Cowboy, you're right, we are talking the same area. On an animal I think in
terms of five sections, Head, neck, shoulder, rib section, and hind quarters.
Shooting a moose , caribou or deer it's best to shoot just behind the shoulder if you want to avoid destroying a lot of meat and still get the boiler room (heart/lung cavity) On bear you do not want to shoot behind the shoulder. If
you can time your shot for a quartering angle and break down a shoulder as
well as hit the heart lung area that is your best shot placement, but one does not always have the option to pick and choose a lot. Available time, range,
terrain, position of the animal and whether the animal is still or moving all play
into the equation of shot placement. If a bear is coming directly at you at close range obviously a shoulder shot is out of the question. So one cannot say I always do a shoulder shot, or I will do only neck shots etc. You have to do the best shot that fate hands you, and sometimes you don't have a lot of time to ponder the situation. Having said that, in many situations you do have
time to wait for the optimum shot. When given this chance a shot centered in
the shoulder section gives one the largest target that has the potential to do the most damage.
rtv900, at very short range a head shot is a doable thing and like you say it
puts them down immediately. They drop like they were pole-axed. You don't
want to do a head shot however if you want to salvage the skull or if it is a
really big bear that has potential of scoring in the record book. Any bullet hole
in a bear skull disqualifies that trophy from entry. It's an individual choice.
Yes, all my hunting has been in Alaska. I guided professionally for 27 years
and have hunted for about 50 years. I have had some interesting times
especially with brown bear, but I'm a pretty poor writer and a worse typer.
And even worse speller.