It takes a lot of work to finally get within shooting distance of a bear, so it is very important that you know the best place to make a good shot on the animal. Bears are big, tough, and hardy animals that can take a hit better than most other game animals. Many hunters may think that a bear’s shot placement is similar to that of a deer, but bears are a little different.
A bear’s body structure can make for some weird angles and positions that you need to know. A simple shot behind the shoulder may not be enough to cut it with a big bear, so let’s break down some of the best shot placements to look for while you are hunting a bear.
The Double Lung
One of the best shots you can make on a bear is the double lung shot. Like it sounds, this means you pierce both lungs of the animal with your bullet or arrow, causing a quick and ethical death. This is also one of the largest fatal target areas for any animal, giving you a better chance at successfully hitting it. Unfortunately, hitting this area on a bear is still easier said than done.
Bears are constantly on the move and rarely standstill, making them very hard to get a good shot on. If you are hunting over bait, you may have an easier time getting them to freeze for a brief moment to get a clear shot at the lungs. The ideal situation is when a bear is broadside or even slightly quartering with the closest shoulder forward or down.
When a bear gets into this position, you will need to be careful where you actually aim for the lungs. A bear’s fur can make its body position seem deceiving, so it is often recommended to aim for the middle of the body. This way you are not aiming too low on a bear and either miss or get a bad hit because of the fur hanging down. You will also want to keep as close to the shoulders as possible since the lungs are a little further up into the body than that of a deer.
Try for a Pass Through Shot
Whether you are hunting with a rifle or a bow, you should always try to get a complete pass-through on a bear. This is because bears will leave very small blood trails thanks to their thick hide, fur, and fat. With a complete pass-through, you will have two holes (one on either side of the body) to help you blood trail a bear should you need to. It will also cause more damage and hopefully make the bear expire much quicker.
Bears are unique creatures and a ton of fun to hunt, but it is important to remember that shot placement is key when hunting them. For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.