A Tussle With A Sun Bear

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3 days later , our shikar party was off to the Panchghani Hills in order to guide our client for a Sun Bear shikar . Our shikar party consisted of :
> Myself: I carried my “ Old Belgian “ loaded with my hand loaded 3 inch Eley Alphamax magnum “ High Brass “ spherical ball cartridges .
> Ponual: He carried our clients .460 Weatherby magnum Mark 5 bolt rifle .
> 3 coolies: They carried a folding chair , skinning tools and butcher knives, an ice chest, salt and refreshments.
> Mintu: Our tribal Shaotaal tracker .
> Our Client : He kept 3 spare cartridges in each breast pocket of his khaki shikar shirt .
Below ... I have provided a photograph taken by myself of Mintu , my loyal tracker ( right ) .
View attachment 345123

For upwards of 5 hours ... Mintu was following the tracks of a Sun Bear through the Panchghani Hills . We stayed closely behind him ... taking great care not to divert his attention . Mintu finally came across a pile of Sun Bear Dung and took off his left Jhootey ( A locally made Indian sandal worn by villagers ) . He then curled his toes and dipped them in to the dung of the Sun Bear . He told us that the dung was still warm ... which could only mean that the Sun Bear was not too far off.

It took us another hour ... until we were finally able to catch sight of the brute . He was a majestic looking creature ... using his sickle like claws to tear in to an ant hill , before using his long tongue to reach for the inhabitants of the aforementioned ant hill . I left Ponual , Mintu and the coolies to stay back ... while our client retrieved his Weatherby Mark 5 bolt rifle from Ponual . The client and I then slowly began to stalk the Sun Bear until we were within 50 yards of the brute .

Knowing that the client’s Weatherby Mark 5 bolt rifle was equipped with a muzzle brake and was chambered in .460 Weatherby magnum calibre ... I decided to do the wise thing ( for the sake of my ears ) and got behind the client. I told him , “ Sahib, perhaps a shoulder shot would be best under these set of circumstances. It allows for a greater margin for error “ . My client told me , “ I’m a master of the brain shot . I’ve got this critter covered “ . I nodded, hesitantly . The client raised the big rifle and pulled the trigger. If only that big rifle was as good, as it was big...

A tremendous blast went off. Deafening , actually. The 500 grain solid metal covered bullet blew the top of the snout of the Sun Bear clean off , and the animal howled in pain . It had seen us ! The brute charged . “ Sahib ! “ I shouted in despair . “ Shoot him again ! Quickly ! “ . Unfortunately , stock of my client’s Weatherby Mark 5 bolt rifle had “ Let Go “ . In other words ... that ornate Deluxe Grade wooden stock of the Weatherby Mark 5 had split . I knew that I had to step in , now... otherwise it would be too late.

I raised my “ Old Belgian “ to my shoulder and took aim , hastily. The enraged , bleeding brute was now within 30 feet of us. He was covering distance with savage speed . I pulled the left trigger and let fly . The 1 ounce spherical ball of hardened lead punched right in to the area behind the Sun Bear’s left shoulder . The brute let off a painful guttural growl and turned it’s charge ... attempting to get as far away from us as possible . I instinctively kept my “ Old Belgian “ trained on the wounded animal ... ready to give him the right barrel without a moment’s notice . However... I never needed to .

The brute dropped on to the green forest floor after running for a mere 55 yards . He was lifeless .

Below , I have provided a photograph taken by myself of the slain brute... after we had managed to finally get him back to the edge of the road
View attachment 345129
Below, I have provided a photograph taken by myself of my trusty “ Old Belgian “ .
View attachment 345131
Below, I have provided a photograph taken by myself of 1 of my recently loaded spherical ball cartridges. Note the high brass head ( 20 mm length ) of the cartridge.
View attachment 345134
Friend Ponton
Like I told BeeMaa
Another person getting there ambition mixed up with their capabilities. When will people learn to listen to advice. It sure paid off for me in Namibia. Sure I had shot game in Australia but not Namibia. By listening to my PH 5 shots 5 kills.
Listen to those who know better it works.
Cheers my Friend
Bob
 
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Major Sir
A marvelous first class account of a Sun Bear Shikar . The Asian Sloth Bears which I have shot in my life ( till now ) were all shot by my 7 millimeter Remington Magnum , employing a 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullet.
My preferred method of shooting them is to establish an ambush site near a bee hive . I wait for the fiend to stand up on it’s hind legs , in order to reach for the bee hive .
As soon as it raises it’s fore paws in an upward fashion in order to reach for the bee hive , I plant a a 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullet behind it’ shoulder . This technique works like a charm . You manage to rupture the fiend’s heart ( as well a piece of both of it’s lungs , most of the time ) .
My dear friend Panther Shooter
I do like your closing statement MOST OF THE TIME, please tell us more it sounds interesting.
Your friend
Bob Nelson
 

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Great story. I'm surprised he wanted a 460. American black bears are of a similar size and its pretty common to shoot them with what Americans called "deer rifles " which would be a 30-30 or 30-06. I'm sure he would have heard those stories.

