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Thread: Brown Bear single shot?

  1. #1
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    Default Brown Bear single shot?

    I have a T/C encore, and am starting to plan a bear hunt next year. Am wondering what caliber I should buy. I have a 300 wm and a 7mm-08 setup now, and plan on getting something bigger for it. Looking for reccomendations for the barrel and scope it should be equipped with. 375 H&H, 416 Rigby??? I have never hunted big bear before, so I really dont have any idea. Cost isn't really a factor, but effectiveness/usefullness is. Thanks, Charlie
    You know you aren't really having fun until you ask yourself -how much is this going to cost me?

  2. #2
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I went on a bear hunt with a Encore in .375 H&H with a Leupold VX-III 2.5-8 on it. I felt fine taking that gun, but I did have a partner with me for back up. I also spent a month before the hunt practicing shooting, removing spent cases, and reloading from a wrist band cartridge holder.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Bear hunting

    You should get many responses to your post, and probably a pretty wide variety of ideas. If there's one thing Alaskan's like to talk about...it's bears. I have taken and helped take 3 brown bears and 3 black bears in my years living here. Here are a few basics that you may already know, but just in case...

    Brown bears are tough, and they have a habit of not knowing they're dead. Shoot the biggest caliber that you can shoot well and use premium bullets. I personally like the .375H&H with 270 grn. Barnes TSX bullets. The .338 is also a good choice, and many guys like it up here. I prefer the grand old .375H&H.

    I belong to the school of thought that shots on big bears should be within 100 yards...150 tops. The brown bears I have shot were 35, 15 and 75 yards. The 15 yarder was supposed to be about 50, but the wind changed.

    Have a second shooter with you...right with you, especially since you are taking a single shot rifle. I am a big fan of the Encore and I own one with several barrels, but I don't take it hunting for big bear. Work it out with your partner that you're taking the first shot, but he is to shoot right after you, and both of you keep shooting until it is down. I have never had to track a wounded bear into the alder...and I don't want to start. If you are a nonresident, then you will be using a guide or hunting with a relative "within second degree of kindred." The aforementioned suggestion works with the relative, but the guide may have other parameters for taking a back-up shot so check with him. Lastly on this particular subject...be sure about your back-up person. No offense, but some people...well...you can fill in the blank.

    Regarding scopes, I really like the Leopold VarX-III in 2.5-8.

    Bear hunting is my absolute favorite. I enjoy it more than any other hunting I do up here. You are going to have a blast...and talk about adrenalin rush after it is down...wow!

    Let's see what others have to say...there are many experienced people on this forum.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    You should get many responses to your post, and probably a pretty wide variety of ideas. If there's one thing Alaskan's like to talk about...it's bears. I have taken and helped take 3 brown bears and 3 black bears in my years living here. Here are a few basics that you may already know, but just in case...

    Brown bears are tough, and they have a habit of not knowing they're dead. Shoot the biggest caliber that you can shoot well and use premium bullets. I personally like the .375H&H with 270 grn. Barnes TSX bullets. The .338 is also a good choice, and many guys like it up here. I prefer the grand old .375H&H.

    I belong to the school of thought that shots on big bears should be within 100 yards...150 tops. The brown bears I have shot were 35, 15 and 75 yards. The 15 yarder was supposed to be about 50, but the wind changed.

    Have a second shooter with you...right with you, especially since you are taking a single shot rifle. I am a big fan of the Encore and I own one with several barrels, but I don't take it hunting for big bear. Work it out with your partner that you're taking the first shot, but he is to shoot right after you, and both of you keep shooting until it is down. I have never had to track a wounded bear into the alder...and I don't want to start. If you are a nonresident, then you will be using a guide or hunting with a relative "within second degree of kindred." The aforementioned suggestion works with the relative, but the guide may have other parameters for taking a back-up shot so check with him. Lastly on this particular subject...be sure about your back-up person. No offense, but some people...well...you can fill in the blank.

    Regarding scopes, I really like the Leopold VarX-III in 2.5-8.

    Bear hunting is my absolute favorite. I enjoy it more than any other hunting I do up here. You are going to have a blast...and talk about adrenalin rush after it is down...wow!

    Let's see what others have to say...there are many experienced people on this forum.
    Outstanding post, this is really good. Yep, I would use my 416WBY 350gr TSX even thought not long ago I thought I could get by with less. I could but why take the chance of loosing the bear, getting hurt or killed, and not taking the bear with a good round that will dispatch him quickly. Good post, just like some of your earlier ones on this subject, yes very good.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  5. #5

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    If cost is no object, as you say, I'd sure think about getting a bolt in the caliber of your choice. That is unless you're just dead set on using Encore for a bear.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a single shot lover and have a bunch of Ruger #1's, including a 375 H&H and a 458 Winnie. When things go right I can shoot and reload about as fast as most bold guns- by feel and without ever pulling the rifle down from my shoulder. And that's my concern with the Encore. You've got to drop the rifle to load it, and I think the odds of a fumble go up even as you are slower to load. Maybe I didn't use my Encore long enough before dumping it, but I always felt it was way slower and more fumbly to load than a #1.

    Would I hunt bear with either my 375 or 458 #1's instead of an Encore? Nope. Same concern about a fumble under pressure.

    I've got a couple of bolt 375's and I'd grab either one before a single shot, as much as I do love the singles.

  6. #6
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    I guided a T/C Encore sponsered brown bear hunt a couple years ago; we killed 2 B&C class bears with them- one chambered in .375 H&H, the other in .416 Rigby- they had some flaws, the primary being no ejector- not good in a tight situation! They did make it so you can adjust the hammer spur to the side for easier cocking w/ a scope. The main thing is to be very familiar w/ using the weapon- I use a No.1 in .416 Rem on Mr. Brown a lot w/ great results. My fantasy "dude" rifle for bear is a No.1 in .375H&H and one cartridge- main thing is to get close and put one where it counts!

  7. #7

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    .375 H&H is outstanding in the Encore. As Groundpounder said, tho, you need to get very familiar with whatever weapon you choose. I always advise anyone new up here or just getting into shooting to shoot, shoot and shoot some more until you can wield it in your sleep, then, do good practice. You can never get too familiar with your firearm. In a stress situation, you need to be able to be able to cycle it without thinking.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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