w/buffalo bore hard casts. I hunt with the .375 (cut to 20" 2-7 leupold qd rings and iron sites which I only sited at 50 once and put scope back on) for bear and moose but have taken bear with my 45-70 (ghost ring, ported, cut down, big loop, ejectors bla bla bla). Just need your votes because I'm hmmm and hawing n am not sure.IMG_0005.jpgIMG_1816.jpg
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    It depends on where you friends arrow hits the bear. If he is a real good shot I would take the 45-70.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    It depends on where you friends arrow hits the bear.
    I have the good fortune to be friends and hunt with several long-time bear guides on their personal hunts. Been a lot of bear talk over the years. In your setting, following up on someone else's shot, their choice for guns for themselves and their packers is based on this thought: Your choice of guns has to kill from the south end of a north-bound bear, and do it really, really fast. When your "client" sticks a bear in a bum spot, the bear is not going to be standing around deciding what to do. It's gonna move out fast and be out of sight almost instantly. And if your own shot doesn't put it down on the spot, you've got some nasty tracking and follow-up to do.

    Picture yourself in that scenario.

    Now, which gun do you shoot best and fastest, with the most confidence of a really quick kill hitting the hind end of a bear? You're the one who will be tracking a wounded bear through brush, so it's a highly personal question. You have to live with the answer. Hopefully.....
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    It depends on where you friends arrow hits the bear. If he is a real good shot I would take the 45-70.
    Yeah, I'm kinda wonderin' what the plan is myself...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  5. #5
    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    I'm leaning toward .375, I shoot it the best of any of my rifles and it's been my primary for some years now. I think I was just looking for a reason to use the lever gun but, if 1 shot, is all I get .375 has multiple advantages imo.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

  6. #6

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    Depending on your terrain, there's another good reason for the 375- long range hits to break down a wounded bear. Kinda tough to make a finishing shot at 300 with the lever, should the bear be visible running up a mountainside or crossing a valley. That's the scenario around here, even with all the alders. A pretty good reason every guide and packer I know carries a scoped bolt to back up clients, even if a lever might be "faster" up close.

    Watched a video that should be instructive for you too when backing up an archer. When the archer made his shot it sounded like "twangbangbang" as the guide and his packer uncorked microseconds after the archer released. "Great shot Sport! You really folded that bear!" No sense waiting around to see how long it takes for the bear to drop from the arrow when it's your butt that's going to be crawling through the brush after the hit.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    If ya poke holes w rifle it don't count for record book under pope n young. Yes some bears don't wanna die. But most do. Some run, just give em time. Push em and they will out run ya n die somewhere hard to find. Be confident. Tell ur buddy to aim center of bear as lungs are further back on a bear. Google diagram.

    If anyone needs help tracking I have a great dog. Granted I'd need permission from the wifey to leave hahahahahaha but Nellie my dog has found many bears, yup, not all of em, but most n some w hardly no blood trail. I know my dog n her nose.


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    Either caliber is fine. It's the sights that I'd be concerned about. I like open sights when looking for wounded animals.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    take the gun you like best, and can bring into play quickest at short range. Let the arrow do its work, then have gun handy as you track bear, ready for quick work. I disagree with what rstabout said on lungs; aim further forward than on a deer. A center body shot broadside will be all gut, some liver. If quartered, use far side leg for upright hold. If quartered hard, aim just ahead of the offside leg.

