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Fester's picture
Joined: 12/12/2010
Posts: 13
Bear Rifles

Tndeerhunter wrote:

All right, you've been there for a few hours. You hear a slight noise to your left. You slowly turn your head and see a big bear slinking into the bait you're watching. Nope, he's not looking at your stand he's intent with the bait pile. He is only 37 yds away. There's no thought about how your rifle is sighted in. You practiced three full boxes at 50 yards and your rifle is shooting 1/2" high there.

So.... What is your rifle chambered in? What rifle did you carry up to Canada, knowing you'd see this 350 pound brute while sitting 18' up in your ladder stand. Do you have a cartridge you know you want/WISH was in your hands at this moment?

I do, I have a rifle I'd be soooooo glad to hammer back and then drop it, lights out on Mr. Bear. My choice is my Marlin 1895 shooting a 400gr bulet at a full 1800 FPS.

What's in your hands Buddy???


Well I don't have to tell you what was last years choice since you were there... the Marlin .338 Express (MX) version.  The next time it will be either the Savage 99 in .308 or my new 6.5x55 with its 20 inch barrel.


groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
Marlin or Winchester

The Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 is a good choice for up close open sight work, but if I were planning to sit in a stand for a big bear, I'd take the old reliable Winchester model 70 in 375 H&H.


ecubackpacker's picture
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Location: NC
Joined: 09/11/2009
Posts: 1638
Although I have never hunted

Although I have never hunted that way, I think I would have to take my bow if I were stand hunting over bait for bears. That short of a distance, it seems awfully close to hunt with a rifle. We have a friend who has taken a trip like that and he took 2 good bears on his trip. The second one he didn't want to shoot as he was holding out for a bigger bear, but that bear kept climbing up the tree to the bottom of his stand. When it took a swipe at his foot, he had had enough.

Now I'm not trying to be-little this type of hunting, but he said he wouldn't go with a rifle again as it wasn't any fun to him at that distance. He said he was going to take his bow on the return trip. Even though I haven't hunted in this manner before, I think I would go with my bow.

That being said, if I were to take a rifle, it would be my 300 SAUM in Remington Model 7. A light, short gun that handles well in the stand.

I am in the process of deciding about a short range, woods gun to hunt bears being run by dogs so you comments will help me decide on which gun l'll get. I like the 450 Marlin, but I have been looking at the 500 Beuwolf in an AR platform. This gun will also be used to hunt hogs with dogs and to track wounded deer and hogs. Any advice?

groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539

I'm not sure about the effective range of the 450.  I love my 45-70 and would recommend it and/or your 450 candidate for all of the aspects that you mentioned - right up until you mentioned wounded deer.  Those shots might be fairly long depending on where you hunt.  If you are talking about a deer running on three legs across a soy bean field, you MIGHT want something that reaches just a little farther than my pumpkin thrower.  But I really don't have experience with teh 450, so it might just do it.  I like old style guns (exposed hammers and side by sides, etc.) so I am really not teh one to advise you on anything to do with an AR-style arm.  But hey - use what makes YOU happy.  That's what really matters in the long run.


expatriate's picture
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
Which gun?

I love my .45-70, but a .308 works just fine for me for black bears.  They're not that tough, and I'm not so worried about penetration...more interested in shock to drop 'em at the bait.  Just my opinion, though.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
For that close I would use my

For that close I would use my bow, but in oregon no bait or dogs so my bear hunting is done spot and stalk or predator calls. I use my 30-06. its perfect for everything that i hunt.

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