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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 9 years I finally have my WI Black Bear tag. For the hunt, I'm going to use my 336 .35 Rem which I specifically aquired a couple years ago for this occasion. I'm totally stoked to use this rifle on this hunt.
However, I'm trying to choose between two scopes I have:
Leupold Rifleman 2-7x33mm Shotgun/ML w/ the heavy duplex reticle
or
Leupold VX1 1-4x20mm Shotgun w/ the heavy duplex reticle

My bait stations are in the thick woods, one is in some thick creek bottoms about 20 yards from the bait, the other is in some hardwoods that butt up to a thick slashing.
Shooting at both could be quick as the bears will just 'be there' at the bait station as I may not see/hear them coming. As with bears, espcially a large one, a quick follow up shot may be needed/wanted.

Here are my initial thoughts
1-4x20mm - quick sight aquistion at 1x, ability to magnify if needed. Nice wide field of view for finding a moving bear if needed.
2-7x33 - not a quick a big field of view, possibly better low light transmission at 2x?

Your thoughts?
 

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Either scope at 2x is still taking in more light than your eyes can effectively use. Given that the pupil on the average eye can open up to 7 or 8mm, at best, both scopes at 2x are delivering a larger beam of light (exit pupil) than your eyes can probably use. Remember, too, that as we age, our eyes can't effectively take in as much light since the ability of our pupils to open decreases.

I've used both of those scopes on various Marlins and would recommend, either. I haven't found the slightly wider field of view of the 1x compared to the 2x to be all that significant, but I do like the 1x option for the occasional offhand shot. As I said, either scope will do the job, but if you plan to use your 336 for other applications, the 2-7x might be more versatile.
 

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My guess at those distances the 1-4x model you listed. Not to change the subject but if you aren't going to see one coming in isn't it prudent to take a big handgun in case you see one peeking up through the foot rest of your tree stand?
 

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I've recommended this before. T-Roy would probably agree. The Leupold 2.5 X 20mm:


-Finish: Black Matte
-Reticle: Wide Duplex
-Actual Magnification: 2.3
-Field of View (ft at 100 yd): 39.5
-Optimum Eye Relief (in): 4.9
-Objective Clear Aperture (in): 0.8
-Weight (oz): 6.5
-Length (in): 8.0
 

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Congrats on the tag......lucky!!..................at those distances.........I'd rather be light and open......consider a peep.....you're pretty close in.....
 

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Leave the trail mix and candy bars at home.

By the way, congratulations on getting a tag. Good luck to you.
 

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Congrats on the bear tag!!! A scope I would recommend for your hunt would be a trijicon tr21 1.5-4.5x the reticle is glows from day light around you. This is the scope I use for dear hunting in the dark woods of northern Wisconsin. It has excellent light transmission. If I had to pick from the two you presented I would go with the 2-7x and keep the setting low.
 

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Either will work perfectly, but the 1-4 will be more trim on the rifle and seeing that they both have the Excellent Hvy Duplex you can't go wrong anyway you decide.

As far as one coming up the tree, I'd have bacon deodorant on and bacon in my pockets, until I ended up eating it. :)

Best of luck to you
BloodGroove4570
 

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Take the Leupold Rifleman 2-7x33mm...that scope, on it's lower powers will allow plenty of light transmission and the heavy duplex can be a great help during those last few minutes of hunting time, the bewitching hour...especially on the coal black hide of a bruin.

A couple of other suggestions, if I may. You speak of taking quick shots on moving bears. Resist that urge. I've had more hunters miss or wound bears due to that very thing than any other cause. Be patient and wait for a good shot. You're hunting over bait...sit still, keep quiet, control your scent...and allow the bear to commit to the bait.

Some bears, especially young, subordinate males, may quickly move in, snatch a morsel, and dash away into cover. They don't do this because of your presence. If they knew you were there they wouldn't show at all. They do this because they fear getting their butt kicked by the dominant bear in the area.

When that bear arrives, you'll know it. He'll come in like he owns the place...and he does. If you've taken care of your end of the deal...still, quiet, scent free as possible, calm and prepared...he'll give you a shot. Just be patient.