  10. #10
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    If I am worried about brown bears I take my 12 gauge. You shouldn't have to worry about backing your friend up if he is a competent archer. Bear should die within 30 yards of an arrow hit. In 15 years of bow hunting bears I have never had to put an animal down with a gun.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    If I am worried about brown bears I take my 12 gauge. You shouldn't have to worry about backing your friend up if he is a competent archer. Bear should die within 30 yards of an arrow hit. In 15 years of bow hunting bears I have never had to put an animal down with a gun.
    I think the key is patience. Let the bear die before looking for it. I believe the sound of the gunshot causes an animal to run a lot harder than anything. I've had several animals hit hard with an arrow jump, look around for what just hit them, and expire on the spot.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    I think the key is patience. Let the bear die before looking for it. I believe the sound of the gunshot causes an animal to run a lot harder than anything. I've had several animals hit hard with an arrow jump, look around for what just hit them, and expire on the spot.
    Too many people get excited and want to see the harvested animal too soon. You need to evaluate the shot, how the animal reacted to being hit, the type of blood left if any at the hit, what is on the arrow and luckily if you taped it review the footage. All animals don't fall right away. I one lunged a blackie last year and he ran almost 100 yards. The farthest I have ever had a bear run. I could see him 50 yards off as I was up on a ridge, laying on his back. I went back to get my gear and returned to find him gone. I searched and searched to no avail. Finally cutting up higher on the hill I found matted grass but still no bear. The last movement of the bear rolled him into a ravine about 4 feet deep with water in it. You could of glassed that area for ever and not seen him down there.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    I believe the sound of the gunshot causes an animal to run a lot harder than anything.
    I kinda doubt that based on personal experience. Had an aggressive sow brown bear with a couple of cubs decide she needed to be in our camp. I put one round from my 375 about a foot over her head at about 30'. Never flinched. Lowered my sights and put another over her head at about the level of the tips of her ears. Never flinched, even with the boom of the rifle and the bullet breaking the sound barrier purty close to her ears.

    Also poked a lottalotta deer with arrows as well as lead hunks, but no bears. You almost always get a sharp reaction from the bullet and not from the arrow unless the arrow hits bone. I figure the arrow is just slicing through, while the bullet is moving flesh. Kinda like the difference between cutting your finger with a knife and hitting it with a hammer. I've often cut myself and not known it till I saw blood, but I've instantly known about every single hammer blow.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I kinda doubt that based on personal experience. Had an aggressive sow brown bear with a couple of cubs decide she needed to be in our camp. I put one round from my 375 about a foot over her head at about 30'. Never flinched. Lowered my sights and put another over her head at about the level of the tips of her ears. Never flinched, even with the boom of the rifle and the bullet breaking the sound barrier purty close to her ears.

    Also poked a lottalotta deer with arrows as well as lead hunks, but no bears. You almost always get a sharp reaction from the bullet and not from the arrow unless the arrow hits bone. I figure the arrow is just slicing through, while the bullet is moving flesh. Kinda like the difference between cutting your finger with a knife and hitting it with a hammer. I've often cut myself and not known it till I saw blood, but I've instantly known about every single hammer blow.
    Let me restate that. The sound combined with the impact of the bullet cause the animal to run harder than just the impact from an arrow.

  15. #15

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    The 45/70 is my go to gun when the ranges are under 75 yrds..

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I kinda doubt that based on personal experience.
    I personally just believe that just as every bear is different, then every bear is going to react differently to the sound of a gun. As you've seen a bear w/ cubs not flinch, I've seen a sow w/ cubs stop dead in her tracks from a full fledged charge at the sound......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Let me restate that. The sound combined with the impact of the bullet cause the animal to run harder than just the impact from an arrow.
    Other than a dead right there bear, every one shot from a gun has been pretty violent. The CLEANEST, QUIETEST big brown bear kills I've ever seen was by an arrow....

    Getting back to the op....if it was me and I'm going in after a wounded bear, I would take the 45/70 as I wouldn't want a scope in the way.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I'm no expert but I bait every year since 1990 and bow shot bears run and if it is heavily wooded they can hide under stuff you wouldn't think would hide a cat. They can find deadfalls and holes so fast. One thing I dislike about the 45/70 is so many people use hard cast and they burns holes through the animal. I think from ones I have shot with the 375 more immediate shock seems to be transferred to the animal. Another reason in the dense stuff is the scope will help you thread the shot through the trees.

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