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Hello,

I 've bought 150 acres of land in Southern Vermont. As my wife and I were unloading the car a bear came out of the wood. It looked at us for a few seconds then started to trot toward us. The kids were playing on the second floor of an old original barn, which is the only building on the land. As soon as I saw that thing running toward us I locked the car and we both run into the barn. I closed the door and we joined the kids upstairs.
From the window we saw that animal destroy the driver's door to get to the food that was in the car. As soon as he was done eating our food or the whole weekend it left. It took two hours. We no cell coverage I couldn't call anybody. I was furious that the camera was in the car. The animal was shot by a local a couple days later. 460 pounds.

I just can't deal with that. As of today I just don't feel secure there. I'm going to have a bunch of people helping me fix the barn, most of them students, and a few kids will be playing around.

I have inherited a 30-06 from my late father. I've shot that gun a lot at the range with him, but I never hunted or killed anything with it. Frankly, I'm not that knowledgeable about guns.

Is this the right gun to kill a bear?
A few precision. I'm not going to try to hunt bears and shoot them from 200 yards. Unfortunately I have a grimmer scenario that could happen. There is only 50 yards from the edge of the wood to the barn. I need a weapon that can kill a bear that will come out of those woods and start walking/trotting, running towards us. Most likely a front shot.
Is that savage 111 30-06 with a four bullet magazine the right gun to kill a bear before he can cover those 50 yards?
If now, what should I get instead?
A friend suggested a mossberg shotgun loaded with what he called brenekke?
Help!
 

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The 30-06 is quite adequate to kill a bear. The question is can you kill/stop a bear with it!

I am not a renowned expert on bears, but I have dealt with them on more than one occasion. You need to realize that if a bear really runs (charges), he can cover that 50 yards a lot faster than would give you time to shut the car door and run into the barn. So you have to consider if you could aim and effectively administer a kill shot or seriously wound a running bear with your 30-06. If you are trying to sight with a scope, you will likely never get him in the crosshairs fast enough. Your friends recommendation of a shotgun was likely taking that into consideration. Brenneke Black Magic slugs are pretty potent in a shotgun I understand.

The shotgun (12 gauge pump) is probably a better choice than your 30-06 simply because you can aim it faster at a moving target. I would also suggest equipping yourselves with some bear spray (not my first choice, but is fairly effective). And learn to store food carefully; do some reading and learn some ways to store food to minimize bear problems and not loose your food. The best way to deal with bears is mostly learning how to live in proximity of them, not just how to kill them...again, do some reading and educate yourself on the subject. And be prepared; neither the shotgun or the bear spray will do you any good if you cannot get to them before the bear reaches you...and I emphasize, they can move much faster than you might realize.
 

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I agree with AW. The 30-06 with heavy bullets will take down anything in the country The question is can you hit it? At 50 yards or less you dont want a scope that does not get down to 1X or 1.5X. Does it have iron sights? If not get a red dot. I would also suggest heavy bullets. 180 grain minimum and 220 grain would not hurt.
I carried an 18.5" barreled pump shotgun with Brenneke slugs when I was in Alaska. They will take down a brown bear which are much larger than your local black bears. Do not use Foster slugs. The Brenneke slugs were designed for dangerous game. Foster slugs were designed for deer. The pumps are faster than a bolt but you still wont have time to get off many shots. If you get a shotgun, get some target loads and learn to use it. Inexperienced people trying to shoot fast will short stroke it. Semi auto set for slugs is also a possible choice. When I am RV camping in bear country I keep a double barrel 20 gauge with Brenneke slugs. In the RV it is fast to load and unload unlike magazine guns and there are problems carrying loaded firearms in a vehicle in some areas.
Another suggestion is to get yourself a good bear hound. It will give you a lot more time.
 

