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Best Rifles and Calibers for Big Bears

Hunting big bears takes the right equipment. Here is a guide to the right rifles and calibers.

Best Rifles and Calibers for Big Bears

Good brown bear country in Southeast Alaska. Always, the terrain and the bear dictate the shot. Despite best intentions, the country is often tough and you can’t always get as close as you’d like. (RifleShooter photo) 

Robert E. “Pete” Petersen took a huge polar bear with a .44 Remington Magnum in his S&W M29. It’s said he was the first, but he certainly wasn’t the last to take a big bear with a handgun. My son-in-law, Brad Jannenga, took a monstrous Alaskan brownie…with a big broadhead. One arrow, one bear. Not the first, nor the last. Yes, you can.

To seek our big bears (grizzly, Alaskan brown, polar) is a major undertaking. If you don’t live where they are hunted, you will be accompanied by a licensed guide. Outfitting fees are steep and you must plan ahead and hunt your bear at a certain time and place, no matter if the weather cooperates. If you live...

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