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First Shot Placement on Grizzlies or Brownies

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  • #16

    Last year, I shot my first grizz. I have hunted my whole life and have always believed in vitals shots. While I understand that the shoulder is a tantalizing target, I believe a shot immediately behind the shoulder on broadside is the best for any animal (aside from charging bear, etc.). I give that the shoulder often covers vitals when viewed from broadside and thus, if penetrated, will have the same effect; however, the area I described above is best and should be the area targeted. If the animal is standing at an angle, try to get to the same interior area through whatever lies in the way. Facing head on / directly away are not good shots and should be passed on (unless again, you are being charged).

    Back to my bear. I shot it quartering slightly away at 150 yds. The first shot dropped it and it never moved. A spine shot? No. It entered about 1 inch behind the shoulder. On the exit side, a fistful sized chunk of lung was laying in the bushes with small pieces of the heart. After the first shot, the guy with me and I held on the brute. It didn't move at all initially. After about 20 secs, it rolled over once and we shot it several times to make sure it never tried to move again. It is my firm belief though that it did not need another shot from the first, but better safe than sorry. I could not have asked for better performance from the bullet or the shot location. If you hit anything in the heart/lungs, it will die. If necessary, shoot a grizz to anchor it.

    BTW, I was shooting a 300 Mag. 180 gr. Accubond bullets, factory loaded Winchester Supreme (the factory loads shot better than I ever could have hoped for with 3 rounds stacking in at less than 3/4" at 100 yds. consistently).


    • #17
      Practice before hand

      What ever shot you take the best advice anyone can get is to practice, practice, practice. Be proficient with the gun you plan to use. So many times I have guys that haven't picked up their gun since the previous fall. Then they wonder why their groups are all over the target.

      How we practice for neck shots is get yourself a piece of 1" by 3" lumber about 12" long. That is about the same size of a bear vertebrate from the shoulder to the back of the skull. Set it up horizontally with the ground and practice hitting it from different distances. For those that say it is a small target keep in mind a black bears heart is about the size of your fist. The lungs are great too but seldom will you ever see a bear drop from a lung shot.
      It will definitely kill him but it probably won't drop him in his tracks.
      If you take the woods out of the woodsman you have nothing left but a man in the woods.


      • #18
        Take it for what it's worth.

        I have no real experience shooting bears, in fact I just shot my first bear 2 weeks ago.
        I have been on 3 bear kills and this is what I seen.
        I shot my bear at a little under 100 yards and it was slightly quatering away.
        The first shot with my 30-06 165gr fail safe bullet was placed in the vitals and I double lunged the bruin and rolled him in the clear cut. I held on him with my excitement of a first bear kill for 15 seconds because of hearing how they are hard to bring down. He didnt get up untill of course I lowered my gun.
        He turned and I could see part of his loung through the exit hole. I shot the second time at about 125 yards and hit him and took a heart and another part of his lung. He kept going and at about 225 yards I finaly anchored him with a spine shot.
        The beast weighed over 400 pounds. Huge for a black in spring I am told.

        My brother shot his bear with his bow at 11 yards after spooking it at 5 yards. They encounterd eached other and the bear growled at him then jumped up and started climbing a tree. He shot the bear on an angle through his back and was able to take his lung and heart. Amazingly enough he never touched a single bone and instead went right betwen his rib bones and out the front of the chest. The arrow went another 40 yards and stuck into the side of an mountain.
        The bear droped out of the tree and slid down a little ways but never got up.
        His bear was arround 125 pounds.

        The third bear was taken by another brother of mine at 150 yards with 30-06 220 gr partition bullet. It was broad side and he hit vitals. The bear ran before another shot was presented. We tracked the bear with very little blood in a muskeg for about 50 yards. Come to find out it was pissed and stalking us as well. Crouched and ready to pounce on one of us my father yelled for us to get to him quick. We got there just in time when the bear leaped forward we put 3 bullets in the chest region and droped in at 15 yards.

        Sorry for the story that came with the information.
        I tend to agree with the neck shot in thick cover. If you have tundra take vitals.

        "Give someone a fish and you will feed them for a day. Show someone how to fish and they will just steal your fishing hole and catch more fish then you. Screw them, let them eat chicken!!"


