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.308 Enough gun for Meese, Brown Bear, Polar Bear

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Futo Inu, Sep 16, 2003.

?

.308 Enough gun for big ol critters?

  1. Yes

    167 vote(s)
    54.2%
  2. No

    141 vote(s)
    45.8%
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  1. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    That statement is very thin....

    What Caribou said and its principle apply from the Tundra to the Rainforest....in a charge only CNS hits count...if a cartridge has the ability to get there from any anghle at a given distance, it doesn;t matter if it's a 30-06 or a 375..it will get the job done......and bears are not bulletproof...stout bullets fired froma full power cartridge could "bounce off "bear skull only in certain cases of bad shooting angle not because bones are bulletproof...
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  2. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    You are mixing"charge" with the desired result-the routine taking of a brown bear. A charge is exactly what you are trying to avoid in the first place with a adequate rifle. My hunting environment is very different then Caribous-I get a quick glimpse,and the bear needs to be put down now-head and neck shots are not always available as on the tundra.
     
  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    There can be a HUGE difference between "can kill X" and "enough gun to hunt X under Y conditions."

    A .22 can kill a 1000 lb. animal. ...in a slaughterhouse.

    "Can kill" means NOTHING.
     
  4. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    In a charge you need a gun that can get to the CNS (brain/spine) from any angle at a given distance (usually well below 100 yards)...if that particular gun can get there there is virtually no advantage in a bigger caliber....

    A bad shot with any caliber is a bad shot.....power is no substitute for poor shot placement...never...

    When hunting in any environment, if you do not have a clear sight of the vitals you should never get a shot...regardless of caliber...

    Paradoxically, a bigger caliber is more useful in hunting situations rather than charge stopping...a non-CNS shot to the vitals with a wider wound channel may slightly accelerate incapacitation and reduce tracking time

    a 22 cannot get to the vitals of a 1000 lb animal from any angle even in a slaughterhouse....

    For example

    A 375 will not give you a quicker kill on a whitetail than a 30-06 with the same bullet placement (and assuming a similar soft nose bullet) at 150-200 yards with both pass-through shots....if there is any difference it would be negligible.....15-20% of an inch wider wound channel is not going to change things that much...
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  5. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    You are all over the road. First its CNC, then vitals. When I shoot a bear,I want to break bone. Important bone,like hips or shoulder. Then it is crippled,unable to get up,and I finish it off. Hunt bear as you please.
     
  6. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Jim

    I did not mix anything, I was very clear


    1) In a charge situation, CNS is the key to guarantee a stop..brain or spine....a bear with a busted back or the back of its skull missing can't go anywhere or maul anyone...


    2) In a hunting scenario on an undisturbed bear you can go for heart/lung shot and possibly breaking bone/shoulder to limit mobility....you have the "luxury" to wait for the bear to expire because of the distance and because the animal is not enraged...you have the opportunity for a second or third shot...

    But during a close distance bear charge, a big bruin with a busted heart and lungs can still hurt you very badly....

    I hope it's clear now what I meant to say before...

    In a charge situation (very short distance, and the bear focused on you) that kind of shot can still get you mauled....at best you may slow down the beast....
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  7. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Somehow this has twisted to to the point where it looks like I was the one endorsing light calibers for bear,or saying shot placement is unimportant. I was going completely the other way,and pointing out the terrain Caribou hunts in allows the use of calibers that would be unsuited for woods hunting. You simply do not always have the chance of putting a .22 under the ear of a bear in in thick cover,like on the open tundra. Again,AVOIDING charges is the goal.
     
  8. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    Given the 200 yards and under etc. --- I voted Yes,it is. BUT ---- not my first choice !!!! I did NOT read all five pages of replies yet --- would I feel "undergunned"
    with my SA M1A Socom with 20 rds. ??? Not at close range. Would I feel undergunned with my "deathray" accurate Savage 10fp --- YES , a little .

    On a TV show once , I seen a herd of elephant get culled with the park ranger useing a full auto FAL in .308 ---- he was within 30 yards and a quick 3 or 4 round burst plus a mag change , had 5 or 6 of the big elephants on the ground in seconds !!!!

    Again , I AM NOT stateing that a .308 is the best weapon for very large game --- I sure wish someone made a Hi-Cap semi-auto 45/70 !!!!!
     
