View Full Version : Bear hunting advice!

September 28, 2004, 05:41 PM
Going for a black bear soon and need any advice you experinced bear hunters can throw at me (or good websites?). I'll be in north west Oregon on some private property where there is known bear activity.
What would be the best gun to use I have-or have access to: scoped 7mm, 12ga, scoped 30-06, mod. 94 winchester in 44mag, Mosin in 7.62X54, I'm guessing the 7mm would be best, but I'm a total newbie to bear hunting too.
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated too.

Rich Lucibella
September 28, 2004, 06:08 PM
Dogs, feeders or stalk?

September 28, 2004, 06:10 PM
Sorry, we'll be stalking (or attemping to anyways)

Rich Lucibella
September 28, 2004, 08:29 PM
Well, I'm no bear hunter "expert". Did it once in Canada over feeders and posted about it here. I give you real high marks for a stalk hunt.

You said "I have or have access to...". For my money, I'd much rather kill with my own weapons....I get to keep the gun and it serves as a point of personal honor and remembrance for the game that I took.

You also assume the 7mm would be best....if that's the case, that's the gun (you like it and you're comfortable with it). All of the weapons you mentioned will do this job quickly and handily if properly placed (I have reason to believe you've got that base covered).

I'd ask these additional questions:
What terrain/ranges?
Most important. since it's a stalk, which gun are you most comfortable humping for 10 miles? For my money that'd be the Model 94, but depending on range/skill that may not be the perfect option.

Scoped? Again, range and terrain matters enormously.

More input for us all, please.

September 28, 2004, 08:47 PM
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it alot! Okay, I have some things to think about...I feel most comfortable shooting the '94 (not counting my AR :) ), because I'm mostly used to iron sights, but would feel comfortable enough on any of them. I say I have access to some of them 'cause they're my dads and grew up shooting them. Terrain will be hilly forest(some dense, most middle of the road) I'm not too sure about range, my partner will have a scoped rifle (the 30-06 or 7mm mag) for longer shots, and the '94 would be best at closer ranges (what's the max on that do you think?)
Thanks again

Rich Lucibella
September 29, 2004, 04:19 AM
I said the 7mm would be a great choice because you showed an inclination toward it. Confidence in your weapon is paramount. Personally, I've no use for the caliber, but I've no doubt it'll down a bear handily.

I took my bear earlier this year with a lever action 50 Alaskan....way more gun than necessary, but then, the bear didn't end up "too" dead. ;) Like you, I have an affinity for the Model 94 action and iron sights....so now we get into a whole other track. My only concern about that piece is the ammunition....not the caliber, the ammo. I'd think if you picked up some hard hitting, semi-hot loads you'd be pretty much cookin' with gas. (Tim Sundles from Buffalo Bore has just come out with some; Randy Garrett has outstanding offerings there also).

As to distance with that piece, I personally would consider it a 100 yard gun (same with the 45-70 or 50 Alaskan). If you can consistently hit an 8" plate from field positions at that range, you are more than good to go.

Finally, you're talking about terrain where you may be in the thick stuff. For my money, I'd prefer to have to pass on a long shot because I was carrying the lever gun than to have to take on a real close one with a scope.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, were it me, I'd go with the Model 94 with real good ammo.

October 5, 2004, 09:47 PM
Having been involved in the demise of numerous specimens of ursus americanus, most at quite close range (called in close with predator call), I advise using your .30-06 option. Bears are heavy bodied, big boned, tenacious of life, and dangerous if wounded and pissed off, as they will be if you wound them non-fatally, and take a lot of killing. Ideally, your initial shot will be a sidelong shot, through a shoulder and into heart/lung area, or front-on into same ... broken shoulder = crippled bear, if not KO'd, much happier to deal with than poorly shot bear with all four legs functional... Use any premium bullet (Nosler the gold standard) of 180 grns miminum. 7mag an "iffy" alternative, but big, weight-retaining bullets, even if at lower velocities, are better medicine, even if muzzle energy stats are =. Terminal ballistics rule! .44 Mag is too lightweight for hunting bears -- OK for last-ditch bear defense (getting dragged out of sleeping bag in jaws of bear), but not on purpose...

October 6, 2004, 08:52 AM

October 6, 2004, 03:12 PM
Thanks for that link, very helpful

October 6, 2004, 04:10 PM
¬°De nada! :)

Dean C
October 6, 2004, 05:06 PM
Another thing to remember:
If you just wound him and he decides to chanrge, you don't have to be able to run faster than the bear. You only have to be able to run faster than your hunting partner. :D

November 16, 2004, 12:06 PM
An old bear hunter once told me to make sure you file the front sight off of what ever weapon you choose. I was talking to him about what sidearm to carry in bear country.

I have heard of shooters doing this so they dont concentrate on the front site and shoot instinctively, thus shooting faster. I asked him if it was so you could get your shot off faster.......

He said, "No, that is so when the bear takes the gun away from you and jamis it up your A**, it wont hurt so bad!!!!!" They had a good laugh on me.

Good luck with you hunt, I personally think shot placement is more important than caliber anyday.


December 10, 2004, 12:09 PM
I would go with the 06 marginally over the 7mag. Either would fill the bill with a low power scope. Ideally 3-4 power or less even. If the terrain is thicher and ranges are shorter maybe I'd think about something without a scope. More than the guns I would be worried about getting a fast sight picture. A 9 power scope is a little slow for a follow up shot for instance. Just my 2 cents.

December 10, 2004, 12:33 PM
30-06 with 1x4 variable, 180 gr premium bullet. This year as in the last 4 years PA hunters have taken ~ 3000 black bear !!

December 11, 2004, 10:02 AM
30.06 w/ quality 180gr.
I live in the heart of bear country in MN, and I chase them off my deck every spring until their natural food sources emerge. I personally know at least a dozen bear guides and nearly all carry a .06 as well as the majority of local hunters. One guide I know won't take clients shooting "pistol" rounds. He tells me tracking wounded bear ain't worth the price he's getting paid.
I admire you for stalking bear i wish we could but the first week of September up here the brush is near jungle density and you wouldn't have a chance.

Johnny Guest
December 13, 2004, 05:05 PM
When I went out for black bear, though, I already had my Ruger M77 all sighted in with the Sierra Game King 165 BTHP, and knew the load inside out.

I held off shooting a really small bear in Ontario. The next year, in Western Colorado, I had my chance at a largish, dark brown, black bear. One round from in front of her right shoulder, quartering across to behind left leg. She wheeled and ran about 30 yards and pilled up in a thicket.

I'd use the same bullet again, or perhaps the Game King SBT, with an '06 or .308. But I'd really like to do bear with my .35 Whelen or .45-70 Guide Gun. Pipe dreams, these - - circumstances indicate I've probably done my last walkabout above 10,000 ft. :rolleyes:

Hope you have an outstanding hunt.

kennybs plbg
December 15, 2004, 01:07 AM
here's a link you may like, http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

kenny b

December 15, 2004, 01:29 AM
Bear hunting advice?

Don't get eaten.

(there always has to be one smart ass huh?)

December 15, 2004, 04:31 AM
... a smart ass than a dumb one :D

Although I have not yet ahd the opportunity for bear, I have used Model 94's in various calibers on several animals with great success. In the end it is up to you, but having one short-range rifle and one long-range rifle (as there will be two of you) may improve your chances.