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Thread: distance from brown bear

  1. #1
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    Default distance from brown bear

    What distances should I practice in preparation for my Spring brown bear hunt on the Penninsula? 1 to how many yards? My guide said all shots would be less than 100 yards, is this pretty accurate?

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default shooting distance

    I prefer to shoot big bears from 75 to 200 years. I and my client hunters have taken longer shots, but bad things start happening with long shots and big bears under poor shooting conditions. I hate going into the bushes after a crippled bear, so I prefere that big bears be shot with big bullets from big guns. Love those broadside double lung shots, when they are possible...keeps me out of the bushes.
    I really prefer shots at 75 to 100 yards. When you are that close you instantly develope a closer bond with that bear. At that distance you can actually see a bears lips as its eats berries. You can see its claws as it moves a log. You can see its eyes if it looks at you. You can see its nose moving as it tests the wind. And at that short distance it is hard to miss the vital area, and your big bullet is still packing near max kiling potential. And you can see the bullet strike, and hear the bullet impact. Yeah, that exciting!
    The only problem with getting that close....is that you will probably have other reasonable shot opportunities prior to getting that close. It is difficult to tell your client/hunter to hold off within 200 yards, saying "hey, I think if we continue to crawl up to that hump of weeds we can get within 100 yards", while he is saying "I can't miss, I can shoot him in the lungs right now at 200 yards".
    Be patient. Hunt , like your being hunted. Get close.

    Dennis
    Alaska True Adventure Guide Service

  3. #3

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    I perfer to be within 100 yards or less and I will never shoot one more than 150 yards away, that is my limit. If I can't anchor the bear right there I will not take the shot, i have no intention of having to track a wounded brownie in the brush.

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    Wink how to Shoot A Bear!

    Great advice in these posts! Lots of good experience talking here. My additional advice: Practice at 20, 40, 60 and 80 yards with quick shots. There's no time to set up when that prize (or unexpected) grizz comes into view and you notice that he has also noticed you! True personal bonding, right? You should be able to get your bush rifle off your back, off safety and on target within 5 seconds, and get a good shot off, if conditions require it, in his general direction, within the next 4 - 5 seconds. If he (or she) is not bounding in your direction then of course you can re-evaluate, but never assume the bears will move or act slowly. One second later you'll have one running at you, and they cover ground in a real hurry, right guys? They move, when they want to, like a tomcat, and you'd better be able to hit one when that's happening. Practice with round targets about 12" in diameter, not those easy to see fluorescent things, but a nice hard-to-see grey circle (get some automotive primer and spray a circle with it and then set it out at the end of the day with the sun in your face; have your buddy set it up at one of those yardages noted above or in between any of them, and then when he says "Heads Up!!!" you turn, spot the circle which is placed about 24 - 36 inches off the ground, and within max 8 - 10 seconds hit it. Keep practicing until you can do that reliably. 100% of the time. Don't fool yourself. Practice practice practice. Don't substitute high-tech gizmos (rangefinders, big-ass scopes, hyper expensive ammo, fancy cartridges, etc) for practice. Get out to the actual field-position shooting range at least every weekend for 2 - 3 months before you invest big $$$$ in an Alaska hunt trip for bears. As motivation, remember Timmy Treadwell's personal knowledge of bears and how they think!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    grab a tennis ball and roll it down a hill and empty your gun at it...reload..repeat...rinse

    empty your gun off a rest, reload stand up and empty your gun again (um while aiming at a target, say 80-100 yards) reload...repeat and see how bad you really suck....lol

    this is best to do with NO buddy around, it'll make you look bad if you dont' practice it.
    Reloading is key, i've had to shoot more bears cause guys can't reload their gun in the heat of the moment.

    Dennis is shooting bears from 75-200 years, i'm guessing at those ages, it only takes one shot! but most times you'll use up and average of 3 shots, but when things get weird you'll wish you could reload a half second faster...

    figure 30-200 yards on shooting range.
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default ...in a perfect world...

