National Gun Forum banner

What would you use for hunting a bear?

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey. I’m going to start hunting soon, and I’m looking for a good rifle. As I’m 15, I don’t want to spend to much on it. What I meant in the title wasn’t just for bear. I’m probably not going to go bear hunting anytime soon until I’m 18 or so, and in the meantime I’ll just be hunting deer and the such. Basically what I’m asking for is a recommended caliber that can take out anything from a deer to a bear (medium-big game). Criticism is accepted as I’m a complete newbie and want to learn. I will be hunting with my uncle most likely who is an avid hunter and has hunted grizzly before when I got bear hunting. Thanks in advance.

P.S. A recommended rifle also doesn’t hurt. As I’m 15 I’m not willing to drop more than 1k on it. If it’s 1k + it better be worth it. I’m not looking for a beginner rifle, I’m looking for one that’s going to last. Thanks again.

- Aidan
 

·
Aim true !
Joined
·
11,071 Posts
Remington 30.06 220 grain core lokt is my preferred round.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wag

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
You may want to start with something in a lighter caliber, before you worry about
bear hunting. Game that big calls for it's own rifle, in probably a belted magnum caliber,
like perhaps 375 H&H. For now, I would seek a Bolt-Action, in 30.06, by a reliable
manufacturer, perhaps Ruger, Browning, or Remington. That will put down most
game in America. And don't cheap out on the scope, dude. If you spend 1000$,
a decent scope should be @400$ of the total.
 

·
Ancient Gaseous Emanation
Joined
·
54,413 Posts
The first several white tail deer and black bear I took were with a .30-30 Win round out of a Marlin lever action rifle. Then I got a Remington chambered in .30-06 Spg. Both rounds killed them just as dead as the other. Neither rifle wore a scope.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dog Soldier

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,458 Posts
I will second the 30-30 to start. Great learner round and plenty of power for deer, hogs and even smaller black bear with good shot placement. You can get a Marlin Lever Action 30-30 just over $300. No need to spend $1,000 for a first rifle.

I also like the .308 a lot and it will take just about and medium game and a lot of larger game again with good shot placement. The Savage Axis II 308 can be bought under $400 with a Weaver 3X9 30 scope. The scope is by no means high end but will work just fine out to 100-150 yards. That will let you practice, learn the rifle and decide on a scope that fits you after you have experience with the rifle. I used my Weavor a couple years and recently replaced it with a Nikon. The Weaver now lives on my 10/22 and does great.
 

·
Wyoming
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
Don't underestimate the AR 15 and the .223 round. The Alaska State Troopers and other Units in Grizz country use these rifles. The AR 15 discharges 10 rounds of controlled fire developing over 3 tons of energy in a matter of seconds.:machinegun:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,529 Posts
if i was forced to go with one caliber it would be the 30-06 or the 308..... and in the Ruger Hawkeye or their guide gun............

one rifle/caliber jack of all trades is a concept many of us has started with...usually because of money or lack thereof............

you will most likely evolve and add calibers/rifles to specialize.......needed or not, justified or not..logic be danged......it will be an excuse to buy more guns.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KW Gary M

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,075 Posts
You did not say whether it would be Blackbear, grizzly bear, brown bear or a polar bear that you intended to hunt. A male black bear average is 300 pounds plus in weight. The other three can easily go over 700+ with the polar bear reaching 1000 pounds. One of the most popular calibers in Alaska for bear guides is the .338 Win Mag.

If it's just black bear and deer you are after then 30/06 with the right bullet should do quite well in the lower 48.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
Suggesting someone use a 223 AR for bears borders on reckless advice, in some States it's not even considered enough for it to be legal to use on deer. If you have to ask yourself, "Is this enough gun to use on...?", chances are it's not. The minimum caliber, and I do mean minimum caliber I would take on a bear hunt is a 30-06 loaded with 180 grain premium bullets. My preference would be the 338 Win mag or 375 H&H.

If you're going to stick with deer then there's countless calibers from 243 on up that'll do an excellent job, if you're hunting something with claws and fangs that can ruin your day then look at 30-06 and up.
 

·
Grand Imperial Poobah
Joined
·
22,945 Posts
It depends on how accurate you can shoot. I would use anything north of a .30 caliber.

