Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 54

Ursus americanus.
But traditional muzzleloader hunters
look to bigger bores when looking to score
on black bears.

OCTOBER OPTIONS
What is a big bore you ask? It's anything that shoots a projectile larger than
a half-inch in diameter.
And as you might remember from
high-school geometry class, as a sphere
- such as a roundball - increases in
diameter, its weight increases faster than
the proportional increase in diameter.
That means a 50-caliber, 0.5-inch
diameter roundball weighing in at 175
grains, is eclipsed by the 54-caliber,
0.54-inch diameter roundball, which
weighs 237 grains. And the 58-caliber
0.58 diameter roundball weighs a whopping 290 grains.
While big-bore roundballs hold the
advantage of having larger diameters
compared to the conical bullets many
use with inlines, their real beauty is their
faster acceleration with the same powder
charge. This also means less recoil.
But those bullets fired from big-bore
inlines are plenty effective, too, when
hunting bears.
David Moore proved so much when
hunting in Lackawanna County on Oct.
21 last year.
David admits he's no blackpowder
aficionado. He's never competed with
a muzzleloader, built one or had much
interest in their long history. But a
50-caliber inline that's similar in shape
and function to his deer rifle enabled
him to hunt a friend's farm during the
October muzzleloader season.
While David had started his hunt in

54

a ladder stand, he decided to get down
and still-hunt, but first headed back to
his truck to retrieve a tripod rifle rest.
He picked up the rest and had gone
about 75 yards from the truck when a
black form suddenly materialized in the
field ahead.
A large bear was feeding toward him,
but about 200 yards away.
With the bear's nose to the ground,
David closed the distance to 100 yards
and centered the scope's crosshairs
behind the bear's shoulder. The cloud
of white smoke screened the bear's
reaction, but as it cleared, he could see
the bear zig-zagging through a nearby
swamp, and he would find it only 40
yards from where it was hit.
With unseasonably warm temperatures, David tracked down help and got
the bear to the butcher shop as quickly
as possible.
The 6-foot 2-inch rug and 20-inch
skull will put the 327-pound bear -
taken near former Game Commission
bear biologist Gary Alt's homestead,
off Route 570, near Moscow - in the
Longhunter Society record books.
While bears might be taken from a
tree stand or ground blind, or through
an organized drive, still-hunting is a
preferred method for solitary hunters
who like to put their nose to the wind,
move slowly and, hopefully, surprise
black bears as they feed or rest.
October black bears feed heavily, often on acorns or standing crops
remaining in fields. Hunters are wise
to target these food sources, and action
often peaks in late afternoon or early
morning, as bears move toward food or
back to security cover.



Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 4
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover4
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