Sitka Mountain Gear
Brown Bear vitals - still MOTM?
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
welka 23-Feb-19
x-man 23-Feb-19
Bou'bound 23-Feb-19
x-man 23-Feb-19
x-man 23-Feb-19
Rocky D 23-Feb-19
Cazador 23-Feb-19
welka 23-Feb-19
Ambush 23-Feb-19
drycreek 23-Feb-19
Rgiesey 23-Feb-19
Buffalo1 23-Feb-19
Rob Nye 23-Feb-19
Bou'bound 24-Feb-19
Genesis 24-Feb-19
Sean D. 24-Feb-19
Shug 24-Feb-19
Scoot 24-Feb-19
Glunt@work 24-Feb-19
welka 24-Feb-19
welka 24-Feb-19
Shug 24-Feb-19
welka 24-Feb-19
Scoot 24-Feb-19
welka 24-Feb-19
rattling_junkie 24-Feb-19
Owl 24-Feb-19
mick 24-Feb-19
Tdvorak 24-Feb-19
Jaquomo 24-Feb-19
Scoot 24-Feb-19
Jaquomo 24-Feb-19
midwest 25-Feb-19
Rob Nye 25-Feb-19
Gator 25-Feb-19
SBH 25-Feb-19
Ambush 25-Feb-19
Rob Nye 25-Feb-19
x-man 25-Feb-19
Gator 25-Feb-19
Glunt@work 25-Feb-19
Ambush 25-Feb-19
TD 25-Feb-19
Bou'bound 25-Feb-19
Rob Nye 26-Feb-19
Nick Muche 27-Feb-19
Mark Watkins 27-Feb-19
Dale06 27-Feb-19
From: welka
23-Feb-19
May have a chance to snag a peninsula Brown bear hunt this spring. Haven't seen any threads on vitals for Brown bears. Any different than black or stick with MOTM (middle of the middle)?

From: x-man
23-Feb-19
I don't know that middle of the middle works for any animal. That's too far back.

From: Bou'bound
23-Feb-19
at best middle of the middle is different depending on if you start at the nose or brisket

From: x-man
23-Feb-19

x-man's embedded Photo
x-man's embedded Photo

From: x-man
23-Feb-19
Even using nose to tail, middle of middle puts you behind the lungs.

From: Rocky D
23-Feb-19

Rocky D's Link
Check the Alaska fish and game link. Good quick info

From: Cazador
23-Feb-19
Middle of the Middle has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.

Whats harder, find the shoulder, 1/3 of the way up, tight or a hands width behind it, or trying to gauge middle of the middle?

Shoot a bear like a deer, punch your tag.

From: welka
23-Feb-19
Can't wait for Rob to chime in. Some may already have answered, but would really like to hear from a few who have killed a brown bear vs black.

From: Ambush
23-Feb-19
Stay away from the leg. Stay away from the leg. Stay away from the leg. There is zero reason to “tuck it in tight” to the leg.

And I always get a kick out of those Vitals diagrams. Lungs usually shown about half size.

From: drycreek
23-Feb-19
Looks like the skeleton is having an "out of body" experience........

From: Rgiesey
23-Feb-19
I like middle on black bears. Or far shoulder on quartering. Shoulder hits are biggest failure I’ve seen. Usually only get called dumb by people that know me. Never have hunted brown bears.

From: Buffalo1
23-Feb-19

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Here is a good skeletal/vital zone for a brown bear.

From: Rob Nye
23-Feb-19
I have no experience with brown bears maybe some grizz guides can lend their expertise on this question.

From: Bou'bound
24-Feb-19
remember the over the hip debates of decades gone by that used to fill this site.

From: Genesis
24-Feb-19
I would be knowleadable of all angles just in case you have your hand forced like my first brownie.

From: Sean D.
24-Feb-19
Pretty sure there are no spring hunts on the peninsula till 2020 so you might want to look into that a little more. They alternate spring and fall every year, im booked this fall.

