How many ft-lbs of energy would you like to have when hunting black bear?

I have a 308 Win that I can nearly drive tacks with (1" groups at 200 yds consistently) but I am concerned about the terminal ballistics while hunting bear. The bears in my area aren't too big, 200-300 lbs maybe and I'm wondering what my maximum ethical range should be. Also I dont want to wound a bear and follow it into the brush, not my idea of fun.

Asked By: - 7/12/2009
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
I am a long time Alaskan hunter, trapper, and military competition shooter... More
Answered By: Glacierwolf - 7/12/2009
Additional Answers (8)
If you have a .308, and are shooting at bears that size, then you won't have any trouble at all as long as you put the bullet in the right place. I don't think I would go after a Kodiak with a .308, but it would work for a lil' ol' black bear. Do your part (marksmanship), and stay within 300 or so yds. If you can shoot... More
Answered By: Gregg Andrews - 7/12/2009
A .308 should be fine out to 150 with no problems. As long as you are using decent bullets, good expansion, and can make an ethical shot.
Answered By: theblackduck89 - 7/12/2009
if where you live hunting over bait is allowed, do that, then a .308 will definatly drop the bear, and at that range you can kill any black bear that comes along versus just smaller ones at longer range. Use controlled expansion bullets that can punch through the thick layer of skin fat and bone to get to the vitals... More
Answered By: Oliver - 7/12/2009
probably over 1300 ft/lbs. the wounding part, though, is up to you.
Answered By: ugotservedfries - 7/12/2009
Place your shot correctly and you won't be tracking a wounded anything. Hit it poorly with 100000ft/lbs and you'll have problems. The .308 is perfectly fine, just use a good expanding point bullet and place the shot where it needs to go.
Answered By: stupidnameshaveallbeentaken - 7/12/2009
General rule of thumb for any but really big black bears would be around 1,500ft-lbs and whatever range you expect to be your maximum. But it's more important to have a heavy/tough enough bullet to hold together while still being able to expand AND penetrate when it hits the game at whatever velocity it's going... More
Answered By: Chris - 7/12/2009
For black bear of that size, a 308 would be just fine. I do not know the rule of thumb for bear, but for deer, at whatever distance you shoot them at with a rifle, the bullet should have 1000 ft.lbs. of energy. Now, a deer will most likely not eat you like a bear might. Better to be safe than sorry. No need to go... More
Answered By: whitefeathersnpr - 7/12/2009
Black bears are tougher than deer, and with good forage CAN top 500 lb, and bigger than that up North. I would use the 180 grain Nosler Partition bullet, to be sure of penetration if that big legbone is hit. The sectional density for penetration ability of the 180 grainer is 20% greater than the 150 grain bullet, but I... More
Answered By: larry - 7/12/2009
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