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Old July 25, 2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Grizzly Bears

Whats a good rifle caliber to take one down? I was just wondering since there was another member posting about grizzlies. Whats the biggest weight and size can they usually get to? Ive seen some big ones but only on tv . I however was thinking of going Grizzly hunting after watching some bear hunting shows on the sportsmans channel. Where is a good place to go hunt one down and how much should I expect to pay for a hunting trip? I guess if the gun would jam I guess just run right?
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Old July 25, 2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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Alaska is the best place IMO. Upwards of $12,000 is what I have seen. A 375 H&H and 416 Rigby are very good cartridges for bear. However, I wouldn't want to go after Mr. Grizz with anything less than a 338 Ultra Mag, minimum!
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Old July 25, 2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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Old July 25, 2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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.338 Win Mag at the lower end. Anything bigger you can shoot well at the upper.
For whatever it's worth, you never have to outrun a bear. You only have to outrun someone you're with. As long as you are not last in line, you should be OK.
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Old July 25, 2011, 05:59 PM   #5
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I can’t advise about the gun but those new mahogany coffins look nice.
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Old July 25, 2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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.338 is the usual minimum noted by the guides but some folks like the .300 win mag. Chuck hawks lists the rifles that have more than 3000 ft-pds of muzzle energy which includes quite a few but in reality, the list is quite short when you talk to folks who actually hunt bear in Alaska. .338 and .375 H&H top the list of the most commonly used guns and then they go up in power from there.

For short range, in the brush, the 45-70 is quite popular with many people but it doesn't have the distance in open country and that is only with the +P powered loads such as Garret 540's. Bottom line, you don't want to be under gunned with a 1000 pound or more animal with fangs, claws and can out run a horse.
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Old July 25, 2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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Sometimes when it comes to Grizzlies, being last in line is a good thing:
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Old July 25, 2011, 08:33 PM   #8
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As far as grizzlies go, the biggest and baddest are Kodiak Coastal Browns... You're talking 1600lbs+ on fully-grown, mature males.

Provided you can handle the recoil and accurately shoot them, you can't go wrong with any of the following:

.375 H&H Mag
.375 Remington Ultra Mag
.378 Weatherby Mag
.416 Rigby
.416 Remington Mag
.416 Weatherby Mag
.460 Weatherby Mag

The lever-gun types are also perfectly acceptable in calibers such as .45/70, .450 Marlin, etc. Yes, your effective range is shorter, but that is not likely to be an issue, as most guides will get their clients within 100yds or so to aid in shot placement.

Any of the smaller magnums (.300's, .338's, etc) would be okay, but if you're buying a new rifle anyway, you may as well buy one that will put the hammer down.

For a guided hunt, mandatory for non-residents of Alaska, expect to pay a baseline of $15,000. For a top-tier hunt with a guaranteed trophy bear, included tanning and prepping of the hide, transport, etc. add anywhere from $5k - $15k to that....
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Old July 26, 2011, 12:23 AM   #9
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Whats a good rifle caliber to take one down? I was just wondering since there was another member posting about grizzlies. Whats the biggest weight and size can they usually get to?
I got mine out here on the AKPEN with a .30-06. But I'm actually having a 9.3x62 built for future use.

One of the guys I work with has a .35 Whelen and we've DLP'd 4 with it since last year and all of them went down like they were driven into the dirt.

Size depends on where you go. A big interior grizzly would be about the size of a medium coastal bear which is in the neighborhood of 600-800 lbs.

Their demeanors are different too. Coastal bears are more scavenger like being pretty well fed on fish with a deer here and there thrown in in places like Kodiak, PWS and SE AK.

Interior, inland and Brooks Range grizzlies are more predatory since there isn't much in the way of big salmon runs further inland with easy fishing like the coastal areas. They have to fight and scrap for every morsel they get and are about half hungry and ****** off most of the time.

Average starting prices for hunts out of the Cold Bay area start at about $15,000-$18,000 and go up from there.
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Old July 26, 2011, 03:10 PM   #10
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You need some tiny little silver bells to hang around your neck..after you buy the RIGHT gun,get to where there are Grizzlies and the tenacity to fire at one after they pick-up your scent,spot you and come charging..Oh the bells are for warding off evil bears, me I call 'em dinner bells for bears
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Old July 26, 2011, 07:15 PM   #11
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.338-06 would be my choice, outstanding ballistics without the recoil of the big magnums.Very capable of taking the biggest bears and excellant bullet selection with fine accuracy and a legitimate 400yd tack driver.
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Old July 26, 2011, 09:58 PM   #12
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IF I could figure out how to afford the hunt I'd have to bring a rifle I already have, would likely be my Guide Gun in .45-70 or a trusty .30-06.
OTOH a 35mm with a really long telephoto lens makes more sense. Oops, showing my age here.
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Old July 27, 2011, 12:17 AM   #13
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Ask the guide you choose what cartridge he recommends.

