Oregon spring bear

Christenson9

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Jan 27, 2022
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well hopefully this is the year I can actually pull the trigger on a spring bear here in Oregon. I’ve tried in years past in eastern Oregon but timing the snow levels ha a proven challenging. Going to try coastal bear this spring. I’ve got quite a few large bears on cameras but never have actually seen one in person yet so not feeling very great about it. Any tips I would appreciate! Here is my best pic yet.
 

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Pdzoller

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Feb 27, 2021
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Oregon
I prefer 3 to about seven year old clear cuts in the coast range. Nice thing about hunting along the coast is that you can hunt the whole season. If you are going more towards the cascades then try a little later and up around the new growth in the burns.
Access at the higher elevations is going to be tough this year. Not sure how you prefer to hunt but I personally see more bear the longer I sit in one area. Good luck!
 

roosiebull

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Aug 23, 2014
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oregon coast
swamps with canary reed grass can be good early, if you can figure out a way to hunt it with decent wind... that's always the battle hunting bear in the swamp bottoms, the wind kills you and bear won't tolerate the wind. grass and dandelion are generally the 2 best spring bear food sources, and don't discount those newer dead looking cuts, they can get pretty thick with dandelion. west/south facing cuts (or slide chutes) are pretty classic bear spots in the spring... no drivable road in the bottom is a plus, one border of mature timber is another plus.

after a couple weeks, it's fairly common to glass up tore up stumps, it's generally sows that tear up stumps, but not always, and seeing that shows you what bear habitat looks like. wind is your enemy with bear, do not underestimate their nose, and don't hunt a bad wind in a promising area, it's not worth it and is counter productive.

a big thing not talked about much spring bear hunting is don't get too excited to whack the first bear you see, be patient, watch it, and watch it more... unless it's an obvious big boar, you need to be very patient and watch carefully, those little cubs are not always visible, and not always right beside mom, be diligent to not orphan cubs, our future of having a spring season rides on us being responsible and not shooting sows with cubs, especially these days, especially with bear hunting in the spring.... i just flat out refuse to shoot average sized bear in the spring for that reason.

i have watched sows feed for over an hour before i catch a glimpse of a little black fur ball, i have seen them hanging out with mom in an open cut and disappear for an hour, i have watched sows feed for a long time, disappear into the brush, and come back out later with cubs... i have watched sows with no cubs, glass her up a different day with her cubs.... i have no problem with people shooting any legal bear, but please be responsible in that regard.... i couldn't shoot a spring bear that i wasn't sure was a boar for that reason, i have seen enough and watched enough bear that i can't be sure a sow is a lone sow unless she has a year old cub (which is still a no go for me) just keep it on your mind, don't get caught up in excitement, make a quick decision and turn a great hunt into a bad experience.... if that happens too much, we will lose our spring opportunity, especially in this state, where the voting voice isn't spring bear hunters.
 

7718Sallee

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Oct 26, 2018
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Mid valley,Oregon
swamps with canary reed grass can be good early, if you can figure out a way to hunt it with decent wind... that's always the battle hunting bear in the swamp bottoms, the wind kills you and bear won't tolerate the wind. grass and dandelion are generally the 2 best spring bear food sources, and don't discount those newer dead looking cuts, they can get pretty thick with dandelion. west/south facing cuts (or slide chutes) are pretty classic bear spots in the spring... no drivable road in the bottom is a plus, one border of mature timber is another plus.

after a couple weeks, it's fairly common to glass up tore up stumps, it's generally sows that tear up stumps, but not always, and seeing that shows you what bear habitat looks like. wind is your enemy with bear, do not underestimate their nose, and don't hunt a bad wind in a promising area, it's not worth it and is counter productive.

a big thing not talked about much spring bear hunting is don't get too excited to whack the first bear you see, be patient, watch it, and watch it more... unless it's an obvious big boar, you need to be very patient and watch carefully, those little cubs are not always visible, and not always right beside mom, be diligent to not orphan cubs, our future of having a spring season rides on us being responsible and not shooting sows with cubs, especially these days, especially with bear hunting in the spring.... i just flat out refuse to shoot average sized bear in the spring for that reason.

