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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to canada for a spring bear hunt in 2003 and am having trouble deciding what to take. The hunt is spot and stalk or over bait. I've got several to choose from, but would like to know what experianced bear hunters would recommend.
My first choice is a .300 wby using 180 or 200 gr noslers or barnes 'X' with a handful of 250 gr barnes originals. What do you guys think?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What kind of bear?
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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If you are in fact going for black bear, how about the 444.

If you wanted a pistol cal., there's always the 454, the 480 or a .45colt loaded HOT
 

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When you consider the cost of the hunt, the time restraints, not knowing the area, all of that points to having a gun that can take any shot offered. The Weatherby will do just that. Do you have one? If not the 300 Win mag will do just as well. I've used both 180's and 200 grain bullets. Both completely penetrated. The 180 was at about 275 yards and the 200 was closer, probably 80 to 100 yards. The problem with the Big Bore levers is trajectory. You will be hunting an area that you aren't familiar with, you don't have any idea of range. Most people, myself included, struggle with accurately judging range. The big 30's take some of that guess work out of the equation. A 30-06 will also do just fine, unless you are hunting Grizzlies, then I'd recommend the big 30 with 200 grain bullets. Whatever you decide, use a good bullet, and have fun.
If you knew you were going to be just hunting over bait, I would then say take the lever.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Good point about trajectory Joel!!!

I wasn't thinking outside the box on that one! Limited my choice of "Bigguns" on my limited experience in VT.

Chris~:)
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi, Rufus:
First, don't even think about bringing a handgun into Kanada. Check out the rest of the details here.
http://www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca/en/owners_users/fact_sheets/visitin.asp

Actually hunters don't seem to have much of a hassle bringing rifles into Kanada, not near as much as I'd have taking a gun to the States.

I'm a Nosler fan, been one for 30 years. If you're hunting over bait, ranges will be short, for a Weatherby, so I'd go with the 200 grainer. I've got no experience with Barnes Bullets, but it seems that individual rifles either love them or hate them, so it's the old rule of shoot them and see.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #7
O.K. these are black bears that I'm looking to hunt. And yes I know about the penalty for bringing handguns into kanada.
I do have the weatherby and am really leaning towards that,it was purchased through a dealer so there was a 4477 form. I don't want to give the canucks a serial # for any firearm that our government doesn't have. I am also concerned about potential trouble at the border, I don't want to risk an irrelacable firearm to bungling border guard.
 

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Still would use the Weatherby. Average size Black bears are about 250-300 lbs. But a nice one could go 500 lbs, and your shot could be 250 yards. That calls for the Weatherby with a 200 grain Swift A-Frame. The Remington factory loads were very accurate in this bullet in my gun.
 

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For shooting within 150 yards, I'd choose the .45-70 over the .444 Marlin any day. Or the new .450 Marlin. But if you reload, and I presume you do if you're visiting this site, then forget the .450 Marlin and use the .45-70 in the strong Marlin action.
The .444 is severely hampered by bullet weight limitation. It was released at a time (1964) when velocities were everything and its major selling point was its velocity. However, this was with a 240 gr. pistol bullet.
The .444 Marlin is a poor imposter of the .45-70. It pales next to a reloaded .45-70 cartridge in a strong action.
If you don't reload, go with the .450 Marlin. A 400 gr. bullet at 1,800 fps has a lot of penetration and energy.
For longer ranges, the .300 Winchester Magnum would be my choice. Ammo and cases are cheaper and easier to obtain.
Velocity is fine but marksmanship is what really counts here.
A hit in the neck with a .30-30 is better than a hit in the paw with a .300 Whoozit Magnum Whatizdoodle.
Whatever you decide upon practice, practice and practice at ranges out to 250 or 300 yards. Sight in from the benchrest but practice in the prone, kneeling and standing position to best mimic actual hunting conditions.
 

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The .444 Marlin is a poor imposter of the .45-70. It pales next to a reloaded .45-70 cartridge in a strong action.
Whoooeee better not be lettin Marshall hear you disrespectin' the .444 like that :eek:

For possible long shots I'd go with the .30 to .35 calibers. For shorter range use a lever. Are you limited to bringing just one? Always good to have a backup in case of scope problems etc..


Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well the 45-70 marlin was one of my first choices, I set mine up with a red dot sight just for shooting things in dark woods, but there is no 4473 form tying this rifle to me,so I'm not giving the canucks tis serial #. Same with my long .444, my outfitter might could go but the barrel seems real slow, only 2000 fps with the Hornady 265 gr factory load so I don't know if it would be effective out to 150 yds. I just picked up an 1895m .450 in june, it might work.
 

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If you shoot the Weatherby well, and it gives you confidence, there is nothing wrong with it for your hunt. Work your loads up in the cold this winter, and practice walking with the rifle and then taking a rest and shooting in 5 seconds or less. You should be able to hit an 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of BROWN or BLACK paper at 200 yards every time.

Of course, the king of all cartridges for North American game larger than deer is the 338 Win Mag, but that's more of a fireside issue...
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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"Whooooeeee, better not let Marshall hear you disrespectin' the .444 like that"
My thoughts exactly when I read it.

If 'n you read Marshall's 3 articles 'bout the triple 4 he lists and talks about the power of this great cartridge. That's why I made the recommendation originally. I thought I missed sumthin' along the way:confused: when I read Joels posts...

But then I'm thinkin' although Joel made EXCELLENT points about trajectory and the limitations of the big bores, and yes it's no 45-70; The .444 can and does stand among the "heavyweights" when in reload form. It's energy is definitely up there although as Joel pointed out it's trajectory and range are some what "limited".

I have not hunted Canada or anywhere else as "exotic". ****, I have not ever hunted outside the North East, mostly I'm limited hunting from NJ to Maine. Most of the areas of the NE are typically brush, and perhaps in a general sense the longest shot of clearing might be 200 yards. There are exceptions to that, but where I have hunted it's pretty thick.

I'm not trying to turn this into another .444 vs. ???. So getting back to the topic, let us know what you choose, and more important, post some pictures of the bruin when you get back!!!!:D
 

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All these points make good old fashioned horse sense, and either choice would be a good one. If you were leaning towards your 300 weatherby, I don't reckon there is a black bear made that will be able to soak up too many good hits without giving up the ghost.

If you are hunting over bait, you will be able to dial in the range, more or less. If distance is not a factor, I would go as heavy and tough a bullet as humanly possible. Nosler does make a beautiful 220 grain semi-spitzer, and it looks to me to be something special, tailor made for this application.. It is my bear / pig bullet in my 06, and is alledged to achieve 2600 fps.

Spot and stalk, reckon its a wash, unless the 300 packs really heavy. If I am footing it about, I generally take something that packs easier, though. Standard length rifle with a slim scope, that kind of thing. THis is the method of hunting where range may become a big deal, and its good to go a little lighter bullet weight, say the 180s for your wby.

Good luck Rufus, kill a great big one.

Steve
 

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If your looking for something hard hitting and your shooting short to med ranges and you don't reload or you do reload, I like the 450 Marlin ported guidegun, great knockdown power, factory loads using Hornady 350 gr interlock average 2100 fps, this will put any bear to sleep for good. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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WOW!!!:eek: :D :eek:

That's one well trained bear!!!:D guess he's not gun shy{any more!!!!}

Do his arms get crampy from posing like that!!!!:D ;) :p


All in fun!

Chris~
 

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The bear was shy but i told him i would give him a goody if he posed for me :D The deer was the trouble kept falling a sleep on me, not use to staying up all day:eek: Take care Aim small hit small RAMbo.
 
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