  9. Cowboygunsmith

    Cowboygunsmith Member

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    Hmmmm lets see! They kill them criters with bows all the time so what is the main reason they do not get et all the time. Making sure of there shot placement and getting into the right conditions before takeing the shot. I am a strict rifle hunter but we can all learn from the bow hunters in this case. As a hunter it is your responsabiltiy to your self and the game to insure you are in the best conditions possiable to make a quick clean kill. Look at what your capabilities are and will be then choose what you need to make it work and nothing less.
     
  10. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    I lived and hunted out of Kotzebue. If you have ever hunted that area you'd know just how wrong that statment is. There are Plenty of trees and thick brush for stuff to hide in. Especially around river, drainages and such. Of course there is plenty of tundra too. But don't fool yourself into thinking there are no trees or thick tall brush up there.
     
  11. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    I am simply explaining that the experiences of a native in North west Alaska are not relevant to someone hunting browns,on say Admiralty. He can have the luxury of just spine shots,because his season is 365 days long. He can sometimes give the impression a .22 hornet is plenty on grizz. and the lower 48's eat it up.

    And no I have never hunted around Kotzebue,but Hunt often in the Mulchatna drainage and yes there is spruce in the river bottoms,and alder patches here and there but I spot grizz on the open hills,grazing like a cow on ground squirrels and berries.I am sure I could,given time,sneak up and slip a .22 under the ear,but that is not relevant to a hunter in heavy cover
     
  12. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Jim,

    We are in 100% agreement. It's just like when guys get all hot and bothered and excited when these guys talk about shooting 100's of caribou with a .22LR. what they aren't telling you is that they catch them crossing a river drive up to them in a boat and pop them in the ear hole from about 2 feet away.

    It sounds impressive though. "I've killed hundreds of caribou with a .22 pistol!!" It's all good until you read the fine print.
     
  13. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Perfect example with the caribou. I am afraid most outsiders don't realize how different the hunting can be there,and take this .223 OK for dangerous game thing seriously.
     
  14. geologist

    geologist Member

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    If you perform well and the range is suitable then a .308 will do the job.

    When I sleep in a tent in the arctic I keep a 20" CRF .375 H&H with 6 300 gr Failsafes in the magazine and the safety off. YMMV.
     
  15. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    I see you practice what you preach. What is the range in your tent?:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  16. caribou

    caribou Member

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    Ahhhh haaaa.....

    Well, there are trees and plenty of brush up this way, the "Tree line" begins on the North Slope, and Im a bit south of that. Not tall but still Black Spruce and Arctic Birch.

    One thing about shooting a Brown on open Tundra is that they know exactly whos trying to kill 'em and the Head shot will turn on you and presents itself nose first and closing.

    I have and always will tell you fellas that I do shoot Caribou , LOTS and LOTS, from the boat ,in the head, with a .22LR. I have posted that many times,with pictures and vids over the last couple years, and its the safest way to hunt them.
    We get no wounded,nor do we wound any, no sick , no skinnys, we and pick out exactly what we want amid bunches of hundreds crossing.
    Shooting Moving Caribou from a moving boat in a roughly 3sq.in. target area requires skills.....My wife can get one a shot, an shes often out in front. No pistols, but Ive seen it.
    Its a hunt like no other, It's a harvest, and the ONLY legal time we can use a .22 on big game. We still have legal limits and its best done when the big boys cross the mile or so of Kobuk river and we are able to harvest good meat in the fall. We catch them just as freeze up occures and we can store large ammounts of meat while we wait for the ice to thicken enough to travel. The Caribou only get skinnyer as rut comes on and the temp gos down, so were catching bulls in their prime.3 inches of fat on most, and thats the "Trophy". We cut the heads off, cut out the tounge and toss the antlers. We take all the organs, skins and fats, to usel and the wife and I make arts/crafts and sell them for our income, while we wait for the freeze and X-mas comes on.Fat Bulls make great X-mas gifts and trade easily..
    It is an AWSOME hunt and very helpfull for my family, extended family and elders that we share the meat of at least 60 Caribou+ a year. Gas here is still 7.65$ a gallon, so all the food we can harvest is never wasted.
    goodoldones0092.jpg
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    Jim is quite right; I get a Caribou or Bear on my terms because I have time to. My season allows me to skip a bad shot/presentation, and to hunt another day and not lose 10,000$ or so in tickets, guide fees ect......because I live here. Besides, Bears come to me enough that I can actually just wait my turn.