i have watched sows feed for over an hour before i catch a glimpse of a little black fur ball, i have seen them hanging out with mom in an open cut and disappear for an hour, i have watched sows feed for a long time, disappear into the brush, and come back out later with cubs... i have watched sows with no cubs, glass her up a different day with her cubs.... i have no problem with people shooting any legal bear, but please be responsible in that regard.... i couldn't shoot a spring bear that i wasn't sure was a boar for that reason, i have seen enough and watched enough bear that i can't be sure a sow is a lone sow unless she has a year old cub (which is still a no go for me) just keep it on your mind, don't get caught up in excitement, make a quick decision and turn a great hunt into a bad experience.... if that happens too much, we will lose our spring opportunity, especially in this state, where the voting voice isn't spring bear hunters.
Well said
 

roosiebull

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Aug 23, 2014
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oregon coast
74 degrees on the south coast today, with more 70+ days in the forecast, saw my first 2 buzzards of the year circling last weekend (north central coast) new green up is starting, skunk cabbage is growing... gonna be an early spring i think... winter certainly isn't over on the coast, but i do think it will be a good season to whack a big boar early.

another bear tip that's very applicable on the coast is normal prime time is 6pm-dark (fairly common knowledge) with one exception, the ultimate primetime spring bear hunting is on the coast is those days it's crappy rainy weather, then quits and gets sunny... as soon as the sun comes out, whether it's noon or 2pm, or whatever is better than that 6pm-dark... it's the best scenario in my experience... if it quits raining at 2pm, and you don't make it out until 5pm, it's generally a slow evening, because the bear were out feeding and in the open until you got close to the hunting area;)

of course that's tough to time right, because when the forecast calls for that, it's usually wrong, but if you time it right, and are on scene, be at your best spot when the rain quits, because the bear are coming out.

i never pass up any time to be looking for bear, and see my share in the morning/mid day, but if i have to pick a timeframe to hunt, if it's good bear weather, it's going to be the evening. one of these years i want to draw weneha for bear, and turkey hunt mornings/bear hunt evenings... would be a fun combo hunt taking advantage of prime time for both species... there are places you can do that on the west side too.
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
Low-mid 80’s the last 2 days on the beach, this morning just before daylight it was 72 degrees, and just after daylight this morning there were 6 buzzards cruising around above my place… wanted to go glass for bear, haha

Gonna be good first thing in some areas this year!
 

Cameron.25

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Oregon
Ughh i didn't draw again lol. Hunting partner did so thats cool, im still going at least
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
bummer!

my wife and i both drew SW. being out of the loop, i wonder if some didn't draw SW as first choice again this year?
 

Cameron.25

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Congrats! Man if i dont draw next year with 2 points imma be pissed lol. Drew this unit with 0 the first time i applied
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
Congrats! Man if i dont draw next year with 2 points imma be pissed lol. Drew this unit with 0 the first time i applied
it's become a LOT more popular... i want to see it managed like lion hunting, all otc with regional quotas, whoever wants to hunt can hunt wherever they want until the quota is met in that area.... all bears need to be checked in anyways, so why not? i think a lot of spring bear tags go un-hunted, people apply just to feel like they "won" something.
 

Cameron.25

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it's become a LOT more popular... i want to see it managed like lion hunting, all otc with regional quotas, whoever wants to hunt can hunt wherever they want until the quota is met in that area.... all bears need to be checked in anyways, so why not? i think a lot of spring bear tags go un-hunted, people apply just to feel like they "won" something.
Well now im hoping i saved my tag luck for a fall tag, would hate to jinx it but I've typically drawn one tag each year so far lol. No spring bear sucks, but at least I'll be out there with my buddy trying to get him one and grabbing sheds. He's a newer hunter thats never gotten anything yet, so I'll be even more stoked if he kills one
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
Well now im hoping i saved my tag luck for a fall tag, would hate to jinx it but I've typically drawn one tag each year so far lol. No spring bear sucks, but at least I'll be out there with my buddy trying to get him one and grabbing sheds. He's a newer hunter thats never gotten anything yet, so I'll be even more stoked if he kills one
i do love spring bear hunting, but having someone to show the ropes is a very close second... besides finding that perfect big rug bear, just being there is as fun to me, and i assume kill a bear in Oct when they have a bunch of fat on them... spring bear has always been a "trophy" hunt to me for a few reasons, but i love being out there trying and adding the tally of bear sightings.

