A black bear walks through tall brush.

Hunting bear in Oregon

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

The spring hunting season (April 1  - May 31)

Spring bear controlled hunt applications are due by Feb. 10.  Hunters can apply using ODFW’s 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 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.

The general statewide fall hunting season

  • Open Season - Statewide: Aug. 1 - Dec. 31.
  • 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.

Mandatory check for all harvested bears

The skull of any bear taken must be presented to an ODFW office or designated collection site within 10 days of the kill to be checked and marked; the hunter is responsible to have it presented.

  • Skull must be unfrozen when presented for check-in and please prop open mouth so tooth can be accessed. Inserting a stick or dowel between the molars prior to freezing/ drying out will help keep jaw open.
  • Check-in at ODFW offices must occur by appointment 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.
  • Hunters are requested but not required to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear harvested, see diagram in Big Game Regulations.
  • At check-in, hunters must provide:
    • Date and location including Wildlife Management Unit of harvest.
    • Complete hunter information including the issued date and time of a paper tag or the confirmation number of an electronic tag; a completed “WildlifeTransfer Record Form” is an alternative for providing the needed information.
  • Hunters must still complete mandatory reporting via the internet.

Bears hunting tips

Article: 9 tips to be a better bear hunter

Interview: ODFW wildlife biologist shares some tips for a successful spring bear hunt.

Header photo by ODFW