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KinleyWater
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 9:48am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

I was out stomping through the woods this morning and came across a few piles of fresh bear scat. From the consistency, I believe the bear was ill. Brush and trees made for close cover and brought average visibility to between 5 and 15 yards. Having no desire to encounter an ill bruin at that distance, I executed a tactical retrograde movement with alacrity.

As I was swiftly advancing in a new direction, a thought occurred to me. For the several years I have been reading about hunting, I have often read the term Dense Timber, Dark Timber, Thick Cover, Dense Woods, etc. However, I've never seen any of these terms defined.

I know it will depend on the individual, so here is my question: How do you define Dense Woods (or whatever term)?

Where I hunt, it's between 5 and 15 yards average visibility.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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M700
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 2:47pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Ya, I'd agree. If I'm in timber, and can't see any farther than you could, I'd term it "dense."

Just hunting in timber can produce plenty of situations where game might be taken at rather short distances, 40 or 50 yards. But yes, sometimes it gets downright dense.

Sometimes bear scat is really, really loose... I think it depends on their diet.

I've shot a couple of bear at really close range - one at only 10 or 15 feet. They were wounded bears that we'd followed into the brush.

What firearm, sights/scope, and ammo were you carrying?

Guy
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M700
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 2:49pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Oh, and I've heard "dark timber" meaning not that the trees were super close together, but that they were close enough that it was impossible to see into the forest. Once in it, the trees blocked most of the sunlight as well.

"Dark timber" seemed to mean where a hillside is covered with trees - not scattered trees - but a solid mass of green that our eyes and binoculars can't penetrate.

Guy
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M700
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 2:55pm | IP Logged Quote M700

A favorite of mine was my old 30-06 Model of 1917, with the barrel cut to 21" and loaded with six cartridges. It was topped by a 2.5x Leupold, and I'd have 220 gr semi-pointed Nosler Partitions loaded to a modest 2400 fps.

That rifle handled well. Then my son decided he liked it.. Sigh...

Also like a .30-30 or .45/70 lever action rifle with a low powered scope.

And my .375 H&H Ruger Number One has worked out real well in that situation, dense timber/brush, because of the short overall length. I've got it topped with a 3x Leupold these days.

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 4:06pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Today's weapon of choice was my Rem 700 Classic in 35 Whelen. The load was originally a 200gr FTX at a book minimum charge, producing along the lines of RL-15 for 2400fps. When I saw I might be dealing with a bear, I changed over to a 250gr Speer HotCor at book max of the same, producing a bit over 2450fps, if I recall correctly.

The rifle and load I have complete confidence in, even at those rather short ranges. My glass, however, is the weak point, being that it is overpowered. I have a 4-12 Nikon mounted to the rifle, and even at the lowest setting was much too strong.

Overall, I love the rifle. It's short (22inch barrel), not very heavy, accurate, not a pain to shoot, and very versatile.

Oh, lest I forget. Backup gun was my ever-present S&W M69, stoked with Buffalo Bore 240gr +P lead cast HP "Deer Grenade" (because it sounds cool, I suppose), at a factory listed 1550fps from a 4 inch barrel. Got to admit, I think these two guns have a real special place in my heart.

<<EDIT>> As far as the scat was concerned, there were two different varieties, if you will. One looked like it was bound more by mucus, than anything else - might have been vomit, now that I think of it - the other had nearly the consistency of mud.

Edited by KinleyWater on 21 November 2017 at 4:08pm


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beerd
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 7:48pm | IP Logged Quote beerd

KinleyWater wrote:
As far as the scat was concerned, there were two different varieties, if you will.


Were there any little bells in it?
..
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richhodg66
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 8:05pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

For 5-15 yard visibility, a short 12 gauge is the order of the day.

The main stand I hunt in bow season is so thick and brushy that if I hunt it during muzzle loader season in September, one could walk right past under me without being seen. When the leaves come off and die, visibility is pretty good.

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M700
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Posted: 21 November 2017 at 8:08pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Sounds like your poor bear may have been sick. I wonder if he'll make it through the winter?

Ya, I love the idea of the .35 Whelen and the .44 revolver! Buddy of mine killed a bear last year at 4 yards while I was following him, only a couple of feet behind. We were following a bear wounded by another hunter. That was pretty intense. He had some 300+ grain cast bullet ammo in it...

Dense timber or tight brush, and the 4-12... Ya, agree, not a good combo. At least you could get it down to 4x!

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 9:18am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

M700 wrote:
Sounds like your poor bear may have been sick. I wonder if he'll make it through the winter?

...
Guy


Not if I have anything to say about it

He (or at least a bear was) seen today by anther hunter about half a mile from where I saw the scat piles. Based on the description of a 3-350 pound bear, I tend to think it is the same animal. I have seen sign across the area, and I am guessing that there is just the one bear. The other hunter didn't report anything unusual about the bear, so it isn't too sick.

A 12 gauge would probably be superior, but since I don't own one... Best I have is the Whelen with the 250 grain hand loads.

I didn't see any bells, per se, but I did notice a torn up Taco Bell bag int he area .

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M700
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:00pm | IP Logged Quote M700

I'm thinking your .35 Whelen is pretty much a perfect bear rifle.

Good luck!
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Kosh75287
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Posted: 02 December 2017 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

Any place where I cannot see further than I could underhand toss a 1 pound object (in open field) is, to me, dense brush. At 5 to 15 yards, I'd be concerned about my ability to wield a shoulder-fired arm. I have a Red Hawk in .45 Colt with a load that shoots neck and neck with .44 Mag factory. I'd likely want to carry it, along with whatever hunting rifle I'm using.
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KinleyWater
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Posted: 02 December 2017 at 3:19pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

When I am hunting in those areas, I move like I'm out patrolling; stock to shoulder, muzzle down. I carry a 44 Mag that shoots neck and neck with a, uh, never mind


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