If you hunt bears long enough, you will eventually have to deal with a wounded bear. A wounded bear is in the same class as a wounded leopard when it comes to dangerous animals that can cause death to humans. Here are a few tips on dealing with a wounded bear.
Regardless of what you shot your bear with, you should always follow up on a bear with a high-powered rifle. If using a scoped rifle, the best mounts to have are the see-through mounts. See-through mounts are insurance in the event that you have to deal with a bear at super close range, or in the rare circumstance that your scope fails.
When it comes to following up on a wounded bear, it actually is safer to have a companion or two that are also armed. Hopefully you will not need their shooting assistance, but it is always safer to have company when it comes to nature, for obvious reasons.
If you are dealing with a bear that is facing you directly, placing a shot between and slightly above the eyes is a good way to drop him. It is straight to the brain and hard to beat, however, if a bear is quartering towards you, you should consider a sliding a round right by his cheek and taking out the shoulder at the same level of where the backbone runs through the shoulder blades. Another consideration is right under the chin to hopefully take out the spine.
The most important thing to remember when tracking or trailing is to mark your blood spots in case you need to return to your last known blood, or you need a solid path back to your vehicle in case of an emergency. Toilet paper works well, but if it rains, toilet paper is worthless. I like to carry orange surveyor’s ribbon. Orange or green surveyor’s ribbon is highly visible, but don’t forget to collect it when your mission is accomplished.
Two other safety practices that need to be mentioned are speed and night-time trailing. It is safer to go slow and to be meticulous for obvious reasons, but always wait until daylight if possible. It is just safer to be able to see all around you and to not have to rely on flashlights to keep you on the trail.
Discussing safety might seem redundant when it comes to hunting, but if you ever find yourself in the position of looking for a wounded bear that is when all the safety practices in the world are most important.