Sunday, November 27, 2005

The three days preceding Thanksgiving are bear season up at the cabin. I went up, but didn't hunt bear. Some of the guys do, and one pair of brothers gets bears every year. I've just never bothered for several reasons: I don't feel like dragging a 300-lb carcass out of terrain that rough, bear meat is nasty and greasy and bears are related to pigs, so you get the same trichinosis issues. (some of the guys are so into bear that they once hauled a dead horse up to the cabin)

After reading this article (scroll down to “Hunter Injured”), I've discovered another reason not to hunt bear—it's nice sticking to situations in which you're the apex predator.

Had to do a bit of research after reading the article. The guy shot the bear four times and it still lived long enough to maul him, yet my recollection was that the .444 Marlin is a seriously potent round. I dragged out one of my reloading manuals and indeed, the .444 makes a hole nearly a half inch in diameter and delivers 2000+ foot pounds of energy at less than 150 yards. The guy was a seriously bad shot.

Another possibility is that he used the wrong bullet. Turns out there is a frangible bullet for the .444 which would pretty near turn a deer inside out, but would not penetrate a bear nearly enough. Really bad choice.

The third possibility (and it happens more than I'd like to see) is that he made stupid shots, either on a running target, a mostly concealed target, etc. Even with a round like the .444 you're only going to annoy the bear if you don't make good, clean shots.

I've blown many an opportunity because I'm fastidious about making a single, clean shot.

So I feel badly for the guy, but he screwed up.

A good read.

No comments: