You da MAN!!! Congratulations on the draw, and good luck on the hunt. I hope you do get a 24 or better, and I hope it's a bandy blonde. Don't forget your gold pan, all that placer beach gold in Nome had to come from somewhere.
Great news, keep us up to date. You going with the 300 Wby again, or try that 45/70 or .... you going make up a Hawk?
I'm thinking about the 30-06. I've been shooting that J.C. Higgins Mauser quite a bit and love it. Might just sell the Weatherby and go with all Mauser actions. The 45-70 isn't out of the running yet either. Thinking real hard on selling the .300, then buying another Mauser and having it barreled to 338-06. While the 30-06 might be a little light for the biggest bears, the 338-06 would be perfect. Most of those bears average around 6' 10" to 7'. No where near the size of the Brownies. I've been pounding myself with magnums to long, Marshalls article on the 30-06 has changed my opinion on what I really need for hunting.
Not to get to carried away on bear cartridges, I think the 30/06 will do just fine. Especially with today's bullets. Lord knows it served folks well for 50 years before the magnums were commonplace. I came very close to having my 1895 Winchester rebarreled to the 338/06, then that rascal CharlieZ put a bug in my ear about a 40 caliber based on the 30/06 case and well, I just couldn't quit thinking about it. Z-Hat has my rifle and is doing a bunch of stuff to besides rebarreling. He's got a great reputation for good work and sure is nice to correspond with, no matter what kind of stupid questions I asked of him. While I have my own opinions about "improved" cartridges, his seem to make a bit of sense. I don't think velocity is as big a factor in killing performance as a lot of people, and if there's no practical difference in trajectory, I don't believe there is an "improvement". But, I'm hard headed and most of the time I have to see it to believe it.
Whatever you decide, 30/06 - 338/06 - 338 Hawk - 358 Hawk, I'm sure you will have no problem with putting the bear on the ground. Should you want to hunt some of coastal brownies, I would consider one of the others, but the '06 has probably taken more of them than anything else also. Something different is always fun, though.
If I was going to hunt the Big Bears I would use a big gun, probably the .338 Winchester. These Tundra Bears don't "usually" get to big, but last year my brother and his hunting partner got a bear that went top 50 all time. The Boone and Crockett score was 26 1/16". It squared out at 8'10". That is a lot of bear regardless. Bottom line is shot placement. I've noticed that with both of the bears that I've shot, I was extremely focused on where the bullet was going. It's odd that when I see a big Mule deer buck my heart gets going like a pile driver, but with the bears I'm a lot more focused. Those deer don't "stare" at you like bears do! I think a 180 gr Nosler at 2800 fps will do just fine.
This is my brother with Joe Small's bear. It's entered in the Boone and Crockett all time as, Joe Small hunter, Scott Babcock owner. My brother spotted the bear, and Joe shot it. Scott had been watching this bear for quite a few years and finally caught up to it during hunting season. On one of the other posts you can read the story.
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