From: Shug
24-Feb-19
The Ham blaster as well...

From: Scoot
24-Feb-19
For the guys typing on MOTM how many bears have you shot? How do those numbers compare to some of the MOTM advocates who have been around hundreds of bear kills? I thought MOTM sounded ridiculous until I saw the experience level of many of the bear gurus who advocated for it.

From: Glunt@work
24-Feb-19
MOTM works great for me on turkeys. I just shoot bears in the lungs like any critter.

From: welka
24-Feb-19
Correct on no spring Peninsula. My error. Going in August.

From: welka
24-Feb-19
Correct on no spring Peninsula. My error. Going in August.

From: Shug
24-Feb-19

Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Since this one usually pops up on these threads ... allow me. While yes you can shoot a bear in “ the middle “ and watch it fall 4 or so inches towards the front leg from the middle will give you the largest room for error.

Looking at the pic I posted notice how far back the top/back edge of the long goes.

From: welka
24-Feb-19
That's probably the best pic so far as it shows the vitals further back on a bear which is why MOTM works. Also agree with a couple of inches towards the front from MOTM would be deadly. My question is if the vitals on a brown bear are the same as a black bear??

From: Scoot
24-Feb-19
Welka they are not- they are much bigger. Bwahaha!

From: welka
24-Feb-19
Roger that. Location, location, location same?

24-Feb-19
I personally think MOTM results in a lot of gut shot bears. My advice try and shoot them behind the shoulder like any other animal and you will have a short blood trail to your bear. If you do gut shoot it, definitely wait until the next morning, and start tracking.

From: Owl
24-Feb-19
I miss Woody Sanford. He was a gem on these type of threads.

I have killed a bunch of bear and never shot MOTM. Always crept forward enough to comfortably miss the off- side shoulder and let ‘er slip in there. Avoid “quartering to” angles - though hunting browns/grizz on the ground may not afford the opportunity to defer. One lunged bears don’t get recovered that I have seen.

From: mick
24-Feb-19
When someone is serious about hunting brown/grizzly, they should already know for fact where to hit.

From: Tdvorak
24-Feb-19
I’ve found that most pics and models show the vitals further back than they really are...all the way back to when my dad was looking at them in magazines pre-pre-pre internet. Aim careful.

From: Jaquomo
24-Feb-19
I used to have a bear anatomy diagram from a magazine 25 years ago that actually showed the heart BELOW and outside the ribcage. For real. Wish I'd scanned it because I can't find it in my files. Used it in shot placement seminars back then. Hilarious.

From: Scoot
24-Feb-19
Lou, was it inside of the body cavity? :)

From: Jaquomo
24-Feb-19
Under the hide but outside the ribcage, just behind the front leg. I kid you not. I'll keep looking. It was in a national hunting magazine.

From: midwest
25-Feb-19

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Walmart nails it pretty good. Including the ham blaster option. :-/

From: Rob Nye
25-Feb-19
Even has the Tim Wells shot! All bases covered.

From: Gator
25-Feb-19
Just like a deer, tight in behind the shoulder.

From: SBH
25-Feb-19
A few years ago a fellow bowsiter gave me some advice on bears and its been 100% recovery ever since. It helped me so I hope it helps someone else. I'm only speaking about black bears though. I had shot and lost 2 bears in MT on spot and stalk hunts. Both shots were great looking shots, tight to the shoulder and led to unrecovered bears. The advice given to me was along the lines of MOTM. A bears vitals are a little farther back and you want nothing to do with that shoulder or tight to it. Stay back and things get better. Moving my point of aim back has been lethal for me....only on bears. I am staying tighter to the shoulder on other big game but I do believe that farther back on a bear is a better hit then forward. Hope everyone shoots well in a few months if winter ever lets go.

