Shot placement, bear facing hunter?

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by Guy M, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

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    Wondered why my son was taking so long to shoot when we had a nice chocolate phase black bear looking at us from 150 yards away. He had his .30-06 on a bipod, and had plenty of practice with it out at 300 yards, so this should have been easy... Turns out, he was waiting for the bear to turn sideways. Inadvertently, I'd talked to him about shot placement on the bear, only using examples of bears standing broadside.

    In a similar situation, hunting bear, not stopping a charge, where would you want to put your rifle bullet, with the bear facing you?

    Thanks, Guy
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Waiting for the bear to turn wasn't a bad choice as I've seen that shot turn into a hound hunt. If you take it-the angle can be deceiving, and I concentrate on the line of the backbone. This is where enough bullet that's capable of driving through the chest and having a bit left to demolish that spine comes into it's own. You can be a little high or low, but if you take out a bunch of spine your bear isn't going anywhere.
     

  3. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    Agree - he waited, the bear turned to leave, finally growing suspicious of us blobs on the hillside I suppose... And the young man shot, putting a 165 gr Nosler through the lungs of the bear.

    However... Even hit, the bear decided to leave the area and needed a little more shooting to stop as it started running downhill through patches of berry bushes. In the end, he did get one heck of a nice bear though.

    I don't recall the spine even being visible. Head, chest, fore-legs only as I recall. Perhaps though.

    Regards, Guy
     
  4. Speedo

    Speedo Well-Known Member

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    Straight on shot on a bear can be tough, best bet would be either shoulder. If he lifts his head to sniff the air right under the chin, up on two legs and he's wide open.

    Gus
     
  5. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Having seen the good-bad-and ugly of shots on bear here is my .02 opinion. Sounds like you were on a hillside (above) the bear. If I had to shoot a bear from an elevated position my first choice would be to place the bullet over the top of the head and drive it down through the spine entering just behind the head. If you shoot for below the chin you'll most likely drive it out the bottom guts of the bear and you've got a very narrow window there for error. Bottom line is I think your son did the right thing and waited for the bear to turn broadside. He should be complimented.
     
  6. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

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    He did a fine job of placing that shot, and was mighty pleased with the bear he took. I'm pretty proud of him too. He used Grandpa's old M1917 .30-06, that had been "sporterized" shortly after WWII:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We should have the rug back from the taxidermist in a week or two... Looking forward to that!

    Regards, Guy
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    My sons first bear, at 12 was one walking down skid road , frontal, at about 175. The bear was walking with head down, and my son hit him there. DRTgun)He looked at me with a big surprised look. I got him Dad, that was his first game .
     
  8. Magnumitis

    Magnumitis Well-Known Member

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    That is one beautiful bear. Gotta love those color phase ones. I agree with waiting for the broad side shot. If you were on the same level with the bear it probably wouldn't be a big deal. But, as someone already pointed out, shooting down at him could've made it tricky. Congrats on a great bear!
     
  9. EastHunter

    EastHunter Well-Known Member

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    Agree to to let the bear turn side way.

    Last spring i shot my bear in the head with my 338win 225gr accubond.... But i was at the same level as the bear.
     
  10. Magnumitis

    Magnumitis Well-Known Member

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    On purpose?
     
  11. EastHunter

    EastHunter Well-Known Member

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    yes Elkoholic307 i was aiming for the head.

    My first idéa was to go for a shoulder shot but the bear never gave me the right angle for it.

    We where doing a film hunt and the idea of having my bear going down right on the spot was temting.

    The rifle was brand new, my first bear, guided by a good friend of mine. Could not be happyer.

    And i was close, realy close...42 yard...

    I know this site is about long range shot, but where y hunt is not possible so much.
     
  12. RH300UM

    RH300UM Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the broadside shot!!!! These are by far some of the toughest critters there are.
    Break that front shoulder!!!!! Get a quick follow up shot if you can. Or a backup shooter following up after.

    If you can get a quatering away shot even better. Both lungs and the off shouder/leg broken!! Bear down with the right bullet.
     
  13. stainmstr

    stainmstr Member

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    I shot my bear facing me at 366 yards with a 300wby 165grn sst. The bullet entered the neck area stopped right on the right shoulder. He went straight down, did not take a step. I would take the shot again. Would have liked a broadside shot but he did not want to give me that one.
     
  14. Mesarifle

    Mesarifle Member

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    Re: Shot placement, bear facing hunter? And... a hungry polar bear.

    I was working up in Churchill, MN in the late '70s, and was out walking, looking for ptarmigan. so, stupidly, I had #6 bird shot loaded into my Rem. 870 Deerstalker. I heard a crunch in the snow behind me, turned to see a polar bear, a young male (the juveniles are the biggest problem, since they are bullied by the full-grown adults, even if they do find some food...), in the scrub willows. He was perhaps 35 - 40 yds away, and he suddenly crouched down. You know, in the same way your pleasant little house kitty does when he's preparing to launch on an unwitting songbird?

    The bear's shoulders sort of rippled for a second, and he proceeded to launch in my direction full-tilt. I swung the 870 up and let fly, quite instinctively, and hit his right shoulder with that bird shot, which stopped him and he swung sideways. By then I had a second round loaded in and pulled the trigger again. This one hit his right rear flank, with the result that an about 6" patch of fur disapeared and it all oozed blood. You know; as you'd expect when you shoot a free-qanging polar bear with bird shot....

    He looked at me and growled in a way I will NEVER forget, and quickly spun again towards me, now only perhaps 15 yards. ("the tape measure please...") This time though, he proceeded at a bit slower run, and I knew I was now out of bird shot (!!) and into the "SSG" buckshot (a size bigger than 00, and available only in Canada). This 870 also had a SWAT mag-tube extension on it, and I knew I now had 2 buckshot and one slug available.

    I actually aimed this time (well.... sort of...) as he ran towards me, and held a bit low (most people in this panic "sitch" tend to shoot over the attacking animal, since it's going lower in your field of view as it runs towards you), and I "held", if you can call it that, under his chin and towards one shoulder. (Sounds all so precise, don't it? Well it wasn't, let me tell you...)

    I fired one, and he slid to a stop, on his belly and face, right at my feet. Yeah, OK, he was 2 feet short of my feet, but who's measuring, right? I quick-like shucked the shell, chambered another SSG and banged him again, this time right between the shoulders,about 12" behind his skull, into his spine I hoped, from my stance right in front and above him. That ended it all, but I remember furtively looking around for more of them, since I didn't have any more ammo in my pocket, and my hut was about 300 yds away, and I only had the one remaining slug iin the chamber. Off I trotted......

    What "fun", huh? About 1/2h later I began to shake. The result of adrenaline I suppose....

    Anyhow, this is not exactly how you should go after polar bears! (i.e.: taunt or bait them by walking alone in the tundra wilderness with birdshot in your shotgun). As well, I was not able (nor did I want...) to keep the hide. Too many bad memories?

    Of course, the .340 Wby I had bought for just such fun and games was in my nearby building. Of course! But my trusty 870 did what it had to do, no problems. (It's one of my cherished firearms now. I even talk to it sometimes!!! Wonder why?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011