Glad my fellow Americans were on good behavior though. I've been thinking about these old stories told by you fine gentlemen from India. I think at one point we as a society emphasized individual virtue more then group virtue. In other words you might live in an imperfect society but you could (and should) hold yourself to a higher standard. For example many of your clients were coming from a place where racial discrimination had only recently been outlawed and such bad attitudes still existed. In some ways our society has improved a lot in that respect since the 1960s. Yes we have a few knuckleheads but they are rare. On the other hand as a teacher I witnessed some shockingly bad behavior from kids but more so from parents. Maybe we focused so much on fixing one problem we forgot how to do other things right like tell the truth or not cuss out people when we don't get out way. Or maybe in the old days we focused more on an individual's character. I think some people today focus so much on fixing every little thing through the legal system that they forget most problems are solved by just teaching kids to be kind and tell the truth. Maybe I should have been a philosopher.
 

Major Khan

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Friend Ponton
Like I told BeeMaa
Another person getting there ambition mixed up with their capabilities. When will people learn to listen to advice. It sure paid off for me in Namibia. Sure I had shot game in Australia but not Namibia. By listening to my PH 5 shots 5 kills.
Listen to those who know better it works.
Cheers my Friend
Bob
This is extremely impressive , Bob !
5 1 shot kills by using your .35 Whelen calibre Savage Model 110 action bolt rifle... is downright impressive . I can give you a guarantee , that had my client been using a .30-06 Springfield calibre rifle that day ... then he would have successfully taken down that Sun Bear without any complications , whatsoever .
Imagine attempting the brain shot on a brute... only to end up blowing the animal's snout off !
 

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Thanks for sharing another story with us!
 

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Another interesting story Poton. Weatherby rifles were often referred to as "Wounderbys" because of incidents like this. There are a number of AH members that swear by the 460 and used it successfully for years and or on a number of Dangerous Game animals. Unfortunately there have been many more uninitiated hunters sold DG caliber rifles by salesmen that knew little if anything about what they recommended for upcoming hunts.
 

Major Khan

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Great story. I'm surprised he wanted a 460. American black bears are of a similar size and its pretty common to shoot them with what Americans called "deer rifles " which would be a 30-30 or 30-06. I'm sure he would have heard those stories.

Glad my fellow Americans were on good behavior though. I've been thinking about these old stories told by you fine gentlemen from India. I think at one point we as a society emphasized individual virtue more then group virtue. In other words you might live in an imperfect society but you could (and should) hold yourself to a higher standard. For example many of your clients were coming from a place where racial discrimination had only recently been outlawed and such bad attitudes still existed. In some ways our society has improved a lot in that respect since the 1960s. Yes we have a few knuckleheads but they are rare. On the other hand as a teacher I witnessed some shockingly bad behavior from kids but more so from parents. Maybe we focused so much on fixing one problem we forgot how to do other things right like tell the truth or not cuss out people when we don't get out way. Or maybe in the old days we focused more on an individual's character. I think some people today focus so much on fixing every little thing through the legal system that they forget most problems are solved by just teaching kids to be kind and tell the truth. Maybe I should have been a philosopher.
I could not agree with you more , Like .
In my 10 year career as a professional shikaree ... I would spend 8 months of the year guiding foreign client shikarees . Around 85 % of those clients were Americans . More than 50 % of them came from Southern states .

Yet , I have never seen even 1 American client who was even REMOTELY racist towards us . They laughed with us , hunted with us and even ate their meals with us . It is actually pretty interesting . Some of them even had tattoos of the Àmerican Confederate flag on their bodies ( A flag which left wing media nowadays always portray as a racist symbol of slavery ) . Yet , they were not racist in the slightest sense .
Yes .... A few ( Such as the gentle man in this 1968 Sun Bear shikar ) were a little dismissive of our advice , at times .
However , this was more due to over confidence in their own abilities ...rather than looking down upon us .
If we had a car accident ... our clients would always go so far as to aid us in repairing the car .
Screenshot_20191006-203705_01_01.png

Even if we begged them to sit down some where and rest , while we professional shikarees and coolies tried to repair the car... they would absolutely have none of it . They would directly help us by rolling up their shirt sleeves and getting down in to the action .
We Indians also had a great deal of respect for our American clients .
It was only after Indira Gandhi's renegade government came to power in 1970... that media began to indoctrinate the younger generations of Indians against Caucasians . They made it look as if the American client shikarees who would come to India for shikar .... were the stereotypical " White Destroyer Of India's Defenseless Wild Life & White Exploiter Of The Indian People " . It was them ... who began to make every single thing about race . This is why the younger generations of India nowadays ... are so derailed and irrational in their agendas .

And again ... I am 100 % inclined to agree with you . Instead of having so many stupid and senseless politically correct laws ... Parents should get back to teaching their children good manners and discipline , from infancy . This was exactly how it was done ... back in the good , old days .
 
