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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I'm going on my 2nd black bear hunt in September. Last year I took a 336bl 30-30. Right after that I sold the bl and bought a jm 336 cs in .35 rem. Way smoother. This year I plan on using BB heavy ammo with 220 jfn. I'd like to get some advice on where to place my shot. Should I make a lung shot or bust the shoulder with a follow up lung shot? 90% of the time I won't have more than a 30 yard shot, because it'll be thick vegetation. I'll be on the ground. All advice and any tips are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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My opinion - bears aren't all that hard to kill. For sure the .35 is terrific (as was the .30-30). 220 grain bullets are fine. If you break the shoulder, there is a good chance it will go straight down. If you do the lung shot, it still isn't going to go far at all, and even though it's thick brush, if you make a good shot and give it half an hour just to be sure, my guess is you will find it within about 50 yards, already starting to stiffen up. Personally, I'd just shoot it through the ribcage - either way is fine though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have 5 boxes of LE 200 gr ftx. Was planning on buying the BB 220, but if the LE will work there's no reason for me to spend money on different ammo. I've shot many deer with 30-30 LE. It's devastating on whitetail.
 

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I split the spine on a little boar (150# field dressed) back in 1990 with a crappy shot...

Sucker still managed to drag himself 70 yards with his front legs...

And that was with me continuing to fire 5 more 240gn Winchester white box from an 1894S into the chest...I recovered all but the first round...

If I had it to do over, I'd take the front shoulder out (if I could hit it that is)...
 
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Just don't gut shoot it. Keep that shot well forward.

Get both lungs if you can. Bears can go a long way on one lung.

Both lungs and a shoulder, even better, but both lungs for sure.

Love bear hunting, and September has been a really good month for it, for my son and I.

Best of luck! Guy
 

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I am assuming that you are shooting over bait. When the bear comes in wait for it to turn broadside, or as nearly broad side as it will. When it turns, wait for it to take that first step that brings the front leg forward. Consider the "elbow" where the front leg bends to be the bottom. Place your shot halfway between the elbow and the shoulder. He won't go far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I won't be hunting over bait. Last year I looked for sign and found a bed and some fresh scat. So I set up where I could cover the area. Had a bear come within about 35 yards from me but couldn't see it. It was over a near vertical bank which was about 25 yards away from me. Bear hunters use dogs where I'm at and apparently the bear had been running from dogs. I could hear it panting and snorting. It was awesome to have it pass by that close even though I couldn't see it or get a shot! That's really hooked me!
 

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Between the vegetation and lack of bait you aren't going to be able to pick and chose your shots. If you are presented with a choice of double lung or double shoulder take the double lung for a better blood trail. Study anatomy, because the lungs might be a little lower than what you are expecting. Good luck.
 

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I have always been told to take the shoulders out. If you don't kill the animal with the shot and have to track into nasty brush, I don't think I would like being in the situation.Take the shoulders out and when it is on the ground, kill it. Guides hate tracking thickets with a bear that may or may not be dead. I would think you wouldn't either.
V
 

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Shoulder shots will kill just fine, but don't always leave a blood trail. The last three bears I shot were with a .350 Rem. Mag. I was using the 200 gr. Hornady SP at 2650. All were easy shots, the first at 30 yds., and the last two at 60 yds. The first was a double lung in and out the ribs. A decent and short blood trail led to the dead bear. The last two were double shoulder shots. Both left no blood trail. Bear #2 was never recovered from the thick stuff he got into. When I found bear #3 the only blood was small amount coming from the nose. The far shoulder wasn't even bruised. I'm stepping up to the 225 gr. Sierra at 2740 fps. this year.
 

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E - Bullets: I like exit wounds, bullets designed to penetrate and create a consistent wound channel will usually create that. The LE's are designed to give up energy rather quickly, in some shot scenarios they would likely work just fine - I tend toward using bullets that perform well in difficult shot scenarios - I would recommend getting the BB's.
 

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My Son and I have had good luck using Hornady 200g FTX bullets, with either reloads or factory. You can't go wrong by putting your shot into the "boiler room". The biggest black bear I've ever shot (500#) was with a Marlin 336, 30/30, 170g. Win. Silvertips, over bait at 15 yds.. The shot was were the neck and shoulders meet. He dropped instantly, no twitching/moaning. Keep us posted on your hunt.
 

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Sounds like your in for a great time! I shot a black bear last week. 30-30 maybe 80 yards, first was direct should hit, which caused him to do the snow plow push with his back legs. Then I followed with two more shots just to Center mass, when things get crazy I just put it in the middle and keep pumping. Second two shots weren't overly needed but hey. All together he was probally 49 yards away from the first shot. After an inspection I could see my first shot shattered his shoulder, and shattered the other shoulder bouncing around, then went down, did not exit. I was using 170 power points, with the 30-30 whenever I can, on any big game when presented I always do a direct shoulder breaker. It doesn't always work out like that, but hitting bone does create a whole lota violent upset on the structure, the 30 does great on shoulders.
 
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