Oregon Spring Bear 2009

Looking back on this hunt, my legs almost instantaneously begin to burn and feet start to blister. I was set and determined to kill a good bear by calling him to me, making for an up close and personal encounter. The season began slowly as it always goes if you’re an avid spring bear hunter. The majority of the bear don’t begin to move a whole lot until the warm weather comes out, but grey skies or not I was out there calling and calling until my ears couldn’t take it any longer. For anyone that doesn’t hunt spring bear I would really recommend it to you, for it’s a great time of year to be out enjoying the new, green country, and for seeing young wildlife all over the place.

A young one on the ground!

Day after day I made the drive after to school up to my bear hunting grounds to glass the open and sunny hillsides for bears. I had been seeing increasing amounts of good bears on my trail-cameras so I was confident that their activity level was peaking and it was just a matter of time.

Making the hike to a glassing area

Around mid April I was beginning to become discouraged. I had seen 7 bears but all very small boars or sows with fresh cubs. On the 19th of April I got out of class around 11am and decided to give it all another shot. I loaded my pickup with my pack and caller and headed for the bear woods. I hiked in further into the canyon than I previously had been hunting, and in one drainage I found a bit of both discouraging and encouraging sign, and I knew that I was not far behind a good bear.

A sight no hunter likes to see, but this was telling me a good bear was around.

The sun had set behind the tall canyon walls when I set up and called. My back against a rock wall and the caller about 75 yards below me I sat patiently. Nearly 45 minutes into the calling session I had just sent a text message to a friend saying “send me some good vibes already, I need to kill this bear”. Upon shutting my phone and lifting my head up there he was 20 yards to my left walking to the fawn in distress call without a care in the world. I picked up my rifle and centered the crosshairs on the bears vitals. A thundering boom echoed all through the canyon as the bullet impacted just behind the front shoulder. Upon impact, the bear stood on both hind legs doing circles looking for what had hit him. As I chambered another 300 magnum round into my rifle, I couldn’t take my eyes off the giant blonde chest patch that this bear had. Again I aimed the crosshairs on the bear, but this time for a high shoulder shot. The echo again thundered as the hammer dropped on my rifle. Tthis time he was down for the count.

A quick call to a few buddies and they were on their way to help me with the pack out. Not a huge bear but a good size for an Oregon spring bear. Ended up being two shots at 65 yards, both slugs recovered in the opposite shoulder of the boar.

This is a hunt that I will never forgot. The burning legs were well worth it.

About the Author

Calvin Halladay

Calvin Halladay

Calvin was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age by his father, where he grew up hunting the jungles of Oregon's coastal range. There he quickly learned patience as he hunted the elusive Blacktail Deer and Roosevelt Elk.