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Thread: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

  1. #1
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    Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    Rookie here. I got my bear tag, and was thinking having iron sights might be better (safe) for hunting bear in the bush/hills. I have a 3-9x40 scope (Viper) on my Ruger American, which I put up for sale and just picked up a used TAP-375 Lakelander. Both rifles are 30-06, but the Lakelander has iron sights. Should be a wash once I sell the Ruger (hopefully).

    My question is: Is there an optimal setup for iron sight hunting? Should I look into quick release rings or bases and add my scope? Should I just put on a 2-7x33 scope for the type of hunting I'm into?

    I'm new, just started last October, been out a handful of times. I hope to hunt deer, Moose, Elk, bear, possibly Caribou and sheep in the future, and have a shotgun for turkey and other birds. I like to spot and stalk, and still hunt. I'm into hiking up and aways to low pressure areas to hopefully find game. I also am into still hunting in the woods.

    I bought the Ruger American after obsessively reading reviews and feeling different rifles in store. I like it, but I would eventually want a wood stock. I just prefer the feel. I tried the Lakelander and was blown away by the action, the bolt is so smooth (9 lugs). It's a blind magazine, but has a little button to eject rounds without cycling the action. And it has a wood stock and iron sights. I don't see any advantage in having a removable mag for what I do.

    I really like the idea of starting with basics and building skills. I've fired air rifles and .22's with iron sights and quite like it, find it accurate so far - only tried out to about 50 yards so far. I also heard having a low power scope is good for making sure to keep close game in view. I practice bringing the scope to my eyes anyways to build good habits, and not have to search for game looking down the scope.

    Any thoughts? Recommendations? Does anybody hunt with iron sights anymore, or low power scopes? Seems most are 3-9x40 or 4-16x50 etc...



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    Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience.
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  3. #2
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    If youre going to be using that rifle for more than bear hunting in thick bush, Id go with a scope.

  4. #3
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    scope unless you can't afford it...

  5. #4
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fella View Post
    If you’re going to be using that rifle for more than bear hunting in thick bush, I’d go with a scope.
    For up to 300 yards what would you recommend, 2-7x33 or 3-9x40? Do you have experience with either?
    ~
    Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience.
    G. K. Chesterton

  6. #5
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    I have a Leupold VX-R 1-4x30 on my bear gun. Haven't gotten a chance to take a bear with it yet, but works wonders at the range.

    Could be that it's just me, but even on my long range gun (4-16), I rarely turn up the magnification, unless I am at the range, and have taken animals at 300 no problem.

  7. #6
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    A scope is a better aiming device than iron sights for virtually every application. There is no reason to use iron sights in 2019, unless you just want to. 2-7/3-9 doesn't really matter, what matters is durability, repeat-ability and optical quality.
    "The 375 H&H was made obsolete the day the 375 Ruger was introduced"

  8. #7
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    QUOTE=Hugh Mann;2087626]I have a Leupold VX-R 1-4x30 on my bear gun. Haven't gotten a chance to take a bear with it yet, but works wonders at the range.

    Could be that it's just me, but even on my long range gun (4-16), I rarely turn up the magnification, unless I am at the range, and have taken animals at 300 no problem.[/QUOTE]


    I have that scope on my 30-06 and I have taken bears up to 300 yards with it, and 50, it’s awsome!

  9. #8
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gateholio View Post
    A scope is a better aiming device than iron sights for virtually every application. There is no reason to use iron sights in 2019, unless you just want to. 2-7/3-9 doesn't really matter, what matters is durability, repeat-ability and optical quality.
    I dissagree. There are a few good reasons for open sights. Some hunting styles for certain animals benefit from open sights. Timber hunting in rough country for bears is one. Timber hunting the west coast during inclement weather for blacktails is another. I agree with your opinion with regards to the o.p. but some elitists use open sights for good reason. Acquiring targets quickly is to the advantage of open sights.
    Last edited by dino; 04-18-2019 at 08:49 PM.
    Hunting the promised land

  10. #9
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    If the wind is good, and the bear doesn't originally see or hear you and you take your time you can sneak quite close to bears, so use whatever you want but iron sights is a lot of fun with bears on spot and stalk...

  11. #10
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    Re: Iron sights or scope for bear hunting...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Mann View Post
    I have a Leupold VX-R 1-4x30 on my bear gun. Haven't gotten a chance to take a bear with it yet, but works wonders at the range.

    Could be that it's just me, but even on my long range gun (4-16), I rarely turn up the magnification, unless I am at the range, and have taken animals at 300 no problem.
    Cool, that sounds like a scope to consider! Thank you
    ~
    Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience.
    G. K. Chesterton

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