sitting behind glass in the spring is just fun, and you start seeing big bucks to hone in on later, or bulls, and it's a good time to have a chance encounter with a lion... everyone needs to buy a lion tag before spring bear starts, they're cheap, and it's the best chance to see a lion unless you actively hunt them.

i'm pretty pumped to check out some areas close to home on the south coast, there is some country not far east of us that looks nothing like the coast, and i think will be some awesome spring bear country. early on, i plan on focusing on turkey while the weather is bad in the complete opposite end of the state, but last week of april on, going to be beating up the south coast for bear
 

TripleJ

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OR
Looks like I'll be spring bear hunting the dry side of the state this year, 1st time drawing a tag over there. I'm excited to see some new country! I've always wondered what it's like to have a bear not die in a blackberry/salmonberry tunnel ha ha. Might even try to fill a turkey tag over there too.
 

Pdzoller

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Oregon
Definitely excited, good time to try out some new gear and hopefully we get another chance at old slewfoot. He evaded us last year, only allowing us a few glimpses. His poop is bigger around than my arm.
 

OregonSteeler

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Portland, OR
it's become a LOT more popular... i want to see it managed like lion hunting, all otc with regional quotas, whoever wants to hunt can hunt wherever they want until the quota is met in that area.... all bears need to be checked in anyways, so why not? i think a lot of spring bear tags go un-hunted, people apply just to feel like they "won" something.
If you haven't looked yet, you'll be happily surprised at the huge drop in applicants for bear in 2022 vs 2021. Every hunt except for 1 or 2 had a drop in overall applicants. People are going back to their pre-COVID habits....or just learned that hunting is hard ass work!! LOL! Good riddance!
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
If you haven't looked yet, you'll be happily surprised at the huge drop in applicants for bear in 2022 vs 2021. Every hunt except for 1 or 2 had a drop in overall applicants. People are going back to their pre-COVID habits....or just learned that hunting is hard ass work!! LOL! Good riddance!
i was thinking it would be pretty funny seeing a non hunter go spring bear hunting with the SW tag, not see anything, and get ticks on them every time they go out, and be like "screw this!"

i would still like to see it OTC with regional quotas, i think it would benefit anyone who loves chasing spring bear with the freedom to go make a weekend road trip across the state and see some different country and still hunt... those with NE oregon tags can make a couple trips west early when they are still snowed in. maybe there is a downside somewhere, but it seems like a net positive in theory
 

Cameron.25

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i was thinking it would be pretty funny seeing a non hunter go spring bear hunting with the SW tag, not see anything, and get ticks on them every time they go out, and be like "screw this!"

i would still like to see it OTC with regional quotas, i think it would benefit anyone who loves chasing spring bear with the freedom to go make a weekend road trip across the state and see some different country and still hunt... those with NE oregon tags can make a couple trips west early when they are still snowed in. maybe there is a downside somewhere, but it seems like a net positive in theory
Yeah its not like we have a limited supply of bears or anything that warrants the draw lol.. Maybe just make it 2 OTC tags you can fill during spring or fall instead of offering 2 in the fall and a draw for spring? Maybe raise the price a little if they're worried about lost revenue on the application fees, they're dirt cheap as of now. Especially for nonresidents
 

friczech

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Mar 12, 2012
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If you haven't looked yet, you'll be happily surprised at the huge drop in applicants for bear in 2022 vs 2021. Every hunt except for 1 or 2 had a drop in overall applicants. People are going back to their pre-COVID habits....or just learned that hunting is hard ass work!! LOL! Good riddance
Hoping to see the same for applications in May.
 

Cameron.25

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Oregon
If you haven't looked yet, you'll be happily surprised at the huge drop in applicants for bear in 2022 vs 2021. Every hunt except for 1 or 2 had a drop in overall applicants. People are going back to their pre-COVID habits....or just learned that hunting is hard ass work!! LOL! Good riddance!
I still didn't draw with a point tho! Lol
 

roosiebull

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oregon coast
Yeah its not like we have a limited supply of bears or anything that warrants the draw lol.. Maybe just make it 2 OTC tags you can fill during spring or fall instead of offering 2 in the fall and a draw for spring? Maybe raise the price a little if they're worried about lost revenue on the application fees, they're dirt cheap as of now. Especially for nonresidents
Yeah, they let us kill 3 per year, but spring is a draw… some places are hard to draw.. if it’s a money grab, just charge 8 bucks more for a spring tag (app fee) maybe draw for non res
 
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