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Old August 3, 2014, 04:44 PM   #1
Ranger Roberts
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Gear/ammo for my "pistol only" black bear hunt

I'm doing a black bear hunt with a few friends this year (in PA). I'll be using my Ruger Super Blackhawk or possibly my Colt Anaconda. I'm using the .44 mag rather than my 500 s&w because a few of the guys carry .44 as well. I was hoping that you guys could recommend some good ammo. I do reload, but for this I would really like to use factory ammo just in case one of the guys I'm hunting with needs to borrow ammo.

My second question is gear related. The area we hunt is pretty swampy, so I'd like to get a set of chest waders. Obviously I'd like them to be comfortable to walk around in. It's a ground hunt, so there is a lot of walking. It's also in November in Pennsylvania, so it's cold and there is even a possibility that there will be snow on the ground. Does anyone have any recommendations?

As far as knives go, my 4 inch fixed blade is good? It's what I use for deer.

Last question. Does anyone have a recommendation for a chest holster for the Ruger Super blackhawk? Chances are that is the gun I am going to bring. If I dropped my Anaconda in the swamp and couldn't find it I don't think I would be able to live with myself!

If you guys have any other recommendations for gear, I'm all ears! Thanks in advance for your help guys.
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Old August 3, 2014, 07:11 PM   #2
murf
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buffalobore.com for heavy 44mag loads. the 305gn lbt bullet looks like it will work.

el paso saddlery has a 1944 tanker rig that will work. i have one for my blackhawk. it keeps the revolver out of the way when i'm carrying a rifle.

murf
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Old August 3, 2014, 08:16 PM   #3
rcmodel
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I'd suggest you forgo the chest waders and go with hip boots like they wear in Alaska.
Insulated if snow & cold is in the cards.

You can fold them down to knee high and walk all day in them.

Not so much in chest waders!!
You can shuffle all day in a fishing stream.
But be wore clear out making it half a mile to a duck blind.

If the water is chest deep, or over your hip boots in the winter?
Don't go in it!!!!!

It can quickly kill you before you can do anything about it!

rc
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Last edited by rcmodel; August 3, 2014 at 10:24 PM.
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Old August 4, 2014, 08:12 AM   #4
Ranger Roberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murf
buffalobore.com for heavy 44mag loads. the 305gn lbt bullet looks like it will work.

el paso saddlery has a 1944 tanker rig that will work. i have one for my blackhawk. it keeps the revolver out of the way when i'm carrying a rifle.
I was thinking Buffalo Bore is the way to go. I'll take a look at el paso saddlery. Thanks murf!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcmodel
I'd suggest you forgo the chest waders and go with hip boots like they wear in Alaska.
Insulated if snow & cold is in the cards.

You can fold them down to knee high and walk all day in them.
If the water is chest deep, or over your hip boots in the winter?
Don't go in it!!!!!

It can quickly kill you before you can do anything about it!
I'll start shopping for them today. Thanks rc!
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Old August 6, 2014, 07:45 PM   #5
Vern Humphrey
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Quote:
I'd suggest you forgo the chest waders and go with hip boots like they wear in Alaska.
Insulated if snow & cold is in the cards.
Good advice. I'd recommend you get them a size larger than your normal shoe size and wear them with the thickest socks you can find. Because you're choosing impermeable footwear, your feet are going to sweat, and when you stop moving or move slowly, your feet will get cold -- painfully cold unless you carry extra socks and put on dry socks whenever you stop.
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Old August 7, 2014, 09:37 PM   #6
SlowFuse
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On the holster I can recommend Diamond Ds guide holster. I have one that I carry my model 29 in. I haven't went through swamp, but can't see why it wouldn't serve you well.
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Old August 7, 2014, 10:07 PM   #7
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I would suggest a pair of barn boots, you can buy them at any farm supply for a few bucks. These are the type of boots that come about half way up your thigh and you'd put on to go muck a barn. I used to keep a pair in my plane and I found myself wearing them 90% of the time even when crawling up mountains. Get yourself a few pair of QUALITY wool socks, they'll keep your feet plenty warm.
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Old August 7, 2014, 10:40 PM   #8
rcmodel
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Yep!
Thats an excellent suggestion too!

Like I said before, if you get in winter water deep enough to get wet, you are a dead man walking unless you can get back & get warm very shortly.

The best advice is, if the cold water is deeper then knee boots like Bush Pilot suggested?

Stay out of it!

I have a pair of rubber barn boots I wear year round while mowing, snow-blowing, etc.
They are comfortable, slip-on & off easily, and totally water-proof foot & leg protection.
About $15 bucks for real rubber, American made Northwestern brand at most farm supply stores.

I also have a pair of LaCross insulated Alpha Burley's I bought for duck hunting years ago.
They are great for walking long distance, super warm, and waterproof.
But, it takes a boot-jack to get them off because they fit so tight around the ankles.
You would never be able to get them off in time if you went into deep cold water and had to swim out of it.

I also have a pair of chest waders I bought for cleaning out my little 1,400 gal Koi fish pond in the back yard.
I slipped and fell down in the 3' deep pond last summer, and almost Drowned!

The chest waders filled with air while I was standing up, then floated me head down in the pond when I fell.
And I couldn't force my legs back underwater to stand back up!

If the water had of been ice cold in the winter?
Or the pond bigger to where I couldn't claw my way to the edge up-side down under water?

I really seriously doubt I would be here now!

rc
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Old August 10, 2014, 02:02 AM   #9
js8588
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Did someone say 44mag ammo? http://www.garrettcartridges.com/44mag.html
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Old August 10, 2014, 05:00 AM   #10
zerobarrier
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I am also in PA Alleghany county is where I hunt. I have used Winchester Supreme Ammunition 44 Remington Magnum 250 Grain Platinum Tip Hollow Point out of a Ruger SBH 3.75" with good success. I think 60ish yards was the farthest shot. I have only taken 2 bears, both went down no problem though.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/290...ProductFinding

Our black bear around here really aren't that big or hard to kill. I truly think just about any 44mag round that has decent penetration will work as long as you do your part with shot placement.

Chest holster I like the Bianchi Hush system. They have a scoped and non-scoped version. I had the scoped version with the flap that covers the grip as well for my S&W 629, but sold the pistol, did not like the 8" barrel and the 1.5" compensator on it. 4100 is unscoped and 4101 is scoped. Here is a link to their website: http://www.bianchi-intl.com/ranger-hush-system
Depending on the size they can be found on ebay or amazon for $50-100, I'm sure they can be found other places too.

Last edited by zerobarrier; August 10, 2014 at 05:05 AM.
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Old August 11, 2014, 12:55 PM   #11
Ranger Roberts
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Thanks everyone, all are great suggestions. I'm pretty psyched for the hunt. I've hunted bear plenty of times, just never thru swamps on an organized drive. It should be a lot of fun!
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