.308 for the grizzly

GlockZ

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looking to get one of those lightweight rifles, kimber adirondack, savage lightweight hunter, etc. for hunting elk, sheep, maybe even a mountain goat , question is, since i would probably be hunting in grizzly country, should one be confident carrying a .308 in case of a run in with an ornery bruin. bear spray first, and rifle in case spray doesn't work?
 

Southern Elk

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A .308 packs more of a punch than the handguns that archery hunters carry. You will be fine.
 

belly-deep

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The problem with posing a question like this is very few, if any, who answer have actually stopped a grizzly charge. That includes yours truly.

That said, I feel comfortable carrying a .308 in griz country. I consider a .270/7mm-08 with decent bullets my “griz minimum” but that is no more than a WAG based off what I’ve seen those cartridges do to hooved game.
 

Don Fischer

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Shouldn't be a problem at all. I'd want a 180gr bullet in it though! My first experience with grizzly country was in NW Mont in the early 70's. I was hunting in grizzly country all the time and it spooked me so I bought a 338 mag. After three years up there, I'd not one time run into a grizzly, I mean I've never seen one! I suspect they are no more interested in a visit with you than you are with them; well 99% anyway! Think about it, when we hunt, even bears, we try to keep the wind in our favor. If they smell us we believe they'll leave! That just may be exactly what they'd do! On the other hand if you get between a mom and her kids or simply surprise one up close, you will likely have a problem. I spent a couple years in Alaska living in a cabin. Out far enough that there was no power and no water! I have never seen a grizzly in my life that was not in an enclosure of some type.
 

onpoint

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Glock Z, you might want to rethink strategy a bit.......
If I understand your question correctly:
If you deploy bear spray, that implies that the bear is danger close. If the bear spray "doesn't work", that implies that the situation has become "worse" - you and the bear are in even closer proximity - things probably happening at a pretty fast rate (understatement).
The thought that a (probably) scoped rifle being of use in this situation, under a crisis level situation, being experienced by someone who has never (hell, by some one who has been) been in this situation is a stretch to say the least.
Belly Deep nailed it- answers to questions like this [on an internet forum] - are next to useless anecdotal info.
Of course, this being the internet, my response may also be useless info....................
 

rammac

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If you use the spray you probably wont have time to use the rifle, most bear attacks give you about 3 seconds from the time you recognize that you are being attacked to when the bear actually gets to you. Whatever you choose to use to deter a bear attack is a personal decision but to be as effective as possible you need to practice, and that includes using spray. They make training spray cans that you can use to practice drawing and deploying it.

I carry a .308 rifle quite often for bear protection, my bullet of choice is a Barnes 168gr TTSX. I also like the 180gr bullet but I use the 168gr because I figure I'll be shooting animals that are far less of a threat way more often and the 180gr would be overkill in most of the circumstances.

When I choose to carry a pistol I use the heaviest caliber that I can shoot well knowing that I'll only have 3 to 5 seconds to use it. For me that's either my .454 Casull or .44mag, depending on how puny I feel that day.
 

Addicting

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Most of the griz encounters I’ve read and listen too there wasn’t a ton of time and the pistol didn’t do much good. Listen to the meat eater podcast “meat tree” episode as they talk about thier bear attack. This year I was in a prime griz area and was making noise had my bear spray and rifle. Out of the brush 10’ in front of me a dog came rushing at me. My reaction was to use my trekking poles and yell. If it would of been a bear the spray not rifle were the first thing on my mind. Listening to that podcast made a lot of sense as I reflected on my scare.
 

Ben Long

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I hunt grizzly country with a 308 and pepper spray and feel fine about it. But I count on the spray for defense. I would shoot a bear if I had too, though. I do know of one female grizzly that charged a hunter on the Front. The hunter shot her at close range with a 308 in the head and she survived, as did the hunter. She wandered around for a few years with a bullet in her skull. It caused neurological damage, but didn't kill her outright. I don't know what kind of bullet it was. But if you're hunting elk you're wise to use a strong slug, like a Partition or Barnes. I know one game warden who shot a grizzly at point blank range with a 357 in the head five times. Emptied the gun into the bears head but the bullets bounced off the skull. They were softer points, designed for stopping humans not grizzlies. Bear only died when he was under it and shot it under the throat.
 

Dinkshooter

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I need to post up a pic of the black bear my buddy brained at 5 yards with a bow this year.

I have a really hard time believing the bullet bounce off theories.
 
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belly-deep

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I need to post up a pic of the black bear my buddy brained at 5 yards with a bow this year.

I have a really hard time believing the bullet bounce off theories.
I think “deflect and fail to penetrate” is what Ben means when he says bounce off.

I’ve seen big game bullets deflect inside big game. I have no doubt it could occur when shooting at a skull, especially if the angle was shallow.
 

Ben Long

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"Deflect and fail to penetrate" is probably more precise. And right, too, that the angle was shallow, which it tends to be with a bear moving toward you. They come in low, about hip level.
One thing about the incident with my friend the game warden. It was all caught on film. (Literally film in those days.) Five rounds. Point blank. Bear was a big male and all hopped up. Warden was releasing the bear from a trap when the bear turned on him.
I know another guy who had to shoot a bear off a buddy while it was chewing on his friend's thigh. The guy had a 7mm mag. He is an ER nurse and new that he didn't want to shoot his friend. The bear took one body hit to no avail. So the guy reloaded, put the muzzle in (or just outside) the bear's ear and pulled the trigger, angling so the shot would not hit his friend's leg. Bear collapsed. Both guys survived. That's the kind of hunting partner I like. Cool head. Angle is important!
 

