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Thread: Tips on Bow hunting for Brown bears

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    Default Tips on Bow hunting for Brown bears

    I live and have hunted a bit here in alaska...but love to learn. I have taken many large animals in Alaska...but not a brown!

    What are your thoughts on successfully taking a brown bear via bow? tips from setting up a spotting camp, to the stalk, to the shot.

    South or north facing slopes in may? I drew an eklutna DB tag for this spring!

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    never actually stalked a brown bear, but last hunting season, we ran into 4 browns and 3 blacks the first day ALL with in the 20 yards mark, they were all in the grass and devels club eating the berries. never even knew we were there. would have been easy gimme shots, but I didn't really want to shoot a griz, cause thats just more money to spend getting a rug out of it. and I hear you can't eat the meat. saw one HUGE one, it looked like a moose! had to have been 8,9 foot.

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    Default Don't get eaten

    Maybe pick up a few hunting videos I have one that shows a successful bow kill and on the other hunt the guy blows the stalk and has to shoot it in the head with a hand cannon at about 13 yards. I'd like todo this myself some day bit haven't yet. Let me know how it goes.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    but I didn't really want to shoot a griz, cause thats just more money to spend getting a rug out of it. and I hear you can't eat the meat.
    You certainly can eat the meat, and a fall bear that has been eating berries is pretty decent eating. As for the taxidermy bill, you don't have to rug every bear you take....just get it tanned and hang it from a hook. If you're seeing that many bears in the area you're hunting moose or caribou, take one this fall and see how it tastes for yourself. If you don't want the hide, I'd be glad to have another display fur for my science classroom.

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    A quick story about my Griz hunt a few years back.
    Spotted a beautiful blonde griz about 30 miles past Coldfoot, long story short is I set up and waited thought he was 40 yards, shot over back, he just stood there looking at the arrow, so i figure 35 and he is mine, pulled back, aimed, released, I did not see a small branch, arrow deflected and hit bear in left rear leg Achilles tendon, the bear ran off and bled out and died in 15 minutes.
    Now I DONT RECCOMEND leg shots but sharp broadheads are a must also you have to control yourexcitment being that close to a bear and my heart was beating so fast I thought I was shaking. I am not to proud of the shot but he was a beautiful bear and the memories of the most bizar hunt and shot in my life (so far)

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    Danevans67:

    Since I grew up on a homestead during the 60's and 70's, in the midst of what is now Chugach State Park, I've spent a lot of time within the Eklutna drainage. During recent years, I've done a few hunts for myself in that area and also some photography work. At times, there are some nice brown bear patrolling the drainage and spring is a good time to kill a large male in that area.

    As registered guide for many years, I've had the pleasure of guiding three bowhunters who were in pursuit of brown/grizzly bear. Two of those hunters were successful. My advice to you, is; as long as you don't shoot beyond your effective range and as long as you use adequate equipment (draw-weight, arrow mass and broadhead weight) you shouldn't have much of a problem when it comes to effectively penetrating a bear with an arrow and thereby killing it.

    If you have any questions and/or comments, you can contact me via this site or through this thread.

    Rob

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    Shot placement is key. Another major component is having your nerves calm enough to deliver a good shot. I was real nervous on the first grizzly I shot as it was 25 feet away, stopped its approach towards me and stood up on his hind legs. I let him have it right in the chest, but the only thing I can presume happened is the arrow deflected off the ribs and went into his shoulder missing the lungs. Watching the video kind of proves that theory some too. The next time I got on a bear, the dang thing chased a squirrel to within a few feet of me. By the time it backed away, I was shaking so bad I nearly botched the shot. After that bad case of nerves, I've learned to really calm down and focus on the task at hand. The next year I took a coastal brownie, and the year after that I took another grizzly. Both times I was much calmer and let the nerves kick in after the deed was done.

    One other thing that might sound a little odd, but it definately works for me to calm my nerves out there, is having a good life insurance policy. I didn't have it on my first grizzly, but picked up a policy to cover everything and then some for my wife and kids in case something happens. You gotta know who you are playing this game with. The thoughts do go through my mind out there that I could definately be killed, and knowing that they would be taken care of financially helps with the mind games.

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    Last fall we were practicing upto 65 yards so that our 45 yards shots were very consistent... even our 55's weren't bad. But i think my range is 45 and below and really hope for a 35.
    heavy arrows... using slick trick 125gr... I think 450 total combo weight
    Where do you suggest shot placement other than the obvious quartering away and Not through the shoulder blade and direct thick brisket shot.

    What are bears eating or looking for this time of year 1st week of may is what I got? what terrain will they be in?
    Do griz come out AFTER Blacks generally? I heard its cause they are bigger and can last longer during hibernation? what is the thought/theory on that?

