Well Brent now you have me druling as we speak because I dam sure want to get a bear but I am flying to Alaska so I have to leave all my toys at home [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] I was going to drive but four days of 18 hours a day of driving cuts into the vacation to much. Well Looking at the map I would say that the Willow area cant be much more than an hour from Wisilla and Talkeentna looks like it is about two hours away wich I dont see a problem traveling that by truck. As for the area where you need a boat if you want to share it with me send me a PM. I will understand completely if you want to keep it to yourself [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] good hunting spots are hard to find. So the areas you mentioned you think you could hunt them by walking and maybe get a bear? Maybe since you dont really hunt Browns maybe you could recommend in more detail a place to try for browns up there? Thanks for the help everyone!
Dakor, there's no doubt if you get the right angle on the critter and can put the bullet in the right place with precision, your rifle will do the job you want... This said, you gotta' know that things can go wrong and a wounded bear can turn into a vicious animal that just wants to kill you. It's happened before! Please take a minute to read this article about 338 caliber bullets and cartridges and also the ballistics page at the same site (Links @ Bottom of The Page):
These guys hunt dangerous game on a daily basis and also know what it takes to get penetration into the vitals where it counts...
Now, to your BACKUP SLUG GUN! There's a NEW SLUG LOAD just come out for fully rifled 12ga shotguns, and another very similar for smoothbores that is made strictly for DANGEROUS GAME like GRIZZLY! Check out the Dixie Terminator (fully rifled) & Predator (smoothbore) Slugs - http://www.dixieslugs.com
You can get'em plain, ready to load - or coated with dry moly - also ready to load your own, and very soon, they will be available in standard & express loads. This slug is made so you can load it in plastic or brass hulls - there's a crimp groove 1/4" down from the top - and a BIG, GENEROUS LUBE GROOVE so you can lube it well for top performance in your 12bore.
The EXPRESS load drives this HUGE SLUG @ 1350fps. Notice it has a 1/2" diameter flat nose (meplat) and it's HARD CAST with bullet alloy!
This is what it looks like - dry moly coated & ready for powder and the components.
This slug is designed for Law Enforcement, Alaska Troopers & Park Rangers, and self defense as a dangerous game load. Calculate the knockout power of this big slug inside 50 yards. IT'S HUGE. It has the power and toughness to rake a big animal from end to end within the range of a 12ga shotgun. Best of all, the pressure of the Express Load is still well under 12,000psi!
I'll get some more details here soon and drop you an email. Talkeetna is about 1-1/2 hrs up the road from Wasilla, Willow isn't that far. My wife worked up there in Talkeetna on a road rehab job last summer, about a 2 hr. drive from my place. My buddy Russell lives just this side of Willow so he's always up there in that area, knows it like the back of his hand. I'll talk to him and get some more info on where you two might take a look at up there. My brother and Russ went up there today on snomachines while there's still some snow left, after Bear. Shirleytown road is where the went up to the mountain from. If your brother has, or can barrow a snomachine to run up there, the spring is a great time to get back there and hunt, scout around for the fall etc, real fast. Russ got off his wheeler and climbed a tree up there last summer while screwin around before hunting season, Grizz wouldn't leave him alone on the trail and all he had was his 9mm 1911. He said he stayed within 50 yards of the tree for 45 minutes and then walked up the trail ahead of him out of sight. He saw him come out on the trail ahead of him after he got going again, so he stopped and waited some more. when he seen it pop out on the trail behind him a few minutes later he hit the gas and got out of there. He said the trail was so bumpy there he couldn't get out of 2nd gear though, made him pretty nervous.
I don't spend a whole lot of time dedicated to hunting Grizz like my Brother does. Being single and still living at home, he has more time and money to spend on it than I do. Moose is primary for me, Black Bear next, Grizz when I get the opportunity when hunting the others. Pretty mush the opposite with my Brother though, Grizz, Black, then Moose...
