black bear


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x_wrench
September 28, 2012, 08:10 AM
i have never really had an interest in hunting bear. i really do not know why, but they normally just do not interest me. maybe it is because we seldom see them here in lower Michigan. in any case, i had a not so funny run in with one yesterday. i was looking for crows, calling, listening, then trying to get close enough for a shot. when i stumbled across a bear. it did not charge, but then again, i did not stick around long enough for it to get mad either. i simply quietly slowly walked away. i know running can trigger a charge. so that was out. it may very well have done the same thing as i did. but the outcome could have been a lot different. i am really thankful that i did not have to try to defend myself, having only a 22 magnum in my hands. i could have gotten seriously injured, or worse. since this is my first bear encounter in over 42 years of hunting, i am thinking that the odds eventually have to catch up to you. so if this ever happens again, i would like to have something more realistic to defend myself with. i have a 44 magnum pistol, that i could very easily take with me just in case this ever happens again. now that i KNOW there is a bear in the area, i will not go unprepared again for a long while. since i have never had an interest in hunting them, let alone with a pistol, i have not a clue where to aim, to do the most good with a limited weapon. if i was going to hunt them, i would use my 45/70 with 400 grain bullets at around 1800 fps. so, the question i have is if i am FORCED to defend myself, where do i shoot a bear with the magnum. it is a 6" S&W 629, and i would be shooting Hornady xtp's@ aprox. 1400 fps. i know, i know, bear spray. but i do not have any, and no one locally carries it. and i plan on going out hunting again tomorrow.

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Art Eatman
September 28, 2012, 09:02 AM
I'd go for chest shots as the easiest and quickest target which most likely could be hit. I'd not stop with just one shot, either, but I wouldn't run dry right off the bat...

T.R.
September 28, 2012, 09:12 AM
Here in Pennsylvania, my Uncle Larry killed 7 bruins within about 40 years of hunting them on public lands. The largest weighed 348 lbs at a check station. The hide was made into a rug. He swore by his Marlin in 35 Remington and 200 grain Remington core-lokt ammo. None got away.

TR

Patocazador
September 28, 2012, 10:09 AM
I'm like you, bears or hogs don't do much for me. I think it's because they don't have antlers.
I have killed 2 bears (black bears) and both were taken as targets of opportunity while hunting other species. I walked up on one feeding in Montana and it startled me. But I must have startled it more because it took off and I got a snap shot and killed it with my 7x57. Neither was particularly hard to kill but they were NOT charging.
I hunted with a guide who said he had been in on 96 bear kills. He carried a Remington XP-100 in .221 in a shoulder holster. He wasn't impressed by them.

22-rimfire
September 28, 2012, 10:38 AM
Your encounter is typical and suggests that you don't have much to worry about from bears. They don't charge frequently and they don't frequently do their fake charges either. But if needed, I would take a chest shot first and head shot second if it got a lot closer.

But if you believe that the higher incidence of human attacks is the result of an increasing bear population with black bears populations spreading into areas with a higher density of people (hence encounters are more likely), lack of a fear of man, or simply they are changing to view man as prey (dinner), then I believe your 44 mag would be about as much precaution one can take on a practical basis without carrying a high powered rifle.

You should be able to find diagrams showing heart lung area of a black bear on the internet if you search.

Feanor
September 28, 2012, 01:54 PM
i have never really had an interest in hunting bear. i really do not know why, but they normally just do not interest me. maybe it is because we seldom see them here in lower Michigan. in any case, i had a not so funny run in with one yesterday. i was looking for crows, calling, listening, then trying to get close enough for a shot. when i stumbled across a bear. it did not charge, but then again, i did not stick around long enough for it to get mad either. i simply quietly slowly walked away. i know running can trigger a charge. so that was out. it may very well have done the same thing as i did. but the outcome could have been a lot different. i am really thankful that i did not have to try to defend myself, having only a 22 magnum in my hands. i could have gotten seriously injured, or worse. since this is my first bear encounter in over 42 years of hunting, i am thinking that the odds eventually have to catch up to you. so if this ever happens again, i would like to have something more realistic to defend myself with. i have a 44 magnum pistol, that i could very easily take with me just in case this ever happens again. now that i KNOW there is a bear in the area, i will not go unprepared again for a long while. since i have never had an interest in hunting them, let alone with a pistol, i have not a clue where to aim, to do the most good with a limited weapon. if i was going to hunt them, i would use my 45/70 with 400 grain bullets at around 1800 fps. so, the question i have is if i am FORCED to defend myself, where do i shoot a bear with the magnum. it is a 6" S&W 629, and i would be shooting Hornady xtp's@ aprox. 1400 fps. i know, i know, bear spray. but i do not have any, and no one locally carries it. and i plan on going out hunting again tomorrow.



I don't understand, you went out hunting, and you saw a wild animal, which didn't menace, or otherwise harrass you, in any way, and you are what, planning on killing it if you see it again, because it scared you?

