After hunting in the North GA mountiains for 25 years and seeing several bears over the years, last fall I had the opportunity to take one during the primitive weapons season. I was hunting ridge tops for deer, bear, and wild pigs, whatever I saw first. The second morning of the hunt, we woke to rain, so I decided to do a stalk along the ridge tops hoping the rain would cover my scent and sound and I would see something before it saw me. I climbed 30 minutes to the top of the ridge, then after a short break, I started the stalk. After about 40 yards, I heard and saw him about 30 yards off the ridge top. I raised my Traditions Timberridge 50 cal putting the Williams Firesights right behind his front shoulder. I let him take 1 step and then I sent the 240 gr Powerbelt into his boiler room. All I saw was a trail of fire and sparks against the blackness of the bear and the darkness of the early morning rain. It was like the shot was in slow motion and I then saw him lurch forward and started crashing down through the laurel. He went maybe 30 yards and I heard the final crash and the last breath from the 195lb bruin.
As luck goes, he ran off the other side of the ridge from where I climbed up. He was bigger than me, so there was no pulling him up hill. I radioed my hunting partner and told him I had a big black bastard down and to meet me on the road on the other side of the ridge with the truck, but I may be a while. It took me a while to get down through the laurel to the logging road where I took the photos and met up with Ricky.
Not at all a long range hunt, but very satisfying. I nice animal, beautiful location, a week camping in the woods with good friends, fresh tenderloin on the campfire...
I found that the Powerbelt hollowpoint did not exit. It hit 1 rib, entered the lungs, and exploded destroying the lungs.
"stay calm, pick a spot"
Had a similar situation here in Washington several years ago. Was hunting mule deer with my traditional .50 muzzle loader, and following a ridge top in the Cascades. Way up ahead, maybe a quarter mile away, I saw a bear heading my way, along the ridgeline.
I hunkered down and waited. When the bear was about 50 yards from me, I noticed that a cub was following! Oooops... By the time I figured out that I wasn't going to shoot, the sow was about 30 yards from me and still headed my direction.
I stood up and said "howdy bear." She stopped. Stood. Huffed and puffed and took off for parts unknown with the cub tumbling along in her wake. It was pretty cool. Could have shot her with the muzzle loader, but decided against it.