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Smoked a bear with my 338 AM

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Unread 09-13-2007, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,891
Smoked a bear with my 338 AM

I slipped out yesterday morning to look for a bear before work (it is an advantage here in North Idaho, I have good hunting 30-50 mintes from work). I slipped out to one of my favorite bear ambush sites before light. I unloaded the 338 AM from the drag bag and spread out my various necessary gear, Kestrel, P PC, ammo backup drop chart, spotting scope, binoculars, Swaro RF, Red-Tac rear field bag, tripod, and video camera (did I mention all of this crap weighs alot?). Once I had unassed my 700 lbs of gear, while it was still dark I fired up the Kestrel and the PPC. I entered the data, 5500', 34% RH, 58 deg, & 24.6 Bar. I listened to the wind and got readings from 7-13 mph from full right to left, lovely. I set the wind for 10 mph and updated the Exbal program. With this info complete I clicked the drop chart function, scrolled down to 800-1300 yards and shut the PPC off. Now since the shots from this location are 800 + when I need info I just hit the on button and it goes straight to the drop chart for my current conditions. Satisified that all is ready info wise I setup the video / spotting scope on the tripod and wait for first light.
Grey light arrives and it is 10-15 minutes before I can see anything through my binoculars. I am overlooking a large patch of huckelberrys and mountain ash berrys on the side of a steep hill (like all of rest around here). I glass for about 20 minutes before I spot a large jet black bear feeding through patch. I setup the video on him (I am by myself, it would have been much easier and alot more fun with one of my hunting partners) set it on record and slide behind the AM. I hit the PPC "ON" button and am greeted by my info. I load a round in the rifle and leave the bolt open (no safety). I find the bear in the Swaro LRF and range him at 1016 yards. I look at the drop chart and get 16.75 moa elevation and actually laugh at the complete lack of needed elevation adjustment. I listen, look and dope the wind. I figure to shoot it for 2.25 moa, just over 10 mph, again more laughing. I settle in and close the bolt. I make one last look at the wind, settle in on the front shoulder and take up the trigger. The AM recoils slightly and I watch the bear run side hill about 10-15 feet and disappear into the timber. I watch all around the timber and see no movement for 6 or 7 minutes. I pack up my 700 lbs of crap and load up the quad to drive over to the other ridge top. I hike down from the ridge top to the area of the hit (did I mention it was steep?) and find no sign of a hit. This is not looking good. I hike back to the quad and review the video. After close video review I deceide that I have hit the bear from it's reaction probably in a through and through chest hit behind the front shouder. I hike back down to the impact spot and trail the occasional track in the dirt in the sidehill direction I last saw the bear headed. I had gone about 25 or 30 yards and could see where something had turned and gone straight downhill through the brush, still no blood trail. I follow the broken brush down the hill to where the bear had come to a stop from running out of gas and falling down the hill. Total distance from impact 35 yards. First thing I notice is for north Idaho this is a really good bear, 6'4" and easly over 300 lbs. Now the real work starts. I was getting kind of disappointed with the Matchking's performance despite the impact velocity of around 2400 fps until I got it skinned out. The impact was as I had predicted from the video, right behind the front shoulder and at the top of the heart. The entrance wound was about 1/2" and the exit wound was around 2" and both were plugged with fat. Typical bear wound sealing. There was a small amount of blood around the exit wound but it takes alot to get where it will leave a trail.
Typical of most people when they here you shot a bear and you tell them it was just over 1K they just look at you like your "high" until you play the video for them. It makes for some great jaw dropping moments.
Shawn Carlock


Last edited by Shawn Carlock; 09-13-2007 at 08:21 AM.
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Unread 09-13-2007, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Helena Montana
Posts: 655
Nice B Bear!
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Unread 09-13-2007, 08:06 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 222
Great story Shawn.
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Unread 09-13-2007, 08:09 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 914
Great bear....great shot!

NRA Life Member
ISRA Member
RMEF Member
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Unread 09-13-2007, 08:59 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,598
Glad that you got it on Video,hope to see it on your site.........
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
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Unread 09-13-2007, 09:15 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,086
Which one is the bear?

That was a very nice shot particularly with the 10 mph wind.

I am just now trying to figure out Exbal on a PDA and those were some helpful tips on how to get ready before you actually need the info for the shot.

I recognize the drops for 1K from dialing in the 7AM magnum. Sometimes it is hard to believe how flat a bullet will shoot when it has a lot of powder behind it in a monstrous case.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 09-13-2007, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: El Reno, OK
Posts: 1,497
COngratulations!!!!!!!! everybody's getting to hunt big game and its only dove season here in OK, and there aint no dove!!!!!!!!!!! thats pretty dang impressive, only seen one bear in my whole dang life, cant wait to hunt them some day. I hear ya on unloading all the crap, i remember the days of unloading just a rifle and box of ammo, now it takes a half hour just to set crap up.

Congrats on the bear and helluva shot!!!!
Steve Elmenhorst
Third Generation Shooting Supply
"Products for shooters, by shooters"
monday-friday 8:30-5:30 CST
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