13 replies [Last post]
Location: Phila., PA
Joined: 03/15/2007
Posts: 151
Rifle For Bear Hunting...............Caliber?

more important than caliber, bullet choice is a bigger factor.
the 06 is my minimum choice...
you will do fine with it.

and you are looking at the right bullets!

federals bear claw ammo is great for black bear.
as is remington a frame, and barnes bullets.
the nosler partition is also a good choice, and would be the "softest" i would think of using.
bye a box of each, see what one your rifle prefers, and go with it!

Location: Northern Minnesota
Joined: 07/08/2007
Posts: 325
Rifle For Bear Hunting...............Caliber?

At the age of 12, my son took a 250 pound black bear with my old 30-30 Win. 94.
At the age of 14 he took a 280 pound boar with his 30-06. Both dropped where they stood. He shoots them in the spine. He hunts from tree stands 15 yards from bait. I hunt from the ground about 20 feet from the bait. Last year I took a 300 pound dry sow. If you can put the hole in the bullseye every time with your adrenaline pumping, many calibers will work. I used to use a .270 but stopped after wounding a boar in the 500 pound class.

Centennial's picture
Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 65
Rifle For Bear Hunting...............Caliber?

Bass Rat, I am no expert, I have taken one bear and that was this year. I do however have some thoughts. When I was tracking my bear, I was amazed at how much blood was on both sides of the trail. It was like tracking a heart shot deer. When I got to the bear, I couldn’t believe how much blood was soaked into the hair. It was unbelievable. The hide was like a sopping wet sponge on both sides. That’s when I realized how lucky I was to see all of the blood on the trail, the bear must have bled like a faucet. I shot the bear with a .405WCF at 40 yards through the lungs and it ran 20 yards. The entrance hole was 1 ½ inch in diameter and the exit hole was ¾ in; the opposite of what you would expect. Based on a sample of 1, I am convinced that you want the biggest holes you can get on both sides. I believe any reasonable caliber would have killed my bear but if the holes were smaller, I would not have had much of a trail to follow. Okay, it was dead at 20 yards but what if it had been 80 and right at last shooting light which it was in my case. Since bears don’t leave tracks like deer and elk, a huge blood trail made the recovery much easier. I whole heartedly agree with these guys who tell you it’s the bullet. Whichever gun you get, pick a bullet that opens wide and carries all the way through. Incidentally, because it was dark by the time I started tracking, I was 3 feet from my bear before I saw it lying there and yes, it startled me!

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