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Bear shot placement advice?

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Bear shot placement advice?

Old 07-19-2013, 12:23 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Virginia
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Default Bear shot placement advice?

I normally only hunt whitetail and turkey. But this year, I plan to also shoot a bear if I get a shot. I didn't shoot bears in the past because I'm not particularly fond of the meat (and didn't know anyone who did who didn't shoot their own bear meat) and the female half of my friends who own the property where I do most of my hunting asked me not to shoot them (the male half didn't care). This year, both these thinks changed. I found out a friend of mine LOVES bear meat and rarely gets to cook it and there are now so many bear near my friendsí home that they are getting concerned. Oh yeah, and a bear mauled their Australian Shepherd. THAT really changed things! I also wouldnít mind having a bearskin rug.

I searched the threads and mostly found what I already knew: Shoot in the boiler room (lungs) broadside and any setup I use for whitetail should be OK for bear. Also some info I didnít know: bears generally bleed less on the trail than whitetails. What I have NOT seen is much specific advice on actual shot placement on a bear. I know generally where the lungs are, but bear do have more fur and I would like to see diagrams, pictures, or similar advice (including helpful descriptions) of a bearís anatomy relative to shot placement. I figure this would help me understand how much real estate I have to work with (8 inch pie plate?) and how much leeway I have with angles. There are a lot of bears in the area. I see one about half the time when I hunt whitetails. So Iím not really looking for advice on how to find or attract bear (baiting is illegal in VA anyway).

Also, for reference, this is in western Virginia (Rockingham County), so we are talking about black bear, probably in the 200-400 lb range. Thereís a huge sow in the area (~400 lbs), itís the one they think mauled the dog, but it has cubs with it, unless they have left recently. A few years back I saw one up close and personal (less than 10 yards and I was on the ground) that was 500 lbs., but I think it was taken or left the area.

Any help on this?
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:42 PM
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Location: Lincoln, Illinois
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Here are some links to help.



Typically you want to shoot a touch higher than your instinct says, the reason is bears have fur that hangs down from their belly that makes the vitals appear lower than they are.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Spooner, Wisconsin
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The diagrams are great. One word of advice if your going to use a scope remember turn your scope down as low as it will go or all you will see is black. If your going to hunt off a bait and your stands are going to give you close shots I recommend open sights. Good luck. http://www.buycrossbowsonline.com/home.html
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:26 PM
Typical Buck
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Thanks, guys. Those links were very helpful, although they immediately passed forward to the generic Google homepage immediately when I was using Chrome. Weird. It didn't do that in Internet Explorer.

It looks like I should definitely only take broadside or quartering away shots.

Follow up question: The "boiler room" on a whitetail is typically about an 8 inch pie plate, right? So what is the boiler room on a black bear equal to? The same? A little bigger or smaller? I know it must depend on the bear's size, but what is typical, for, say a 250 lb black bear?
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:49 AM
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Location: NW Florida
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4 -6 inches behind the front leg and in the middle of the body works every time. I have several bears on the wall myself. A double lung will bring that bear down faster than you will imagine. I have never had one run away more than 25-30 yards.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:31 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
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I have not got to hunt bear yet, but I have always heard that their lungs are a little lower than you would expect. You still should have a fairly decent size area, but they don't go as high as a whitetail.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
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I have 6 bears and bow kills with them as well. I hunt with Eric and Maria www.bouleaublanc.com in Forestville Quebec

All of my bears fell within 10 seconds with a lung shot. Normally run 20-30 yards just like a deer.

Blood trails were always solid.

The biggest thing to be careful with. The belly on a bear has lots of fur. You can't put an arrow along the lower elbow like you can on a deer and expect that heart shot.

Bears have lots of fur and the body belly area is hard to judge.

You have to come back behind the shoulder in the middle of the body.

6 inches behind the shoulder. Stay away from that lower shoulder pocket area. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:40 PM
Typical Buck
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Thanks for the advice, everyone! Are bears' boiler rooms about the same size as whitetails'?
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:17 AM
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I have shot half a dozen bears as well... a couple with the rifle and rest w/ bow.... Just hug armpit and try to get a shot when leg is forward exposing vitals.... try to avoid shoulder, w/ bow anyway.
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