NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Whether plinking or chasing big game, tell us about your day outdoors!

NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby Moon Tree » 01 Jan 2018 23

Many of you have seen my posts indicating that I have been working up a load for my Rossi 92 .45 Colt in preparation of a black bear hunt. The load I ended up with is 22.5 gr. of H-110 topped with a 300 gr. Hornady XTP magnum bullet. This bullet is traveling 1500 fps and penetrating 39 inches of wet, compressed sawdust. I took 100 pound buck with this load. It dropped in his track with a pass through of 18 inch.

I will post links to my testing at the bottom.

The North Carolina coastal counties of Hyde and Dare have the highest density of black bear in the country with .8 bear per square mile. I hunted in the neighboring county of Tyrrell with Troy Shelton of Wildcard Outfitters. Originally, this was supposed to be hound hunt. Troy had sold his bear dogs a couple years back. He was able to book another houndsman for the hunt. This guy cancelled just before I headed to North Carolina because of personal issues. Troy managed to get me on a waiting list for a hound hunt with several of his friends. He actually, had that worked out for the last day of my hunt, but the houndsman’s daughter had to be hospitalized the night before the hunt. Sometimes life just works that way. So, I hunted from a stand.

The second evening, I hunted the “Stand Across the River.” This stand was located on dike/small ridge. Behind me was a 40 yard wide creek which was joined to my right by a 20 yard wide drainage canal. To my left was a swampy, marsh area. Basically, I was hunting a peninsula. Accessing the stand require a boat ride across the canal, which I referred to as the River Styx.

I loved this setup, except the west wind was blowing straight up the peninsula were I expected the bear to arrive. I was hoping the scent block would help.

I had been settled in for an hour when I instinctively checked my watch--3:15. I smiled. Over the years I have taken a lot of deer, including my 3 largest bucks between 3:15 and 3:30. I look up from my watch to see a black patch in the brush up the ridge that I hadn’t noticed before. Bear! I felt my heart pound in my chest.

If you’ve never hunted black bear, they are BLACK! Imagine a sealed black box dropped into a well then seal the off the well, that black. No rotted, burnt stump is as black as a black bear.

The bear came down the trail very cautiously with his nose in the air. He moved off the ridge to the right; nose still testing the air. I surreal calmness came over me as I realize I would probably not get a shot at this bear. He turned crossing the ridge to the left side. He continue this zig-zagging pattern twice more keeping brush trees between me and him. Each time he was getting closer. I watched him for 5 minutes.

At forty yards he stopped broadside to me. His nose was behind a tree. Half his rump was behind another. I nestled the fiber optic front sight on the seam of his shoulder and started the slow squeeze of the trigger. As I reached the point of no return, I saw his front leg take a step. The rifle cracked. The bear dropped, kicked and rolled 20 yards down the ridge to the edge of the swamp. “I just killed a 200+ pound bear,” I thought. The bear kick a couple more times and GOT TO HIS FEET. He only took a few steps before he sat down facing away from me. My backup load was a Lee C452-300 molded hard cast bullet moving at around 1600 fps. This round shoots through 62 inches of wet, compressed sawdust. I knew it pass through the bear with ease. I hit the bear in the back between the shoulder blade and spine as best I could tell. The bear dropped flat, but got back up, quickly stumbling is to the undergrowth. Just before the bear disappeared, I saw a golf ball size blood spot of the entry wound in it’s rib cage. I just knew I would find this bear just out of sight.

Even though, the entry wound was in the rib cage, it was a little farther back than I had wanted. I waited an hour before taking up the blood. There was a lot of blood where he rolled down the hill. There was another burst of blood where he was hit a second time. The blood trail show blood spray on saplings on both sides, indicating a double lung shot. The 300 gr. XTP magnum had apparently shot through the bear. I trailed him to the point he entered the waters of the swamp. I went back to wait for my guides.

Troy agreed the bear was hit hard and with the blood spray on both sides, he agreed it was a double lung shot. It was dark now. We decided to come back in the morning with hip boots.

Troy and his son, Tyler trudge around the swamp making a large arc without finding the bear. But, with a swamp littered with root island and fallen trees, the bear could have been easily over looked. We didn’t find my bear.

Here are some links of my journey with this load, plus a link by woden who is doing his own research:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5860
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5452&p=51802
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5452

Here's an image from the stand. I pasted in images of a "bear" at the 1st and 2nd shot and were it stopped rolling.

