I know there are quite a few very expericened bear hunters here and I'm hoping for some feedback. I've killed a fair number of animals with a bow but this was my first bear. Here's what happened...
Hunting out of a tree stand about 15-16' high and 15yds from the barrel. A decent boar shows up after about 40 minutes in the stand and proceeds to move the barrel around to feed. I'm set to shoot and wait about 5 minutes as he settles in and is broadside BUT lays down. I pick a spot about 1" behind the left shoulder hair line and aim higher than I usually would to compensate for the angle, about 3/4 up from the bottom. Release the arrow and hit that exact spot, bear rolls on its side and then barrels straight down the hill full tilt. Lot's of branches breaking going down hill but never hear a moan. I thought I made a perfect shot and gave him about 20 minutes and then look for my arrow. 17 inches of arrow was broke off and buried flush with the ground. No blood at shot location but a splash of red blood and hair on branch where he went down hill. No other blood was ever found. The hill was quite steep and I followed his decent for about 60 yards and then the terrain changed and his path was no longer clear. Searched out to 150yds and fanned across the hill for several hours. Returned the next morning and expanded out to 250yds for several hours and nothing.
Having played back the shot in my head a few hundred times, I think I made 2 big mistakes. I shot him laying down AND I aimed too high. I feel like it's possible that I missed the onside lung completely and only got the very top of the offside lung. Does this seem plausible or is there other things to consider? I am extremely bummed and want to learn from this so it doesn't happen again. Feedback appreciated!
FYI...broadhead was a brand new SlickTrick 100gr Magnum. I've never had an animal go more than 50yds with a double lung with them
I arrowe a blackie in Ak several years ago. From a ground blind, 18 yards, broad side. Thought the shot was perfect. Pass trough with a Magnus stinger with bleeder. It was very thick vegetation. Two of us looked for an hour and found one drop of blood, that was near where he was shot. Six of us came back the next day and gridded the area with in 150 pr so yards, no blood, no bear. I made a loop about 50 yards further out and darn near stepped on him. He apparently died on the run in seconds after the shot, but bled almost zero.
The shot placement you mention of "3/4 up" may be the key. Possible that you hit even higher than that on his body, considering hair, and perhaps you only hit flesh.For whatever it's worth, I've actually pulled off a lying down shot. At least with that shot you know exactly where his actual brisket line is sitting.This was the lying down shot from a couple years ago, at 20 yards, and he lived for about 10 seconds. This was from a tree-stand about 18 feet up. Notice the shot placement is maybe about 40% up from the brisket/dirt line.
Thanks for the input. The video that stick sender posted was the same shot I took but only much higher and a little farther forward. Poor shot selection on my part! Won’t do that again. I’m hopeful that it wasn’t lethal and he’ll recover.
Was that blood swath on the entrance or exit side of bear and how high was it? Yes sitting and lying bears aren’t worth the chance…
So your stand was one foot high for every yard the barrel was away. That’s not necessarily too steep of a shot . Is it possible you hit lower than it appears and the height of the fletching along side the body gave the appearance of hitting high?
Sorry you didn't get your bear. I've been there. I don't like the sitting down shot and 1" off the shoulder is a little too far forward for bear in my opinion. I like to be a little farther back of the shoulder on bears. Lost too many hitting nice and tight. Keep after em.
I am no expert.but worked in some good bear camps. Most guys shoot a big cut, right thru the middle on blacks. Stay away.from shoulders. I was on the recovery end. Saw this first hand. Sorry about losing your bear.
Thanks for the replies and advice. I got a chance at another bear last night and shot much further back on him slightly quartering away. He was dead in 30 yards or less. Feels good to build some confidence and make a clean kill. I appreciate the words of wisdom that were shared!
Congrats, well done! In Manitoba with Ron Dare, I hit a beautiful, big bear too tight to the shoulder and after many hours had to give up. I caught part of the shoulder blade and didn't get enough penetration. It still haunts me.
Yep Rob. I don’t even like to give the quartering away leeway, perfectly broadside only, because hunters will take the slightly quarter or more anyway. It’s just too much risk of a one lunger though. We’ve never recovered a bear hit only in one lung, have you Rob?