Gut Rumbles
 

March 29, 2005

shooting bears

I've never shot a bear and I never intend to. A recent post stirred up a lot of comments from people recommending what kind of gun is best for a bear-kill.

I agree with one thing they all had to say--- bigger is better. I remember reading a story in the news a few years ago about some servicemen stationed in Alaska who had a polar bear decide to invade their barracks one night. The HUGE-ASSED thing decided to come crawling right in through a window, tearing down a lot of wall as it went. One of the troops shot it 15 times in the head with a 1911 .45 and HAD TO RELOAD to finish the bear off.

A .45 will go clean through a 4" thick pine tree and blow toothpicks out the exit side. But that damn sure wouldn't be my weapon of choice to stop a 1,000-pound bear. A .30-06 is the biggest gun I DON'T OWN, but it has more stopping power than anything else in my non-existant arsenal. (Well... maybe the .12-gauge loaded with slugs might make an impression up close, but I don't care to get that close to one of those fuckers.)

If I were HUNTING bear on purpose, I'd get something bigger. But where I live, the bears are the brown and black variety and they seldom grow to more than 500 pounds. They are dwarfs compared to grizzly or polar bears. A .30-06 is plenty of gun for one of them.

But when you're talking about a critter that stands over 10' tall and can weigh almost a TON, you need a goddam elephant gun to be on the safe side. Yeah, I'm talking about a really big stick, one that damn near takes your shoulder off when you fire it.

I once saw a picture in National Geographic of a guy who was salmon fishing in Alaska. He hooked a good one and was reeling it in when a grizzly came charging out of the bushes and grabbed the fish right on his line. The bear looked as big as a house. The guy threw rod, reel and fish into the stream and hauled ass while the bear enjoyed his stolen lunch.

I would have done the same thing.

I just want to say one thing about guns and bears to keep the argument short and sweet. There is no such thing as "too much gun" when shooting at one of those things.

Comments

You got that right.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on March 29, 2005 11:59 AM

Note the pistol in the drawing and its usefullness.

http://www.trollart.com/trollstore2002/shortsleeve/snackT.html

Posted by: Brian R. on March 29, 2005 12:16 PM

Note the pistol in the drawing and its usefullness.

http://www.trollart.com/trollstore2002/shortsleeve/snackT.html

Posted by: Brian R. on March 29, 2005 12:16 PM

Amen Rob. I've kille two. The first almost killed me. Number one was a 350 female black bear. Shots one, two and three at 25 yards knocked her down and like a dumbass I thought the deal was done. So, I'm walking over to check out my meat when all of a sudden the ground starts errupting and 350 pounds of pissed off black shit is coming for my ass. (The mind and body enter a very unusual state under these circumstances. Those who've been there know what I mean!)
The last shot was to the neck and she fell at my feet, almost touching. That was a 30-30 and I'll never hunt with it again. Upon dressing, two shots were in the shoulder up against the bone which didn't break. Another shot was slightly behind the shoulder above the lungs, but below the backbone. Yes, I should have known it shot a little high at 25 yards.
Bear number two was a 250 pound male taken at 25 yards broadside with a 30-06. Shot number one took out both lungs and he started running down hill. Shots two and three broke a hind leg and a fore leg. He still ran, but not far. He made a mornfull cry right before he expired. It still gives me chills. And he was a bastard to haul out of the woods!

Posted by: Ed on March 29, 2005 12:22 PM

45-70 Government

Posted by: DaveH on March 29, 2005 12:57 PM

15 shots out of a 1911 sounds like he already reloaded.

Seriously, I think folks are getting a little dramatic. Daniel Boone virtually cleaned out the Smokies with a 36 caliber single shot. (seems like 500 dead bears is the number bandied about) Davy Crockett used to "grin" the bears down from trees in Tennessee. I'd bet the bears haven't changed much but it sounds like the humans have.
I bet you could drop a bear with that derringer you don't have if you would put your drink down first. Or who would you pick in a fight? Jennifer or a 1500 lb grizz?
That fisherman just needed a little heavier pound test line and a good net. He could have landed that thing.
Hell, folks, human beings are the most dangerous animals on the planet!

Posted by: Robert on March 29, 2005 01:00 PM

Let me remind everyone of the liberal flake who got himself and his girlfriend eaten by grizzlies a while back. When the law showed up at the scene, a grizzly charged, and it was dropped handily with a .40-caliber Glock pistol, like the one I bought in case I ever have to kill one of my sister's junkie boyfriends.

Where the bullets go probably matters more than how big they are. Down here in Florida, the Cubans hunt wild boars with .22 rifles.

