A longtime bear hunter would recommend big-bore, high-velocity cartridges that fire solid 200-grain bullets at 1,000 fps. In the right gun, a heavy.44 Special or.45 Colt handload would do the trick. For your first bear hunt, however, consider a handload for a lighter gun. Here are the pros and cons of each. You may find a more effective black bear hunting caliber if one of these five options is a better fit for your gun.
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The optimum cartridge for black bear hunting is a cartridge with large exit wound to enhance blood trailing. While most bears are easily anchored by neck and head shots, some can also be caught on the move, such as by stalking across forage fields or beaches. A flashlight is also essential for tracking these bears. Regardless of the caliber you choose, the most effective cartridge will provide maximum performance, ensuring that your next black bear hunt is a success.
While many hunters believe that magnums are needed to take down a bear, this is not necessarily the case. The most effective black bear cartridges will leave a large exit wound to improve blood trailing. Headshots, neckshots, and high shoulder shots all anchor the bear. They strike the central nervous system, which can be slow to die, and the larger the hole, the better the outcome.
.357 H&H Magnum
A 300-pound black bear doesn’t require a 700-pound rifle. A 22-pound mag will be plenty of ammunition to deliver a perfect broadside heart shot. But if you want to make sure you kill the bear quickly, you’ll need a more powerful caliber. A 155-grain flat point bullet will work well in this case. In addition, a.357 H&H Magnum bullet will kill a bear quicker than the 30-06 rifle does.
.44 Remington Magnum
The.44 Remington Magnum is a powerful cartridge that delivers tremendous stopping power and deep penetration. A bullet’s density plays a critical role in the killing of a bear. A low-velocity handgun bullet can have a devastating effect on a black bear, especially if it’s moving through thick cover. Wayne Bosowicz’s unsuccessful.357 Magnum hunt didn’t involve hounds, but it did involve cornering and agitating the bear. A hound’s job is not nearly as easy as a black bear hunting with a rifle.
7mm Remington Magnum
Besides, you won’t find any big boar in the forest that wouldn’t fall prey to a well-placed shot. You can buy a rifle that has a 50 Caliber Browning cartridge for it and still get excellent results. It will weigh only 11-12 pounds and will have a low recoil. For an even bigger challenge, you can also buy a dead bear rifle, like the Remington 141 in 35 Remington. It is equipped with a 20-inch barrel, a tupperware stock, a 4xLeupold, and a limbsaver recoil pad.
For your next hunt, consider a 12-gauge slug gun. These are the most popular types of shotguns for bear hunting in the Alaska bush, and they are effective and inexpensive compared to bolt-guns. Government employees are even issued them. One popular slug is Brenneke’s Black Magic Magnum, a 602-grain slug with 3,000 foot pounds of energy. It is effective against any size black bear in Michigan.