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Wounded Black Bear - Advice Needed!

I'm a first time bear hunter and have a concerning situation.  Last night, with 20 min. left of legal shooting time I shot a bear I've been after for about two weeks. The shot was broadside facing right, 20 yds from my stand while he was stationary at the bait. I was using a .44 with 240gr. JSP ammo.  When I shot he reeled back, then ran past my stand at about 5yds where I got off a second shot but am unsure how good it was.  He then started crashing around and huffing just up the hill, then I could hear him faid off in the distance.  Since it sounded as though he didn't go down and it was getting dark, I decided to wait till this morning to track him.  

I started off with a good and nearly continuious blood trail, after a few hundred yards there wasn't as much blood but still enough to easily follow with the occasional splatter. The blood was dark red and on both sides of his trail, so I think it was a pass through shot.  One of the spots he stopped had lots of blood and some with bubbles, about a 1/4 mile later in a thick area he laid down and there was heavy bleeding.  From there the blood was much harder to find, about a drop every five feet through much thicker vegetation.  He went through an aspen re-gen cut and started towards a swamp.  At that point I was finding smears on grass and drops about every 15 feet.  That's where he intersected some trails and I lost him.  In all it was about a mile from my stand, the blood was dry the entire way except in the heaviest areas of loss.

I've hunted 20 yrs and this would be the first animal I lost, It's really a horrible feeling that It wasn't a quick kill and I've wasted the meat. Is it worth going back to start where I left off, will a wounded bear ever return to a bait? What are your thoughts?

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Location: Neveda
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That is not a wounded bear,

That is not a wounded bear, That is a dead bear:

He was headed to the swamp for a reason, to back into a tight place and died.

with the bubbles in the blood that is lung, with the amount of blood that you discribed and he bedded. you may find him.

SGM
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 I agree with Bird that the

 I agree with Bird that the bear is probably dead in a thicket in the swamp area. Any chance you can get a dog to finish up the track? Not sure where you are hunting but I would go out with some buddies to the last known spot and see if you can pick up the trail. You said about Aspens so guessing out west some place. If it has been cold enough and no other predators have gotten to it, you might still have a hide and skull that will be good. The meat will be pretty iffy after 2 days and not being cleaned. We all hate to see this happen but it sounds like you have done a good job in making a solid effort to retrieve the bear.  Best of luck and hope you find it.

Location: Nebraska
Joined: 01/13/2011
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I agree it's a dead bear as

I agree it's a dead bear as well, like the other poster said he probally backed in some hole to die, another though is how deep is the water maybe it underwater if it's deep. Hope you find him.

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Dead Bear

I agree the bear is dead, dont agree that it was a lung shot.  Bubbles can be created by organ and tissue movement also.  A black bear shot in the vitals dies very quickly.  So a lung shoy bear might at the best go 100 yds definetly not going to go a mile.  Sounds like this bear was hit too far back.  A bear hit in the soft tissue area will go a long way.  The 44 is a big hole but B bears are notiourious for wounds plugging up with fat and debris.

A dog is a good idea if leagle or you have access to one.  I agree the bear is proub in the swanp???  Look for standing or running water.  This bear lost a lot of blood and will be thirsty because of it.

Good luck!  Finding a gut shot bear is a very difficult thing to do.

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Any update to this? As the

Any update to this? As the others have said, that should be a dead bear!  It sucks if you can't find him, especially if you have never lost an animal before.

Hopefully you got out and found him.  Just be careful poking around that swamp with a wounded bear.  A couple of days ago there was a guy killd who shot a bear, which turned out to be a grizzly, and followed it into some thick stuff.  Bear attaced, and the one hunter died.  Scary situation.

Let us know please if you made it back in there to look around some more!

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Yup thats a dead bear, He ran

Yup thats a dead bear, He ran into the swamp and found the thickest nastiest stuff to lay down in and died. Have you been able to locate him yet? I dont know if it legal in your area but a blood dog might be a help in locating the bear, i would check with the warden to make sure its ok to use one. but anyways good luck and keep us posted. I would like to know how it plays out.

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That is indeed a dead bear.

That is indeed a dead bear. How straight is the blood trail? If the blood trail is generally staight the bear is hit very hard. If the trail zigs and zags like the animal doesn't have a particular place to go then it might be harder to find the bear. If the trail is straight take a GPS reading at the start of the blood and where you last seen blood. Then plot the coordinates on a map (if you can) to get a good idea of were that bear is headed. When a bear is hit hard they usaully have one place in mind on where to go to try to heal. like everyone else said water and swamp. I know this is a little late but maybe you can still find it for the skull and some what of a piece of mind. Good luck please update us if you found it.

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