Thanks again Brent! He does have snow cats but I would not be able to go up in there until the spring of 2006 because they just moved there and it takes a year for him to be a resident. But I will have to keep that in mind.
I've really enjoyed reading this thread. Quite jealous of the opportunities you have over there!
Brent, your stories are awe inspiring; they reminded me of my (far less exciting) bear ‘event’when my wife and I were living in Canada back around 96:
One spring (Manitoba springs only seemed to last a week –one minute Arctic, one minute blazing heat) renting a cottage in Duck Mountain Provincial Park , we were squeezing in a last bit of cross country skiing before the snow went.
Our bear knowledge was limited to a throw away comment from a friend along the lines of ‘the worst time to meet a bear is just when it comes out of hibernation, sometimes they’ve wasted to the size of an German Shepherd, when they’re that size they’ll attack anything for food’. Well; mid- lake (and just past the point of no return) we noticed that the ice that we were skiing over was worryingly weak. We pressed on nervously to the far side. Imagine our joy when, on reaching the safety of the shore, we found ourselves in the midst of fresh bear tracks heading in all directions! Our choices were a lake side traverse –where we convinced ourselves we would meet a ravenous bear- or to risk a return across the dodgy ice. Imagination got the better of us, we wimped and took the ice option –fastest piece of cross country skiing we’ve ever done!
Wasn’t long after that I bought “Bear Attacks, Their Causes and Avoidance” by Stephen Herrero an excellent book although it did tend to remind me of the apocryphal advice issued to travellers to avoid attack:
When travelling in bear country, attack is best prevented by carrying pepper spray and making plenty of noise.
Noise is best created by attaching small bells to your equipment.
If you identify fresh bear crap you should change route.
Fresh bear crap is easily identified because it jangles and smells of pepper.
More seriously, here’s what Herrero had to say about stopping a bear charge, rather seems to back up your advice, hope it’s of interest:
“……a good first shot is through the shoulder and into the body. This is aimed at breaking a shoulder blade and crippling the bear, thus slowing the charge. A second shot then can quickly be placed anywhere in the vital zone to kill the bear. Head and neck shots should not, as a rule, be attempted with a charging grizzly bear because these targets are too small.
Choice of proper firearms for safety depends upon many factors. An adequate and popular defensive weapon is a twelve-gauge, shortbarrel, repeating shotgun with at least a five-shot capacity. The ability to shoot fast is essential. Pump actions and semiautomatics have this capability. Dependability must be thoroughly established prior to carrying such a weapon in bear country. The shotgun is a weapon of last resort to be used at close range only. Many persons doing field work with grizzly bears carry shotguns some of the time. Choice of ammunition varies. Large-diameter buckshot (00 gauge-"SSGs') gives a person the advantage of nine to eleven pellets, which, depending upon the barrel, will disperse about one inch for every 3.3 feet. I personally know of one charging female grizzly that was shot and killed at about fifty feet with large-diameter buckshot. I do not know of any failures. Some experts, however, are suspicious regarding the ability of large-diameter buckshot to kill grizzlies, believing that penetration is inadequate except at about fifty to sixty-five feet or less. Buckshot also could be dangerous if you try to shoot a grizzly bear that is attacking someone else. Your chances of hitting both the bear and the person are too great with buckshot. The alternate choice of ammunition for shotguns is the rifled slug. At close range these have adequate killing power and the ability to shatter a shoulder bone. Rifled slugs have the disadvantage of requiring more careful aim than does the large-diameter buckshot.
High-powered hunting rifles are clearly established to be the most effective firearm for killing grizzlies. They have the same disadvantage as the rifled slug for the person facing a charging bear. One must be able to hit a rapidly charging, hurtling object. Bolt actions are much slower than pump actions or semiautomatics. Rifles have an added disadvantage for bears in that some persons with high-powered rifles will be tempted to shoot noncharging bears at long distances. They also have limitations in dense brush since woody stems are more likely to deflect rifle bullets than shotgun slugs. Telescopic sights may interfere with the "instinctive" shooting that may be necessary at close range. Open sights should be installed if a person is designing a "bear" gun.