    Stalk: wind effects smell and sound nearly the same...I assume smell is most important...any thoughts
    Camo? They are color blind in part...but how much? is camo all that important...or focus more on quiet and smell.
    stalk up to within 25-35 yds ...or set up 75 yds out and hope he wanders in?
    I will have a gun man for protection 100yds out. is that typical? its what I want... I got 2 younger kids.

    any good links to on line videos to watch?

    I am glad people are so eager to give thought and comments...thanks

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Grizzly bears usually come out before blacks, not after. They will start showing in early-mid April, and by the 1st week of May most should be out. They'll be looking for the first green shoots of the year and carrion from winter-killed animals. A good place to look is on hillsides where you may find them still at the mouth of their den or at the base of avalanche shoots where the first greens will be starting to sprout. Camo is far less important than scent control and generally being careful with your stalk.

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    I agree with Brian, scent control and playing the wind is far more important that camo. On my brown bear hunt, we were trying to get to a large rock outcropping when I spotted the bear come down onto the beach from on top of it. We were walking close to the waters edge, and all we could do was crouch down and wait. We stayed perfectly still, and the bear walked by at less than 10 yards. I let it pass just a little, then drew back and sent the arrow quartering away. The best way to describe the hunt it to watch Chuck Adam's record brown bear bowhunt and then just lose the rock that Chuck was hiding behind. The bear was a bit smaller too.

    I had a gun backup over my shoulder on the coastal brownie hunt, but the only backup I had on the grizzly hunts were the extra arrows in my quiver. Each stalk will be different, so I'd play it stalk by stalk regarding where your backup is. You could be in a situation where he won't be able to see you from 10 yards away. The camo pattern isn't as crucial as it is just not to be seen. If the bear does catch your movement and just stares, stay still. I've found that they will generally lose interest on the movement they just saw and go back to what they are doing.

    Here are a few video's that I have up on youtube. Unfortuantely no good kill shots. The first video was of the bear I shot in the chest but the bear never died. My mistake on that bear was too much movement when I drew the bow. I should have waited for him to go more broadside, but he was headed right towards me for the most part. You can see right before I drew that his body gets more broadside in the frame. He swung his head back at me, started popping his jaws and stood up. I always wonder what would have happened if I let him come back down to all 4's, but at the time I didn't want to wait and see.

    There are a bunch of other grizzly video's on youtube to watch as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv1IiUBlwJU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFv1LBAVls
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDdpZPES3X0

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    Brian Griz out first... that is good to know. Thanks. Are their dens higher than the blacks...or all mixed in? Probably 1st week of May they are in and out of thier dens off and on...but probably during the heat of the day they would come out and forage around like blacks.
    Jerod... I looked at the videos... good stuff. that was a huge beautiful giant grizzly in the second video.

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    Rob...when you say the Eklutna drainage... I assume you mean the river flowing it OUT of Eklutna lake down below the Dam type set up...or do you mean the several creeks and river that flow from the mountains and INTO and therefore above the Eklutna lake

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    Great info thanks

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    Does anyone have any thoughts on using a preditor call for Bow hunting Griz? sounds dangerous...and a little fun. But where I likely hunting I wont' have trees to climb in ... What do you think? any suggest? how dangerous is that?

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    What do ya'll consider the max bow range for a Brownie?

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    Max range is totally dependent on the archer, equipment and conditions at the time of the shot. As long as an arrow is carrying enough KE, maximum range is determined by the skill of the archer and the precision of the equipment.

    I expect to set my max at 70 yds without a lot of wind. With a bunch of gusty wind...much less.

    Knowing your range is also very important. I would never suggest shooting that far unless you were CERTAIN of the yardage with a range finder.

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    I would consider 70 yards to be a fairly lengthy shot on a Brownie. Just seems like theres a lot of room for error at that range, and the last thing I would want is a wounded brown bear running around....I was thinking of trying to keep it at 45 and under...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danevans67 View Post
    Does anyone have any thoughts on using a preditor call for Bow hunting Griz? sounds dangerous...and a little fun. But where I likely hunting I wont' have trees to climb in ... What do you think? any suggest? how dangerous is that?
    I accidently called in a sow w/ two year old cub with a predator call while sheep hunting in the fall. They came in so fast it was scarry. She just kept coming and rocks and yelling didnt deter her. We had to shoot to scare her away.

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    30 yards is my max on a brown bear. I can comfortably shoot much faster than that, but they react so quickly that a long shot is just asking for trouble. You have to double lung or heart shoot them to ensure a kill. I single lung shot a grizzly and it never died. They die easily with a good shot, but chances are they won't with a marginal shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneLunG View Post
    I would consider 70 yards to be a fairly lengthy shot on a Brownie. Just seems like theres a lot of room for error at that range, and the last thing I would want is a wounded brown bear running around....I was thinking of trying to keep it at 45 and under...
    Anything over 30 yards is assinine for a griz. I've bowhunted for 8 years and wouldnt shoot a deer over 70, let alone a bear.

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