Dispatching a Problem bear


Can a bear skull stop a bullet?
Since the spinal cord is so small, it makes sense to aim at the brain. But bears have thick, strong skulls shotgun slugs or even rifle bullets may not penetrate.
Can you shoot a bear in the head?
The brain, to many, is unexpectedly low and narrow. It is easy to shoot a bear in the head and miss the brain. ... It is easy to shoot a bear between the eyes and miss the brain if you are a little bit above the mark. There is quite a bit of fur, skin, muscle, and fat surrounding a bear's skull.
I worked in a beef packing plant that used compressed air and a "knocking gun" to put down the cattle. This is a hand held unit (both hands, mind you) similar to a roofing nail gun in which when the end out the unit was depressed on a surface (in this case, the livestocks forehead) a 6 inch bolt would penetrate the skull. In rare cases (all of them older bulls) the bolt would not penetrate the skull and a .410 slug was used at close range to knock down the animal. This never failed. The gun was hanging on the wll in the knocking box at all times.
There is no way a bears skull is thicker or stronger than a bull.
Can a bullet deflect off a bears skull..............sure. Anything is possible.
Is it likely..................No.
our typical black bear skull at its thickest point is less than 1/4 inch thick. There is actually a point on the top of the skull, well back from the eyes, that when the skull is dried you can actually see light throught it.
A polar bear's skull is around four inches thick.

Do ya feel lucky? Hunh, do ya???



A quart of molassas; doz. Maple bars; drizzle molassas out in the direction he comes to the compost.
Lever Model 92 44 Mag. white front bead, 240 gr. Soft Point
Study up on the anatomy of black bear to learn where the heart is (and lungs)


A 12GA full power lead slug will go through a 1/2" of 6061 T6 Aluminum, I doubt it will bounce off anything a bear can put up.
Will it go through that aluminum if it is angled at 30 degrees, like a bear skull?


Head shots on bears are silly. Place a slug in the boilermaker and call it a day.

Friend of mine just got his bear using bait and he went to a local bakery distributor and got a ton of expired donuts and said it was like crack to the bears.

My brother used cheap dried dog food, fryer grease, and molasses and didn't have very good results.
That is super interesting, I would really have not considered a bear head to be "deflect a slug" hard, but it makes a lot of sense. When I was first learning to hunt I shot a deer, and when I approached her she sat up. I tried to shoot it in the head, but I was zeroed at 100 yards with a scoped slug gun (rifled/sabbot), and we all know where this is going. Needless to say I remember and feel guilty about it 15 years later, and have never taken a head shot since, it was horrible.
Only if you are hitting it square on from the front. It does not always glance but it "can" . With a slug from a 12 a chest hit will drop it fast. If you can hit it in the head from the side there would be little of the head left and it will of course drop right there in it's tracks.
When I was a kid a buddy on his first big game hunt got an animal in the mouth. Took most of the front of the critters head off and did drop it dead. The picture was hilarious. Kid was of course over the top excited that on his first try out he bagged. He is holding the animals head up, grin from ear to ear, and the animals face is gone.:D



Long story short I have permission to hunt a problem bear on a local farm. The owner is not a fan of hunting, but did not like the idea of ODFW euthanizing the bear. He opted to let me shoot the bear, and I am going to share the meat with some of the guys that live and work the farm. I am trying to do this in a way to avoid disturbing the neighbors and the folks who live on the farm. The plan is to go out there with a couple game cams and try and pin down the trail he is walking on, and hopefully get back and away from the buildings. That being said they have a tower in the garden just adjacent to the compost he has been getting into, so i can always sit in that. I have the whole gamete of tools; iron sight 30-06, scoped 7mm, a bow, a shotgun with slugs, and even a scoped .223 with bonded 62 grains (head shot?).

Any good tips on dispatching a bear as quietly and quickly as possible?
Give ODFW another call and ask if you can use hounds to tree it. They allow hounds on problem cougar in some counties.
But even so, a slug may bounce off the front of the skull.... don't do it.
Yep. Look at impact angle of the shot relative to the orientation of the bear's flat forehead. Too low of an impact angle and the round can "skip" off the skull similar to what happens when you shoot at a body of water.

Re: bait ... apples and pastries should seal the deal.


Don't call ODFW they don't know what's legal. Call the OSP game division for the right info.
There are times and predicaments in one's life that one finds it necessary to invoke a relatively reliable rule:

"It is frequently better to act along with a plan to explain later than to ask permission aforehand."

I believe this situation falls into that frequently category.
use a 7mm
Mag, not Mauser Please!

My buddy back in the day on a group cow Elk hunt took a 80yrd shot on a cow Elk with a 7mm Mauser. Perfect side hit, she looked up and jumped a little but stood there and looked around. Other buddy thinking it was a miss, hit her with his 30-06 and she dropped. We found the 7mm Mauser bullet on the other side of the animal! The entry hole in the right spot then the bullet did a 90* turn and ran under the hide but on top of the silver skin up over her back to the other side. Never penetrated the animal. She prob thought a tick bit her.


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