    When I hunt , I take all the advantages for myself, and away from the animal. Taking a "Chance" with an animal once or twice in a lifetime can be a great thrill, but doing it often is gonna get you killed....and if it dosent kill you, you may get a bad limp.

    Another thing is that I and the wife, dragging the kids along, get to do this for a living, and Ive raised 7 kids doing so, so I have a bit of experiance, lotsaF'ups and plenty of practise.
    bear.jpg
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    I use a Mosin Nagant M-39 with czech LPS because the rifle (I am a Rifleman) is accurate, the ammo is too, and the bullets tumble for excellent effect in the body, often better than a softpoint. I dont care what caliber it is, if its accurate,dependable and affordable, its a gun/ammo combo to bank on. For me, .338 is 75$ a 20 box, Czek 7.62X54r was 62$ for 800 + shipping, and I got a quantity that guarentees that I will will ammo to my kids...

    Ive used a .223 because it was the rifle I had in my hands and I had the advantage of suprize each time. A .223 can do the job, in capable hands, and any centerfire cartridge, no matter how boring can defeat a Brown Bear with a properly placed shot. I certainly wouldnt go after a Brown with a .22Hornet,and not a first choice with a .223, but I wouldnt pass up a shot with a 100gr, Rem corelok .243Rem ,either.
    I use spine/brain shots because its what I was shown, I can do that consistantly and it works.
    The "Ultimate" shot on a Bear is in the Temple, between the Eye and ear. All three of my .223 kills were temple shots at less than 100 yards.

    Despite my experiance, my experiance is Not yours, nor are the conditions or the opportunitys. I post what I see and know, and hope you fellas get something as good out of it as I get outta your posts.

    Do not underestimate the power of a gun.:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  17. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Member

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    I have faith in the .223 and would rather be 100y away with a .308 than 40 yards away with a 12g slug.
     
  18. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Caribou,

    I for one appreciate your posts and pictures. The point I was trying to bring up is that your hunting and the hunting a Gusick on a guided hunt is going to do are two completely different things. Heck even a guy like me when I was resident was doing a different style of hunting than what you are doing as a pure native substance hunter.

    Some guys read your posts and the only thing they see is .223 is a great brown bear round or .22LR is a fantastic caribou round. Then they go around preaching it. Nothing you've ever posted is wrong or bad information it's just that some guys don't get the difference in the style of hunting. Which is a major thing.

    The way you guys shoot swimming caribou is a prime example. You are as you said harvesting them. In many ways it's the same as shooting a penned beef with a .22. Of course I am not implying that your caribou are penned up simply that the shot distance and placement is similar. Guys read this and think that you are "hunting" caribou with a .22lr. They need to understand the difference between a spot and stalk caribou hunt on land and shooting them in the river for winter larger.

    And I've got question for you.

    As you well know the bears up in your area are smaller than down south in on coast sometimes by a large margin. Would you feel comfortable hunting big coastal brownies down on the penn or out on Kodiak in the thick alders with a .308? It definitely wouldn't be my first choice. I wouldn't feel naked with one but having spent some time cruising the thick brush down there I always like to carry more rifle than that. So do just about any and all bear guides you meet who hunt down there. Whats your take on it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  19. caribou

    caribou Member

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    H&H, I very much get your point.
    Its also why I post here, to share the way I hunt, as well as those people around me. Its certainly like no other hunt.
    I have never advocated small cartridges as "Big Game" cartridges,, but I do know what they can do, and they cannot be discounted. Sometimes they are the perfect choice.
    Subsistance hunting is quite a different hunt than Trophy hunting for sure.
    I hunt for a living, so the thrill of chasing animals across tundra and packing them back to the boat is long gone. I try to do things as effeciently and as economicly as possible without injury or going hungry. Sweating in -20 winter alone can kill a fella 20 miles from home.

