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FrontierGander
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PostSubject: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 12:17 am

Got a left over year tag for a nice unit, but to be honest. I'm not really into bear hunting as its like looking for a needle in a hay stack when you can not bait or use lures in Colorado for bear.

Calls IMO are pretty much worthless. They might work when you SPOT the bear from afar, but calling one in is pretty thin chances IMO.

I plan on taking that hawken woodsman .50cal percussion, then I looked on the wall and saw the flintlock version and to be honest, that REALLY has me tempted!

Both rifles would be loaded with patched round balls of course. I know the flinter is on sight as well as the percussion, Just so darn hard to decide!

Do I get serious and go with the more reliable percussion, or put my back against the wall and force myself to slow down and do it with a flinter?

Finding a bear will be the hardest part, so a nice light rifle is a must since it mostly will be a site seeing trip while my brother hunts deer and elk.
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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 5:25 am

You might as well stay home with that attitude. You have a very good unit for bears. About 50 times better than mine.

Calling does work, but you have to call for an hour. Try a fawn call. Get this call. Call up there and ask him if the deer call works on bears. You'll be shocked what he tells you.

http://www.elkinc.com/calls-2/

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 6:02 am

I know the .50 cal will do the job, however, if you decide to go with a caplock why not take the .58 cal?  You might only have one opportunity and you that muzzleloader well.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 7:46 am

scratch 

I'm with Joe..........58 all the way......You may become a pile of bear scat with that .50.........headslap

Ray...........  :rtup

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 8:01 am

Jon,

Hunting bear without the use of bait or dogs may restrict your chance of the picture perfect shot which may limit a flintlock.

I am with Joe too, go with the .58.

Until my back issues are remedied I will not be packing bait to our treestand, but if you ever take me up on the bear hunt offer from a couple years ago all you have to do is place the bait. Then you can bring the flinter, bagging a bear will be like taking candy from a baby.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 8:07 am

I would have to take my Pedersoli Kodiak 58 extra shot might come in handy with a bear.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 8:39 am

Jon......a bit of a long story, but perhaps it will help you decide.

"Prime your rifle"
American history has been a passion of mine for many years now. When ever a new movie comes out which is reviewed as being historically depicted, I rush out to see it. In 1975 it was "Jeremiah Johnson". A movie about a former soldier who goes out west to the Rockies to be a "Mountain Man". As I was living in San Antonio Texas at the time and homesick for Colorado, I was mesmerized as I watched the story unfold. The character played by Robert Redford, states that he wanted a "Hawken Rifle", which he later finds on the corps of a dead trapper named "Hatchet Jack". A 50 cal. rifle, every true mountain man's dream, and one that would become mine as well. Once I had saved up the money I purchased one of the many Hawken Rifle clones being made in Italy, to fill the want of the fairly new muzzle loading rifle community. It was a percussion rifle of , you guessed it, 50.cal., and man was I proud of it. My first year hunting big game back in Colorado produced a fine young buck and my "living history fantasy" had begun. A few years later I was fully immersed in the "living history fraternity", reenacting the mountain man of the fur trade era of the 1820's to 1840's, complete with a new 58. cal. (GRRW) fullstock flintlock rifle I had built from a kit. I was a die hard, never even considered hunting with anything as modern as a bolt action rifle with a high powered scope. Nope I was a mountain man and more than ready to prove it.

The spring of 1980, only weeks after the birth of my son James, found me bear hunting from a tree stand a mere 300 yards from our house located in the Sangre de Christo mountains of southern Colorado. For several weeks I diligently carried two 5 gal. buckets of fresh table scraps, everyday to my bait station where I would then climb into my tree and wait for the bear I was hunting to finally show up during legal hunting hours. The routine was repeated nightly with great expectations that "this would be the night". Though there were many nights that did not produce a bear to shoot at, none the less, every night was a blessing. I found it was a time of perfect peace and reflection. I would sit on my limb and watch God's creation all around me, completely undisturbed as though no man was there to interrupted it.