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This is extremely impressive , Bob !
5 1 shot kills by using your .35 Whelen calibre Savage Model 110 action bolt rifle... is downright impressive . I can give you a guarantee , that had my client been using a .30-06 Springfield calibre rifle that day ... then he would have successfully taken down that Sun Bear without any complications , whatsoever .
Imagine attempting the brain shot on a brute... only to end up blowing the animal's snout off !
Friend Ponton
It was only doable because I listened to my PH on where to place my shots instead of thinking I knew. It was a combination of 2 people.
Cheers my Friend
Bob
 

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Instead of having so many stupid and senseless politically correct laws ... Parents should get back to teaching their children good manners and discipline , from infancy . This was exactly how it was done ... back in the good , old days .
+1!
 

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Another interesting story Poton. Weatherby rifles were often referred to as "Wounderbys" because of incidents like this. There are a number of AH members that swear by the 460 and used it successfully for years and or on a number of Dangerous Game animals. Unfortunately there have been many more uninitiated hunters sold DG caliber rifles by salesmen that knew little if anything about what they recommended for upcoming hunts.
When someone says that they intend to land a brain shot by using a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre rifle , Shootist43... you KNOW that there is going to be trouble !
It is my utmost privilege that you have found this article to be enjoyable , my friend .
 

Major Khan

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Enjoyed it very much major. Are they still hunted the sun bears?
Why thank you so much , Die Jager.
In Bangladesh , the police will not give you permission to hunt them in forested areas . However , we are legally permitted to hunt the 1s which venture in to private property ( such as farms or tea gardens ) . I have personally shot 33 of them in the last 50 years .
 

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A great example of ego getting in the way of common sense for several reasons: He was hoodwinked by a smooth talking salesman. He had no experience with that caliber. He failed to test and become familiar with the rifle before the hunt. He was way overgunned for the quarry.

He was extremely fortunate to have an experienced PH such as yourself to bail him out of a potentially fatal situation. I see he took your advice on his next hunt and was well rewarded. Listen to those who "have been there, done that."
 

Major Khan

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A great example of ego getting in the way of common sense for several reasons: He was hoodwinked by a smooth talking salesman. He had no experience with that caliber. He failed to test and become familiar with the rifle before the hunt. He was way overgunned for the quarry.

He was extremely fortunate to have an experienced PH such as yourself to bail him out of a potentially fatal situation. I see he took your advice on his next hunt and was well rewarded. Listen to those who "have been there, done that."
When someone says that they intend to land a brain shot by using a .460 Weatherby magnum calibre rifle , New Boomer ... you KNOW that there is going to be trouble !
It is my utmost privilege that you have found this article to be enjoyable , my friend .
 

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Another great story, thank you Maj Khan. I am a huge Weatherby fan, but I could see where this was going. I knew the 460 Weatherby was too much gun for the small size of your Sun Bear. I believe the hunter was obviously not properly prepared for the bear hunt. I today's world, we communicate via phone or the internet with the outfitter and sometimes the PH and we are able to ask questions and request guidance on what to bring to a safari. I'm sure about the only way to communicate back in those days was via phone or mail. Glad the hunter admitted his mistake, and glad you and him had a great second hunt.

As usual, I enjoyed your story very much. Thank you!
 

Major Khan

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Another great story, thank you Maj Khan. I am a huge Weatherby fan, but I could see where this was going. I knew the 460 Weatherby was too much gun for the small size of your Sun Bear. I believe the hunter was obviously not properly prepared for the bear hunt. I today's world, we communicate via phone or the internet with the outfitter and sometimes the PH and we are able to ask questions and request guidance on what to bring to a safari. I'm sure about the only way to communicate back in those days was via phone or mail. Glad the hunter admitted his mistake, and glad you and him had a great second hunt.

As usual, I enjoyed your story very much. Thank you!
Oh ... he was an excellent gentle man , PARA 45 ! During the 1969 Sun Bear shikar ... the gentle man successfully laid low the Sun Bear with a single 170 grain Winchester Super X soft point cartridge fired from his .30-30 Winchester calibre Model 1894 lever rifle.
And you are 100 % correct. Back in those days , we would invariably correspond with our clients prior to them arriving in India ... either by way of those big rotary dial telephones or through hand written letters .
Among Weatherby calibres ... my personal favorite is the .300 Weatherby magnum .
 

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My dear friend Panther Shooter
I do like your closing statement MOST OF THE TIME, please tell us more it sounds interesting.
Your friend
Bob Nelson
Bob Nelson
You see , a shoulder shot is one of the safest shots to attempt on Asian Sloth Bears or Sun Bears . Depending upon how you angle the shot , the Shikari may be able to rupture the fiend’ heart , both it’s lungs or even the heart as well as a portion of each lung. This latter shot is the one which all Shikaris should aspire for .
Major Khan Sir is correct. Brain shots should be avoided on Sun Bears or Asian Sloth Bears . It leaves too much to chance and there is virtually no margin for error.
 

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Keep the great stories coming Major - Love reading these accounts from you!
 

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