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beginner bear question


New member
Jan 7, 2001
Northeast Arizona
this year i'm going after me first bear. i've started planning early to work out all the bugs. and their are a lot of bugs right now! i'll start with my question. i'll be using a 30-06 but i am hearing that a bear doesn't go down or act shot when he is. is this true and also is there usually NOT a blood trail? does a game finder work to locate a wounded or dead bear or does it rely on blood?
o.k. now for the bug i am currently working on. the area i am headed is called the san gorgonial wilderness in southern california. and from talking to the wildlife biologist for the area and backpackers out there the area with "lots" of bears is a five to six mile hike one way and half the hike will be cross country. so that means hiking in with my pack and rifle, and packing out with my bear backpack and rifle. i don't want to make a buch on trips but i think that is what is probably going to happen. i've contacted a guide for the area who came reccomended but he is out of my budget(but definately the way i'd like to do it!!). and i've been trying contact a guy that rents horses in big bear but haven't had any luck reaching him. i did recently buy a game camera and i plan on sticking it out there to see what i come up with, but that is a hit or miss sorta thing.
CA yote, I am not that familiar w/ the BEAR in CA for I have only hunted ID. I was wondering though....... Have ya ever thought of Hunting outa state??! I would make ya a good deal on hunting bear up here w/ me. We might be able to work something out....

To answer what I know:

30-06, I have shot a bear close w/ a .270 and didn't find it. Bear are hardy but SHOT placement is just as important as a bigger cal. I personally have taken 3 bear in the last 3 year all w/ a 300 win mag. NO tracking ANY of them fortunately.

The bearthat I shot, NO blood trail!! Those dard buggers have longer hair and I think that stops some of the bleeding... All animals will bleed, but the bear is the worse (That I personally know)

Game finder, I actually want to know this Myself.. Looking for outside help!! I will post this question on the Big game section, Beter yet, You do it CA Yote!!

Packing in?!?!? I would recomend Horses!! I have done few Actual backpack trips but they Are HARD lemme tell ya. HAve you ever came back from a hike and said, "DANG, I wish I had a bear strapped to my back for the last 6 miles!!!!" Nope, didn't think so...


Also, are you baiting or is this Spot and Stalk?! I am assumeing that NO dogs are being used either right?!? We use a game camera on bait sites and have had some luck but just randomly setting one out?!!? Humm I am not an expert but I would say..NO!!

<LI> AKA Moose Hunter


moosie your offer does sound good to me but i think if i hunt out of state i have to sell one of my guns or something! when i first got this bug for a bear i was looking up in washington but cost was a factor and the fact that you can't exactly walk into the forrest and get a bear without scouting first kinda put me off. my 30-06 may not be enough to put him down? what about a lever gun in 44 mag. or a 45-70? i am planning on a spot and stalk or stumble bait aloud and no dog. just me and my bear!!(wishful thinking!!) the camera i know isn't very productive to just stick it out there, but i'm thinking that if i find a berry bush or some kind of food source things will happen and i'll have a picture or pictures of it. can you pattern a bear or do they move too much and don't nesseraly come back to the same bush or area to feed?
Come on guys , all a bear is, is a pig with claws and teeth. Your 30-06 will be more than enough. I personally use a knife.( double edged of course.) If you don't have to take the carcass that 6 miles will not seem so bad, unless you get a 13 foot bear, in which case the hide alone will weigh anywhere in between 160 and 170 lbs. If you want to eat the meat then you may just have to walk 36 miles, 6 in , 6 out with hide and skull , 6 back in and 6 back out with half of bear , 6 back in and 6 back out with other half of bear. Good luck. And start jogging.
Another reason they don't bleed much, especially in the fall, the fat they've stored up can seal the wound.

If you don't have to carry it TOO far, and it isn't too big, you can leave the feet and head on the hide and let the taxidermist do the rest.
Calif-Coy., you won't have any problem whatsoever with your .30-06, so long as you shoot accurately. I'd use the Federal Premiums, 180 gr. Nosler Partitions, if they group well in your rifle.

I have killed one 400 lb black bear, in Tulare County, in the Southern Sierra, about ten miles north of the old logging town of Johnsondale. I used a S&W Model 57, .41 Mag., with my handloads, 210 gr. Sierra JHP, 19 grs H2400. About 15 yards. He was treed in a bull pine, by eight Plott hounds. I was with an outfitter named John Webb, out of Fontana.

Point is, the bear was dead from one shot, by the time he hit the ground. Through and through.

I also killed a black bear, again with an outfitter in Shasta County, north of the Eel River, using my .280 Rem. rifle, with my handload of 160 gr. Nosler Partition, with 54 grs. IMR 4350. This bear was on the ground, about 40 yards distance. One shot: dead bear.

Point is, your .30-06 is all you need, if you know how to use it.

Your two biggest problems are finding a bear in the San Gorgonio (I'm familiar with that area and it's rougher than a cob), and secondly, getting it out without the hair slipping.

Best of luck to you. L.W.

EDIT: I strongly suggest, if you don't know how to skin a bear properly to make a rug, go to a good taxidermist in your area and ask him how to do it, and how to take care of the hide, etc., before you bring it to him for a rug. One of the biggest problems with bears is hair slippage. L.W.

[This message has been edited by Leanwolf (edited 01-11-2001).]
I use to hunt bears out of Sacramento around silver Lake,bear lake ,Tahoe, Grass Valley and used dogs and and most of the time we would shoot them with a 44 mag when your are in brush a rifle only gets in the way but a 30-06 will do a good job good luck on you hunt when you go.
Welcome Don,
I forgot about Silver Lake. I went deer hunting for my first time between there and Kirkwood. Seen quite a few bear tracks in the area.
CC, a 30/06 is more than enough gun. I have a friend up here (35 mi. east of Fresno) that is quit reasonable. I think he charges $100.00 a day and $600.00 for the bear. He has some good hounds and if you have never hunted behind dogs it is an experience.

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