high shoulder shots on bears

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by trout-n-salmon, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    What is everyone's opinion on a high shoulder shot on a bear to put him down in his tracks? Is it a prefered shot, or should you just take the double lung and know he is going to tip over soon enough.
     
  2. shorty

    shorty Well-Known Member

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    Having only been black bear hunting once I'm sure there are guy's here who know much more than I, but judging from what I've seen I wouldn't advise it.

    Bears carry a lot of fat and gristle high on their backs much like a hog so your bullet might pass thru on a high shoulder shot and not do enough damage to put it DRT.

    The spine appears to be about a third of the way down from the back line, a rather difficult shot to make in low or very low light conditions. (Black bear, dark,my old eyes,etc.)

    Gotta go with the double lung shot. Did see an old friend on his last hunt take a big blackie with a Texas heart shot. That got...exciting.
     

  3. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I am on the hunt for a spring bear (should I be so lucky to draw a tag) and starting to do my homework on them...
     
  4. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    What's a Texas heart shot?
     
  5. webs

    webs Well-Known Member

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    in the rear out the front.
     
  6. Speedo

    Speedo Well-Known Member

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    I've spined a couple of grizzlies, it isn't an instant kill but it stopped them from going very far. I prefer to break down the front end, lower on the shoulder to break front legs to prevent them from running. I have shot all but one of my bears at 75 yards or less.

    Gus
     
  7. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I have done it both ways - high shoulder and lung shots. Have to go with Speedo on braking down the front - our Black Bear here in Montana don't run all that big - a 300# spring bear here is a big bear. You brake down the front end and they don't go very far - you punch them in the lungs and they can find the biggest mess in the country within 100 yds of taking a bullet.
     
  8. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input. After looking at some pictures of Bear anatomy, looks like about 1/3 the way down the front shoulder should break a bear down as well as punch both lungs. Best of both worlds.gun)
     
  9. yama49

    yama49 Well-Known Member

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    Ya that would be the best choice.. jmo
     
  10. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    center shoulder is my preferred shot also, this one took a 200 gr silvertip from a 348 win mid shoulder at 23 steps, he bounced upon hitting the dirt, never moved another muscle
    [​IMG]
    RR
     
  11. trout-n-salmon

    trout-n-salmon Well-Known Member

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    Nice Bear Ridge Runner. I spent 6 years back in Georgia and I had no clue the bear hunting out east was as good as it is. I will be back out there in a couple years and will capitalize on the bear population in North Georgia.
     
  12. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    I have shot bears throught the heart lungs and throught the shoulder/spine and prefer the shoulder if the bear is in anykind of rough terrain. I opt for the odd neck shot if there really close too. I made the mistake of shooting my best bear to date in the boiler room, hunting mountainous-thick country. He only went about 35 yards, but it was the crappiest 35 yards drag of my life draggin him out (shot was taken on the road).

    I did have a bad experience with my dad and high shoulder shots. He made a great stalk on a real big bear and shot it in the shoulders at about 80 paces with a .284win. at the shot the bear took off like a nitro'd bulldozer. I guess the shot had broken both front shoulders but didnt do enough damage to any vitals and the bear just ploughed through the bush with its face in the dirt and in rear wheel drive. It was about 40min till dark and landed up being a bit of an adventure tracking it. The second shot put it down, but 400 yards into the thick stuff. It amazed me that that bear could go so far on nothing but adrenaline and two legs. Needless to say Dad bough a bigger gun and still uses high shoulder shots.

    So I recomend them if your using enough gun to cause enough hydrostatic shock to shock the nervouse system. when in doubt go for the heart lung but be prepared to do some draggin.
     
  13. hammertyme

    hammertyme Well-Known Member

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    Having taken a number of black and Brown bear here in Alaska and black bear in the lower 48 I am convinced that bear do not read books about energy and shock.

    I have shoot them so as to break the neck and they are done with a bullet behind the ear. I have shot them straight through both lungs on every black bear and with what I shoot they are down and out and do not go very far.

    Brown Bear is an entirely different critter. Black bear are not much different than shooting a big Buck. The Griz or Brownie are seriously tough and mid shoulder shots are the rule unless I am close enough to put one behind the ear.

    I have never contemplated shooting any bear high in the shoulder because I like black bear meat and hitting a Brownie/Griz in the spine is very difficult when guessing where the spine is with all the hair in the hunting time of the year. I did have a bear try to get me after a spine shot behind the ear, When I did an autopsy I did note that the bullet mushroomed flat and pretty against the spine and actually made everything inside the spinal case absolute mush. He was 200 yards up a very steep hill when I dropped the hammer. He rolled head over tail and ended up 30 yards away from me looking at me like he wasn't very happy. He could not move and could not growl very well but 30 yards and I had NO clue how he got to me after the autopsy???

    I was by myself.

    Neal
     
  14. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    My personal preferance is to break at least one if not both shoulders going for the heart. (aka I aim for the off leg placing my bullet thru the vitals on its way there). Thats my prefered meathod on Blackbear, but that being said the situation is never the same twice, and will always dictate wich shot I take. If its a good shot on a good bear I dont pass it up. However crawling into the brush after an "i THINK it was a good shot" bear will cure any questionable shots from your mind forever:D.
    Bears are funny shaped critters, and relitavely new bear hunters who havent had alot of time to field judge, and disect a few, can often make assumptions where the vitals "should be" but because of the angle.........
    It all boils down to the confidence, and ability of the shooter, to put lead where it needs to be. If your comfortable with the shot take it, but dont be affraid to take a follow up shot or two IF nessicary. It beats beating brush with a machetty following blood on a "i thought it was a good shot"........ Thats just spooky:D:D
    Good luck