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Thread: Brown Bear-Where to aim?

  1. #1

    Default Brown Bear-Where to aim?

    Going on my first brown bear hunt next week. I know the vital area of a bear but some have said high on the front shouder will anchor the bear where he stands. I have different coffee shop "suggestions" as to where the best place to aim on a brown bear but what I really need to know is what the experts say. I know many of you have hunted brown bear or even guided brown bear. Your expert opinion(s) will be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    For the vitals of course. I like the quartering toward chest shot at the base of the neck where it joins the body. It can be game over at the shot there.

    I always like the advise of shooting into the vitals either through a shoulder or exiting through the shoulder after going through the heart lungs, also shoot more than once if the bear is still alive. Rapid AIMED shots. Good hits will count more than anything else. If they bear is wounded and getting away a hit anywhere is better than not shooting. Bears can be broken down with shots to the hips and tailbone or spine shots if straight away.

    I have only shot one black bear myself which I hit in the chest at the base of the neck under the chin one shot and it was over quick. I have seen two smaller brown bears shot. One dropped dead at the shot hit with the quartering towards shot described above. The other took three hits broadside, two through the lungs and one through the abdomen. It was still alive when we got up to it and shot it through the neck.

    A friend and I loaded some bullets for a another friend who shot a large Brown bear on Kodiak and hit his with the quartering towards shot as above and it dropped dead at the shot too. All the brown bears were shot with 300 mags and 200 partitions. Shot my Blackie with a 308 win and a 180 Core-lokt.
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    Default Where to shoot it

    A foot below the top of the hump,depending on the angle,take out the near shoulder if he is quartered toward you the off shoulder if quartering away.This is the center of the shoulder. Do not aim low.that is the biggest cause of having to trail a wounded bear. Reload and get a second shot in immediately Frank.

  4. #4

    Default Brown Bear-where to aim?

    Thanks< I have shot several black bears and have always been able to secure them with a single shot. But they're obviously a lot smaller than a brown bear. I purchased a CZ550 in .375 H&H topped with a Ziess 1.8 x 5.5 for this hunt. It's sighted in for 150 yds. I felt my .300 win mag a little too small, although I do use it for elk.

  5. #5

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    Bust both shoulders and there will be no need to track it. Shooting the vitals is good but IMO using a heavy hard hitting bullet to break both shoulders is the way to go IMO.

  6. #6
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default This would be my prefered shot

    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    For the vitals of course. I like the quartering toward chest shot at the base of the neck where it joins the body. It can be game over at the shot there.


    One dropped dead at the shot hit with the quartering towards shot described above. The other took three hits broadside, two through the lungs and one through the abdomen. It was still alive when we got up to it and shot it through the neck.

    A friend and I loaded some bullets for a another friend who shot a large Brown bear on Kodiak and hit his with the quartering towards shot as above and it dropped dead at the shot too. All the brown bears were shot with 300 mags and 200 partitions. Shot my Blackie with a 308 win and a 180 Core-lokt.
    I agree with RMiller. First off because I killed a brown bear this past fall with this same shot, might have been a little more than quartering towards though, but she was definately stunned and walked backwards then turned broad side and I nailed her again. I was using 200grn Trophy Grade A-Frames, Remington brand, in my 300 win mag. Note after this hunt I sold my gun and got the ruger .375 for my all around gun. To me this area seemed more vulnerable than the rest of the bear. Kind of like putting your finger at the base of your neck between your collar bone. Very thin and spongy. Otherwise shoot for the vitals for first shot, just seen a hunting show on sunday taped up here in alaska in Icy Bay. Didn't say caliber but he dropped a boar brown bear at 350 yards to the vitals at the brush line. Key there is though the bear had no idea they were there. My partner on the fall hunt anchored his bear by hitting in the rear, then a few more just to make sure it was down, surprised him too.

  7. #7
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    well, no two shots produce the same results unless its the head or spinal collum. my advice
    aim excatly where Chris tells you....but if for some reason that gets lost in translation.

    broadside tight behind the front shoulder, in the middle. this gives you the largest margin of error should you flub it up, it happens.

    quartering away....middle of his ribs so it buts out just in front or in the point of his off shoulder....still have some margin of error.

    quarting towards.....opposite of the last shot, point of the shoulder or just in front of it so it exits right out the liver and the ribs....margin of error...

    head on, right along side his head, down the length of his body...less advised...not much margin of error

    facing directly away...up the turnpike....deadly deadly shot. least advised...very very little margin of error.

    In case you missed it, margin of error is big...first brown bear everyone wants to be a sniper and very very few guys ever are, last client missed his brown bear at 40 yards.....humble yourself and make sure you get a killing bullet into that bear, then just freakin' pour (as stated above...AIMED) the lead into him...hang on for the ride...it'll be great!!
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  8. #8

    Default

    You may want to take a look at THE PERFECT SHOT, NORTH AMERICA; by Craig Boddington.

