what do I need?

Discussion in 'tales of the hunt' started by Grumpy, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    lots of time is wasted in my opinion worrying about the theoretical differences in center fire rifle cartridges , we all tend to have favorites,
    we see the results other people have gotten, but from what I've seen,
    shot placement and the skill of the shooter is more critical that the head stamp on the cartridge case
    a 308 win or 270 win or 30/06 is seldom going to let a good shot down.
    personally Ive used a 340 wby and 375 H&H on most hunts,
    I have 100% confidence in those rifles
    one of my late partners preferred a 358 win BLR, he was very successful.
    and one guy in camp uses a 257 roberts BLR...
    it was a real eye opener seeing him drop elk very effectively.
    now theres really no doubt that a 340 wby or 375 H&H works, exceptionally well,
    but you have to admit the 257 roberts works ,
    after youve seen several one shot kills, the elk may not respond as dramatically, or obviously,
    too bullet impacts like they do with the larger calibers,
    but if they fall after a few seconds delay they are just as dead.
    we all kill deer and elk regularly..
    its hard even ludicrous to try too argue with a guy who has a long string of decisive one shot kills using his rifle choice.

    from the results I've seen, finding a bear in Colorado is going to be FAR more difficult that killing one,
    with about any rifle you might carry to hunt mule deer or elk, provided of course you can shoot accurately from field positions.
    I can,t remember anyone shooting a bear at over 80 yards so if your rifle is effective and accurate,out past 150-200 yards your surely well
    equipped. power is not really an issue a 257 roberts or 25/06 or 270 will kill any bear with proper ammo and good shot placement.

    I would suggest you carry a reasonably heavy caliber back-up revolver,
    for the absurdly low chance you might need it.
    I've generally carried a 44 mag, revolver in a shoulder holster,as a precaution,
    but a 357 mag or 10mm would work fine,
    and so far over the last 50 years,
    only two guys in our elk camp that I remember have shot bears, one used a 308 win,
    the other guy a 6.5mm swedish mauser, both worked fine.
    I've hunted elk and deer, and even when I had a bear licence,
    I could not find one large enough to warrant the effort of,
    dragging it out of some canyon miles from my truck
    , the only bears I've seen were while deer and elk hunting,
    the bears on a gut pile run once you approach,tend to run once they detect you.
    you might need a revolver for close range , where a scoped rifle is not ideal.
    the only time Ive encountered bears was on return trips to retrieve elk meat ,
    I could not pack out on the initial trip,
    so I generally use a block & tackle to get the second return retrieval trips elk meat up out of their easy reach,
    they generally clean up the gut piles along with coyotes if you are forced to make the second trip the next morning.
    bears are very alert if not concentrating on a gut pile or other bait, I doubt youll be able to sneak up on one , randomly still hunting timber
    Id simply select a heavy for caliber bullet designed for deep penetration and personally Id want at least a 257 roberts and a 100 grain nosler partition or something a bit larger as a minimum.
    Ive hunted all the areas marked with green dots at least once during either archery or rifle seasons

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    If I was asked what I thought was the ideal bear hunting rifle,[​IMG]

    Id be looking at a BLR in caliber 308 win, 30/06, 270 win, 358 win, or 450 marlin or
    remington 7600 slide/pump action in caliber 30/06, 270, 35 whelen ,
    or a marlin lever action in caliber 444 or 45/70 or
    either loaded with a 150-200 grain soft point,
    in the smaller 270-35 calibers,
    and mid weight projectiles in the 265-405 grain, weight range,
    in the 44-45 calibers, and a Id select a good bright 40 mm-50 mm light gathering ,
    lens 2x-7x, or fixed 4x or 3x-9x scope, as early morning and dusk are potential problems with easy low light level sighting.
    I don,t think any experienced hunter will debate the fact that larger diameter and heavier mass projectiles have the potential to do more damage and penetrate deeper, but a balance needs to be found so recoil does not become an issue for the user, precise shot placement and projectile construction are key factors.practical experience from what Ive seen has shown most of the rifles used for deer hunting will work if used at closer ranges by a good shot, if you want too extend the range or compensate for potently less than ideal conditions adding projectile mass and velocity generally helps increase the projectiles destructive power and penetration.
    the ability to have a fast second shot is unlikely to be needed if you can shoot but its re-assuring if that is available, having at least a 30 caliber and in my experience a 338-45 caliber rifle gives me a bit more confidence but certainly a 25-28 caliber rifle has been very well documented to be lethal in skilled hands.


    while I wish the young lady the best of luck,
    it has nothing to do with skill,its simply a numbers game.
    I doubt youll see bears very often, in the BLM/or open to the public areas,
    unless you bait them,
    simply because in nearly 50 years of hunting
    colorado , wyoming and norther california for mule deer and elk
    and having spent a great deal of time getting in close to deer and elk,
    I,ve seldom seen black bears, they are simply not as numerous as
    deer or elk thus your odds of seeing one tend to be lower unless
    you can bait them which is not legal in many areas

    its not legal to bait bears in colorado
    theres 20-50 times as many deer or elk as legal shoot-able size bears, (less than 1/3rd the population by most estimates)
    theres over 300,000 of deer/elk each last time I looked at the statistics
    simple math and experience in the field says its just not as likely youll see bear as deer or elk and theres statistically less than a 30% chance your average hunter collects an elk.
    Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the state's black bear population has boomed to an estimated 19,000, up from 12,000 in the early 2000s, creating the potential for more human-bear conflicts. Mark Vieira, a CPW wildlife biologist in Fort Collins, said there are more bears now in Northern Colorado than 30-40 years ago


    BAITING.It is against the law to hunt big game over bait, whether or not the person hunting personally placed the bait. Bait means to put, expose, distribute or scatter salt, minerals, grain, animal parts or other food as an attraction for big game. Salt or mineral blocks used for normal agricultural purposes are not considered bait. Scent sticks that smell like food are illegal for bears.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

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