6 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2006
Posts: 7
New Bear Hunter

This will be my first year to bear hunt in northern Arizona. Have done some scouting in July and have found sign (track & scat) in my chosen unit and am encouraged. My question is, I will be hunting with my deer gun, a .243 WIN caliber Savage. Anybody out there with bear experience in northern AZ that can give me some advice as to whether this is going to be enough gun or not??

redrider's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
Posts: 2603
New Bear Hunter

Hello Hollowpt Big smile Man did you come to the right place. Plenty of advise on guns and we got this strange guy that calls himself hotmoon that seems to know everything there is about bears. I think he might have been raised by bears since birth Laugh Anyways I'm sure you'll get all and any ?'s answered here Thumbs up

Offline
Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
New Bear Hunter

Hollowpoint, a black bear in northern Arizona is the same as a black bear in Ontario is the same as a black bear in Michigan. So, probably the safe or ideal starting place for a decent black bear caliber anywhere would be the .308 or the good old reliable 30-06. The .243 is a bit light and you have only two factory bullets to choose from, the 80 gr and 100 grain. Of these you have to at least consider buying a cartridge that spouts a premium bullet. I reload for the 6mm Rem which has similar ballistics but theres far more bullet selection. I wouldn't hesitate to use it but only as a last resort. You can take a black bear with the 243 but you have to keep the shot close so that you can pick a vitals area. You have to be set up close enough to guarantee a good broadside and you have to know how to track an animal that usually stops bleeding within 75 or so yards of where he was hit.

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
New Bear Hunter

Hollowpoint.
How will you be hunting? (bait not always leagle in the US)
The 243 is kind of small for black bear. Like Sawbill says a well placed shot will do it but the smaller the caliber, the smaller the kill zone. Don't know how much shooting/hunting experience you have or what manner you intend to hunt in. So cold out of the gate I would say try to get a bigger gun (then shoot it a bunch before you hunt with it). If where you are hunting is fairly thick or over bait (shots 50yds or less). Find a 12 ga. shotgun that throws a good slug. A good bear gun up close. If the country is open and you are looking at spot and stalk hunting or "fair chase" stand hunting try to find a 30 cal or at least a 27 cal gun. Min gr bullet that I would hunt bear with would be 150gr and 165 or 180 would be better.

Offline
Joined: 07/30/2006
Posts: 7
New Bear Hunter

Thanks for the feedback. I was afraid the .243 was a little light. I will be calling and or spot and stalk. I am looking at a .300 Win mag for elk, so will probably use that. Good to talk to some experienced hunters out there.

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
New Bear Hunter

Yes the 300 is all the bear gun you will ever need and more!
Good luck in your hunting endevers

Offline
Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
New Bear Hunter

If you have any questions on calling feel free to ask. I have been calling bears for a long time and have killed a few and called in more. For the last year or so I have been making my own calls and this year we are going to try and video tape some hunts.

Good luck.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Bear Jokefuzzybear809/05/2011 15:04 pm
Grizzly attackGooseHunter Jr1609/30/2011 15:57 pm
Mud licking bearwalnut507/13/2005 15:28 pm
Half grizzly, half polar bearRick7450807/13/2007 09:30 am
Alaska Grizzly Bear Hunts for $9Kwww.sponsorahunt.com008/03/2014 21:31 pm