12ga & bear?

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by BeyondTheBox, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I know next to nothing of rifles and shotguns and what would be best for defense against larger animals in the woods. I know handguns are pretty much useless for anything larger than a Coyote.

    I go bow hunting and have come into woods fresh with bear and cat dung in the past. Where I'm from I don't have much for Brown bear, just black, and am curious as to what would be best to have around incase I come upon one of these beasts. I have access to a 30-30 lever and a Remington 870 15". I figured a slug in the 12ga would be best at anything 50yrds and closer, but like I said, what I figure isn't exactly based on experience or knowledge.

    Would appreciate any insight or helpful hints. Currently I carry a 45acp as its the biggest I can carry easily, but am completely prepared for slinging on a rifle or shotgun.
     
  2. Blueguns

    Blueguns New Member

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    A short barreled .44mag .454 or .500 S&W may work, but those are generally hard to handle due too all that recoil. Maybe a Ruger Alaskan?

    I'm pretty sure 12 ga slugs would work. Many big-bore rifle calibers will work as well.

    I don't have much experience with bears, other than those on my commie states flag.
     

  3. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I actually thought about one of those Rossi Ranch Hands in 44 mag as an option as well. I like the shorter barrel, but didn't see that being any more effective than 12ga slug, actually less than.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    12 g slugs or 00 buck. BTW, unless you have a Class III stamp for that 15" 870, or it is outside the US, you have a problem.
     
  5. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    If you already have a shotgun, you're good to go. Leaving Bear Spray out of the discussion, in the Lower 48 I have relied on a .357 handgun -- the bullets are the most critical point. In Alaska, a 5-shot .44 Magnum. Need very hard semi-wadcutters either way IMO.

    The right slugs are fine for sure though, and people don't need to agree with this, but my longarm for defense (not hunting) in Alaska: 12 Ga. 3" Magnun #000 Plated Buckshot.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  6. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    It's not mine, I just have access to it. It's my father's, we hunt together. Well, he hunts and I just have a tag that never gets filled. Lol

    He's had it for a long time, since I can remember, I'm sure he's got whatever is necessary to own it legally. He's a retired County sheriff's deputy.

    To be honest I'm not so sure is 15", just thought I remembered him saying that once, never thought to question or measure it. I've had it in my possession for a few months at a time though, after hunting gear gets mixed up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  7. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    I wouldn't feel under gunned anywhere in N. America with that load! Admittedly it has to be administered at "how do you do" ranges but 3'' 000 will deter anything on this continent.
     
  8. Blueguns

    Blueguns New Member

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    Have you ever had to use the .357? I've heard some horror stories about bears and empty .357s.

    Although I do know a guy whose dad once took one down with a .357 on a camping trip. The guy said it took all 6 shots.
     
  9. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Black bear are often easier to kill than deer. Many many are shot with a bow. Your 45 is fine for black bear. Or any "deer" rifle caliber or shotgun. You don't say what state you are in. I lived in Minnesota for 50 years, where many bears are shot each year. In that time I do not remember of any bear attacks in that state. I chased many away by yelling at them.
     
  10. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    In some respects I'd rather have a heavy FMJ .45 ball than the wrong .357. A soft point .357 can be deflected too easily. You need to punch through hide and fur, bone including a heavy skull perhaps, cut thru muscle, sinews, tendons, veins, and penetrate to the organ with a pistol.

    Federal Vital-Shok CastCore is OK. Buffalo Bore and their excellent loads with Keith Semi-Wadcutters live in my light .44 Mag.

    This stuff is always subjective, but you need to hit the right places with the right projectile. Kids particularly these days tend to overscompensate for poor shooting and the wrong ammunition with bigger caliber and more firepower.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  11. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Oregon State
     
  12. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    No such thing as overkill in this game. Matter fact is rather go over than under, wouldn't you? Life and death and all...
     
  13. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    12 gauge with slugs or like stated above, 3" 000 buckshot.

    But, if I was PLANNING on seeing a bear? Especially a Griz? .30-06 Springfield, please!
     
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you checked to see if you can carry a firearm while bow hunting? For big bears a 12 gauge with Brenneke slugs. Use solids not HP if you cant find Brenneke. For black bear, a good heavy loaded 44 mag like 300 grain solids and 4" max barrel length. If you have a serious confrontation you probably wont have time to unsling a shotgun. The "Alaskan" handguns are short barreled for a reason. They draw faster. Most black bears will back down but they usually do not bluff charge. If it charges you are in serious trouble. Do not run. Be aggressive. All bets are off if you get between a sow and a cub. You would probably be better served with bear spray.
     
  15. gmaster456

    gmaster456 New Member

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    12 gauge with some Brenneke slugs or some 3'" 000 Buckshot and you're ready for any confrontation that comes your way.
     
  16. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Hunting Brown ones? .30-06 Ackley Improved.
     
  17. oli700

    oli700 New Member

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    In OR you can carry a sidearm hunting any hunt…..long gun, not so much. My hunting sidearm is a 10mm perched in a Safariland ALS… handloaded hot. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy…….
    I don’t think you’re asking about carrying a shotgun while bow hunting right? , that would be unwieldy as hell…..your 45 would work for protection while hunting too….just don’t start to shoot till you see the whites of his eyes.
    I have seen lots of bears while out and only been "charged " at once and he was confused and a little hurt and it was a bluff thank god, other than that they high tail it the other way before you are aware they were there......if your hunting bear that’s different, carry a good powerful sidearm because wounded bears are NOT to be taken lightly, wounded anything for that matter......I am in OR too, this happened close to me , stupid move



    http://www.kdrv.com/hunter-mauled-by-bear-outside-trail/

    http://www.kdrv.com/bear-bite-victim-speaks-out/
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  18. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    I live in Northern WI where our black bear population is near out of hand with the refusal of the state to issue enough kill tags every year and the only attack I have heard of in recent memory has been by a bear which was wounded in the hunt and walked up on by the hunter. Black Bear in my opinion are the biggest chicken in the woods, yes they have the weapons to kill you but they aren't interested in doing so the overwhelming majority of the time, they will run, just yell at them or make yourself known and they are gone. Cats could be a different problem I assume you mean Lion, not bobcats, lol. Those I would most definitely want some protection from. Also black bear aren't the super beast people make them out to be, ya they have a hard skull and some fat and hide but you don't need a cannon to kill them, especially at the ranges you would be shooting in a bear attack, if you shoot every bear you see which you think may charge you you will probably have an issue with your local DNR accusing you of bear poaching. Around here shooting an animal out of season is a serious thing and carries serious consequences as far as your hunting rights go so if you are going to shoot and claim self defense it best be the case and better yet provable or you won't be buying a hunting license for a few years and you'll be mortgaging your house to pay the fines.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  19. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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  20. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    That was going to be my question. Many states won't let you have a modern long gun on a hunt during bow season.

    Also I've never had problems with black bears being aggressive. Usually they take off during hunting season at the slightest hint of a hunter in the woods. Of you were in Brown bear territory it might be a different story.

    As others have mentioned though a 12 ga with a good Brenneke slug would be my first choice over a handgun. But if using a handgun use heavy bonded bullets, same with a rifle. Penetration is going to be the primary issue.

    Bear spray works if you don't have a firearm option. Get one the size of a small fire extinguisher.