Posted by: Steve H. on March 29, 2005 02:15 PM

Don't think that a 500 lb. brown bear can be as scary as a 1,000 lb grizzly? When hiking in the Smokies, I saw two cubs a few yards to my right. Then, I saw the mother bear on the other side of the path a few yards to my left. She didn't like that arrangement and made it clear, so I passed on the grinning strategy and tree climbing strategy and went with the strategy of not outrunning her, but outrunning the person who was with me.

Posted by: Woody on March 29, 2005 02:27 PM

I don't care if Mother Bear is a puny, scrawny, PVS-suffering ninety pounds -- you get between her and her cubs, she'll kill you just as dead as a half-ton Alaska brownie (and among Alaska brownies, a half-ton ain't exactly buff...).

Posted by: McGehee on March 29, 2005 02:32 PM

DaveH is on the right track. Jeff Cooper extols the Alaska Co-Pilot (cheapo version: the Marlin Guide Gun) as the best gun for the professional hunter or anyone else who wants to run around with big critters and not get killed. They're not exactly for hunting, just for safety and/or backup.

Lever action, short and light, .45-70 standard. Weird proprietary .45 chamberings available.

Posted by: dipnut on March 29, 2005 03:58 PM

And, imagine fools like myself and my sister who hike in grizzley country (Glacier Park, Montana) armed just with pepper spray (counter-assault). When we did see evidence of a griz at the trailhead, he had torn up the soil into 3-foot trenches; when we actually saw a griz, he was munching lupine without a care in the world. I can't hike there anymore. I'm afraid one will come after me and rip off my scalp, like one did to a farmer over in Augusta years ago...

Posted by: Bonita on March 29, 2005 05:59 PM

And, imagine fools like myself and my sister who hike in grizzley country (Glacier Park, Montana) armed just with pepper spray (counter-assault). When we did see evidence of a griz at the trailhead, he had torn up the soil into 3-foot trenches; when we actually saw a griz, he was munching lupine without a care in the world. I can't hike there anymore. I'm afraid one will come after me and rip off my scalp, like one did to a farmer over in Augusta years ago...

Posted by: Bonita on March 29, 2005 06:01 PM

From what I've heard, the two choices anymore for Alaskan guides going into the brush to back up a hunter are either a .45-70 lever action or a 12guage shotgun loaded with slugs.

Posted by: Mark on March 29, 2005 06:37 PM

I've shot a number of black bears with everything from a 30-30 to a 7mm magnum. My dad, in his youth, once treed a black bear that was rummaging through his camp. He happen to be carrying a pistol loaded with .22 shorts. He thought he'd try to "pierce" the bears ear but missed. The bear fell out of the tree deader than a door nail.

I have a friend who lives in Alaska and he carries the Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70. He doesn't hunt grizz but they have a way of showing up while you're hunting other game or cleaning something. He wants to be able to stop them in their tracks.

Posted by: Daniel Medley on March 29, 2005 07:37 PM

I've seen a similar home video somewhere of a guy fishing in Alaska...bear comes out of nowhere and steals the fish...the guy runs AFTER the bear. It still makes me laugh my ass off when I wonder what he would have done had he actually caught the bear LOL.

I have to agree with McGehee...the size of the bear doesn't matter. I had a fairly close encounter with a bear two months after I moved here from the city. I shit myself a little when I thought I was staring at a 250 pound dog...I shit myself A LOT when my brain finally realized I was staring at a bear. I was 15 when that happened and have gone hunting and seen many bears since then...I'm quite sure that the only difference between a black bear and a grizzly would be the size of the brown stain in my underwear.

Posted by: Chablis on March 29, 2005 09:56 PM

Steve -

I was in Alaska interviewing for a job when those two nitwits were killed.

Bunch of locals were laughing about it, one of whom said, "Figures...they were from Mailbu."

Posted by: brian on March 29, 2005 10:45 PM

Robert, you talk out your ass.
Pop a bear with a derringer? In your dreams fuckstick. I have hunted black bear in Canada and have three trophy skulls on my mantle to show.
Snag a bear with a fishhook and the pissed of bear is comming after your ass ( I would like to see).
Robert, you are the typical liberal fuck, doesn't know shit and proud of that fact.
You're fucking right, I am dangerous. Fuck with me, my family, or my property, I will shoot to kill your ass!
My weapon is new, S&W 500.. Like me now scooter?

Posted by: murry on April 1, 2005 04:31 AM

I live in Alaska and the Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 with my handloads of Hardcast FNGC 350 grain Bullets and Reloader 7 powder loaded up too 2000FPS is excellent on all the Bears in Alaska. As long as the range is 150 yards or less the Guide Gun can handle it. The rifle is extremely accurate with my handloads printing less than MOA @ 100 yards. The Marlin Guide Gun a excellent 150 yard Gun!

Posted by: Jeff Auton on April 24, 2005 03:53 PM
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