My first black bear hunt.

4ked Horn

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2007
I put in for a draw hunt and if I get it I will be shooting at bear this spring (dang near guaranteed).

I will be shooting a .308 Winchester from my Rem 700 vls mounted up with a Leupold 4.5x14x42 mil dot reticle. The loads will be topped with 165gr sierra game kings at 2600 ft/sec.

The bear will be grazing wild onion fields in south central Idaho.

Here are the questions.

What is a safe max distance to take a 300 lb or less bruin with this load? Please be a wee bit conservative as I would rather stalk in for a closer shot than try tracking a wounded bear.

Is your answer from experience on black bear or from experience with this type of load on other animals?

What size is the heart lung kill zone on an average sized black bear?

Please send any advice concerning this subject. All input wanted.

[ 02-14-2004: Message edited by: 4ked Horn ]
Think of blk bear vitals as the size of a good size deer. Bears are a little more dense than deer though. One thing about bears, if ya dont hit em in the CNS, they will hit the brush ASAP. They also almost always hit the ground after you hit them, making an appearance of a clean kill...They ussually get back up and run, or roll if they are on a hill.

Depending on your shooting ability, say 300 yards in GOOD conditions. Bears can ussually be taken under 100 yards. Stick with neck shots if possible. Bears are like elk, ya gotta hit em right! Theyre just a tad smaller though. Always be ready for a follow up shot and dont hesitate.
I have shot two bears here in Oregon and have learned one thing they are tough critters! The last one was at 428 yards with a 300 rum square in the heart/lungs and it still ran about 50 yards before it stopped. Just my 2 cents but I would stay within 250 yards or so with the 308. Im told by my buddys who have a little more bear history than I do if you put it right in the front shoulder itself it helps them not reach the next county! Im going to try it this spring if I get a chance. Good luck! Oregonhunter
Hi Guys,

During last year's deer season, my son was posted on top of a hill in a clear cut while I tried to push some deer to him. As it turned out I spooked a black bear that came crashing out into the open. The bear stopped for a moment in the middle of the field to look around but my son couldn't quite hold the cross hairs steady on the animal's chest. The bear quickly decided to continue on his way and so my son got up and started to run full tilt with his rifle after the bear, hoping to cut him off and get another chance at a shot. The bear hearing the noise diverted into the nearest brush and was gone. When my wife found out about my son's stunt, she just about freaked. My son was made to promise that he would never ever chase bears again, even with a rifle in his hand.

We did have bear tags as well as deer tags and we're hoping to get out in the spring for bears.

Quick question. We bought some scent or incense called "Thirteen Miles of Dead Fish". Has anybody used it?

Rubber Ducky
Rubber Ducky, I was going to try that scent last season, but never got the chance.

We have used there "rutrageous" deer incense.
Great stuff. I have used the other deer incense as well. Good products.

Based oon my experience wqith the other products, I would definitelyy try it.
Do you think those fish sticks would work on coyotes here in the Idaho desert? There are no fish for miles but I'm thinking the dogs will instinctively seek out any stinky thing.
Hi Guys,

Sorry I made a mistake, it's actually called "Twelve Miles of Dead Fish". Here in Calgary various scents and incense are sold at Wholesale Sports.

My son and I are eager to try it.

We plan to go into the area and set up the incense under a bucket with holes. We're planning to put the bucket about 10 to 15 yards into an open area and we'll be set up about 75 yards away on top of a hill. This will hopefully allow us to determine whether we have a sow with cubs or whether its a legal boar. The clear cut itself is about 500 X 200 yards and is surrounded by heavy woods, mostly pine and spruce with some aspen.

The only problem is that there are also grizzlies in the area and last year a hunter was attacked about 10 miles to the north of where we had been. The only way we would be allowed to shoot a grizzly is if we're sporting claw and teeth marks on our person.

We also have wolves in the area and so the hunt should be quite exciting.

Rubber Ducky
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