At this time of the year, black bear go into a phase, where they will wander great distances in search of food, such as berries, acorns, nuts, whatever, as they instinctively bulk up for the long winter slumber ahead. This places them in the position of bumping into unsuspecting humans, such as yourself and provoking a response, whether positive or negative, is almost always a consequence of how the human reacts. You should understand that you cannot shoot a black bear in Michigan without a tag, or very convincing evidence that your life was threatened, and I'm afraid that just seeing a bear in the wild doesn't qualify as evidence of a threat to your person!

Most people likely, would be thrilled to see such an animal in the wild, if not also a bit shaky from the adrenaline surge, most of the people that haunt this sub-forum, never will have such an encounter in all of their lives. As you've never seen such an animal before, I can understand your fearful reaction, you have no experience with which to rely upon, yet you did the right thing by simply backing off. You are far more likely to be mauled by a domestic dog, then by a wild Michigan black bear.

I carry a Glock-22 .40 caliber pistol as part of my job, I have put down black bear with this weapon cleanly, in your case, I would recomend that you equip yourself with bear spray, which is very effective with aggressive animals, which in this instance was plainly not applicable.

Alaskan
September 28, 2012, 05:11 PM
I would look into a higher grain bullet for your 44. I carry a 454 casull with 360 gr. hardcast bullets for the bears up here.

One thing to remember is, if the bear is charging you, it moves a lot faster than you think. Aim for the front of the shoulders and break the bones. They can still run a short distance on adrenalin alone. I heart shot a black @ 70 yards with 180 gr. 308. He still ran 100 yds with half of his heart gone.

Law enforcement up here practices on a target moving towards them at 30 mph. They use 12 gauges.

22-rimfire
September 28, 2012, 07:55 PM
I heart shot a black @ 70 yards with 180 gr. 308. He still ran 100 yds with half of his heart gone.

That is pretty typical unless you break bones.

Alaska444
September 28, 2012, 09:52 PM
I would look into a higher grain bullet for your 44. I carry a 454 casull with 360 gr. hardcast bullets for the bears up here.

One thing to remember is, if the bear is charging you, it moves a lot faster than you think. Aim for the front of the shoulders and break the bones. They can still run a short distance on adrenalin alone. I heart shot a black @ 70 yards with 180 gr. 308. He still ran 100 yds with half of his heart gone.

Law enforcement up here practices on a target moving towards them at 30 mph. They use 12 gauges.
Hardcast for .44 magnum is the best way to go. I like the +P+ Buffalo Bore 340 gr which gets you to .454 Casull territory.

x_wrench
September 30, 2012, 06:55 AM
Hardcast for .44 magnum is the best way to go. I like the +P+ Buffalo Bore 340 gr which gets you to .454 Casull territory.

is my S&W 629 STRONG enough for those kinds of pressures? i have seen photos of several of these with the top 2 or 3 cylinder holes blown out, and the top strap completely missing. if the gun blows to pieces, i get 1/2 my hand removed, plus 1/2 eaten by a bear. sounds like a loose, loose situation to me.

bad_aim_billy
September 30, 2012, 11:11 AM
since this is my first bear encounter in over 42 years of hunting

And you're worried about bears? Not really understanding this line of thought.

sixgunner455
September 30, 2012, 09:55 PM
billy - he discovered a bear is actually around in an area he actually hunts in, and intends to go back shortly.

Hence, I can fully understand his concern.

240gr softpoints will kill your black bear, if needed. It's not a griz.

JRWhit
September 30, 2012, 10:16 PM
just a quick question, I have no experience in bears and won't be shy to admit it. Why the chest shot? I would have thought that with a charging bear the obvious target would be the head giving that that would be pretty close to center mass at that point. Is the skull too thick to penetrate?

Just an add on, If you want 454 power get a 454,don't blow up a 44 mag trying to get to the target load power of the 454.

Alaska444
September 30, 2012, 10:26 PM
is my S&W 629 STRONG enough for those kinds of pressures? i have seen photos of several of these with the top 2 or 3 cylinder holes blown out, and the top strap completely missing. if the gun blows to pieces, i get 1/2 my hand removed, plus 1/2 eaten by a bear. sounds like a loose, loose situation to me.
I believe it is NOT recommended by Tim Sundies on their technical review of the load. I have a Ruger SRH that is one of the guns strong enough to handle. Take a look at what they state:

This new load is designed ONLY for certain firearms. They are as follows; Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk, Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull, Colt Anaconda and Dan Wesson Revolvers. Suitable rifles include T/C Encore, "modified" Marlin 1894 (see next paragraph), Winchester 1894, any rifle with a falling block action and the Handi Rifle. We get hundreds of emails asking if this load can be fired in S&W revolvers or some firearm other than what is in the above list. The answer is NO. The above list is all inclusive. If some shooters continue to irresponsibly use this product, we may have to discontinue it and that would be unfortunate as it is our best selling 44 mag. load and it gives great performance for those that use it responsibly however, as is always the case, irresponsible use of any product ends up penalizing responsible users. It would also be wise to read our “Technical Article” on “Dangerous Pure Lead Cowboy Bullets”, before using this (ITEM 4D) product.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=54

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