    Shooting Caribou in the back of the head with a .22 while in a river IS hunting. When you want to take home 20 or so Caribou as Meat , with perfect meat at that, thats how its done.
    We harvest Caribou in the rivers, like Indians did with Buffalo and 'Jumps", strictly to get alot of choice food at the right time,only at the end of Fall with a 4-5 day "window" for a hunt.
    The other 360 days of the year, we hunt like the rest of the world.
    Theres a fine edge between getting choice meats, rut arriving and the river freezing. Were able to catch them and freeze them whole, and make it home before thin ice cuts up the boat on the trip home.
    I have posted detailed info on that kinda hunting because its unique and I think folks here are interested in all types of hunting. I have gotten little negeitive feedback, but I didnt consitter how folks would understand my methods, so you have a good point.
    To me, shooting Caribou from the boat is much more of a "Hunt" than sitting over them in a tree, waiting for them to come to the feeder.......but that ,too, is called "hunting" ;)
    Depends on where you are and what your hunting...

    If you look at the pictures you might notice that we shoot Browns in the Spring, because we can negate the brush, as its filled 6 feet high with snow. Tracking is easy, shiny dark balls of fur stand out against the snow very well..... and the Bears have lost all the rotten salmon taste to the meat, and are usually very fat and tastey.
    Hunting Browns for meat is alot like hunting Caribou in the rivers. We take our best advantage and are quite happy with the results.

    As I noted too, I take away all advantages from the animal.
    I will not meet a Bear or any other animal I'm hunting on their terms, and hunting Browns in thick brush is near suicide.:rolleyes:
    The gun for that type of disaster is a 12 gauge with slugs and a death wish.

    A Bear in brush is best delt with by getting above 'em, or bait them out into the open, if legal.
    Browns in the brush are in their territorys, and having them come out in the clear, then you can size them up and see if the have cubs, a big no no to shoot.
    If a Bear Im hunting has made the brush unharmed, I hunt another day.

    I use a Mosin in7.62X54r and its" 30 cal", moving as fast as a .308, so the end results are exactly the same. I would use that against any Bear, anywhere.
    Im not a guide or a guided hunter, so the problems that relitivly new to Bears hunters have with "Buck fever", fatigue, unfamiliar territory and "New to Alaska" and "New to Bear hunting" in general, are not a factor. Nor can I throw $$$ at the problem, and buy a gun/shells just for Bears.
    What I have works VERY well, through my experiance.

    By all means, hunt with what you feel is nessarry, as long as you can hit what you intend, and regular like at that.
    Learn anatomy of the animal your hunting and have fun.

    Bell and his .257rigby would have had a ball here, dontcha think?.... :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  20. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    Amen.
     
  21. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Caribou's post is very informative


    I never understood what big of an advantage a few percentage of an inch wider wound channel is going to give to you when hunting DG (or any animal for that matter)...1%??, 3%???

    What I always heard is that if the cartridge and bullet you are using can get to the vitals from any angle at that given distance you are good to go..

    I don't know well the 308 but I do know that a 30-06 (or a 7,62 X 54R as proven by Caribou and many hunters in Siberia) with the proper bullet can go though a grizzly, no matter how big from any angle at typical hunting/charging distances for them.....would a 30 Carbine adequate for the same task?? Of course NOT.

    Recently I read of a 9 footer hit at 60 yards on the shoulder with a 220 gr. partition 30-06....the bullet broke both shoulder and left a ping pong sized exit hole on the other side....bear dropped in his tracks....I think it qualifies for saying that the critter was put down with authority.

    Someone can tell me what would be the difference with a 375 H&H....a 10% of an inch wider wound channel???


    Thick skinned very large animals (Rhino, Elephant, Cape Buffalo) are a different story....you need lots of power to drill through muscle huge bones, fat, etc...very large and powerful calibers are fully justified...indeed necessary.

    If a 30-06 fail to penetrate very deeply on a grizzly the reason is always the use of inappropriate bullets (shape, weight and/or construction) or excessive distances....I would not choose your typical cheap spitzer soft point 150 gr. 30-06 ($12 a box in the good old time) against a big bruin...
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  22. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Thats bull, I have a collection of Nosler partitions [the back half] I retrieved from moose I shot with a 30-06,that never hit bone and stayed in the animal. BOTH shoulders on a 9 Ft bear,and a exit wound? Thats one hot 30-06.
     
  23. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Moose shot lengthwise?? What distances?? What bullet weight?? Even if you did not hit bone, soft tissue can actually increase drag compared to hitting a hard surface...