    BRWNBR...yes in a perfect world my big bear kills only take that one shot. And I, as well as yourself, have had one shot kills. That is in a perfect world, the world I attempt to plan for. But in my world, my imperfect world, it often takes more that one. Sometimes many more shots than one. Frankly, it amazes me how much abuse a brown bear can sustain. One more concept...yo team...how a bear kill should work out with that 8-second-double-lung-kill-shot, and how it really works out "on the ground" can be hilarious as well as exciting. Fortnately, bears have long hair and even a taxidermist of moderate skills can sew or glue large holes back together. Long hair really hides all those big bullet holes. But the part about how I hate going into the bushes after a crippled bear...that is very real...I really do hate going in those alders.

    And about shooting practice for quick shots....for those of you living in the southwest states, jack rabbit jump shooting was great practice years ago.

    And about the marksmanship of many of us....many years ago after a guided mule deer hunt in Utah we placed a dozen water filled milk jugs out about one hundred yards. Shooting offhand, we all (the guide team) missed several shots each. We all needed practice. Our poor marksmanship when shooting offhand was humbleing and hilarious.

    When to follow a bear into the alder bushes, and when to let him rest for the night, is an entire new thread topic.

    Dennis
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    Default 30-40

    30-40 yards should be good for a bow. With a good lung shot he will only run 30 or so.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigE View Post
    What distances should I practice in preparation for my Spring brown bear hunt on the Penninsula? 1 to how many yards? My guide said all shots would be less than 100 yards, is this pretty accurate?
    Most of our shots are between 75 and 125 yards;
    Practice the four basic positions with the aid of the sling;
    Be able to reload without taking their eye off the animal;
    Assume there is "no such thing as a one shot kill" at least for brown bears;
    Good Luck
    Joe (Ak)

  9. #9
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    dennis, did you note you said YEARS and not YARDS...hence my comment on one shot kills, bears are pretty old your shooting at!!
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    Default Years and yards

    Jake...yes I like shooting those 200 year old bears...(I finally saw it). Any older than 200, I let them go. Well, I let the 200+ year old sows go back to the bushes anyway. Those are the best breeders in the trophy areas for next year. Like releasing 100+ pound halibut hens.
    Dennis

  11. #11
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    Default all good advice BUT

    Listen to your guide first. If his policy is 100 yards or less then that's that, I'd say.....
    I've just had some experience with clients having it "all figured out" from what their "buddies" said. Make sure you talk it over with him before you show up if you plan to go against his advice. Save the pain. For both of you. Good luck. Shoot a biggun'.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    Listen to your guide first. If his policy is 100 yards or less then that's that, I'd say.....
    I've just had some experience with clients having it "all figured out" from what their "buddies" said. Make sure you talk it over with him before you show up if you plan to go against his advice. Save the pain. For both of you. Good luck. Shoot a biggun'.
    The above posting should be printed out and MEMORIZED by every individual that books a bear hunt.
    Joe (Ak)

  13. #13

    Default What I was told..........

    I have only shot 1 brown bear, but I have talked to a lot of hunters and a few guides over the last 43 years and this is what I was told about brown bears. Get close. Hit them in the right spot with a big bullet and keep shooting. Here is what I was told by some guides and old Alaskans I met and talked to in the 60's. Almost all of them thought 40 yards was about right for costal brownies on the salmon streams and anything over 200 yards was asking for trouble. This info was given to me by Kieth Johnson, Maynard "Perk" Perkins, Duncan Gilchrist, Bud Conkle, Bill Alice, Don DeHart, Doc Taylor and Avery Moore. These guys helped put a lot of hunters on brown bears and polar bears. Almost all of them are in the happy hunting grounds.

  14. #14
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default suprise of a lifetime

    I really didn't believe the Biologest that Kodiak Bear's can go for five min.s after they are hit solid and their lungs and heart are hit. They can! 60 yards W/375H&H, 300gr nosler broadside shot, perfect. The bear ran and could be heard moving in the brush three times 70-100 yrds from where hit ,over the next few mins. . We sat it out for 30 mins.(useing the watch for time). When capeing out you could see the chest was pulp inside. I am impressed at the tuffness of Brn. Bears. You will never see me working as an asist. guide taking in-experienced hunters after them, I'm just not that tuff.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    I really didn't believe the Biologest that Kodiak Bear's can go for five min.s after they are hit solid and their lungs and heart are hit. They can! 60 yards W/375H&H, 300gr nosler broadside shot, perfect. The bear ran and could be heard moving in the brush three times 70-100 yrds from where hit ,over the next few mins. . We sat it out for 30 mins.(useing the watch for time). When capeing out you could see the chest was pulp inside. I am impressed at the tuffness of Brn. Bears. You will never see me working as an asist. guide taking in-experienced hunters after them, I'm just not that tuff.
    The biologist may have "understated" just how much punishment these bears can take. That is the reason so many guides adhere to the axiom "there is no such thing as a one shot kill for bears".
    Joe (Ak)

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    Default Some science

    Lets consider another factor.....Immobilization.

