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Joined: 07/30/2006
Posts: 7
First Bear Hunt

Allright all you experienced bear hunters out there, I am looking for a little guidance. This Oct. will be my first bear hunt. I have been scouting and have plenty of good sign in the area I plan to hunt. I am in northern Arizona in the Ponderosa pines and cedar trees with lots of Gambel Oak. I cannot bait here in AZ so I will be mainly calling. My weapon will be a .338 Win Mag shooting a Hornady 225 grain round. My biggest question is shot placement. Do I place my shot like I was deer or elk hunting? With that caliber and round do I have to worry about it that much? The Hornady round I am shooting is a soft point so the penetration/expansion characteristics should be pretty good. I appreciate all the advice I can get.

Hollowpoint

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Location: Calgary Alberta
Joined: 08/27/2006
Posts: 31
Re: First Bear Hunt
Hollowpoint wrote:
Allright all you experienced bear hunters out there, I am looking for a little guidance. This Oct. will be my first bear hunt. I have been scouting and have plenty of good sign in the area I plan to hunt. I am in northern Arizona in the Ponderosa pines and cedar trees with lots of Gambel Oak. I cannot bait here in AZ so I will be mainly calling. My weapon will be a .338 Win Mag shooting a Hornady 225 grain round. My biggest question is shot placement. Do I place my shot like I was deer or elk hunting? With that caliber and round do I have to worry about it that much? The Hornady round I am shooting is a soft point so the penetration/expansion characteristics should be pretty good. I appreciate all the advice I can get.

Hollowpoint

I started hunting bears a couple of years ago, so I'm no "seasoned pro" but my theory on hunting bears with a rifle is to use enough *boom* to take out those front shoulders (a .338 is more than enough *boom* lol). Now I strictly bowhunt bears, and I can tell you that blood trailing a bear through the jungle is a tense situation lol, its fun (if you've got an adreneline addiction like me lol) but it has its dangers. If I were to try to take a bear with a .338 I'd be knocking those shoulders right out of him. Having said that, I'd only take that shot on a slightly quartering towards me angle. Then you'll bust the shoulder out and hit the boiler room too. This accomplishes 2 things. It immobilzes him because his shoulder is in pieces and takes the lungs/heart out for (hopefully) an instant kill. Worst case scenario, his shoulder explodes and he's rollin on the ground, enough time for a follow up shot to stop him.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
First Bear Hunt

Under two situations you don't take shoulder shots. With a slug and with an arrow. The 338 is a great caliber for bear and either a lung shot or shoulder shot should the the work.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
First Bear Hunt

"Under two situations you don't take shoulder shots. With a slug and with an arrow."

Why?

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Joined: 07/30/2006
Posts: 7
First Bear Hunt

I had figured the lung shot. Had not considered the shoulder shot, but it makes good sense. Thanks for the feedback guys.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
First Bear Hunt
hunter777 wrote:
"Under two situations you don't take shoulder shots. With a slug and with an arrow."

Why?

An arrow needs to penetrate lungs on a bear to get a blood trail. As well, that arrow must have a pass through low on the other side to get an immediate blood flow so you have a trail to follow right from the start. Hit the heavy muscular shoulder or scapula of a bear with an arrow, you won't get the penetration.
Same with a rifled slug. Because of the diameter of a slug, it tends to flatten quickly upon hitting a shoulder bone and again, little penetration. High shots on bears won't produce blood trails. Get a bear behind the shoulder with a slug, you'll get penetration as well as shocking power. Even there, I've seen too many slugs not pass through. Our guys have lost 3 bears in the past 2 years to slug guns and I'm not impressed by their performance. Bears are tough to track given that they're hunted in heavy cover, theres still full foliage to deal with and their pads leave little markings to follow up on--unlike deer or moose and their wounds heal over quickly due to the amount of fatty tissue on their body.

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
First Bear Hunt
Quote:
My weapon will be a .338 Win Mag shooting a Hornady 225 grain round. My biggest question is shot placement. Do I place my shot like I was deer or elk hunting? With that caliber and round do I have to worry about it that much? The Hornady round I am shooting is a soft point so the penetration/expansion characteristics should be pretty good.

Bears are not hard to kill, just hard to track without a blood trail. A .339 is more than enough gun if you can shoot it. If you are not comfortable or flinch all that fire power will do you no good.
If this is your first bear hunt I reccommend only taking a broadside shot. Double lung'd bears can still go a long way, but you should get a blood trail.
If you feel you must "break em down" then take a quartering away shot through the vitals and into the opposite shoulder.

If you take a broadside shot through the shoulders there is a good chance that your round will not hit the vitals. If you don't have a good shot, don't take one.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
First Bear Hunt

The only North American animal tougher to kill than a bear is a wild boar. And guess what? They're in the same family.

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Joined: 07/30/2006
Posts: 7
Shot placement

Thanks for the feedback, guys. Being a firts timer, I appreciate all that experience out there.

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