    One of my Russian co-workers during his hunting time in Siberia told me that they shot for defense (very short distance) a big brown bear with a Mosin (203 gr. soft point), hit the chest and broke his hump exiting paralizing the bruin.

    The stories are totally credible...the 220 gr. 30 cal bullet have a tremendous SD...the 240 gr. Woodleigh is even better and it does quite the numbers....I saw high powered 30 cal bullet (cheap 7.62 X 54R 148 gr. FMJ) going completely through a live oak at 50 yards.....


    This 6.5 mm bullet fired from a 6.5 X 55 Sweden cartridge was recovered more than halfway through a Moose lengthwise and it took few ribs.....the 6.5 Sweden is a ~2200 ft/lb cartridge....way less power than a 30-06 but that bullet has a formidable SD...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  24. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    H&H

    I do not want to argue, you have ton of experience but I just weant to try to understand your point of view.

    What is the difference, in terms of the cartridge used, between hunting in the open or in the brush??

    The most obvious are, I think, distance of egagement and visibility....correct me if I'm wrong...

    Assuming you are using at least a cartridge capable to get to the vitals from any angle (and let's assume that a 30-06 is that cartridge), how a more powerful round is going to help you?? If you miss, you miss with both and you are in trouble....if there is a difference it is statistically so minuscole to be irrelevant...let's speculate a slightly off centered shot where that 10-15% of an inch wider wound channel is going to clip that particular organ or CNS spot that a smaller caliber is going to miss?? What are the odds of that happening???

    If you track a wounded bear in thick cover and you get into an hairy situation there is a possibility that you may have only one shot (if you are lucky) before the bruin is on you...if you miss the CNS, 30-06 or 375 what is the difference??


    I can understand if the difference is more on the type of the gun used and the bullet style and weight (heavy round or flat nosed to be less susceptible to deviation) rather than the cartridge power di per se (without going below certain performance level, of course, as we said before)....you need a more handy and manoeuvrable rifle...infact is well known that a long barrel bolt gun is not the best in thick cover..many prefer a lever, a pump or a reliable semi-auto.


    Interesting the point of view of Caribou.....hunting grizzly in thick cover is nearly suicidal no matter the gun you carry......
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  25. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Until you've seen the difference it's pretty hard for me to explain. I am not sure that I said anything about .375H&H's in my above post but if that is the rifle you want to compare then lets use it. My carry rifle in bear country was and still is for the most part a 20" stainless CRF .375H&H with 6 rounds. Are we seeing a trend here?;)

    It puts over 4,000 Ft lbs at the muzzle and is known as one of the deepest penetrating sporting rounds on earth. The difference in striking force and authority on game is exponentially greater than that of the .30-06. One thing these bigger rifles will do is give you reliable length wise penetration on a smaller critter like a brown bear smashing the pelvis on the exit is a really good stopper if you don't hit the spine or brain on a frontal shot.

    What we are getting into there is difference between killing and stopping. If you really want a serious stopping rifle in my opinion they start at .416 level of power on thick skinned DG and the .338 on bear.

    And to answer your question about rifle type vs caliber my rifle is set up short and fast. I am capable of working 6 rounds on target just about as fast as anybody I've ever raced with a heavy lever gun. I don't know how much time you've spent cruising the alder brush country of South Central AK but a .375 or larger rifle is a nice thing to be carrying for (maybe false) sense of security. The bear that really wants to get you is the one that you never see or have a chance of shooting anyway for the most part that is the one that is on you before you have time to react.

    The difference being that if do get that one shot in and miss or hit the vitals for that matter as vitals have NOTHING to do with stopping a critter at close range. My one punch is going to hit like a freight train. That might just be enough to turn or stop, it may not but I'll take all I can get.

    Mr. Phil Shoemaker one of the most experience big bear guides on the planet has written much on this subject. He speaks of several stopping rifles that he's carried for Bear if my memory serves me his primary rifle is a .458 WM though he has also carried .375 Ruger and is happy with it, he has also mentioned a .416 of some sort. He has written about a failure to stop a bear with a .505 Gibbs and a body shot. There are simply to many variables for me to make a definitive statement on the subject. All I know is that my comfort zone in big bear country starts with a .375H&H, one that I am completely familiar with and have the utmost confidence in if that rifle is your .30-06 then that is what you should be carrying.
     
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