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  • Writer's pictureJeff Rice

Black Bears and Trijicon’s AccuPoint - Larry Weishuhn

The dense canopy of evergreens diminished what little sunlight was penetrating the thick cloud cover mixed with smoke from the forest fires to the south.  Official sundown was still at least an hour away but the available light made it look near twilight!


For the past three or so hours I had been secreted on a comfortable platform built between three trees watching for black bears.  My vigil had not been unsuccessful.  I had seen bears each afternoon. Thus far today three black bears had visited the bait.  All three had been smaller than I was looking for.  Based on their relatively “skinny” ankles, less than powerful looking forelegs, and rather narrow between the ears I suspected they were sows.


Since back in the late 1970’s I had been hunting black bears by baiting, spot and stalk, watching remote water holes, using predator calls, and hunting them behind well-trained hounds.  To say I truly enjoy hunting black bear would be an understatement.


Over the years I have taken my share of bears, including one that exceeded 500-pounds and a couple nearly as a big.  My love of bear hunting has not subsided.  I am always ready to go when someone mentions hunting black bears.  And, I am still and always looking for a monstrous color phase bear; brown, cinnamon, and any color other that black.  But that does not mean I am not interested in big black colored bears!


I was hunting in the far northern reaches of Alberta, Canada about 60-miles from the Northwest Territories border with W&L Guide Service (, there with Linda Powell and several outdoor writers.  Linda Powell heads up the public relations and media for Mossberg.


My choice of firearms for the trip was a Mossberg Patriot Predator in 7mm PRC shooting 175-grain ELD-X, Hornady Precision Hunter.  I was topped with a Trijicon AccuPoint 4-16x50.  Even though shots were going to be relatively close, likely less than 25-yards, with my scope magnification set at 4X I would have sufficient field of view to make a close shot.  The 50mm front objective aided greatly in gathering light under less than ideal conditions.  The real “kicker in the deal” regarding scope selection was the AccuPoint’s “green dot” in the center of the reticle.


Seeing black crosshairs against a black or dark hair coat, particularly late afternoon on a cloudy day, is next to impossible. “Been there, done that, did not get the shot!” 


Ever since starting to hunt with an AccuPoint scoped rifle, I have never had a problem getting on target quickly and being able to precisely place my bullet through the vitals when light conditions were less than ideal.


Sitting in my bear stand, I recalled a few years earlier while hunting Alberta whitetails with Ron Nemetchek with North River Outfitting when with mere minutes of legal shooting light remaining on a heavy cloud cover afternoon when a monstrous whitetail stepped out of the river bottom.  Had it not been for the green dot in my AccuPoint scope I would not have been able to make a precise, killing shot.  Being able to do so put my name in the Boone and Crockett Record book with a non-typical whitetail.


I had set my phone where I could watch the time.  It was quickly getting darker even though a half hour of legal shooting light remained when I spotted black movement behind a screening of underbrush.  I immediately got into a shooting position. Thanks to the AccuPoint’s light-gathering ability, I could see the “incoming bear” was big of body, with a head that made his ears look small and showed heavy muscling.


I pushed the Mossberg’s safety to “Fire” and tracked the bear with the green dot planted behind the bear’s shoulder.  I waited for him to clear a log.  His front forelegs were big, and his belly was low slung. Having had taken numerous big bears in the past, I knew this one too fit into that “big bear” category.



The green dot settled and I pulled the trigger.  I immediately bolted in a fresh round and shot him a second time as he turned, fully knowing the bear was “dead” with the first shot.  Once again the green dot Trijicon AccuPoint had paid great dividends.


Have I told you about the time…..

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