View Full Version : Black Bear shot placement

December 10, 2001, 10:34 AM
I've head several opinions on shot placement for a charging black bear facing the hunter.

1. Aim for the neck at shoulder level.
2. Aim somewhat below eye level engaging skull.

I know this is somewhat academic as things develop very quickly.

Just trying to pick up some tips.

Art Eatman
December 10, 2001, 03:19 PM
From what I've seen about bears (still photos, video, etc.), if the bear is truly wild and sees a hunter, it's not going to just stand there, head up, and look. And if the bear is unaware of the hunter, the head is more commonly down.

Thus the view is of the face and top of skull, rather than of the throat area. I'd take your #2 head shot, I guess. The entry hole won't ruin a taxidermist's day. However, if the shot is off just a bit, there is the chance of just making a bad head wound that still would allow the bear to run a truly long way...

If you can take the neck shot, it oughta do just as good. Ruins the spine and major blood vessels, every neck shot on a deer that I've ever made.

Just speculatin',


December 11, 2001, 10:15 PM
First of all Black Bears can move astonishlingly fast. Keep that in mind. When they are in the aggresive charge mode or are posturing they tend to arch up at the shoulders and hold there heads low. I've seen them charge many times when hunting them with dogs (at the dogs) the speed and power of even a small black bear is truley amazing and needs to be seen to be appreciated. I've also made a good number of back up shots on wounded bears (usually coming out of a tree) and it seems that a man is almost always looking down on a bear when he's coming at you on the ground so I tend to shoot them in the neck or forward spine shooting at a downward angle usually. The head tends to be the smallest target on a black bear and I can only think of one time that I had to shoot one in the head to make him desist current activity. If I were to shoot one coming at me hard on the ground I guess if I were able to put one in him in the front side (shoulders neck head) I'd be pretty happy with my shooting. We've got a picture of a truley huge blck bear on our web-site www.huntingwesternusa.com. he was shot through the neck with a 30-30 after jumping a tree.