There are lots of cartridges that will kill a grizzly. The list of rounds that will stop a grizzly is much smaller.
If you're 100yds from a bear peacefully eating berries a heart shot from a medium power cartridge is going to do the job. If you're 50yds or closer you may kill the bear but he won't know that till you're a mush pile. A larger round in the CNS is called for there.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:10 AM   #14
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Oh Diamond, you know how...

to tell the difference between black bear scat and grizzly bear scat? Grizzly is the one with bells in it
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Old July 27, 2011, 08:31 AM   #15
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Advice so far on calibers is good. I would probably choose on of the .338 mags.
Cost is prohitibtive for most of us. Guiding is $10 to $20,000.00. Add in your own transportation and housing, outdoor clothes, license, new rifle (if you don't already the right one), etc. Then there is the taxidermy cost and the sky is the limit. I wouldn't go with less than $30,000.00 budgeted.
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Old July 27, 2011, 06:48 PM   #16
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I know a number of people that hunted them with the .458 Win mag. I didn't see it mentioned yet.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:10 PM   #17
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If I were to go back and plan to hunt Brown bears I would take a 338/06. Except I sold it. If I were to go factory a .338 would be the choice.
I was on orders in the late 70s to go back to Alaska, and I was gong to take a .35 Whelen, and a .338/06. Unfortunately they dis-established the Alaska Command and I went to Iceland instead.

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Old July 29, 2011, 12:02 PM   #18
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I would take my trusty Mathew's with about a 425 grain arrow with my standard cut on contact head.
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Old July 29, 2011, 12:46 PM   #19
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Garrett's 45-70 +P Hammerhead Ammo

FIRST CHOICE for defense against heavy grizzly

Our 540-gr +P Hammerhead Ammo is the ideal choice for stopping heavy bears at close quarters or hunting them at short range. This Hammerhead bullet has a meplat (frontal flat) diameter of .360”, which is just one tenth of an inch less than bore diameter. With its tremendous weight to diameter ratio (sectional density) it provides end to end penetration on the heaviest of bears, with exit, and does tremendous damage per unit of penetration due to its extremely blunt front end. This load is carried exclusively by NOAA for protection against coastal grizzly attack. It is also carried by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Geological Survey for protection from grizzly attack. For the specific task of stopping a grizzly charge, this ammo has no peer.
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Old July 31, 2011, 12:32 PM   #20
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regardless of what many people who have never hunted grizzlies will tell you. they are not the biggest baddest game on earth, they are the last thing in the US you want to **** off but they can be taken easily with 45/70, 45/80, 300 weatherby, 300 winmag, 7mm rem mag should all do the trick for anything you'll come across.
if the 45/70 can take an elephant, rhino, croc, lion and cape buffalo then it'll definitely take a griz
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Old July 31, 2011, 02:34 PM   #21
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It is interesting how minimal calibers has evolved. My dad had two high powered rifles when we were in Alaska from 1958-1968; a 30-06 and a .300 H&H magnum. The .300 H&H magnum was his bear gun and that was an accepted bear gun at the time. Now most people don't even put that up on the acceptable caliber for hunting grizzly. Granted, the only bear my dad got with the gun were blacks, but nevertheless, it is interesting how times have evolved.

I now have two high powered rifles as well, my woods gun Marlin .444 and my elk rifle a .300 WSM in Browning BLR which has very similar ballistics to my dad's .300 H&H that my older brother uses up in northern ME. I don't feel under gunned here in Northern Idaho that does have grizzly as well. It all comes down to shot placement. Speaking of which, it is time to get some more time at the range, I have only gone shooting once this year and my eyes ain't getting any better the older I get.
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Old July 31, 2011, 04:28 PM   #22
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Alaska444, my guess is that we've evolved from the day when the '06 and the .300 H&H were among the most powerful of the readily available rifles to the more available and more powerful cartridges of today. As a society, we're more averse to risk, as well. Add that the idea of stopping an attack by a grizzly has become more prevalent than the hunting.
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Old July 31, 2011, 05:03 PM   #23
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Who can afford and out of state hunting and guide fees for an Alaskan grizzly any longer? It sounds like it is a minimum of $15,000 to $30,000 for an Alaskan grizzly hunt which is above and beyond what I can afford.
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Old August 1, 2011, 02:45 AM   #24
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The 30-06 is fine,There are multiple bears within a few miles of home, not monsters but we had a 9' 8 in bear taken about a mile from the house, just a few years ago.My every day hunting is done with an Encore 45/70, last year I carried one in 375 JDJ, till my neighbor wounded a bear behind the house and could not find it after two days of looking , after that I did carry the Guide gun 45/70 most of the time.The 300 Win Mag ,the 45/70, 444 and 375 JDJ are my [Big guns]and while I hunt mostly moose and Black bear, I know the big boys are here, an while I don't relish a bad encounter I feel as prepared as I can be.
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Old August 1, 2011, 02:58 AM   #25
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A 150 grain .270 Win will kill a Griz if you place the shot right and use the right bullet.
Magnums are the most successful marketing campaign in history. There's nothing in North America that needs a magnum, of any kind, to kill. A good 165 grain bullet in a .30-06 or .308 will kill any game you care to hunt if you can place the shot.
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