On one night in particular, I was sitting as I always had, when I heard the sound of a small song bird behind and just a little above my head. Turning slowly around I was surprised to see a fat little Black Capped Chickadee happily singing away. Undisturbed by my presence he took off , flew around and landed on a limb directly in front of me, only inches from my face. Looking down at me with more curiosity than anything , he continued to sing. Suddenly he takes off again and flies around the top of my head, landing on my hair. The excitement begins to build now as this little troubadour seems totally unafraid of me. Then again he flies off of my head , circles again and lands on my ear where he hangs on the edge and sings directly into my head. Shaking with excitement, I gently reached up and lightly cupped my hand around this little brave critter and bringing him down to in front of my face , I uncupped my hand where my new friend stood and sang for the longest time before , finally he flew away. Amazing! Nothing like that ever happened before. Didn't take a genius to figure out that it was the hand of God. And the message was clear and simple. "I love you son"! Nothing more...nothing less. Wow!

One evening as I was sitting there enjoying the serenity, completely without warning, out steps a bear into the clearing. Silently and swiftly he made his way to the bait bucket. I sat and watched him for some time, but decided early on that this bruin was not the bear I wanted. I knew there were several different ones in the area and also knew several were quite large. I decided to wait. I was excited to watch this one though, as it was the first bear I had ever seen in the wild. I began to realize that it was nearing dark and was convinced that climbing out of the tree with a bear on the ground might not be all that prudent. I began to break branches, hoping the sound would frighten the bear off without exposing my presence. Without warning he stuck his nose in the air , sniffed and made a bee line for my tree.
When he reached the base, he coolly looked up and began to growl, snarl and snap his jaws. I yelled back at him and as I did he got all the louder. The reality of him climbing up the tree to drag me down became more and more of an issue, so I pulled out a reproduction cap and ball revolver I was carrying for back up and fired off a round at the ground, hoping to merely scare him of before I was forced to shoot him. Turning away from the tree, he began to walk away occasionally looking over his shoulder to growl and snap at me in defiance.
Hey! Black bears weren't suppose to behave like that. I was a bit rattled and doubt that my feet ever touched the ground that night as I made my way home.
I knew this guy could be a problem, so I began to pray that if this was the bear that God wanted me to take, he would have to force my hand. By now it was early July and I was also praying that if I was still going to be successful, the bear's hide would still be good and that all the hair would not be rubbed off as is common with the coming of warm temperatures.

July 10th. As had been my practice now for two and a half months, I was carrying two five gallon buckets of fresh table scraps, about 80 lbs., that I gathered from the Christian Camp where I was employed. Everyday, every last morsel of food was eaten leaving me to believe that there was more than my young ill-tempered friend coming in at night. I sat my buckets down and began to study the ground and bushes , hoping to see hair or tracks that would satisfy my suspicion that there were two bears hitting the bait each night. Standing there with my flintlock rifle slung over my shoulder with a make-shift sling I had made to aid my climb into the tree each night, I suddenly heard what seemed to me and audible voice that said "prime your rifle"! Without hesitation I reached into my "possibles bag", took out my small powder horn that carried my priming powder and dispensed a small amount into the pan of my flintlock. As I did I suddenly looked up to see a bear running straight for me! Quickly bringing my rifle to shoulder, I prayed "Lord if you want me to shoot this bear, let him come on. If not , turn him around." For a moment he stopped and then began again his charge. At twenty five yards I fired, hitting him in the chest area. Immediately he was thrown backwards and began to flail around and make an awful sound, not unlike a small child screaming. I was almost reloaded, when he suddenly fell to the ground , dead. Still tense from the previous few moments, I approached his now motionless body, aware that he might be playing possum and could spring to life again and attack.

As I stood over his lifeless body, a myriad of thoughts ran through my mind. First, there was praise for God's protection. There was thankfulness for His provision. There was, as always, the twinge of sadness for taking a life. After a quick prayer, I went to work field dressing my kill. As I worked carefully at the task, it began to settle in on me what had just happened. Had I heard the voice of the Lord! A "burning bush" experience! God had spoken to me! That same miracle that so many of us read in Scripture, and hope , but never really expect to experience, had happen to me. It happened at a time and in an environment that was suited and perfectly matched to me. How often had I read about mountain men at a moment of desperation killing a charging bear. Wow! Like the experience with the chickadee, once again God had shown me His love for me.

