FIRST Western Hunt...SPRING BEAR '22

JLS

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It’s probably still overkill, but if it doesn’t slow us down and makes us feel more comfortable than I don’t see why one of us wouldn’t carry a shotgun.
Because any center fire hunting rifle will be more effective at killing Ephraim if he decides to eat you, and then it has some usefulness if you see two different bears and split up.

I understood what you originally described, but I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the logic.
 

mtnhntr99

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Because any center fire hunting rifle will be more effective at killing Ephraim if he decides to eat you, and then it has some usefulness if you see two different bears and split up.

I understood what you originally described, but I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the logic.
This makes my head hurt.

Are you saying you’d rather have a bolt action “center fire hunting rifle” with a 5-25 scope during an griz attack than a open sight 12 gauge pump with 600gr slugs?

I’ll have 5 slugs through him before your fumbling hands can rack a second round.
 

Beignet

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Take whatever makes you feel comfortable, but any extra weight is going to become a burden real fast when schlepping through the tight topo lines in that unit. I'd be surprised if shotguns don't end up getting left in the truck after the first day.

I'd also be running up stairs or doing whatever you've got to do to get in shape for those hills if you're coming from the Midwest. I'm a pretty avid trail runner, but still have my butt handed to me the first time I'm out in the mountains carrying any weight.

Have fun either way, it's some great country where you're headed.
 

Straight Arrow

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This "griz behind every tree" nonsense is getting to be pretty silly. But what do I know? I've only hunted, hiked, backpacked, camped in SW Montana for the past sixty years.

You are most at risk from that tinted window foreign looking sportscar sitting lowrider, with annoyingly loud exhaust pipes running 96 mph in the I-90 eighty mph zone!
 

Beignet

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This "griz behind every tree" nonsense is getting to be pretty silly. But what do I know? I've only hunted, hiked, backpacked, camped in SW Montana for the past sixty years.

You are most at risk from that tinted window foreign looking sportscar sitting lowrider, with annoyingly loud exhaust pipes running 96 mph in the I-90 eighty mph zone!

Have you considered bringing a grenade launcher?

Dude, I don't even take out the trash here in town without my .454.
 

JLS

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This makes my head hurt.

Are you saying you’d rather have a bolt action “center fire hunting rifle” with a 5-25 scope during an griz attack than a open sight 12 gauge pump with 600gr slugs?

I’ll have 5 slugs through him before your fumbling hands can rack a second round.
Absolutely I’d rather have a bolt action. I’m fairly decent with a shotgun and you’re full of shit thinking you’ll have six rounds to my one.

Carry what you want. Good luck.
 

mtnhntr99

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Take whatever makes you feel comfortable, but any extra weight is going to become a burden real fast when schlepping through the tight topo lines in that unit. I'd be surprised if shotguns don't end up getting left in the truck after the first day.

I'd also be running up stairs or doing whatever you've got to do to get in shape for those hills if you're coming from the Midwest. I'm a pretty avid trail runner, but still have my butt handed to me the first time I'm out in the mountains carrying any weight.

Have fun either way, it's some great country where you're headed.
Thank you! We’ve been hitting the stairs hard and carrying around 50lb bags of softener salt in our packs. I’m sure we’ll still get our asses kicked though.
 

mtnhntr99

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This "griz behind every tree" nonsense is getting to be pretty silly. But what do I know? I've only hunted, hiked, backpacked, camped in SW Montana for the past sixty years.

You are most at risk from that tinted window foreign looking sportscar sitting lowrider, with annoyingly loud exhaust pipes running 96 mph in the I-90 eighty mph zone!
You’re spot on and it is irrational. The drive from the Midwest will undoubtedly be more dangerous than hiking around SW Montana.
 

JLS

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a open sight 12 gauge pump with 600gr slugs?
One last comment because I’m assuming you don’t know what you don’t know.

Most 12 gauge slugs are actually 450 grains or less. The MV is 1600 fps. Slugs basically act like big pistol bullets.

Slugs can deform on a surface like a bears skull and not penetrate. In addition, they are not moving fast enough to create both a temporary and permanent wound channel. Both straight line penetration and temporary wound channel damage are important for quick incapacitation.

This is the premise for my argument you are better off with a center fire rifle.
 

manitou1

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One last comment because I’m assuming you don’t know what you don’t know.

Most 12 gauge slugs are actually 450 grains or less. The MV is 1600 fps. Slugs basically act like big pistol bullets.

Slugs can deform on a surface like a bears skull and not penetrate. In addition, they are not moving fast enough to create both a temporary and permanent wound channel. Both straight line penetration and temporary wound channel damage are important for quick incapacitation.

This is the premise for my argument you are better off with a center fire rifle.
I used to hunt on military installations where slugs were the only allowed fodder for big game hunting. I can tell you that they leave a massive wound channel and put game down as fast or (actually) faster than a centerfire, often leaving baseball or softball sized exits. I cannot imagine a 500 grain slug (what I used) not blowing right through a bear skull... or any bear bone.
That being said, I see no reason to carry the extra weight when already armed with a c.f. rifle.
 

JLS

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I used to hunt on military installations where slugs were the only allowed fodder for big game hunting. I can tell you that they leave a massive wound channel and put game down as fast or (actually) faster than a centerfire, often leaving baseball or softball sized exits. I cannot imagine a 500 grain slug (what I used) not blowing right through a bear skull... or any bear bone.
That being said, I see no reason to carry the extra weight when already armed with a c.f. rifle.
I’m not doubting they leave a massive wound channel. However, I’ve directly seen slugs do some really weird stuff upon impact.

Rifle bullets are a far better choice if you want straight line penetration through bone, hide, and tissue. Plus, a rifle has far more utility the other 99.999% of the time. I can’t even fathom leaving a hunting rifle home to pack around a 12 gauge.

But, as I said if they want to lug around a shottie for that singular purpose, more power to them. Probably better bring flash bangs too.
 

Elkoholic

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I wouldn't want to be the one drawing the short straw in your group and have to lug around that shotgun, sounds miserable, not an enjoyable trip out west. If by chance you are charged, personally I'd rather touch off some spray (confident of this happening before your 5 slugs), larger pattern than your slugs, greatly reduce the chance of a wounded bear, or worse yet a dead bear (or 3). That's my opinion and my opinion only, best of luck to your group!
 
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Thank you! We’ve been hitting the stairs hard and carrying around 50lb bags of softener salt in our packs. I’m sure we’ll still get our asses kicked though.
You will be fine. It really is not going to be that bad. It sounds like you guys are super prepared. Carry the shotguns if you want. Everyone is acting like you're going to be participating in hell week for the Navy Seals. For crying out loud you will be fine. I wish you the best of luck and hope you have some great memories and get a bear. Don't let the negativity get to you.
 

MTLabrador

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If you’re going to pack a shotgun at least carry slugs that are designed to penetrate. Your standard soft lead hollowpoint slugs can be pretty abysmal on anything larger than a deer.
 
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