Best of The West-Ethics of Bear Hunting

sep

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I just watched a Best of the West episode where the hunter shot a grizz at 500 yards in the head. They were hunting out of Stephanlakelodge, Alaska...wherever that is located.

I'm personally not a big fan of long range hunting primarily because followup shots on moving animals at distance can be difficult and I think we have an ethical responsibility to kill the animals we hunt as quickly and cleanly as possible. The closer we get to the animals the more likely that is to occur.

I'm certainly no bear whisperer but I have put bullets into 6 brown bears myself. One by myself and the other times backing up friends. We have always kept our shots within roughly 100 yards or less to ensure the bear is taken as quickly and cleanly as possible.

Under no circumstances would I consider shooting a grizz or brown bear at 500 yards, let alone in the head but that's my ethical decision. I'm not posting this to draw adverse attention to the outfitter in the show as what they allowed to happen is perfectly legal.

I'm just curious how many of you fellow hunters think it's ethical or the right thing to do.
 

BRWNBR

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I can't watch that show. I used to guide for Stephan lake lodge back under the old ownership. Things have gone downhill since...
 

cod

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Doubt I'd shoot a grizz at 500 yards but I darn well think a head shot works fabulous. What could be better than an instant kill?
 

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The hunter said the only shot the bear gave him was a head shot when it looked in his direction. It was the last evening of of the last day of his hunt. He said he held right between its eyes and adjusted for one minute of angle.

At the shot, the bear dropped and rolled around. It looked like he did hit it in the head but when they got to the spot the bear was gone. It was getting dark so they left and came back the next morning and found the bear dead within 40 yards of its last location.

I'm not on a crusade to put a stop to long range hunting as I have hunted both goat and sheep myself and sometimes long shots are necessary but goat and sheep are not built like bears and they're not dangerous game.

I considered emailing the Best of the West folks to express my disappointment at this "hunt" but I think it will fall on deaf ears.
 

Finaddict91

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So...hunter made long range ethical shot. Hit his target and they recovered that animal. Sounds like a non issue to me. If someone is able to make a 500 yard head shot... I'll let them be.

If someone takes the time, effort, and money to be able to make that shot, let them.
 

akiceman25

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I searched for this show on dish tv and in it's description there's a plug for 'long range huskemaw optics'. Perhaps this particular show was nothing more than an infomercial... similar to what Spirit of the Wild has become.

I set my DVR to record it on wednesday... see what all the hoopla is about.
 

BRWNBR

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Having done a few tv shows,
Take what you see with a grain of salt. Those guys are selling entertainment. It's not reality. Editing is a magical tool.
 

Tyin 1 On

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Will have to see the show, but yes all these shows hype everything up and cant trust them at all. Also if someone is confident in a shot like that, then yes if a rookie is shooting then of coarse not. Sounds like this guy knew his gun and limits?
 

trailblazersteve

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And that was episode part 2. Part 1 they were baiting black bears out of the same lodge and was showing POURING grease and soaking the ground and tree..
 

Antleridge

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The shooter may be capable of the shot; it may be ethical for some folk; it may be effective. But, IMO only, it ain't right.
 

Gary

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So......he made the shot and that makes it ethical? If he hadn't made the shot, it would have been unethical? What about folks that blow an 100 yard shot - unethical???
I've seen the show and a 500 yard shot is kind of on the short side.
And yes, they sell scopes. Also rifles and a "shooting system".
 

cod

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The shooter may be capable of the shot; it may be ethical for some folk; it may be effective. But, IMO only, it ain't right.

Isn't America GREAT! Not only can one say and think what one wants, he can still act as he wishes within the confines of the law. I guess everyone's happy!
 

BRWNBR

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Ethics defined is based off moral
Principles so I suppose ethical is a varibiable standard.
Head shots on bears, small margin of error. It's rumored this was a last hour of the last day, makes it sound like a desperation attempt. I've never seen a head shot bear travel 40 yards then die. (I suppose
It could happen though). I would never let a client take a shot like that. Poor choice given all the "ifs" that could follow if things didn't go exactly perfect. Blown off jaw, nonnfatal face shot, not being Able to see the whole bear makes me think there may be a chance there is cubs (not knowing how long They watched the bear before they "closed" the gap.)

I guess I don't think of this as a matter of ethics as I do a poor shot choice and borderline disrespectful. Bears aren't sheep or deer or moose. A shot gone bad and it's a very different situation than a bad shot on a sheep at 500 yards....
 

cod

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Yeah but he was SUCCESSFUL. So all the rest of this blather is just that. Blather. It's moral and ethical threads like this that spawned the original old saying.... You can't argue with success. Although there are always some that will.
 

bullbuster

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Blown off jaw, nonnfatal face shot, ....

Exactly this. I helped a friend track a moose for 2 days that he had head shot at 400 yards. There was a ton of blood and we thought we were looking for a dead moose. When we jumped it on day 2 it was very alive and took all day to chase and collect. We found the lower jaw just hanging by tendons. Would have been a terrible death. OK, it was a terrible death.

I do head shots up to 100 yards, if I like the shot. Beyond that it is a boiler room shot for me. (This is just me, you do what you are comfortable with. Respect our game.)
 

Daveinthebush

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Don't know what to say. I used a rifle in 2012 to fill a caribou tag after I returned from cancer treatment because I had a crushed disk in my neck that they found too. Other than that, everything has been with a bow and 45 yards or less.
 

BRWNBR

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Yeah but he was SUCCESSFUL. So all the rest of this blather is just that. Blather. It's moral and ethical threads like this that spawned the original old saying.... You can't argue with success. Although there are always some that will.


There's also the old saying "try try again".
 

HikerDan

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We had the prior thread about long range sniping of game, and I think that appropriately most of us figured that it wasn't for us to judge.

I still am not a big fan of judging, but I do think that the ethics of taking pot-shots is much more problematic when lobbing bullets at a deadly predator.
 

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