Southern Elk

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I have no doubt Ben is correct. You should read his book Great Montana Bear Stories. He's probably talked to more people who've had bear encounters than the rest of us combined.

I have had to put down my share of cattle and I have had bullets from a 9mm and 38 special bounce off their skulls. It kind of stuns them for a minute then you have to shoot them again. Behind the ear works better.
 

VAspeedgoat

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I agree with the angle and penetration as it relates back to cattle. A .357 square to the eyes isn't as effective as a .22mag to the ear or bethind the poll of their head.

No first hand experience on grizz, but the research and data shows bear spray to be the best defense. Hard to argue with anyone's first hand experience though. And then as pointed out, the .308 is more effective than a pistol.
 

Bambistew

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If I'm packing my 308 in bear country, I don't have spray.

I run into a number of bears every year, and to be honest I feel far less than adequate with my 44 or spray than I do with a rifle.

People tend to worry way too much about bears IMO. Respect them, yes, but don't dwell on what is the "best" or better protection.
 

Don Fischer

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I rad a bunch of these thread's about the handgun to carry hunting. Seem's like everyone, well a lot, seem to believe they will either be attacked by a grizzly or a pot farmer. My first though is always the same; what are you gonna do? Throw down your rifle and shoot it/him with your pistol! Funny the thing's people come up with but I've never heard carrying a handgun to shoot small game if the thing shows up. But in some I find even the black bears are dangerous! Saw a video of a black bear attack on a guy with a bow yesterday. Guy was hiding befind a brush pile watching the bear come on. When he grew uncomfortable with the range he jumper up and screamed at the bear. Got it's attention! The bear immediately bolted and ran right over the top of the guy getting out of there. Guy never slowed the bear one bit rather he fell down when he was run over and called it a bear attack!

There are time's I actually do think of a handgun while I'm out hunting. Be nice to have if you come on a rabbit or grouse you'd like for dinner. Of course a 500 S&W might handle the rabbit also! I'll take a nice 22RF. I have two but both have 6" barrels and a bit unhandy because ot that. Rather for that, have one with a 4" barrel.
 

Dinkshooter

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Just because I thought of the story last night and its a pretty good one to boot.

Just wanted to pass along my experience this morning to fellow hunters, as we all can learn from experiences of others. This all happened in less than 60 seconds.

I decided to try out a new elk hunting spot south of town. As I hiked up a hill and topped out and began slowly walking up the ridge, a black object jumped out in front of me about 30 yds. First micro-thought.....young calf/steer, as this was an active grazing allotment. Next micro-thought, not a steer, that's a bear. OK, cool, it is a bear. He's looking at me over his shoulder, he knows I am here, he'll blast over the ridge away from me. Every bear I have seen in the past has done that, ran away.

The bear turns and faces me. Ok, he's curious, I startled him and he wants to make sure of what he saw. He takes 5 steps to me. Ok, anytime now, he is going to recognize me as a human and he is going to run away. He takes two more steps towards me, head down. Ok, that is not a posture I have seen before in curious bears. I yelled at him and raised my arms up in the air, telling him to get out of here. He took 5 more steps towards me. He is now at 20 yds. I don't think this bear is curious anymore. Ok, keep yelling at him, find a stick or a rock to throw it at him....there are none. Keep yelling at him, waving your arms.............he takes 5 more steps. At this point, I scramble to grab an arrow out of quiver and knock it while yelling at the bear. I even used my biggest, loudest "daddy bear" voice I use on my daughters to make them stop in their tracks. It doesn't work.

He takes 5 more steps, now at 10 yds. I draw back on the bear, all the while in the back of my mind not wanting to shoot him. Killing a bear has never on my bucket list, I like bears and never had the aspiration to hunt bears. He continues to take 5 more steps............he is now at 5 yds and has his front feet on a log in front of me. Head down and chin to his chest. It was decision time for me as I was way too close and did not know what this bear's intent was, or if he was going to pounce in an instant. My mind was made up, if he moved one foot forward off the log I was going to release an arrow. Two seconds later his front foot moved forward and I released my arrow. He dropped immediately in his tracks......4 yds in front of me. Micro-thoughts.......did that just happen? Really, did that happen? That didn't happen, did it? My first realization that it did happen was my jugular vein in my neck thumping abnormally hard as well as my heart trying to jump out of my chest. Then my hands started to shake, my bow felt as light as a feather..........wow........that did just happen. I had to sit down and take some deep breaths.

My arrow hit the bear three inches above his eyes, dead center in the skull plate. That was not where I remembered putting the pin when I released, but it was effective. Thank you muzzy broadheads! I caped and quartered the bear (boar) and drove down to the State Park to call the CPW and report the incident. CPW officer asked what happened and recognized the situation was self-defense. CPW gave me two options, turn the bear over to CPW or buy a leftover bear license for the unit and utilize the bear myself. I opted for the left over license.20170913_064113.jpg
 

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