    This is an excerpt:

    "Most people will know where to shoot a white-tailed deer when it is standing broadside. But how do you accurately place a shot from a tree stand when you are situated above the animal? The actual answer might surprise you. In this book Craig Boddington and artist Laurie O'Keefe show actual in-the-field photographs that pictorially describe where you must shoot to get an instantaneous kill--in other words, how to make that "perfect shot." Each species in this beautifully illustrated book is highlighted with a "ghost view" that shows not only the vital areas (lung, heart, spine) but also the entire skeletal structure. In addition, the location of the brain on dangerous game is shown in case a shot is needed to stop a charging animal. Those animals that are shot from tree stands (whitetail, mule deer, elk, and black bear) are shown with a "from-above" view. All this is presented in full color with clear, well-produced, anatomically and proportionately correct drawings. The book covers the mule deer and whitetail from multiple angles as well as showing the reader shots at pronghorn, elk, caribou, and moose; then there are the brown bear, grizzly, and black bear whose vitals must be hit or dangerous situations will ensue. The book also covers Stone and Dall sheep, as well as the Rocky Mountain and desert bighorns. Feral hog and the javelina are featured as are the less usual animals--polar bear, wolf, goat, muskox, bison, and walrus. All these animals are presented from a pictorial point of view--one whose emphasis is on how to place a perfect shot. In his usual clear and concise manner, Boddington also writes about what guns to use, what calibers he recommends, and what bullet types are suitable for each species. No other book yields such useful and practical information for application by the hunter of North American game. A reference book of unimaginable worth, you will find yourself referring to it time and time again. This large format book is on coated paper in full color. This is a companion book to the Perfect Shot, which covers African game."

    I didnt see it on Alaska Outdoor Directory bookstore, but I have seen it on:

    http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0018805617457a.shtml

    http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Shot-N...9503648&sr=1-4
    "A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." Theodore Roosevelt, 1913

  9. #9

    Default Brown Bear-where to aim?

    Thanks Adfraiser: Funny you mention this book. Had brunch this a.m. with the V.P. of Corp. Sales for Ziess and he mentioned the same book. He also mentioned there is a similair book for African game. Will be ordering both! thanks again.

  10. #10

    Default

    I believe that "where to aim" when harvesting brown bear is as much about distance; caliber being used and and ability to "follow up" as it is about precise shot placement. If there was "one" cardinal rule about shooting brown bear it would surely be there is "no such thing as a one shot kill - regardless of how "dead" they look.
    Joe (Ak)

  11. #11

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    I 've killed 2 8ft + bears with each with 1 shot. Hit them high in the shoulder and low in the spine and they wont take 1 more step. I wouldn't take a quartering shot on a big bear unless I had too.

    375 H&H is perfect with 270 grain Barnes bullets.

  12. #12
    Member kjashen's Avatar
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    Default shoulder

    only have killed one brownie in my life, but subscribe to what my dad taught me when he was alive. (he shot quite a few in the 40's,50's and 60's.) He said, "break the shoulder first, then hit them again", I did it and the bear went 10ft and was dead.

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    Default guide

    a guide from kodiak told me once that his favorite shot was the texas heart shot. sounds like crap to me but he had videos and the shot straight up the butt and into the chest was the most devistating. pretty much dropped them where they stand. he told me this is cause not only is he still getting hit in the vitals but he is takind every bit of energy from the bullet. i just figured i would throw that out there. i know even after watching the video i dont know that i could shoot something in the butt. it just goes against everything i was ever taught

  14. #14

    Talking well put

    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    I believe that "where to aim" when harvesting brown bear is as much about distance; caliber being used and and ability to "follow up" as it is about precise shot placement. If there was "one" cardinal rule about shooting brown bear it would surely be there is "no such thing as a one shot kill - regardless of how "dead" they look.
    Joe (Ak)
    This statement puts it in about as good of perspective as I've seen it. Makes so much sense, when one analyzes it, and covers the whole spectrum, not just a blanket statement. Are you the renowned brown bear outfitter Joe Want? If you are, then it makes sense that if anyone would know "where to aim" theories, It'd be you. Thanks.
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  15. #15
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Shoulder

    High in shoulder......get both shoulder blades and he will drop like a rock!
    Alaska

  16. #16

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    Certainly the questions (concerns) about the advisability of taking “straight away” shots are well founded. However, in general, and provided at least a 300 Win magnum is being used, it is probably provides the largest area for producing a debilitating shot when attempting to harvest a brown bear.
    Just as distance of first shot; firing sequence and period of waiting before pursuing a wounded animal are different for brown bears than ungulates (at least those hunted in Alaska) so is effective or acceptable shot placement.
    Joe (Ak)

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