If you don't, you may end up with a different type of trophy as did a friend of mine...







Roe
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I hear you on not taking a quick shot on a moving bear...I should have clarified in that if a follow up shot is needed on a bear (I really want to anchor it as soon as possible and am hoping for a one shot - one kill scenario) the 1x magnification might be the best for that. I wouldn't take a shot on a bear that is moving quickly to or from the bait, or is moving through the brush to the bait. I'm hoping I have my stand setup in the best spot..downwind and slightly eleveated from the bait station, with good limbs/branches to break up my outline.
 

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A .35 Rem with a good 200gr or heavier bullet should have no problem on an average to above average black bear. A broadside shot , or slight quartering shot, is just as beneficial for firearm hunters as it is for bow hunters. I've long made it a practice to aim for the junction of the shoulder and spine rather than the more popular heart/lung shot. A solid hit with a heavy bullet that breaks one or both shoulders will put a bear on the ground where he stands, and the resulting damage to vitals is usually enough that a follow up shot is unnecessary. Bone up (no pun intended) on Black Bear anatomy, as they are built far different than deer. Many aim too far back, the diaphram is well forward on a bruin.



One other small suggestion...if possible, you may want to consider moving your tree stands a bit farther away. Not only will it give you a bit more "breathing room", but it will also reduce the steepness of the angle of your shot. Just one less variable to worry about.

Luck is what you make, but I'll offer you the best of luck on your hunt anyhow. I'll be on stand about the same time, on the western end of the UP.

Roe
 

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Congrats on the tag. I had a bear come up my tree once while bow hunting. I had just shot a big doe. The bear was under me and came up so fast that all I could do was beat him over the head with a twenty ounce nestea bottle. They use to frown on handguns while bow hunting in North Carolina.
 

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2X7X32 Nikon or other quality scopes with that magnification will do just fine . The 336 Marlin rifle is great, but I'm worried about your choice of caliber-the 35 Rem ?? Past 20 yds. the bear will "jump the bullet". LOL. Good luck and keep us posted !!
 

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1.25x4 is what I have on my 45-70 Marlin. Normally set on lowest power.
 

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Nice to hear from someone in WI! Live in Sheboygan and I hunt on my in-laws land up in Hurley. I just got on this forum (longtime lurker), and just ordered my first Marlin, a 336C in 30-30 a couple days ago. Should have it today or Monday. I have 6 preference points as of this year, and my father has 7. We offset each other so we could go two years in a row. Initially I was really intrigued by the .35 remington caliber, and I think my local gander mountain even has one. Wanted to stay with my usual gunshop though, and to be honest the availability of 30-30 over .35 ammo was a no brainer for me as I don't reload yet. Something I would like to do eventually, but having two little kids kind of sucks up your free time :). I had read up quite a bit on the 30-30 round as I was initially concerned with using it for black bear. Most people said within 100 yards I'd be fine, and the longest shot I might take will MAYBE be 75 yards. I plan on purchasing a .35 for bear/large game if I can afford it before, just not sure. Could always load the 30-30 up with buffalo bore! Anyways I just ordered an XS Scout Rail and Warne QD rings. Plan on putting a NcStar 2.5x30 for this season, and then upgrading to a Leupold 2.5x28 next year. Always liked the scout setup theory mainly for being able to shoot with both eyes open, quick target acquisition, and being able to have backup iron sights. I am really having trouble picking out which quality iron sights to buy. I really want to see how accurate I am up to 100 yards with them. Most people here will tell you if your eyesight is decent to good, you should have no problem shooting deer or bear with open sights at that range. We'll see how right they are, or how bad of a shot I am!

I apologize if I derailed this thread btw!
 

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Could always load the 30-30 up with buffalo bore!
See Forum on Ammunition Bullet Tests, focus on 190 Hawk, the bullet used in Buffalo Bore, for penetration, didn't do as well as some other common ammunition.

As far as targets coming in quickly, would do some live fire drills with a .22 then the 35 to prepare myself. If unable to do that, would unload rifle, place some dots on a wall or trees and practice dry firing, levering action, moving from dot to dot.
 
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