What have you used for Cohutta bear/deer/hog caliber

Thread starter #1
I have never hunted black bear with anything but a bow before, and need help choosing what to look for in a new rifle for this coming season. Whenever I search just for acceptable black bear calibers, the general consensus is a .30 size round or larger, with magnum loads being popular. Obviously, although you can kill deer with that type of round, most are total overkill. Suggestions Ive read vary wildly as I try to search for a happy medium between bear and deer guns. Some say you can even stick with .243 with the right bullet, others say they've driven multiple 30-06 rounds through a black bear only to have 1000yds of tracking to do. Obviously shot placement is the ultimate decision maker in a quick kill, but having little experience with rifles, and never hunting Cohutta before this coming season, I need some input. What are conditions like? How far or short of a shot opportunity are you likely to have?

I think right now Im strung between .270 up to .300 winmag, which I understand is still overkill for deer and made for long range but is also a very versatile caliber. Open to any suggestions. Leaning toward the .270 because I cant imagine ill be seeing shots beyond 150yds in the mountains and it wont be too much on deer/hog if I come across one.
243 or 30-06 are what I have carried. Usually the 243
What's overkill? How do you over kill something? lol

If you're not recoil sensitive whats it matter?

Whats your guess on farthest shot?

I think you should get whatever your comfortable with and what feels best.

270 would be great. 30-06, 25-06, 270, 7mm-08, 308, 300 winny, 7 mag, etc....they'll all kill all 3 of those animals.


Senior Member
Twenty five years ago I had the chance to hunt out West for several years and I wanted one gun that could do it all so I purchased a 300 WinMag and that is the only gun I have used ever since. That one gun has served me well , but after recently turning my attention to hunting the North GA mountains in pursuit of bear I find myself wanting a much lighter rifle. At 10 - 11 lbs with scope it gets real heavy after a few miles of climbing. All the calibers mentioned above will kill a bear just fine including a 243. I would focus more on rifle weight than caliber. I bought my son a Marlin 308 a few years ago which turned out to be a very nice little gun for the money, and at only 6 1/2 lbs I see myself borrowing it for my mountain hunting this year.
Killed bucks bears and pigs on Cohutta with 7-08, .30-06, .270, .50 muzzleloader, and 12 gauge shotgun. Any rifle you shoot well from .243 up will suffice. My go to is a rem model seven 7/08 with 140 gr loads.
Never hunted cohutta but have been using 243 for 5 or 6 years now with good luck. Killed 4 or 5 bear with it and tons of hogs. Anything bigger will be even better. 7mm08 is probably the best all around caliber for ga mountains.
Thread starter #10
Really appreciate the feedback guys. Jbogg I really like your point about weight and will definitely be comparing total weights of my setups before buying now. Doesnt make sense to spend extra money to save pounds on high end packs, tents etc without doing the same for a rifle. I plan on hiking pretty far in.

After seeing these posts Im a bit more confident in going for what I felt was my current first pick, which is the .270, and will most likely take a further look into 7mm.
Not sure about weight but I use a Remington pump carbine 30-06 synthetic stock with a Leupold 2.5 x 8 with a #4 reticle. I like it a lot for mountain hunting.

Back in 2011 when I started using it, I had to move up to a 180 gr Win. Supreme bullets. It grouped okay. A few years ago I switched to Barnes-X 180 gr bullets and was amazed how much better it shot.


Senior Member
Any deer rifle will be fine... That said, if you’re just looking for a reason to buy a ‘bear’ rifle, then you have to ask yourself what would look really cool in a picture with your trophy???

To me, a big lever gun would be in order, a 45-70, 444 marlin, 450 marlin, or a 35 Rem. Just something about a big bore lever and bear hunting!
for my mountain hunting, I dusted off my almost 40 year old level .30-.30. I considered present mountain rifles, and at the end of the day, they were all still heavy. my .30-.30 is short & light, the perfect combo for hiking & hunting the CNF.


Senior Member
lightweight .308 loaded with 180 grain federal trophy bonded tip. Will rip through a deer lengthwise with perfect expansion and exit, I would put it up against anything in the lower 48 without hesitation.