Author Topic: Black bear hunting  (Read 1134 times)

Online snapper

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Black bear hunting
« on: January 04, 2020, 04:41:04 AM »
Ok, so I got a May hunt planed in Saskatchewan.

Will be hunting black bears over bait.   Yardage will be less then 100 yards., most likely less then 40 yards.

I got a nice SxS in .54 cal or a .73 cal English Sporting rifle that I am toying with taking.   Leaning towards the .54, just because it is a cooler rifle.

But the .73 will provide a bigger punch.

Both will be shooting round balls most likely and both are percussion.

Both rifles shoot great.

What would you take?

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline adam h

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 05:03:52 AM »
 I would take the one I felt the most comfortable shooting. either one would be just fine
bear hunting over bait is about patience. let him come in and get to the bait when he is broadside there's
your shot. also it most likely will be right at dark so the sights you can see the best is a consideration.
best of luck look forward to photos and don't forget the bug spray
adam

Online snapper

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 05:07:33 AM »
For what it is worth, I have hunted black bears twice before.   Shooting one, but we were not able to find it.  Brush was very thick.  I have killed a grizzly with a modern rifle.

Consider that I am very comfortable with either rifle.

Thanks

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 05:55:29 AM »
I hunt black bears  every year, and have successfully taken one 99% of the time. The other 1% was due to not shooting because of the presence of cubs , or because the bear was just too small.  Shots where I hunt are 30 to 35 yards usually, but I've shot them much much closer ie 5 to 10 yards. Thick forest and a swamp for them to escape into if they are able   .54 , .62 and 10 bore are what I use....mainly the 10, but any of these are perfectly capable with a decent load and solid hits. I've never lost a bear .  BTW,  100 yards over bait seems rather odd . Is it the possibility of seeing a bear that is reluctant to close the distance where you will be hunting , and perhaps wanting that capability ?

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 05:57:10 AM »
Hi Art, both those guns will do the job if you hit them right. Try to hit them just forward of the middle of middle. Bears heart is just a tad higher and further back than a whitetail. If it were me I would take the big bore just because I like shooting them. Pass through shots are preferred IMHO.


Online snapper

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2020, 03:51:05 PM »
The black bear that I lost I think I hit it to far forward and to low.   I hit where I aimed, but miss judged where the heart was.  That was with a .54 cal conicial and at 20 yards.ner

Most hunters with the outiftter are bow hunters.   He said that at times they get a wise bear that come in if a hunter is there, and they got a really big hear that they have been trying to get for a few years.   He indicated that they might put me in a stand farther away from the bait if they have this going on with a bear.

I know the .73 will be a much bigger punch.   But after loosing my first and only black bear to a .54 it is causing me hesitation.

I have some buffalo bullets, might shoot those in the .54 at close range, just a little more lead.   Been toying with taking both rifles since I am driving.

Thanks for the advice.

Flee
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Online Bob McBride

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2020, 04:05:30 PM »
Taking both sounds like what Id do. Id probably take the one more comfortable laying across my lap all day, all things being equal. Im envious, Art. Have a great time!
-Bob

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Online snapper

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2020, 04:24:55 PM »
We will just hunt for a few hours in the evening.   Sounds like the rest of the day is spent fishing if you want, and I am a fisherman as well.

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Online Bob McBride

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2020, 04:37:51 PM »
We will just hunt for a few hours in the evening.   Sounds like the rest of the day is spent fishing if you want, and I am a fisherman as well.

Fleener

Now I'm super envious. I can't think of anything that sounds better than that,
-Bob

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Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2020, 05:28:48 PM »
I will let you know as I am contemplating going on a spring bear hunt in Idaho and would also be shooting from blind with a .54 patched round ball only mine is a flint lock.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Justin Urbantas

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2020, 06:14:33 PM »
I would use the .73. One hole is cleaner than two, and it's easier to find a bear with a big hole in it if it runs off. I'm building a .62 English Sporting rifle for our northern BC bears, moose, elk.  Hardly a day goes by here when my wife doesn't see a moose on the way to/from work.  Trying to get out for more hunting this fall.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2020, 07:15:03 PM »
I would stick with round balls rather than any elongated bullet.  Daryl has written on this, that the ball works better than bullets for killing game- moose anyway.   I'd probably tote the big gun. I've yet to overkill anything.
Hold to the Wind

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2020, 08:21:47 PM »
Either rifle will work very well on black bears, no matter how big they are.  Black bears have ribs like a swine...they aren't very heavy.  but the problem with shooting a black bear is being able to see the spot you want to hit.  They are so uniformly black that it is often difficult to tell what you're looking at.  So your most important task will be to patiently wait until you are CERTAIN you have a heart/lung shot.
I've shot a few with my .60 Jaeger flintrifle:  .595" pure lead ball, 85 gr. FFg.  .020" denim patch mink oil. and all were DRT.  But most of the bears I've harvested were with my longbow...extremely lethal.
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Offline WKevinD

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2020, 08:51:22 PM »
I've taken Black Bear in New Brunswick with my .75 flint smoothbore (.735 ball). Quartering away at about 30 yards and low centered on the chest cavity got full penetration and dropped him about 60 yards.
Flashed the pan at one about 45 minutes earlier.
Kevin
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2020, 09:33:11 PM »
Although the .54 and even a .45 would likely work just fine, I also prefer a larger hole,
so it would be the .73 for me, Fleener.

It is highly unlikely you would get a second shot, anyway. If the animal does not drop
right there, it's gone before the gun comes down out of recoil.
Daryl

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Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2020, 10:58:42 PM »
Based on your experience you can use about anything so take them both and let your insides tell you while you're up there. I've done two Saskatchewan bear/fishing trips and absolutely loved them! You'll have lots of time in the stand so take your time and don't take the first bear you see unless its the one you really want like a rare blonde color phase or is exceptionally large. I've taken 5 black bear in the lower 48 and Canada and 1 B&C Brown in Alaska. My favorite shot is a slight quartering away and line up on the far shoulder. This often results in a double lung shot with a broken shoulder which anchors the bear while they spin, snarl, bite, and then die in an area the size of your living room.

Enjoy, you're going to have a wonderful time!

Dan
Dan

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Offline Wingshot

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2020, 06:43:20 PM »
Ive hunted successfully in NB for Bear although I took mine with a modern big bore rifle. The best advice I can offer is to practice well with whatever you choose to use and to be patient with the bears. You are going to (hopefully) have several to look over and selecting your shot is crucial. As others have stated, its difficult to zero in on a small spot over the vitals because of typical low light and the jet black coat. Explain to your outfitter exactly what your limitations are as well as what their abilities are in giving you the best chance for a quick clean kill. I like a ground blind over a tree stand personally. If you can shoot well out to 75 yards with that big bore, thatd be my go to. Good luck!

Offline longcruise

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Re: Black bear hunting
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2020, 04:34:33 AM »
Take em both and pick the one you're feeling as you head to the stand.
Mike Lee