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Thread: What choice are the "pros" using for Wounded Bears?

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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default What choice are the "pros" using for Wounded Bears?

    The LAW in Alaska still says that a Professional Guide can NOT leave a wounded bear behind, correct?

    So, the long range/short range BEAR debate got me wondering: What choice are the Alaska "pros" using for Wounded Bear that have run into the Willow patch these days?

    I have heard the common gun of choice was a 12ga pump, and I even heard about one (respected) guide that prefered the tremendous cutting/penetration that was associated with a Broadhead Arrow from Compound Bow. (I hear lots of stuff...I have a "different class" of friends)

    So, I'm wondering if the 45-70 has taken over this roll in Alaska these days, or what? And of course...if YOU had to go into the blind willow patch after a 1000lb wounded bear...what would YOU choose for ULTIMATE short range stopping power?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The guides I know use the gun they are carrying when the bear is shot. I don't know any guide that says lets go back to camp and let him stiffen up and we will sort him out tommrow

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    Default going into the Brier Patch...

    Of course. But typically what gun is that? Are they carrying 45-70's to "back up" their clients these days?

    I guess there ARE guides that specialize (or have) in being called out specially to take care of TRACKING and KILLING a wounded bear problem, like the guy that favored the Compound Bow for that purpose. (anyone know his name?)

    I think the 45-70 levergun would probably be a GOOD choice to go into the willows with.

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    I'm waiting to see how many more ways this stopping power question can be asked.

    Phil Shoemaker used to use an Interarms in 458 Winchester. Don't know if he has gone to something else or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlleninAlaska View Post
    I'm waiting to see how many more ways this stopping power question can be asked.

    Phil Shoemaker used to use an Interarms in 458 Winchester. Don't know if he has gone to something else or not.
    Nope. Totally different question. There ARE people who do this kinda work.

    I believe the 45-70 would be a better gun (than say a .375) for going into the willows at close range.
    But, hey..that's just me. Whereas the .375 is the better ALL AROUND gun for Alaska Game.
    Different "stopping power" scenario, completely.

    I would probably choose a 12ga with good slugs, myself....for Close range in the Willow patch.
    If I did it professionally maybe even a 10ga!

    So, totally DIFFERENT stopping power question.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaguide View Post
    Of course. But typically what gun is that? Are they carrying 45-70's to "back up" their clients these days?

    I guess there ARE guides that specialize (or have) in being called out specially to take care of TRACKING and KILLING a wounded bear problem, like the guy that favored the Compound Bow for that purpose.

    I think the 45-70 levergun would probably be a GOOD choice to go into the willows with.
    Brother, I think some of your friends have been pulling your leg. Anyone that would take a compound bow into a willow thicket after a wounded brown bear is more man than anyone I know. I would challenge any archer to try to stop a charging bear with a bow. Without question bows are very lethal.

    It has been said many times, but there is a major difference between killing a bear and stopping a bear.


    Steve

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    Default Earning your pay, that day!

    Could be. I understand this guy was a specialist in Tracking and Killing wounded Bear. And supposidly prefered a Compound Bow for that purpose. Someone has to know this guy. I agree it wouldn't be MY choice.
    BIG BRASS ONES.

    But, if you're a guide that has to go into thick brush and follow a blood trail to "clean up" a wounded Dangerous animal...that's a SERIOUS job! (whatever gun you take).
    One which the Guide would earn ALL his pay that day...every penny, in my book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaguide View Post
    Could be. I understand this guy was a specialist in Tracking and Killing wounded Bear. And supposidly prefered a Compound Bow for that purpose. Someone has to know this guy. I agree it wouldn't be MY choice.
    BIG BRASS ONES.

    But, if you're a guide that has to go into thick brush and follow a blood trail to "clean up" a wounded Dangerous animal...that's a SERIOUS job!
    One which the Guide would earn ALL his pay that day...every penny, in my book.

    Maybe he's guiding bow hunters. A bow shot bear with a bullet hole in it ruins the chances of it getting into the record books.

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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Default So, no wounded Bear stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlleninAlaska View Post
    Maybe he's guiding bow hunters. A bow shot bear with a bullet hole in it ruins the chances of it getting into the record books.
    No, this was a guy that was called out to actually TRACK and KILL wounded bear. He didn't start out using a BOW, but for some reason I can't remember that's what he finally went to.
    I'll track the story down again, sometime.

    I'd still probably want a 12ga or 10ga with serious slugs. But I guess a 45-70 would be okay too.

    Any folks on the forum have any "following Wounded Bear into the thicket" stories?
    What did YOU use? 12ga?