        • #19
          Shotplacement Bear

          The shoulder heart shot is the best shot on a broadside presentation,follow the centerline of the foreleg a bit less than a third way up.This is the shoulder/heartshot by far the best option for a really big bear.Angled shots will work if the angle isnt too steep-but you must be able to visualize exactly where the vitals lie and adjust your aim accordingly
          Good luck!


          • #20
            Pancake shot

            Mike,my advise and what i tell my clienets is to look at the hump on the back and picture a fogers coffee can and aim for the o in folgers,nine out of ten times this will have the PANCAKE effect for it takes out the spine,and always prepare for a quick shot or two after in case of not so well placed shot


            • #21
              Dosent that shot have little margin of error?Sounds tricky to me :S


              • #22
                depends on hunter and situation

                from what i have seen in the field this is my shot of choice,one shot one kill,but always ready for to shoot again.


                • #23
                  Spine Shot...

                  Well - I don't drink coffee, so we'd have to come up with another description for me before I would try that one. Just off the top of my head, I'm not picturing what you are describing.



                  • #24
                    better description

                    the pancake shot--on a brown bear you will see a hump just slightly past the end of the neck,best placement shot is about 2 1/2 to 3 inches below the hump,this will take out the back bone-spine,if not comfortable with this shot as posted with maineguide the neck is a good placement,there are many situations in which one will be shooting,in my opinion if neither of these are comfortable then go for taking out the front shoulders-demobize-heart and lung shots are not for the most part going to kill a bear on the spot,and it is no fun going after a wounded bear although it will most likely die it can cover some ground as stated in some posts.


                    • #25
                      Bears bounce, don't they?

                      I'm no expert on bear hunting, that's for sure....but in my meager experience, I'd agree with all those posts that recommend "Keep shooting!" We had a good weekend in Prince William Sound a few years back and got three nice spring bears in a day and a half. Anchored in one spot and glassed almost 20 different bears (I think....) The most we saw at one time was 12...a crazy day! Anyway, the first bear (I was backup for all three) got nicked in the hind leg (didn't know that at the time) and fell down at the shot. Bounced back up and was hightailing it up the hill and I hit it with a 180 gr. Nosler (30-06) and it was done. Second bear - one shot with a fell down and got back up; then another shot with a 7mm-08 and one more with the '06. Third bear (next morning); one shot, rolled down the hill, got back up and took another shot through the opposite shoulder, got back up again and one more Nosler did him in. Every one of those three bears got right back up after being hit, no matter where we hit them (no neck shots; we aren't that good!) I've only seen one bear go down and stay down with one shot and that was the boar that's hanging on my wall. Same 30-06 180 gr. Nosler at 50 yards and broke the spine just in front of the shoulder...guess you could say it was a 'lower' neck shot. If we hunt bears together someday, my rule is "Keep shooting!"


                      • #26
                        boiler room

                        Most of my hunting is for bears....both black and grizz. If at all possible, I take the heart/lung shot every time. I have never seen a bear drop in its tracks from this shot, but I've never had one go far.....less than 50 yards I would say. Unlike some others, I do keep the meat from grizzlies most of the time, so I don't like to waste a shoulder if I can avoid it. I hunt up in the blueberries above the timber line, and a grizz that has been eating berries (not fish) is not bad eating IMHO. I grew up on bear meat, so maybe I have a bit of an affinity for it.
                        Anyway, if you have the chance, I would say always go for the boiler room shot. Obviously if it is close quarters/self defense take whatever shot you can get and as many as you can get off. Bears, especially in close quarters, can be very tough to put down quickly enough to reduce the pucker factor, but they are not invincible.
                        We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
                        James Madison


                        • #27

                          I think it all depends on what type of rifle, bullet, etc. I am not a good enough shot to be trying a neck shot, so that is out for me. I have always shot large magnum calibers and have never lost a bear. I put one in the boiler room hoping to clip the off side shoulder. I now shoot a .375 ultra mag and every bear I have shot hasn't moved more than 5 feet from where it was shot. It flat out flattens them. That is black and grizz. If shooting smaller calibers, I would take more time for better shots, but would still opt for the boiler room with the taking out the shoulder on the exit side.


                          • #28
                            Tricky shot...

                            When hunting the wild Alaskan squirrel I find that a shot that hits anything other than a tail or foot will drop it from any tree.

                            Luckily, I've never had one charge me yet. :P


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