From: Ambush
25-Feb-19
Quote "Just like a deer, tight in behind the shoulder"

Sorry Gator, but that's just bad advice for killing bears.

From: Rob Nye
25-Feb-19
Tight behind shoulder kills em dead but if you aim there and hit high and/or forward you will have a 1000 yd bloodtrail that gradually dwindles to nothing and an unrecovered bear. Aiming farther back gives you a margin for error and a (quickly) dead bear every single time. Have proved it hundreds of times over 30+ years of guiding. But there are plenty of experts that have killed several bears with arrows who will always think I’m full of crap. But I repeat I have zero experience with grizzlies so shoot em where your guide advises. I HATE fruitless blood trails so insist my clients shoot MOTM and if they do they always go home happy.

From: x-man
25-Feb-19

x-man's embedded Photo
x-man's embedded Photo
If your shots are usually quartering away, then MOTM is a good choice. If perfectly perpendicular broadside, it has the same margin for error as tight to the shoulder.

Here are two vertical lines... tight to the shoulder and MOTM. Seems pretty logical.

From: Gator
25-Feb-19
Not trying to change anyone's mine. Guess I've been lucky with 100% recovery on eight blacks and a brown bear.

From: Glunt@work
25-Feb-19
It's not a mystery.

From: Ambush
25-Feb-19
I think one very big factor on shot selection is whether it's stalking or baiting. With bears on bait, very likely you can and should wait for the near perfect shot opportunity. Most grizzly/brown bears will be stalking or ambush, so your window of opportunity may come quickly and be less than ideal. By less than ideal I mean, not stationary for longer periods of time and not perfectly broadside or slightly quartering away, nor giving you plenty of time to compose yourself. I've killed multiple dozens of archery black bears and none baited. You may have your hand forced more so than on a bait and the pressure may be more intense. Being suddenly ground level, within bow range of the most potentially lethal animal in NA will add to the stress level exponentially. Couple that with explaining to your wife you just spent five years vacation money on a soggy camping trip, if you don't make the shot. At least the Brownie may end it quickly without years of prolonged suffering :-(

It worked for you Gator and congrats, but I think Rob already addressed that.

From: TD
25-Feb-19
I believe the pic above was Woody Sanford's and the vitals are accurate, as it was taken in layers from a real bear, not somebody drawing things how and where they think it should be. It a great picture and clearly shows vitals farther back than deer. Not crazy back, but back. Something that should be taken into consideration as those guys stated above.

From: Bou'bound
25-Feb-19
Really if any animal is made for a mechanical it is a bear. Soft and if you drift back a little you will still get them. Avoid bones

From: Rob Nye
26-Feb-19
Agreed. Ribs like pencils fur like sponge. Big holes are great.

From: Nick Muche
27-Feb-19

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
4" behind shoulder, Rage broadhead, died 20 yards from tree in a few seconds.
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
4" behind shoulder, Rage broadhead, died 20 yards from tree in a few seconds.
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
4" behind shoulder, Rage broadhead, died 10 feet from my tree in a few seconds.
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
4" behind shoulder, Rage broadhead, died 10 feet from my tree in a few seconds.
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Middle of the middle, 2 Blade fixed head, died 70 yards from my tree.
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Middle of the middle, 2 Blade fixed head, died 70 yards from my tree.

From: Mark Watkins
27-Feb-19
Good clarification(s) Nick!

Mark

From: Dale06
27-Feb-19
I shot a brown bear last June 2. Was slightly quartering away. Hit it about 6” behind close shoulder and pretty low. Shot was 22 yards. Arrow blew through and was stuck in ground. It bolted. We waited three hours to track as we were on a bait site and there were lots of bears nearby and it was 3:45 in the morn. The arrow was 520 grains including an Iron Will 125. The bow, Hoyt faktor, 64 pounds. The blood trail was one of the bloodiest I’d seen in 42 years of bowhunting. The bear made it about 80 yards, and was stiff when we recovered it.

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