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Thread: bear shot placement

  1. #1

    Default bear shot placement

    I've heard of two different places advised for shooting a black bear, the heart/lung area, or the shoulder. What works best for you guys? I'll be doing my first spring black bear hunt this year, and was wondering what shot you guys try for.

  2. #2
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Put the shot in the boiler room!

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    Definitely in the boiler room. Heart/ lung region. A bears shoulder actually angles forward, away from the vitals and a lot of bears are wounded and lost because of that. But the shot for the heart/ lung region is all a matter of how the bear is positioned relative to you. Picture a square box being the bear and the heart/lungs being a ball inside the box. The four corners of the box are his front and rear quarters. You don't care about where you hit the box as long as your bullet will reach the heart/ lung region. To try to explain that better let's say a bear is broadside to you. You would want to aim behind the front leg, not the shoulder blade and your bullet will reach both lungs. If he is quartering towards you then you would want to aim for the onside shoulder so your bullet travels through the vitals and gets both lungs(the ball in the box). If he is angled quartering away from you then you would want to aim at the back of the rib cage so you bullet travels through the vitals and gets both lungs(the ball in the box). On a shot like this I always aim to hit the offside shoulder so I know the angle of the bullets travel will go through the vitals. Guys say to break a bear down by breaking the shoulder, but if you don't get the lungs they will get up and move out in a hurry. Both lungs means a dead bear! Get a box and put a ball in it and you will see what I mean. Every angle means a different shot. I suppose the best all around advise would be to shoot behind the leg, low or mid body for a broadside, aim to break the offside shoulder on a quartering away shot, and take the onside shouldre for a quartering toward shots. The angles should then line up so your bullet gets a piece of both lungs.

  4. #4
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Boiler room

    Please put it in the vitals. Aim at the center of the bear, then move about 6" to 8" to the front. With the leg towards you, stepping forward opposite of as in the picture. The vitals of a bear are a bit further back and down than most people think.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Dave: Thanks, that is a great photo.

  6. #6

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    Shoulders, with both of them broken you won't be chasing a wounded bear into the brush.

  7. #7
    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Heart/Lung and IF a second shot is available Spine
    Drew

  8. #8

    Default

    I have always shot the heart lung area and all the bears have dropped within 0-40 yds.

  9. #9

    Default just my thoughts

    I shot 3 last spring over bait--no big ones, but the first two were with a rifle (overkill) in the boiler room, they ran off--not far, but one I had to go looking for, the last one I shot with my bow in the boiler room and he only went 5 yards from the stand.

    I would think a boiler room bear is going to die quickly--so they don't suffer. So even if you have to go looking for it--it will be dead when you find it, whereas a shoulder shot bear will probably need a follow up shot, and you still may have to track a mad bear into the brush. From what I have seen on videos, yes a shoulder shot bear may go down, but then they are rolling all over the place--which is a tough target to hit with the adrenalin pumping

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  11. #11
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Hey

    Hey! They stole my picture! Actually, I am an instructor for them so I guess it was alright.

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  12. #12

    Default

    So is the proper shooting area right to the right of the shoulder on the lower portion?

  13. #13
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Try here

    Shoot for the large dot. If you hit it, you get a double lung. Low, you get heart. High, lungs or spine. Forward or back you hit lung or liver.

    A double lung shot with a bow the bear isn't going far. Gun, maybe some adrenaline will kick in and it might go farther. But either way, once oxygen is deprived to the brain, it is all over.
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    Default 1/3

    Most guides myself included will tell hunters to aim one third of the way up the shoulder if you are useing the proper caliber and not shooting to far you have a dead bear that you wont have to track. A bears fat can plug up a lung hit and the bear can live longer than most people think. Look at the whitetail they are finding now with broadheads in their lungs from the year before. I had a hunter not listen last year and shot a big grizzly at 40 yards right behind the shoulder we never did find that bear, good thing he went away from us.

  15. #15

    Default thanks..

    Thanks for all the info guys.

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    Member FISHONAJ's Avatar
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    I agree ~ thanks for sharing good info. I can't wait to get out

    AJ

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    Wink Here You go....

    This might help...pretty neat picture.
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    Default Don't shoot the shoulder

    Excellent picture showing why not to shoot the shoulder on a bear. Not mush in the way of vitals behind it. You will also notice how the vitals lay low in a bear. A major reason for losing a bear is shooting too far forward and too high on the bear.

  20. #20
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    1/3 of the way up would also be a heart/lung shot. Fat may stop a blood trail, but it doesn't stop internal bleeding. Whether or not there is a blood trail really has nothing to do with whether or not an animal is dying. It's simple biology. Use a quality bullet, or a sharp broadhead, and shoot something tight behind the shoulder broadside or quartering away and it is going to dye. Shoot a bit back on a quartering towards animal, and you might only catch a piece of one lung and then have an issue on your hands. As far as seeing a bear hit square behind the shoulder, and then never finding the animal, kind of makes one wonder how they know exactly where it was hit if they never found it. You can generally stray a bit lower forward, and a bit higher back, but low and back can be bad news.

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