After field dressing the bear, I stood up to return home for help carrying the carcass out. Suddenly I saw only 25 yards away another bear feeding out of the bait buckets. There were two bears! But actually I had killed the same one that I had confronted a couple of months before. I had prayed for a larger bear and best I could judge this one had put on about a hundred pounds in those two months of feeding. Hollering at this second but smaller individual, he scampered off, not giving the same resistance that his now deceased cousin had given earlier in the summer. Arriving home I was given a hero's welcome from family and friends. By mid-night, I had completed the task of skinning the hide and had hung the meat in a cool place to be processed a week later.

Years later, I look at that old bearskin rug, and realize no great spiritual or theological truth had come out of the experience, but rather, those two and a half months waiting every evening for just the right bear to appear for me to harvest, have become simply, a testimony of God's love and favor for me a sinner , saved by grace, and living a few brief moments of fantasy that were and are tailored for me...His son.

IMHO...bigger is better. However in a couple of weeks I'll go ear hunting with smooth bore .62 cal. flintlock........I still own my .58 cal GRRW Leman flinter, but taking big game with just one gun and doing it with a smooth bore has become my "method" of choice.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 11:00 am

cheers cheers
Great story Doug and I do believe the good Lord spoke to you at that moment. Thanks for posting the hunting experience you'll never forget.

Ray.............. t up

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 11:10 am

I just might use the .58cal but its hard when you have so many rifles that shoot sweet LOL. The 9lbs of my .58 just would be nice to ditch this year and make it a lighter hunt.
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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 12:15 pm

I'd be totin" the .58...bigger is better.  Weight was never a problem when I was 32!  Laughing   Time to man-up FG!  Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 12:17 pm

@Marty wrote:
I'd be totin" the .58...bigger is better.  Weight was never a problem when I was 32!  Laughing   Time to man-up FG!  Razz

Just what I was going to post.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 1:23 pm

Quote :
Great story Doug and I do believe the good Lord spoke to you at that moment. Thanks for posting the hunting experience you'll never forget.

Thanks Ray......"burning bush" experience!



Quote :
I just might use the .58cal but its hard when you have so many rifles that shoot sweet LOL.

Jon..........I know the feeling......I have to say that My Sharps Business rifle has made me the most meat and there's little doubt when I carry it that if a shot presents itself I'll bring home the bacon....But there's so much more to feel good about when you take something with a flinter!

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 1:37 pm

It seems to me it's a matter of what you most want.  If my goal was to kill a bear with the .50, then I'd load it with a maxi ball.  If I wanted to kill a bear with a prb and a .50 prb isn't enough for a bear, then I'd carry the .58.  If my goal was to kill a bear with a .50 prb, well, I'd just make sure my affairs were in order and I'd go hunting. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 1:44 pm

Regardless of what you end up with.....like always, it's all about shot placement! On a black bear a ball through the heart will bring him to a close quickly..........that's been my experience either close in or at a distance. If I was nervous about a follow up shot, I'd carry a side arm.....that is if it is even legal now in Colorado...and for the fall bear hunt??????

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 2:11 pm

Stalking and calling doesn't always give the option to take the perfect shot like sitting in a tree over bait. Sometimes to have to take what you can get. Especially, when calling. The bear is coming into a meal. They get grumpy when it's not there.

I wouldn't feel comfortable using a .50 PRB anymore than I am with a crossbow. Both will test the size of your nuts.

Use the .58 Jon.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 15th 2016, 7:55 pm

Great reason to get a .54 flintlock !!!!
TC
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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 16th 2016, 6:41 am

@Standing Bear wrote:
Great reason to get a .54 flintlock !!!!
TC

Yes, if it was 1816, but it's 2016.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 16th 2016, 6:15 pm

I need to get busy on my Early Virginia .58 from TVM. If I don't have it finished I'll have to use one of the .50s.
For bears, I'd probably be more comfortable with an -'06.
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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 16th 2016, 7:19 pm

My two bear hunts were special.......for a youngster in his 20's, being a student of the western fur trade and thus hunting bear with a flintlock and actually having a bear charge me was a blessing...no better way for me to have successfully taken a bear.....of course don't recommend being challenged or charged by a bear, but for me...it was perfect.

