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Posted by DR B on Jan 31 2006
This has been discussed many times before. I don’t presume to know my ass from first base on this topic but on a recent thread I started of AR Forum this was Phil Shoemaker’s response. I think if anyone knows about Brown Bears its Phil.

I make my living cleaning up messes caused by self proclaimed excellent shots and experienced hunter on Brown Bear hunts. In over twenty five years the over whelming majority were caused by the hunter using a rifle he could not handle.
When a hunter shows up with a well worn 7mm or 30-06 and a sensible scope I know he is going home with a trophy.
I don't have a minimum caliber I require a hunter bring but anything less than a .270 is a stunt and anything over a .375 usually ego.
Phil Shoemaker

Favorite caliber? I would happily hunt the rest of my life with an accurate 7 1/2# 30-06. I've taken truck loads of game with mine from 10# groundhogs to 1000# Brown Bear with mine. The paranoia about brown bears is way overblown.
The number of Alaskan guides who have chosen the 30-06 as their personal using rifle is as long as your arm. Are there better rounds ? Sure, but it will do the job very well if the hunter is up to it.
Phil Shoemaker

… all you are looking at is one or two bears in a lifetime then anything from the .270 thru the .338 will fit the bill perfectly. My vote is with the 30-06 because I have one that I have used all over the globe but I certainly wouldn't argue with anyone who chooses a 7mm or 300 magnum either.
Phil Shoemaker

I have learned that it doesn't really matter a whole lot what rifle a bear hunter carries IF HE CAN USE IT. This afternoon I was just re-reading Jim Reardon's new book where he discusses the world record Brown Bear hunt. That bear, which they estimated weighed 1300-1400 pounds, squared an honest (as opposed to stretched) 10' 5". Ray Lindsey killed it at 30 yards with his 30-06 and 180 gr bullets - which he preferred over the .405.
If using bigger rifles make you feel better then use one. I carry my 458 when guiding for the same reason, but to argue that the 30-06 is insufficient for big bears is to ignore facts.
Phil Shoemaker


Previous: bear rifle shphtr Jan 31 2006
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