    If you take out the spinal cord anywhere in the neck from there down it is impossible for the bear to move.

    Then the job becomes taking out the circulatory system to finish the job.

    Unfortunatly there is a high degree of intimate knowlage of bear anatomy in conjuction with proper firearm use. Which takes us back to the original question "How far?". In close proximity a capable hunter should be able to imobilize a bear.

    Consider this hopeless chatter if you don't agree because if you have any doubt in your ability to correctly isolate anatomy from the outside and visulize shot placement within 100yrds of a bear don't do it. Pound the chest and keep on firing. For me I'm putting my bullet on C3. I've done it three times and all the bears didn't even move a foot. Well one of em rolled down a small hill if that counts. I know that sound arrogant but if your going toe to toe with a Brownie you better have some confidence.

    I do support following your guides recomendations 100%. I'm an Alaskan and prefer to hunt self guided.

    Best wishes.

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    Default

    IMHO 200 yard from any big game is not hunting but it is shooting. At that range the game does not know you are there, so not much skill is required other than being able to control the shot.

  18. #18

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    Well, first congratulations are in order for having achieved the ‘…high degree of intimate knowledge of bear anatomy…” that would obviously be required to put the bullet “…on C3…” with the confidence expressed in you response.
    The “advice” of maximizing the distance the bullet travel though the chest cavity has nothing to do with the ability of the hunter to “…correctly isolate anatomy from the outside…”, but rather allow for the maximum amount of error and a the same time minimizing the possibility of the animal escaping. However, this advice on “shot placement” as with some other aspects of bear hunting such as; continuing to shoot, after the first shot (the assumption being there is not such there as “a one shot kill on bears”) and shooting once or twice more after the bear is approached is not predicated on “experience”, applies whether one, two or three or several hundred bears have been harvested or guided for, no more than are the rules of safe gun handling predicated on one's past gun handling experience..
    Joe (Ak)




    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    Lets consider another factor.....Immobilization.

    If you take out the spinal cord anywhere in the neck from there down it is impossible for the bear to move.

    Then the job becomes taking out the circulatory system to finish the job.

    Unfortunatly there is a high degree of intimate knowlage of bear anatomy in conjuction with proper firearm use. Which takes us back to the original question "How far?". In close proximity a capable hunter should be able to imobilize a bear.

    Consider this hopeless chatter if you don't agree because if you have any doubt in your ability to correctly isolate anatomy from the outside and visulize shot placement within 100yrds of a bear don't do it. Pound the chest and keep on firing. For me I'm putting my bullet on C3. I've done it three times and all the bears didn't even move a foot. Well one of em rolled down a small hill if that counts. I know that sound arrogant but if your going toe to toe with a Brownie you better have some confidence.

    I do support following your guides recomendations 100%. I'm an Alaskan and prefer to hunt self guided.

    Best wishes.

  19. #19
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Smile Expect the unexpected

    I hear what your saying.........never underestimate your prey and never over estimate your ability.

    Is it hunting season yet?

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    Default

    [quote=Bighorse;290883]Lets consider another factor.....Immobilization.

    If you take out the spinal cord anywhere in the neck from there down it is impossible for the bear to move.

    Then the job becomes taking out the circulatory system to finish the job.

    Unfortunatly there is a high degree of intimate knowlage of bear anatomy in conjuction with proper firearm use. Which takes us back to the original question "How far?". In close proximity a capable hunter should be able to imobilize a bear.

    Consider this hopeless chatter if you don't agree because if you have any doubt in your ability to correctly isolate anatomy from the outside and visulize shot placement within 100yrds of a bear don't do it. Pound the chest and keep on firing. For me I'm putting my bullet on C3. I've done it three times and all the bears didn't even move a foot. Well one of em rolled down a small hill if that counts.

    Spinal cord shots allow little room for error no matter how well you know bear anatomy. Better be close and have a rest unless you are an exceptional shooter.

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