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tealitup

What should I shoot

29 posts in this topic

I will be bear hunting and was wondering what I should shoot. From the looks of it - I will have about a 50 yard shot to the area in which bear come out of the woods.

Also, the longest shot would be about 100 yards.

I have: 7mm WSM, 30-06, a .357, a .44 mag and a couple shotguns.

Slugs? Handgun? Rifle - which one?

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If it were me - I'd discount the .357. Not enough gun, IMO, unless you are VERY close.

100 yard shot is starting to get longish for a shotgun, unless you have a good scoped slug specific gun. If you have a good slug gun, 100 yards should not be a problem.

The .44 mag is enough, but I would not want to shoot much more than 40 yards with open sights.

Nothing wrong with either of those rifles. At 100 yards, it should be duck soup.

It all comes down to if you are willing to let the bear walk if it is too far for some of the weapons you listed.

Good luck!

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I would use the .7mm mag. I am not sure how the WSM differs compared to the regular load. Load it up with the 175 grain too.(or the heaviest shot you can get. NOT the 150's. The 150's go so fast and you risk the chance of fragmentation on impact, my friend knows this all too well on his first bear. The 30-06 with 180 grain would be a nice choice as well. Maybe better than the WSM but I do not have a lot of experience with the WSM so just guessing on the ballistics. You could carry the .44/.357 pistol for your nerves.

50 yards seems to be a long shot unless you have no other choice. Closer would be better especially hunting at dusk. Scope or no scope, that is your real question. I vote no scope so you can see better, if you were closer. Also stand height, not too high, so you get a good angle on the vitals and NOT through the shoulder or leg bones. Shot placement will be more of a key than what you are slinging at them.

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No I do not have a scoped slug gun - I could carry the shotgun if I have to track...

7mmWSM -the heaviest bullet I have found on the market is 160 grain. Dead accurate though.

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Use the stoutest bullet you can find in the weight your rifle has been sighted in with. Something like a trophy bonded bear claw. Black bears have big bones and you want a bullet that is going to stay together and mushroom. You don't want a bullet that will fall apart if you hit the shoulder bone.

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Not sure if you have a muzzleloader but I used my 50 cal. last year and that was a blast.

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I'm going try a 168 grain HP in my 30-06

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I'd go with a higher grain 7mm mag

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In my experience I would use the 30-06. The 7mm wsm is a little much. Bears are not that tough. It is all about shot placement. I double lunged a bear last year with my bow that went 7 yards. If I was going use a rifle. I would hit them in the shoulder and break them down right there.

Good luck

Kyle

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I would use a .06 if the bait is more than 60 yards from your stand.If you have a good shotgun with a scope then thats is what I would use if the bait pile is within 60 yards.Either one is plenty of gun.As stated above well placed arrow will do the job also.I shot one with the bow but mine traveled 50 yards.

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Either rifle will be fine. Forget about the shotguns. If the choice is between the shotgun or the 44mag w/scope, I'd choose the 44, for sports. Shotgun is the last choice: when a hunter has no other guns.

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Swamp Scooter again speaks good words. Too much gun isn't necessary. What's more important is a clean shot through the animals vitals. I'd get quite a bit closer if you can. Anything more than 40 yards in the waining hours of the evening, shooting at an all black object in the shadows can be tricky. Try to anticipate the "prevailing" winds with your stand placement, and try to stay within 20 - 35 yards of your bait station. You really have to be confident of your shot placement on a bear. Believe me, you don't want to be trailing a gut shot bear in the dark! You also don't want to leave the animal in the woods on a warm September night - the meat will quickly spoil.

A good thing to keep in mind is how the bear will stop and eat at the station when you take aim. You can arrange the bait station in a way that will allow a clean shot at the vitals as the bear stops to eat.

I don't hunt with a scope on my 7mm-08 as it would likely only show me black hair when I'm 20 yards from my target, but there are lots of good scopes available that help gather light when it gets slim, and have wide zoom lenses for close shots. I just don't find a scope necessary at close range.

I agree with the comments on shotguns. They would definately get the job done, but might be "iffy" in low light conditions.

Also remember to look at the length of the bears legs, the distance of the belly from the ground, and the distance between it's ears if you can. These three things can help you determine if the animal is a shooter or not. I will put a small peice of flourescent tape facing my stand at the base of the tree where I place my bait about 30 inches off the ground. This gives me a quick reference if I'm wondering just how tall the animal is standing at the shoulder.

Good luck!

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Great Post Canopy.

It looks like from my trail camera that the bear are coming in from an area in which my stand is not visiable. When they hit the feeding area I have a clear shot at about 40 yards.

This was a deer feeding station (on the off season) but the bear love the corn/wild deer feed.

