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Black Bear Weapons and Ammo


No matter what you choose for a weapon for your guided Maine bear hunting trip, it's essential to hit a bear hard and in the right spot. Maine Black Bears are tough. A bear’s heart is low and forward in the chest and is protected by a large, hard leg bone. The lungs are large, but are often positioned behind an equally large shoulder bone. All of the vitals are underneath a heavy coat of matted hair, a thick pliable hide, and a substantial layer of fat. The fat often clogs up holes just like a cork and can quickly stop blood from seeping out making tracking very difficult. 

Putting you on bear with an effective setup is our job, and we take it very seriously. Getting the job done when your bear shows up is your job, and having the right equipment is crucial. 


  • Larger caliber (30 Cal and up)

  • We recommend the heaviest core-lokt bullet your caliber will shoot or ballistic tipped ammo. 

  • 7mm mag and .270 with good lead (SST or ballistic tip) is adequate.

  • Individuals choosing to hunt with lever action rifles should use such suitable selections as the .44 mag,  .45-70,  .32 Winchester Special & .35 Remington. 


  • A 50 caliber muzzleloader is capable of taking down a large Black Bear, the key is bullet weight & shot placement (since you only have one shot). 

  • The heavier the lead the better. There are a lot of good choices on the market for heavy muzzleloader lead, we recommend T/C 300 grain Shock wave bullets.

  • Remember shots are usually 10 - 25 yards so bullet drop is not a concern. 


  • Anything from .41 Magnum up to the .500 S&W. 

  • As far as the right bullet, again heavy is essential. There are a lot of conflicting opinions on type, some experts say use a big- bore cartridge that throws a solid bullet weighing 200 grains or more at 1000 fps while others will tell you that a jacketed or solid copper hollow point bullet is best. I have seen both do the job and each have advantages and disadvantages. Again, the important part is weight and shot placement.


  • Rifled barrel 12 gauge slug guns. 

  • Pumps or semi-autos.


  • Maine State Law requires that "Arrow heads (including expandable mechanical broadheads) must be at least ⅞ inch in width"

  • We recommend a minimum of 100 grain broadheads, preferably 125 grain with a cutting width of at least 1.25

  • As far as mechanical broadheads, we recommend Rage broadheads

  • All bows whether compound, recurve or longbow should have a bare minimum draw weight of 50lbs.


  • Per Maine State Law "Only crossbows with a shoulder-type stock may be used; hand-held pistol-type crossbows are prohibited; the draw weight may not be less than 100 pounds nor more than 200 pounds; arrowheads, including mechanical broadheads when open, must be at least ⅞ inch in width."

  • We recommend that your crossbow shoots  at minimum, 300 fps

  • Broad heads: 100 Gr. Minimum. (recommend 125 Gr), 

  • We strongly recommend Fixed blade 

  • Mechanical broadheads are prone to flight issues with crossbows. Because of the short bolt and dynamic release.


  • Whatever weapon you choose, having a low power scope is a good idea (no more than 4x)

  • Even though shots are close, the Maine woods get dark long before legal shooting time is up. A scope allows you those precious few extra minutes at  "prime time "

  • All scopes should be sighted in for 25 yards.

  • It's a good idea to sight your scope in from an elevated position; most of our stands are 12'  tall

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