Despite the limitations of high-powered rifles, tests prove they are the most effective bear-killing firearm. The "best" firearm depends
on ballistic performance and a person's ability to tolerate firearm recoil. United States Forest Service researchers in Alaska concluded that four cartridge~bullet combinations were superior for protection against bears The .458 Winchester Magnum with 510-gr soft-point bullets was the "surest" combination for shooters who could handle the recoil. The .375 H & H Magnum with 300-gr soft-point bullets had less recoil than the .458 Magnum, but for many people recoil was still severe. The .338 Winchester Magnum with 300-gr bullets had less recoil than the .375 Magnum but only slightly less effectiveness. The .30-06 with 220-gr bullets had mild recoil with adequate ballistics.
Side arms have a more limited role for protection against charging grizzly bears. My reason for saying this is mainly because of the superior marksmanship required to hit a charging bear in the right places. Most experts agree that a .44 Magnum with 240-gr bullets has adequate close-range killing power in the hands of a well-practiced person who can handle its recoil.
Regardless of what firearm you choose, you must be thoroughly familiar with its mechanism and you must protect it from the effects of water, dirt, and twigs. When traveling in an area where bear hazard is anticipated, you should make sure the magazine of a rifle or shotgun is loaded. Normally a shell in the chamber is dangerous because of possible accidental discharge; however, imminent danger may justify putting a shell into the chamber, except perhaps with a side arm.
If you plan to travel armed and seriously consider trying to kill a charging grizzly bear, then you must be expert with your chosen firearm. The type of shooting that I have described is not hunting. It is self-defense shooting under extremely demanding conditions. Training should include shooting hundreds of rounds with the chosen firearm under a variety of conditions chosen to simulate field conditions. Accurate shooting should become something that you do almost without thinking. If possible, moving targets should be used. Accurate shooting under such conditions has been called "instinctive," because of the frequent lack of precise aim that is possible when hunting with telescopic sights and high-powered rifles. In the extreme, shotguns or rifles may be discharged while still at the hip rather than at shoulder level. The psychological impact of a charging grizzly is something difficult to simulate in training. In choosing whether and when to carry a firearm, each person must try to predict how he would behave if charged….”
BrownDog, I agree if I wasn't hunting - Lets say I'm fishing in alaska. I would carry my 12GA pump shotgun with slugs because of quicker fire and also lower powered optics for close encounters.
As far as bear attacks, I live in an area with a large black bear population. One day when fishing I walked through a dense trail to get to a remote pond. As I walked through I heard that grown (Sounds like a sick cow) so I turned around and waited to see where he was. A short while later this 175-200 lb bear comes out 10 yards from me, sits down like a child, and starts playing with some brush, then walks away.
... But that's black bear, most of them want nothing to do with you and will keep their distance. These brown bear don't sound like something I want to mess with.
Dakor, if you haven't changed your 7 stw to a 300WM yet, maybe you should consider a 338 WM? I know you considered a 338 Lapua, but the 338WM is nowhere near in terms of recoil.
John I havent done anything with the Savage yet. I have A Sako TRG-S 300 win Mag that I am planing on using. My father is picking up a 375 H&H from one of his friends but he will not be getting it for a couple of months so my gun project is on hold until I see what I like. I have been debating on a 338 Win Mag also because you can load it with 160's if you wanted to use it for deer and load it with 225's or 250's for Bigger Game. But then again if you are going to go that big would you be better of with the 375? I am kinda at a cross road right now and I will have to see how I shoot the 375. I have enough time so I will take my time and see what I can shoot the best. In case anyone wants to know I called Savage and they will rebarrel my STW to a 375 H&H for 235 Bucks. That is a SS barrel with a 26 inch finish. I dont think that is a bad price pretty cheap if you ask me.