Bear hunting this September


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Durby
July 16, 2007, 04:42 PM
Last deer season I had a bear tag as well, there have been a lot around in northern CA since the logging company closed all the dirt roads and now hunters cant get in. I saw more bears than I saw deer last season. I was shooting a 25/06 with 120 grain Nosler Partition handloads, but after seeing a 400 pound plus bear, I felt under gunned. And then a couple days after that I got caught about 40 yards from an adult with a juvenile and a very small cub. These are black bears, and I've heard people say that we don't get big bears up there, but they do get to about 450 lbs tops. I recently acquired a couple a 7mm Rem Mags, one a fairly nice Model 700, and I could always use a .308 or my dad's 30/06.
My question is, the deer we have are small blacktail. The big one I shot a couple of years ago field dressed at 145 lbs. So I need a good round that will work primarily for deer, but that I can be confident with if I see that 400 pound bear again. Is the 7 Mag the ticket? Or do I stick with the larger diameter of a 30 cal? Shots are all close, I think the longest shot I have is 120 yards. The bears we saw were all inside 50 yards, the closest being inside 20.

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Big Daddy K
July 16, 2007, 04:53 PM
Dunno, If I had to pick one it would be the 308. How long are your shots?

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2007, 04:56 PM
Everything you have will work well -- .25-06 with Nosler PJs included.

Durby
July 16, 2007, 05:50 PM
I just didn't have the confidence with the 25/06. He didn't give me a perfect shot, so I didn't shoot. I'm used to small deer which any of my guns work fine and you can manage a clean kill even if its not perfectly broadside. The last deer I killed stopped behind a bush. He was not going to expose himself. It was real close, the bullet entered between the eyes, he dropped so fast he was dead before the recoil of my rifle had stopped. With a bear, you can't exactly do that.
Big Daddy- shots are all within 120 yards, more commonly about 50-75.
Thanks guys

Vern Humphrey
July 16, 2007, 05:54 PM
He didn't give me a perfect shot, so I didn't shoot.

Can't argue with that -- pass up the shot if you're not sure. That's responsible and ethical.

But with a Nosler PJ (or other premium bullet) in a fairly heavy-for-caliber weight, any of the rifles you listed would be superb.

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