Second image is were I saw blood spot of the 1st entry wound.

I will do a summary as to my thoughts about the .45 Colt as a bear weapon tomorrow.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Life isn't about the toys you accumulate, but about the memories your create with those toys and friends.
User avatar
Moon Tree
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 688
Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 259 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: United States

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby Ranch Dog » 02 Jan 2018 06

As usual, a complete report, and I'm sorry you lost your bear. That is how it ends sometime. Are you going to go back for another hunt?
Michael
Image
User avatar
Ranch Dog
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8536
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Has thanked: 1405 times
Been thanked: 1892 times
My Rossi Choice: Rio Grande
Location: Cuero, TX

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby woden » 02 Jan 2018 16

Sorry to hear about your bear. Stuff happens that cannot be explained some times. You certenly did your due diligence picking that bullet.
woden
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 22 Sep 2015
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 20 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: michigan

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby Missionary » 02 Jan 2018 18

Good evening
Great write up ! But what a sad ending !
Sure cannot belittle the 45 Colt in any way. One fine old cartridge that still gets the big job done.
Missionary
Founding Member & Supporter
Founding Member & Supporter
 
Posts: 516
Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 115 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Peru

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby Moon Tree » 02 Jan 2018 19

My Summary for a .45 Colt as a Big Game Cartridge

I wasn’t alone at bear camp. I had the pleasure of hunting with Josh and Shasta Mullins. Tuesday morning, Shasta hunted a blind on the edge of picked soy bean field 600 yards from me. At first light I hear her .308 boom. Laying in front of her was a black blob that I knew to be a bear. She took this 157 pound black bear at 125 yards. It dropped in it’s tracks. Her shot had it the bear an inch farther back and an inch higher than my shot had done.

Thursday morning, Josh took a 321 pound bear from the same stand using the same rifle. His first shot placement was 150 yards was within an inch of Shasta’s and my shots. The bear ran 100+ yard before stopping. Josh’s second shot was an inch higher. It put this nice bear down for good.

My Conclusion:
All individual game animals react differently to being shot even when shot place is very similar. Had my bear been in an open field instead of near a swamp I feel it would have been retrieved. Had Josh’s bear been near a swamp, retrieval would have been more difficult.
Evidently, with blood spray on both sides of the trail, I got a complete pass through with the 300 gr. XTP magnum bullet. How much internal damage it created is uncertain, since I didn’t find the bear. I can only gage it by the deer I shot earlier this season. That shot was a quartering toward me angle that passed through 18 inches of flesh, which is very comparable to that of the broadside shot on my bear. The top 1/2 of both lungs and 1/3 of the liver were mush. I have to think that bullet behaved similarly in the bear.

Do I think the Rossi .45 Colt is still a bear rifle? YES Sadly, I to have to wait till next seasons to prove it.
Life isn't about the toys you accumulate, but about the memories your create with those toys and friends.
User avatar
Moon Tree
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 688
Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 259 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: United States

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby akuser47 » 02 Jan 2018 19

Well written, and to bad on no harvest. I bet you'll get your next one.
Image
Live Free,Ride Free, Or Die Fighting, For The Right, To do So!
User avatar
akuser47
Moderator & Supporter
Moderator & Supporter
 
Posts: 4929
Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Has thanked: 1187 times
Been thanked: 449 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: ohio

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby Moon Tree » 02 Jan 2018 19

Thanks guy for your comments. I'm still heart broke about losing the bear. Not because I can claim a kill, but because I left a noble animal, dead in the woods.

Ranch Dog, my license and tags are good until Dec. 20, 2018. Troy said that NC will probably have an additional week of bear season in November and December next fall. That's $400 that I've already invested, so heck yell, I'm thinking of going back there. Also, a friend lives in Montana, which has a spring black bear season. If a hunt works out, I'm planning on a trip to Montana in May.
Life isn't about the toys you accumulate, but about the memories your create with those toys and friends.
User avatar
Moon Tree
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 688
Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 259 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: United States

Re: NC Black Bear vs Rossi .45 Colt

Postby LowKey » 06 Jan 2018 12

What a story!
LowKey
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 189
Joined: 18 Feb 2016
Has thanked: 159 times
Been thanked: 83 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: New Rawlins, WY


Return to Field/Hunting Stories, Tales, & Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

  • Advertisement