Head shot on a running Black Bear with a 7mm Remington Magnum, captured on GoPro.
Week 4, bear season, 2015. Desolation Wilderness, California.
1st shot: 220 yds. 2nd shot: estimated 80 yds.
Rifle: Ruger M77 7mm mag; Ammo: Federal Premium 165 gr.
Bear's estimated weight: 260 pounds, field dressed.
Bear's length from nose to tail: 6.5'.
It took me several hours to drag the bear only a few hundred yards down the mountain. I had to return the next day with 3 other guys. It took us 7 hours to pack it out.
Harvest: Burger, Sausage & Salami.
I start my 2 hour, 4.5 mile hike through the dark, moonless wilderness at 4:30 am. For the past 4 weeks, I've been hunting bear in this area, but little mistakes, which I've documented in other videos I've uploaded, have kept me from being successful. This time, I'm eliminating all the mistakes. I know what I need to do. I know where I need to be. I am very confident that if I do everything perfect, I will bag my first bear today. Sunrise is at 7 a.m. The goal was to be at the base of my target mountain at 7, and like the punctual predator I am, I arrived on time, fully equipped, loaded, and thirsty for blood.
The sun crests the ridge-line as I begin my steep ascent up the mountain. It's 7,000 feet above sea-level at the base of the mountain. I'm taking my time climbing, maintaining 360 degrees of awareness as I climb. With every foot I gain in elevation, the more I can see in every direction. My naked eyes are locking on every dark colored stump, rock or bush in the distance. I positively identify each of the distant objects through my binoculars. I know there are bears out here. Eventually, one of these dark spots is going to be a bear. I keep this up for an hour, slowly moving up the hill, scanning in all directions.
I'm steadily scanning, steadily moving stealthily, and after climbing about 1,000 feet in elevation, my naked eye locks in on a dark spot in the brush that appears to be moving. I look through the scope of my gun, and sure enough, it's a bear. I'm out in the open on the granite face, so I immediately get behind the nearest cover. Not that such was entirely necessary. This bear was way off, preoccupied, and bears have poor eyesight. Nonetheless, I am committed to being successful on this trip, so I am mitigating all potential failure points.
Behind cover, I bust out my rangefinder, and range the bear at 430 yards. Now, I'm hunting with a Ruger M77, 7mm mag that is zeroed for 300 yards with 165 grain federal premium loads. I know I can hit this bear if I aim 15" high... but with the philosophy of risk mitigation, I decided to sneak up to within 300 yards.
So, the stock is on. I get up to a cover point that I'm sure is within 300 yards. I range the bear. He's at 220 yards. I decide to take the shot from here. I get a solid rest of the rocks, I've got the front of the gun stock supported on the rocks, I've got the back of the stock supported on the rocks as well. I've got a solid hold. I hold the cross-hairs on the bear's chest and squeeze...
The bear reacts to the bullet, jumps out of the bush and begins running downhill through the thick brush. I'm watching, seeing if it needs another shot, and waiting for that opportunity. The bear begins heading directly toward me. I step up off my rest and begin to track the bear off-hand. The bear is coming straight towards me, I line him up in the cross-hairs and squeeze...
Sniped. Brainshot, Central Nervous System destroyed. The lifeless carcass rolls to a stop.
I walk up cautiously. I need to ensure this thing is dead; take no chances. I'm alone, 20 miles from the nearest town, and I'm walking up to a beast that has the potential to seriously injure, permanently maim or disfigure, or kill me in seconds. I poke its eye with the barrel, seeing if it blinks. No blink. This bear is dead; bullet hole in its head. Running headshot instant kill: another notch on the belt. More meat for the freezer. Another GoPro killshot archived.