Bear hunting - perhaps the form of hunting that can put the hunter to the ultimate test in terms of courage and drive. Although the normal bear is a peaceful animal that likes to stay on its edge and likes to avoid confrontation with humans, the bear has the capacity and ability to harm or kill a human easily. Something that is usually an explanation for bear attacks is that the bear is injured, sick, guarding its prey, or it could be a female with a young.
Bear hunting with dog
When it comes to bear hunting, it is usually conducted with a dog. The procedure is that the dog is trained to look for a bear either on winding weather or to track down the bear. Both methods work as long as the dog has his task clear to him. Once at the bear, it should bark at it (stand), the important thing is that the dog with his bark tells his master / mistress that the bear is here, and when the hunter sneaks forward, his sound from the sneaking is drowned in the dog's barkl. Many bears sit or lie down when the dog barks at it, and in most cases the shot is usually simple and calm.
Characteristics of the dog
You can summarize a dog's characteristics in 3 ways for bear hunting to work:
- Tracking ability, or at least a willingness to seek out a bear.
- Stand bark, the dog must have the courage to dare to bark at the bear.
If the dog possesses these 3 characteristics, bear hunting is not that difficult as the bear is a relatively easily hunted animal. Nowadays, many species are called bear dogs but very few function well for this type of hunt in my opinion.
The bear's behavior
Once the dog / dogs have found the bear and barked at it, a lot depends on the type of bear and how it behaves on the stand. The dream bear weighs 250 kg + -50 kg, these bears are usually so confident and secure that they do not become afraid of the dog but take it easy. Often when you come sneaking in, it becomes a simple shot at a calm bear.
The slightly more unpredictable bears during bear hunting are more often in the middle class 150 kg + -50 kg. These often have more anxiety in the body and are sometimes more aggressive towards the dog or sounds in the forest (it can be you when you are on your way to the stanc). These bears are usually a good idea to approach with some caution and be prepared in case they attack the sound.
The slightly smaller bears can certainly also be aggressive but do not have the pondus that a medium-sized bear has, but prefer to flee and preferably if they notice that something new and unknown is creeping up.
When it comes to caliber selection and bullet selection for bear hunting, the saying goes, a little is enough but a lot can help. The difference between shooting a bear sitting quietly on a stand or doing a search for an injured bear that is angry and full of adrenaline is huge.
What you need to keep in mind is that the bear is not a flight animal in the first place, but my feeling is that the bear as a species first handles the problem on the spot if it is damaged and then tries to get to safety. Instead of first fleeing and then hoping no one follows.
During a bear hunt, I have personally shot several bears with a caliber of 6.5 55 and Norma, the Alaska bullet. There is nothing wrong with that, but clearly there are no margins for error as the shots are normally under 30 meters, and sometimes 3 meters.
9.3-62 is a very potent caliber but also kicks a lot so about 5 years ago I got 8 57 js and i'm very happy with that caliber. It is not as strong as 9.3 but is sufficient for the situations that have arisen so far.
The bullets I have chosen for bear hunting are ordinary lead tip (see the article choice of bullet ammunition). The dog can often be behind the bear and I want to avoid the risk of a shot if I have to take a shot even if the dog is behind.
Location of the shot
My key word in bear hunting and shooting at a bear is the largest possible hit area, ie the bullet must enter to the vital parts regardless of the angle.
For side shoots on the bear I usually put it a little behind the bow blade, or most easily explained a little behind where the front leg goes up in the body, in height between the back line and the chest end. (a little in front of the middle of the bear. Sometimes there are dogs behind but you have no choice but to shoot.
When shooting straight from the front, I rarely choose head shots as the brain is easy to miss, rather then trying to shoot of the spine while I try to get the bullet into the hit area diagonally from above.
Good luck in the bear forest!