Contributors to this thread:
Frontal shot on bears?
I just watched a video on calling bears. The hunter took a frontal shot, looked to hit high right in shoulder and very little penetration. Another shot at another bear hit leftish and the blood came gushing out. Anyhoo, is it advised to take frontal shots at big black bears with a bow? I thought double lung was the only way to do it.
These days, seems anything goes. If you understand the anatomy, and can make the shot, an animal can be killed from any angle.
Last August I hunted in Ontario. I had a nice boar come in to the bait site and turned to look directly up at me where I was sitting about 25 yards away in a one man ladder stand.
The bear dropped down on all fours and came about 4-5 yards closer and stood up on his rear legs and looked at my like I owed him money. He looked just like a standing McKenzie bear target. I center punched him and he dropped down to all fours, ran up a small incline for about 20 yards, reared up and fell over backwards grave yard dead. When skinning the bear out I learned I'd cut a corner of the heart and the arrow exited out the bear's back about an inch from the spine. The bear weighed right at 300#.
Not saying the frontal shot is the best shot to take but in my case it was very effective. The outfitter had told us he often has archery hunters shoot the bears while they are standing broadside with the head in the bait bucket.
I figured the bear had me pegged and the shot opportunity wasn't going to get any better and at 18 yards I figured I could make the shot.
I know a couple guys that have done it. IF you know the anatomy and can place your blades there are many angles to take game. But have to remember bear anatomy is different than deer. And many times the angles narrow the margin of error. You have to make the call. And you have to make the shot.
That IMO is one of the beautiful things about bowhunting.... the beauty is in the bowholder.... they alone can make the call.... and they alone have to live with it....
actually their quarry has to live, or die, with the bowholders choices as well......
If your sitting at a bait, I'd recommend waiting for a broadside or slightly quartering away shot. No need to take anything else.
That said, I've killed a few brown/grizzly bears with frontal shots. Shots have been less than 20 yards with the bear walking toward me.
First bear I shot was a blackie who was was walking towards me when I was on the ground. At 10 yards I hit him between the front shoulders and the arrow went all the way thru and cam out his butt. He piled up after 15 yards. Deadly shot at close range.
Calling bears is a pretty risky business in my judgement. They are headed your way with the intent of killing something. Shooting them frontal in the chest is very doable, but you better have the nerves for it.
When I've done it, the bears were walking my direction to investigate something they've heard, they were not charging in to kill something.
Bob was one of those couple guys I know have done it. =D
Another was shot coming in hard on a calling setup, but black bears, not grizzly. I don't think I'd try that one in grizz country unless I was up a tree. Up a tree takes a lot of the the frontal angles out of play. IMO it's a close range on the ground shot.
I have shot 3 black bears that were called in and 2 were frontal shots, all from the ground. 2 came in fairly slowly and one on a dead run (that was....interesting). If you can hit a cantaloupe-sized target at ~15 yards under duress, it is a deadly shot.
Seems common when calling. Thanks guys for the responses.
I had a nice 19" boar black bear decide to walk right In to check me out a few years ago. He had been slowly feeding my way just before dark on a logging road, eating pussy willow and aspen buds.....but at 30 yards he honed in on my crouched form. I drew on him at 20 yds and shot him at 10 as he approached. As Matt said, hit the cantaloupe size target and he is done. My boar went 30 yds straight over the side of a steep bank and piled up. I never found the 375 grain Gold Tip/Rocky Mt Titanium 3 blade combo out of the 60# Hoyt as it blew through. It was a light arrow with a low FOC, and double bevel broadhead, so don't know how that happened!
Anyway, I am not an advocate of frontal shots, but if you can hit your spot they are effective. If you pull the shot, they aren't as forgiving as broadside. Kurt
Several years ago, my wife was on a bear hunt and the outfitter actually called a bear into camp. Wife was kneeling beside the tent and bear walked up to within 8 steps of her.
The outfitter had her take the head-on shot, she did, the bear spun around and fell over about 20 yards away.
While I don't advocate any head-on shot, it worked this time. By the way the bear weighed almost 300 pounds and the skull measured 18 11/16".
I took a front shot at a black bear that was getting a drink about 20 yards away. I put the sight right above his skull and he only made it about 15 yards and piled up.