You bring up a good point. The one bear that I want to target comes out at 1:00p.m. and again at dusk. He is a monster - I have a strap that is 8.5 feet in the air and standing on his back legs his nose is just as high if not higher.

This is the first time I have bear hunted so I could use any and all advice. Oh, shot placement - Very confident - scent control could use some advice.

You think I should set a tag that is 30 inches from the ground? Should his shoulders be that high or the top of his back?

Also, not that I would do this but... anyone notice that this year there is nothing in the reg's about shooting a sow with cubs. Says you can not shoot a cub but nothing about the sow. Would never shoot one, but thought it was interesting.

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Good gracious Teal! If that bear really stands 8 1/2 feet you may be looking at a REALLY big bear! Almost certainly B & C.

Take great care not to spook that guy off the bait pile. He probably won't come back if he figures you out.

The scent stuff is pretty easy really. Bath in scent free soap every day for 4 days before you take the stand. Don't wear anything scented (shampoo, aftershave,etc.) for at least a week before season. Wash all your camo in scent free soap and don't wear any of it around dogs, or in the house. Keep it in a rubber maid tub with pine bows in your vehicle at all times when your not wearing it. Don't get sweaty in it.

Make sure your gun doesn't have fresh oil on it, or was recently cleaned. Bears have an extraordinary sense of smell - even better than a canines. Big old bears are smart and know what smells belong in the woods and which ones don't.

Wear rubber gloves, and high rubber boots when baiting.

I just put the reference point on a tree to give me some idea of how big the bear is while he is on all fours eating. If he's taller than 30 inches at the shoulder while standing on all fours, he's a decent bear. If he's much taller than 30 inches he's a dandy! That's most likely the position you'll get your shot at, and the safest shot for a clean kill.

Geeezz I wish I could have a crack at a bear like that one this fall. Hope this helps. smile.gif

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Oh, I almost forgot about the sow with cubs question. I don't think the regs have ever stated that you can't shoot a sow with cubs - I'm not certain. I do know that is strongly discouraged by the DNR, and most bear hunters, as the cubs would not likely make it through the winter without mommy. It's also pretty unethical - although I've seen many orphaned cubs in the woods over the last few years. They are pathetic and sad looking, and it would almost be more humane to dispatch them instead of allowing them to starve or freeze over winter.

Cubs learn how to seek out dens and safely hibernate the first year they are with mom. If she's not there when winter sets in they don't know what to do. I wish the regs would make it illegal to shoot sows with cubs. We'd likely have many more bears each year if they did. I'm glad to hear that you wouldn't ever take a sow with cubs. I feel the same way.

It's really hard to pass up that great big female with youngin's, but it's the right thing to do!

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Hey sam send me your email address and I will send you a picture of the bear -

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Hey Teal,

Another way I judge if the bear is not a cub but a bigger one is to use lathing. Get a bunch of it and spread it on the ground around your baits and in different angles. If the bear goes by one and it is longer, then you know it is at least not a cub. The lathing is 4' long and that is a decent minimum to tell the average size. If you have one getting at high as you say just have fun and hope you get him during the 1pm feeding. It will be a big job removing him at night. Also have help, lots of it for that big of a bear.

Another thing I use in the early season is to spray bug spray on my stand and also the bait pit every time I bait. Use the same type you will wear. The bugs can be unbearable during the early part of the season. Sometimes the spray is your only option to keep from moving and swatting. It also helps with the scent cover.

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Teal,

Not to be a snoop but I would love to see the pictures of the bear. I had a friend that use to love hunting bear and I helped him bait when he did. He got a bear 3 out of 4 years he went but no monsters.

I would love to go hunting but do not have the time with 2 little cubs of my own running around and I help the folks with farm work when I can.

Froggy

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Sure i have alot of pictures. Send me your email address.

Anyone thought of those butane insect repellant things? Do they work?

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Hey Tealitup, If you have time I would also like pics of your big bear. Sounds like you should be pretty excited. caseywave11@hotmail.com

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Post deleted by Swamp Scooter

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Ok sent the pictures off. Did not find the one in the daylight. I think I screwed up transferring the images. Let me know what you guys think.

I think I sent the right ones -

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sounds like a nice bear I think I would shoot my 06 with 220 brush busters . make that one stay down!

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Thanks Teal, that's a very generous offer, but I've got a better idea. Why don't you just tell me where this bear is at so I can go see it first hand? I mean honestly, what can I really tell from a picture? No rush, just so I know where he is by Sept 1st! smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

Seriously though, I really prefer success stories. Post your picture here holding up that bruins head after you've got him in the bag, or send it to me then. Thanks and good luck. I hope you get that big once in a life-time bear!

If you really want to you could send a few pics to msamuelson@drhc.org. It would be fun to see him! laugh.gif

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