How much can a Bear take?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by sausn2002, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. sausn2002

    sausn2002 New Member

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    I've heard mixed opinions about the amount of damage a bear can take from firearms. I personally don't plan on hunting bear, but think about this question in case I ever roam around country that contain bear, because like everyone else I've heard the horror stories about bears mangling people. So this is more of a question regarding self defense against bear.

    I've heard that bears can take any round/caliber from guns (handguns in particular). However, I've also heard that you can only defend yourself against a bear with a .50 caliber handgun or equivalent like that from a Magnum (revolver) (and that that is the minimum sized round you have to have for the bear). As I've heard, the bear will only stop it's violent rage and travel towards you if it's been damaged enough to a fatal extent. By the way, I'm aware that people tend to get fined for shooting bear, but if I'm in a situation one day, I may have to take the bear out to save my life.
     
  2. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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  3. sausn2002

    sausn2002 New Member

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    I apologize. I did assume there must have already been a forum thread setup for this.
     
  4. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Depends on what kind of bear....black? brown? polar? koala? What are we talking about here?
    You're in VA so I assume you mean black as I'm not aware of any brown bears in that area. For black bear the smallest I would carry would be a 357 mag with some 170 or 180gr hunting rounds. For brown bear I wouldn't go any smaller then a 44 mag.
     
  5. layton

    layton New Member

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    I remember my brother telling all of us, when he was in the Army, he was up in Oregon operating a dozer when he got between a bear and her cub, and she attacking him and an officer shot her with a 44-40, said it stopped her like she ran into a brick wall.Also had a SGT tell us when he was in Hawaii that they used to go wild boar hunting and had to crawl through the underbrush on the boar trails and they used cut off 44-40's, said that was the most effective way to stop them.

    Layton
     
  6. W. C. Quantrill

    W. C. Quantrill New Member

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    Last bear I killed, I got with my .45LC. One shot. GYDRT. Black bears are small animals really, not much bigger than a hog and not thick skinned nor hard to kill. The local hispanics here kill them with mini 14's (.223) all the time.
     
  7. sausn2002

    sausn2002 New Member

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    I agree with you W.C. Everyone is saying you have to have something the size of a .44 magnum or higher on the other forum on the site about bears. I think that a .45 should suffice. I think it could be all about how fast you respond, how smart you are about the situation, and maybe what your shot placement is (the head, lol). If anything, I'd say I'd rather consider running first! I hope .40 caliber works, because that's the biggest handgun round I have on me. Hollowpoints should be better, but I don't know. Bears probably have thicker skin than humans.
     
  8. Shotgun Shooter

    Shotgun Shooter New Member

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    I wouldnt say a black bear is slightly larger than a hog. Males can reach 500lbs, which is a whole lot of bear. Females are much smaller. However, I wouldnt want to use a 22LR against a bear. I wouldnt say bears are easy to kill, but there are plenty of other animals that will take a large caliber to take down. If I was in an area known for bears, I'd bring slugs for my shotgun. I do not onw a pistol, so a nice sized round for a 12ga should do the rick. ;)

    S.S.
     
  9. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I don't have any first hand experience with bears,but I have watched alot of tv and read articles on bears and from what I gather,a grizzly,or brown bear has bones/ribs so dense that they are equivelent to body armor,so you would need a firearm that could pierce body armor to kill one of them,so basically a rifle or a handgun that produces rifle velocity and energy(like a 500 mag revolver).And as far as black bears,I think they aren't very strong to take much,they could be killed with an average handgun I believe,but you better be a good shot,because unlike brown/grizzly bears,a black bear will not stop mauling from playing dead like a brown/grizzly bear would.
     
  10. Bigcat_hunter

    Bigcat_hunter New Member

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    I have killed two black bears. The first I shot with a 30-06. Dead right there. The second was shot through the gear box with a 30-06. It ran about fifty yards and my back-up shot it with a 300 grain SMK(.338) in the ham. I could hear him moaning and growling for about ten minuets before he passed. He was an old tough bear. I clipped his heart and liver and he still ran. Black bears are as tough as a bull elk as far as I am concerned.
     
  11. dynastyofnext

    dynastyofnext New Member

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    With a handgun it would be easier to run and shoot, maybe slow him down a bit and buy you some time. Shotgun is too close for comfort, plus dealling with the recoil in a panic might lead to a mistake. Bow + Arrow + Dynamite lol Just dont end up like Whyle Coyote. I cant believe those animals would take so much damage before turning away, damn monsters.
     
  12. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    A bear could not take all I have to give.

    Oh, we're talking about firearms. My bad.:eek:
     
  13. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    You were that guy in super troopers weren't you?
     
  14. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    I was the guy in Starship Troopers.

    Ask Denise Richards. She'll tell ya.
     
  15. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    She mentioned you once to me....didn't seem impressed. Said something about you not taking care of a snake with a 4" gerber but I don't really remember....
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  16. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    LOL! Well done, my friend. Well done.:D
     
  17. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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    Having only shot 3 bears, all black, and none in a life or death situation I have very little experience. Most of what you get in here is theory not backed up by much experience. I try to learn from the REAL pros in any situation. One of the most experienced bear guide around is an Alaskan name Phil Shoemacker. He is not only experienced but highly firearms knowledgeable and a keen obserever. He wrote an excellent artice in either Rifle or Handloader magazine @ 4 years ago dealing with his experiences with handguns and bears. In his collection he had a large handful of handgun bullets removed from bears, His conclusions are very simple. A 357 and up are capable of stopping an attack ONLY if it the bear is hit in the head or spine and ONLY if very heavy non expanding bullets are used. While a body shot will kill, it wont deture or stop an attack, and what a bear can do in the 5 minute he is alive from a body hit is too gruesome to consider. Again this is not my opinion but conclusions from 40 years of guiding bear hunters. His daughter, also a guide, carries a Smith & Wesson 357 loaded with heavy flat nosed hard cast bullets. I would fly back to Alaska just to meet this man and pick his brain. Experience trumps theory everytime.
     
  18. Shotgun Shooter

    Shotgun Shooter New Member

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    I'm sorry Master. I didnt mean to pretend what I was talking about. Next time I'll go find a bear, piss it off and try stopping it with a couple different pistol calibers. :rolleyes:

    S.S.
     
  19. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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    Hello shotgun shooter, I forgot to mention no handgun is my choice for an upset anything. Accurate bullet placement from a handgun is difficult enough when I have time and I am calm. Throw in a bear coming at me faster than a race horse and meaner than my mother-in-law I would want a bullet humane enough to put myself out of my misery. Alot of people are now carring shotguns loaded with slugs when bears are present. Having never shot but one deer with a slug I wonder if anyone online has any experiece with slugs on bears? Anyone out there that can enlighten us?
     
  20. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    All of what I'm about to say is purely anecdotal, as I prefer a stout Bowie when contending with grizzlies.

    Brenneke slugs are the preferred choice for bear, if shotguns are what you're going with. I've heard of guys dumping a tube of buckshot on brown bears before they went down, and actually finding pellets balled up in the fur, never breaking the skin.

    The whole "Best blank for blank" question is a futile one. Stick around long enough, and you hear stories of women taking .44 mag headshots and living, cell phones stopping .45s, etcetera.

    The better question might be "What is the bare minimum for______?"