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Jim
First of all glad you have joined us and sounds like you have a wonderful place. We live in the woods in the Appalachian Mountain Chain in Tennessee and also have bears here. Not many but a few. From what you described you had contact with a Rogue Beare Bear which is rare for a Black Bear! He obviously related people to food. And probably someone in the area has made food easily available to him.
I am assuming this was a Black Bear. The Bear we have her are mostly elusive for the biggest part. But we make sure there is no food waste ever available. The worst our Bear has done was get into the Bird Feeders in the winter on rare occasion. Sorry to hear about your car but I have seen what they can do. They are a very powerful animal.
But for quicker stops on Bears I would agree with most here. The 30-06 will kill a Bear with no problem. But in my opinion to latterly stop one quickly, I also would recommend a 12 ga. Shotgun with a 3" Chamber and with Hi Powered Slugs like the Slug G66 mentioned or Brenneke Slugs. You can expect Recoil but they have the power to stop a bear with one or two shots. Other than sighting the gun in you probably would not be shooting it until you needed it and hope you do not. Of course you could also use it with bird shot for hunting. Or home defense loads for the home and the property.
Send us some pictures of your place sounds fantastic.
A good shotgun: Remington Model 870 or a Mossberg Model 500 would be a good and economical choice.

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Yes, bear spray may work, but I would never consider it a primary or sole means of defense against bears.
Vermont = Black Bears not real bears. I've never had a run in with a Black Bear that I even needed OC for.

They wander into town all the time around here. There's been ONE attack in the last 10 years.
 

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I would suggest your first step should be to make sure you don't keep food out, don't leave it in you vehicle, or leave it anywhere the bear can smell it. They have extremely well developed ability to smell, and if you have food it's going to attract them. Guaranteed. Keeping the food in a safe place, away from you and your family needs to become a habit. (Yeah, it's a pain in the rear)

Your 30-06 is more than adequate, but you will need to become proficient at shooting it. There are no shortcuts. You need to spend time at the range and practice shooting prone, kneeling and standing up.

Finally do consider that you will need to keep your rifle within easy reach at all times. If you are the only one in the family who can shoot, you will need to be around every time. It would probably be a good idea to get your wife and your children (if they are old enough) proficient with the rifle as well.
 

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From what you described you had contact with a rouge Bear which is rare for a Black Bear! 03
A rouge (red) bear would be rare indeed. :confused: Although "cinnamon" black bears are a real thing.

Rouge = red.

Could not help myself. :D

A bear gone rogue could be hazardous to one's personal well being.
 

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Gator
Sorry about the spelling! Spell check and I clicked!
I have corrected the spelling in my post!
Thanks
I had to laugh thinking about a Bear wearing rouge!:p

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Just for information if our Bear was going to cause us a lot of problems which it has not. I have some 12 Ga. Shotgun Shells loaded with Rubber Balls and the size of 00 Buck.
They certainly would sting or scare at longer ranges, but not do any serious damage to the Bear. In our case it is not aggressive at all. I think it is the same one that has been here since it was a Cub. It was a Cub when I first photographed it on my trail camera. Later did take pictures of it with my Cannon over the past four years. Here it is in 2016 after he knocked over my Deer Feeder. It was a foggy morning as you can see in the picture. I went out in the Front Yard about 50 yards from him, clapped my hands and shouted "Get Out of Hear"! And had to repeate it twice. He just tilted his head like a dog does sometimes when you talk to them and it finally slowly walked off into the woods. He certainly not a Cub anymore! We call the Bear Yogi! (We think it is a "HE" because of the size.
Bear in Front Yard this August 2015.jpg

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Vermont = Black Bears not real bears. I've never had a run in with a Black Bear that I even needed OC for.

They wander into town all the time around here. There's been ONE attack in the last 10 years.
In numerous black bear encounters I have never had to shoot a bear and I personally do not carry bear spray. That does not mean black bears will never harm you; they are bears. My few encounters with brown bears (Grizzly) have never resulted in my needing to defend myself either. But complacency with any bears is foolish. They are powerful, and even black bears can be quite unpredictable at times.
 

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Learn about them. Learn to live beside them. They are usually good neighbors, and can be comical and entertaining at times.

They are far less likely to attack you than the neighbor's dog.
 

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The eagle sees it
The deer hears it
The bear smells it

What every one has said is solid advice.
If you're really concerned about an attack, .357 or bigger carried will get the job done. You'll have to stand your ground during a charge, and bring it close in for a kill, or a warning shot may do the trick. It's tough to tote a shotty while doing chores around the homestead.

What ever direction you decide, practice is crucial for someone rather unfamiliar with weapons. PAX

PS, a big azz dog is the best early warning system, and bears are afraid of dogs.
And guns for all.
 

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If you have aggressive/comfortable bears coming into your yard while you're present, carry a handgun in a caliber that starts with a 4 and practice with it every day.
And keep that 06 handy. Shoot them if they casually come into your yard with people there.
 
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