However considering how fast bears can run, how fast they can climb trees and how fast they can make your day the worse day ever, I prefer to use a semi-auto rifle. Just in case, they don't stop after I pull the trigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
Ask your Uncle since he's an avid hunter and has hunted bear before. He's the one that's going to take you to the hospital or make the arraignments if things don't work out well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,921 Posts
I would say the 30.06 is a decent choice, but if you're going to be doing a lot of grizzly hunting you might want to bump that up to a 300 Mag or something else closer to Safari grade. Probably be fine with the 30.06, but Grizzly's are serious characters and it would never be a bad thing to have a little extra on your side. Problem with the 300 Mag is that it's a big kicker, and ammo is expensive and not always found as easily as 30.06. I think you can get some really heavy high end 30.06 rounds that will get the job done and stay more versatile and affordable for deer and your other hunting needs with the 30.06. Hope I'm not giving you mixed signals here (thinking as I'm going along), but I'm still leaning towards the 30.06. Just be certain that if you do go for grizzly that you go with an experienced grizzly hunter at least at first and get the best possible high end ammo available for grizzly hunting in 30.06. I personally use factory ammo for everything I do right now, but a good hand loader can work wonders and surely cover your grizzly needs with 30.06 handloads, but the key to that is that they have to be a "GOOD" hand loader as there are a lot of bum hand loaders out there that will get you into trouble. Good luck!
Hey. I’m going to start hunting soon, and I’m looking for a good rifle. As I’m 15, I don’t want to spend to much on it. What I meant in the title wasn’t just for bear. I’m probably not going to go bear hunting anytime soon until I’m 18 or so, and in the meantime I’ll just be hunting deer and the such. Basically what I’m asking for is a recommended caliber that can take out anything from a deer to a bear (medium-big game). Criticism is accepted as I’m a complete newbie and want to learn. I will be hunting with my uncle most likely who is an avid hunter and has hunted grizzly before when I got bear hunting. Thanks in advance.

P.S. A recommended rifle also doesn’t hurt. As I’m 15 I’m not willing to drop more than 1k on it. If it’s 1k + it better be worth it. I’m not looking for a beginner rifle, I’m looking for one that’s going to last. Thanks again.

- Aidan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,921 Posts
Good bolt action Savage or categorically similar scoped rifles can be bought for about half of your budget, and by all means please get a bolt action and nothing else for the hunting needs you described.
 

·
Live Free
Joined
·
3,132 Posts
You can get scoped rifles in .308 from Savage, Ruger, etc for less than half your budget. .308 is a great cartridge for most lower 48 game. Shoot the rifle, get used to it and get proficient with it, and then hunt with it. Three years from now, when you actually think you might bear hunt, you can use the money you saved buying this rifle to help purchase a rifle for dangerous game, shoot it, get proficient with it, and go hunt bears with your uncle.
By the way, don't hunt with handloads unless you loaded them. If you don't load, buy factory ammo and know how it performs...be sighted in and ready to hunt.

Good luck!
 

·
RELOAD=More PEW PEW
Joined
·
12,521 Posts
Bear, S&W 460 mag :lol: Action is at 11:50

 

·
Wyoming
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
Many who dream about Bear hunting are convinced that only a Hugh magnum rifle can put a bear down. The various state Game Commissions allow taking the Bear with the Bow and Arrow. Many allow handguns. These weapons do not deliver high ballistic damage.
Here in Grizz country Bears are taken with very portable weapons. They are often Carbines or handguns.
 

·
Live Free
Joined
·
3,132 Posts
Many who dream about Bear hunting are convinced that only a Hugh magnum rifle can put a bear down. The various state Game Commissions allow taking the Bear with the Bow and Arrow. Many allow handguns. These weapons do not deliver high ballistic damage.
Here in Grizz country Bears are taken with very portable weapons. They are often Carbines or handguns.
Personally, I have taken a lot of game with a 44 Mag. revolver. Seemed to do just fine on deer, elk and black bear. But I never begrudge someone buying a cannon to cart around if they feel safer. Never hunted more dangerous bears, so I cannot speak to the 44 Mag. performance there...but I learned to trust the cartridge and learned to shoot it well so that I could place shots even in short order.

Talked to a few different folks about hunting when I visited Alaska for a few months (some years back). One fellow laughed at the idea of using a 30.06, wanted 300 Mag. or bigger. Another was quite happy and successful with a .308. Both said carry .44 Mag. with stout loads, or 454 Casull as a sidearm that is easily accesssible for bears. The first guy sold guns for a living, the second was an avid hunter...
 

·
Wyoming
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
Most of us who live in Grizz country never go out without a heavy handgun or a 12 ga. or light carbine. My choice for many years has been the LAR Grizz 1911 .45 Mag. The .45 Mag with the 300 grs bullet can deliver 2 tons of pounding energy with dependable accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
Many who dream about Bear hunting are convinced that only a Hugh magnum rifle can put a bear down. The various state Game Commissions allow taking the Bear with the Bow and Arrow. Many allow handguns. These weapons do not deliver high ballistic damage.
Here in Grizz country Bears are taken with very portable weapons. They are often Carbines or handguns.
States with a bow hunting season for bear generally have minimum draw weights along with minimum broadhead diameter restrictions. Arrows don't cause high ballistic damage because they don't kill in the same manner as a firearm, they rely on slicing damage to vital tissue leading to death from hemorrhaging while bullets kill via shock and trauma. The two can't be directly compared.

As for carrying a pistol in grizzly country, all good bear defense pistols calibers begin with at least a 4 and end with Magnum.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top