My second bear was taken in my late 30's old son James in attendance. Hunting with my Sharps Business rifle....I had seen the bear the night before during muzzleloading season when I had a elk and a bear license. As the previous night had been the last of muzzleloading season I decided to take the Sharps. Sitting and watching a hill side full of large scrub oak, I looked for the same bear to return to feed on the acorns. The brush was so thick I decided I might not get a clear shot. Seeing a small clearing about 125yds away I asked God to allow the bear to appear there, rather than 300-400yds away where the scrub oak ended and cleared just before the dark timer started. Looking back at the clearing a couple of minutes later, sure enough the bear is sitting there. Taking aim I fired and up in the air he jumped...and then took off making his way up the hill side. Only catching a glimpse of him through the oak, ever so often and thinking I had hit him the first shot, I fired a second time. Finally at probably 400yds away he breaks out of the oak into the clear hillside and I fire a third time. About two feet above him the .45 cal. bullet kicks up a large cloud of dust. Instantly he starts to run back in my direction but parallel me. Immediately I figured out I had over compensated as I would with the flinter...rather than holding dead on with the 45-70! James is following me along pulling rounds out of my cartridge box and handing them to me as I am shooting. My fourth and final shot was maybe at 300-350yds as the bear was in a full run....stretched out, the final round went through his heart and lungs just behind his stretched out right leg. He rolled up right when he was hit. When I got to him, he only had one round through him. Apparently I had missed him completely the first time by hold too high over his head...........I often refer to that shot as "the 405gr Spirit led shot of a life time".............a shared hunt that father and son will never forget! 

How ever one takes his first bear, it should be as special as possible. shooting one with a single shot, especially a front stuffer should make it special. Anyone who shoots a flinter enough expects it to off just as reliable as a cap gun.........after all if we hunt with more "primitive" arms, we have already decided there is a certain amount of uncertainty whether it will fire with as much certainty as an old reliable 30-06............unless like our forefathers it's all we hunt with. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 17th 2016, 12:04 pm

Well I got this to say about all that:
1. You is 32?  Heck you should ask me to join you and you carry both rifles AND me. You pup!

2. I was sittin' under a tree one day and a bird pooped on my hat.  Hope that weren't the Lord sending messageas that day.  Shocked

3. For nasty toothie type critters, I agree with the herd:  Bigger is better. :rtup


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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 17th 2016, 1:25 pm

Black bears were virtually eliminated from the Eastern U.S. by .45 (average) cal. round ball. No disrespect, but black bears are more likely to run from you then attack or threaten.....thus my astonishment when my first bear offered aggression. The number of other bears I have encountered over the years scampered away. However, if anyone has any anxiety I submit the following from Colorado Parks and Wildlife Mag:


Quote :
I visited with Bob Thompson, our Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement, about the question. Bob’s guidance is pretty clear on the proper use of the handgun in the field. The paragraphs below summarize the issue. Bottom line is the first sentence. There is no “backup handgun” for hunting big game, the manner of take allowed is what is prescribed for the season and the license.
There is no such thing as a back-up sidearm during hunting season. You may carry a handgun with you during the act of hunting for personal protection but that is the purpose. There is no specific requirement for a legal handgun for personal protection (barrel length or caliber)except that it is in legal possession of the person under Colorado Law.
The use of a handgun to “put an animal down” would only fall into use during a rifle season and then the handgun must be in accordance with a legal method of take and meet the criteria listed in the interact​ive Big Game Brochure, i.e. At a minimum, it must have a four-inch barrel, fire an expanding bullet of .24 caliber (6 mm) or larger and use a load that produces a minimum 550 ft. pounds of energy at 50 yards. Shoulder stocks or other attachments are prohibited.
The manner of take is the important part here. During archery season, no firearm can be used as a legal method of take. During muzzleloading season, the only legal method of take is a black powder firearm. You cannot use a handgun to shoot an animal to “finish it off” in either of these two seasons.

 Call CDOW if any doubts. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 17th 2016, 1:40 pm

I always knew this and it's the reason I don't carry a handgun. I could have used one a few times, but i'm still here without having one.

Besides it makes hunting bears more exciting. Fun is measured in heart beats per minute for me. More beats, more fun.

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 17th 2016, 2:08 pm

still thinking on the subject but I am really set on using the 50cal. I may even have the new mountain rifle by the time hunting season rolls around!
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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 17th 2016, 2:31 pm

If you want to use the .50 use it. It will kill a bear, but try to blow it through both lungs and use enough powder.

Bring a bowie knife for backup. cowyboy hatoff

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PostSubject: Re: Deciding what rifle for my bear hunt   August 17th 2016, 2:38 pm

Jon...........I never asked which unit your tag is in?

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