Percentage of bears lost after the shot?

Gerrik

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
Just curious what you guys think it probably is? How many have you not located? Is it where they live? Or are they just that dang tough?


I'm currently 100% on non-recovered bears(0-2), even with extra tracking help. And a tracking dog. I'm using enough gun, I had a clear & unhurried shot. Heck, I even propped the rifle on a tree. And there was copious amounts of blood. I'm tired, frustrated, and feel awful I haven't recovered one.

It's not just me, right?
 
#2
Good luck getting an honest response on this. For years I've heard people talk about missing deer and then say a moment later that they could only find a few spots of blood. I'm not saying folks are dishonest, just saying most folks don't want to confess poor shot placement resulting in an unrecovered animal.

Incidentally, I've only shot one bear with my bow and didn't recover it. I hit it a little high on one side but since I was shooting from a stand, it should have angled down through the lungs nicely. It was quartering away and I think I must have hit the shoulder on the other side preventing pass through. I found the broken arrow and know without a doubt there was plenty of penetration. Found very little blood and never found the bear although I felt certain it was a lethal hit.
 

Buckman18

Senior Member
#3
Where are you shooting your bears?

I always try to hit 3rd/4th rib back, between center mass and shoulder. Easy recovery. Those I've shoulder shot early on, always a tough tracking job. Unless you hit high shoulder and break their back. Their lungs are just a bit further back than deer.
 
#4
I have never had one run more than 30 yards. I've killed em with 150 gr 30-06, 140 gr 7/08, 295 gr .50 m.l. I find bears to be no hardier than deer or hogs, but unfortunately, sometimes you're gonna lose one. Keep after em. I aim just forward of center mass.
 

Gerrik

Senior Member
Thread starter #5
Where are you shooting your bears?

I always try to hit 3rd/4th rib back, between center mass and shoulder. Easy recovery. Those I've shoulder shot early on, always a tough tracking job. Unless you hit high shoulder and break their back. Their lungs are just a bit further back than deer.
Was quartering towards me, aimed for rear edge of shoulder & off side lung. Hit solid, and found a some lung in the blood trail. Guess I'll start aiming ****her back?
 

Buckman18

Senior Member
#6
Was quartering towards me, aimed for rear edge of shoulder & off side lung. Hit solid, and found a some lung in the blood trail. Guess I'll start aiming ****her back?
I would say yes. It feels strange aiming further back on one, especially when it's been ingrained in us to shoot deer in the shoulder.

I hate you lost one, but at least you had an eventful evening. I'm pretty sure I heard you shoot. Stay positive and keep at it and you'll soon have a bear rug. :cheers:
 

Gerrik

Senior Member
Thread starter #8
I would say yes. It feels strange aiming further back on one, especially when it's been ingrained in us to shoot deer in the shoulder.

I hate you lost one, but at least you had an eventful evening. I'm pretty sure I heard you shoot. Stay positive and keep at it and you'll soon have a bear rug. :cheers:
I only heard one other shot, all day. So, yeah, you probably did hear me.
 
#9
Lost the first I shot. Shot little far back I think. Found tons and tons of blood, nearly a dozen beds and came up empty handed. Since I shoot right behind the front shoulder and like whitetail said about 30 yards is it. If its a chip shot I head shoot. Killed 3 like that. Works good but skull is no good after that.
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
#10
Not just you.
I lost my first one shot with a 308 when it rolled down one mountainside and scrambled up the next. Plenty of blood going down, none going up.
Then, I arrowed one twice while it was in a tree. It scrambled down the tree and took off leaving plenty of blood that soon petered out. After a long search, I went and found a hiker at the Appalachian Trail parking lot with two Labs. Told him I could give him a hundred bucks if he could find the bear. After a short ride down the road and a short walk into the woods to the scene, both the dogs wanted to wrestle backwards out of their collars. They didn't want anything to do with the bear blood/scent. Came back 6 days later on a Saturday looking for buzzards, coyotes, stank, anything. No dice. I felt like somebody had cheated with my high-school girlfriend. Finally arrowed another bear that evening that dashed right by me within 5 yards and collapsed on the ridge less than 20 yards away. Sweet! Then proceeded to get ripped off by taxidermist. Only got the skull, never got the rug back. Paid him the half up front he asked for.
I need another bear!
As for deer, I have recovered 24 archery deer, and lost two. Can't remember losing one with a gun.
 
#11
It's been my experience that bears are easier to kill than deer. While physiologically, that may not be true, deer seem to have an extra will to live that bears don't. If you hit a bear in the lungs, he ain't going far.

Not saying you did or didn't, because I wasn't there, but sometimes folks think they made a good shot only to find out it wasn't anything like they had pictured.

The longest track job I ever put on a bear started up on the Duncan Ridge rd. on Coopers and led us over two miles until we finally caught up with the bear. We found several places where he had bedded and bled. We had decent blood the entire way. When we finally jumped him up and finished him off, we were very surprised to find that the original shot (which according to the shooter had rolled the bear) had been right above the front paw, and would most certainly have not been lethal.

I may not be picturing your shot right, but it was quartering to you and you shot behind the shoulder. If it was a steep enough angle, you never touched lung and maybe not even liver.
 
#13
I shoot them with a 300 Win Mag and they fall right there. The Brown Bear in my avatar I shot with a 375 mag using a Seko. Shot placement is key. Practice/practice and practice more.
 
#14
Gerrik, I arrowed a bear last fall on a shot that was a little high and and back, but still had good lung pass through. It was a very slow trailing process but we found her piled up about 100 yards away. The long hair and fat content tends to soak-up and plug-up the blood, making tracking difficult. I've started shooting Simmons Treesharks out of my recurve for this reason. Haven't shot one yet, but they will open up a big hole.

I know your frustration, because I've lost several deer over the past few seasons. Keep on trying though! The double lung is the best ticket, like several have already said. You will get him next time, and you're going to become a better hunter and tracker because of the past! Mental toughness. We all want to see you post that picture when you get him! It's going to be a great trophy because of all the work that went into it...
 
#15
You hired a dog as well, I know because I saw the tracker. You did all you could. You made every effort to recover your harvest. Now make any adjustments you have assessed and most importantly don't beat yourself up!!!!
 

Gerrik

Senior Member
Thread starter #16
I appreciate all the comments. I still feel pretty awful, but I'm not giving up. Time to buy a bear target, and get to practicing.
 
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