    Whatever you used...you have MY admiration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaguide View Post


    Any folks on the forum have any following Wounded bear into the thicket stories?
    What did YOU use? 12ga?
    One time. 1993. 450 Ackley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlleninAlaska View Post
    One time. 1993. 450 Ackley.
    Cool. ONE shot drop? What range?

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    Default arrow

    Dont know who told you about the compound bow but its BS, nothing more, and if some nut job said he did go in after wounded grizzlys with a bow he wouldnt be respected long. No disrespect meant to you but the story he told is ridiculous.

    Phil S. has used "ole ugly" a 458 winchester for years for sorting big brown bears out. He is a legend and knows his stuff.

    Ed Stevenson likes lever guns, like the 1886 extra light 45/70, or the marlin guide gun. He has been known to pack a 12 gauge too.

    Im not putting myself anywhere near these two guys, but I carry a 45/70 marlin most of the time. Most of my guiding is for moose/bear. I have trailed my share of wounded bears and IME big slow heavy bullets work better. I used a 12 gauge with buck once and it worked great.

    Amigo, I dont know about going back to camp guess it depends how far that is, but most guides I know will in fact let the bear sit and stiffen up before going in after it. If its raining real hard maybe not but most often you had better wait a bit. For me its at least an hour depending on light and weather.

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    The brown bear guides I know use either 375's or 416's, with the majority still hanging onto the 375's they've relied on for decades. They've tried other rounds including the 458 Winnie, but have an almost universal complaint: It doesn't shoot flat enough, and the 45-70 would likely be worse, and slugs in a shotgun worst of all.

    They report that the vast majority of their wounded bear shots come at longer ranges and getting longer by the second. They want something that will reach out and tag a bear even at 400 yards before it can reach that an alder patch.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Brother, I think some of your friends have been pulling your leg. Anyone that would take a compound bow into a willow thicket after a wounded brown bear is more man than anyone I know. I would challenge any archer to try to stop a charging bear with a bow. Without question bows are very lethal.

    It has been said many times, but there is a major difference between killing a bear and stopping a bear.


    Steve
    Well Steve if you hunt the corridoor on the haul road... Thats exactly what your doing...

    You can NOT finish off a wounded animal with a fire arm in an archery restricted hunt

    though the real question to ask... is HOW many bears have charged after being shot. normally it is THE OTHER bear that charges ...

    and please qualify if it was a real charge or if it was FLIGHT to escape after the bear spun and ran in your direction.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I'm no brown bear guide but I have seen in print where Shoemaker talks about using of course Ole Ugly, as well as a 3006, 45-70, 475 turnbull, and 348 Win.

    I know Jim West very well who guides a number of brown bear hunts each year and I've known him to carry a 12ga, as well as the 457 WW, 50 AK, and the 338 and 375 Ultramags.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    I don't have any personal experience, but grandpa used to use a 450 Alaskan as client back up. Was told it was fairly effective in that role.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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    .375 H&H with a 3-position wing safety. Being able to field strip the bolt is of paramount importance when hunting coastal beaches with wind blown silt and ice packing the action solid. This is the short coming of the levergun, that you can not take it over to fresh water, and disassemble the bolt and clean to crap out, then pour some cooking oil, motor oil, or gun oil if you have any left after 85 continuous days afield. There may be some new cartridges now, that I am retired. But if it does not have a 3-position wing safety.........well, I would not want it for free, for professional work.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The three guys I know that guide for bears on Kodiak all carry .375 H&H's. Like BrownBear said above, they are just as likely to have to follow up at 100 yards for their client as to go crawling in the brush.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Shotguns and arrows sound like pretty poor choices. They must be some creative friends! I've spoke to a few guides and the most popular range from the various .338s to the various .458s. Phill Schumaker who guides on the AK Pen used a .30-06 for a while with good results. It seems like most things a cool head, accurate shooting, and good bullets are more important than a big boomer. That said I'd rather have a big boomer .375+!

    Brett

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    Default Thank you!

    I think I actually read somewhere about that guy with the Bow...so it surely could have been crap. Coulda been a Gun Rag of somekind.
    I just remember it seemed kinda..."out there". Not me, anyway.
    If I HAD to do it, I'd probably take the 12ga. (or the hopefully soon to be aquired .375).

    And THANKS for all the responses.
    To ME there's no braver soul than the guy that has to go into the alders in that situation. And I sure like the idea about letting him SIT for an hour or two to "stiffen up". Never thought about that.

    Great posts folks, thanks.
    More (please) if ya got 'em.

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