Firepower and Optics for Big Bears

You’ll spend a considerable amount of time glassing during a grizzly hunt, and high-quality, lightweight optics are important.

You must make sure a bear has no cubs and is of trophy quality before you take off on a multi-mile stalk, and good glass can save you a lot of boot leather. Nikon’s new Monarch 7 binocular is without a doubt the clearest I’ve ever looked through in its price range, and it’s tough as nails. The glass is multicoated for great clarity and definition, but the all-terrain durability is also a major benefit in the harsh conditions of a wilderness hunt.

For my inland grizzly hunt, I shot a .300 Win. Mag. Thompson/ Center Icon topped with a Nikon Monarch 3-12X riflescope. This rifle is incredibly accurate shooting Winchester Supreme 180-grain Accubonds at 2,950 fps, and the controlled expansion and deep penetration of this bullet makes it a great dangerous game round. When I hunt giant coastal bears again, I’ll move up to a larger caliber, and I’m leaning toward my T/C Encore with a .375 H&H barrel shooting Winchester Safari 300-Grain Nosler Partitions. I’ve taken a couple of Cape Buffalo and an Asian buffalo with this setup and it worked flawlessly, so I expect it would perform equally well on huge brown bears.

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