A black bear walks through tall brush.

Hunting bear in Oregon

January 30, 2019

Oregon offers spring and fall bear hunting seasons. Fall is entirely general season, while spring in now all controlled hunt. There are no longer first-come, first-served SW Oregon bear tags.

The spring hunting season (April 1 or 15 - May 31)

Spring bear controlled hunt applications are due by Feb. 10.  Hunters can apply using ODFW’s new online licensing system or at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses.

If applying online, hunters need to:

  • Verify/Look Up their account on ODFW’s new licensing page and complete set up of online account if not done already.
  • Go to Product Catalog / Product Categories / Big Game Hunting / Controlled Hunts and choose the 700 series spring bear controlled hunt application.
  • Proceed to checkout to make your hunt choices. 

If you are applying on a mobile phone, a dropdown menu will cover view of the spring bear application. Just click the arrow next to Product Categories to lift the dropdown menu and see the spring bear application to add to your cart.

Learn more about completing your controlled hunt application with the new electronic licensing system.

More about spring bear hunt changes changing for 2019

The SW Spring Bear has been changed from a first-come, first-serve hunt back to a controlled hunt like all other spring bear hunts in Oregon. This change was made as part of ODFW’s regulation simplification process and to better distribute hunting pressure (more than half of the hunters who bought the SW tag did not hunt). The change also means all spring bear hunters will now get a point saver if they don’t draw their first choice hunt.

The Starkey WMU has been added to what was formerly the W. Blue Mts hunt and the area has been split into two new hunts (752A Starkey-Ukiah and 754A Mt Emily-Walla Walla), also to better distribute hunting pressure.

For more information on black bear hunting regulations, including hunt numbers, visit the Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.  

The general statewide fall hunting season

  • Open Season - Western Oregon: Aug. 1 - Dec. 31 - All units west of the eastern boundaries of Santiam, McKenzie, Indigo, Dixon and Rogue units except those lands within one mile of Rogue River between Grave Creek and Lobster Creek, which are closed.
  • Open Season - Eastern Oregon: Aug. 1 - Nov 30 - All units east of the eastern boundaries of Santiam, McKenzie, Indigo, Dixon and Rogue Units.
  • Additional Bear: Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: (all of units 20-30) Requires a resident SW Additional, a nonresident SW Additional, or a nonresident Cascade additional bear tag.
  • Bag Limit: One black bear per tag, except that it is unlawful to take cubs less than one year old or sows with cubs less than one year old.
  • Note: Nonresident tags are valid for only one of the areas

Mandatory check for all harvested bears

The skull of any bear taken must be presented to an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill to be checked and marked. Skull must be unfrozen when presented for check-in. Check-in at ODFW offices must occur during normal business hours (Mon. - Fri., 8-5). Please call ahead to make arrangements to have the bear checked. Hunters are required to check-in the skull only, for the purpose of inspection, tagging and removal of a pre-molar tooth for aging.

Header photo by ODFW 

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