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Bear Hunting In Oregon

Hunting Methods  Fair Chase

Oregon was once home to both black bears and grizzly bears. The last grizzly reported in the State was in the late 1930s. Both species have suffered dramatically from over-hunting and habitat loss.

When Did Bear Hunting Start In Oregon?

Regulated hunting seasons began in 1961.

Is The State Broken Down Into BMUs (Bear management units)?

The State is broken down into 77 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), and those are grouped into Western Oregon and Eastern Oregon hunting zones:

  • Western Oregon - WMUs 10-30

  • Eastern Oregon - WMUs 31-77

When Is Bear Hunting Season?

  • Fall Season: Aug 1 - Dec 31

What Weapons Are Permitted?

Archery: Recurve, long, or compound bows with a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds; Broadheads at least 7/8 inch wide.

Firearms: Rifles and handguns .22 caliber or larger; Shotguns that use slugs and that are #1 buck or larger.

Muzzleloaders: Any muzzleloading firearm that is .40 caliber or larger.

Can Hunters Kill Cubs?

No. It is illegal to kill cubs or mothers with cubs.

Can Hunters Kill A Bear Over Bait?

No. The use of bait is illegal.

Is Dog Hunting Permitted In Oregon?

No. Hunting with dogs is not legal.

What Procedure Must Hunters Follow After They Kill A Bear?

Immediately after killing a bear, a hunter must electronically report the bear online. Within ten days of harvesting a bear, hunters are required to schedule a day and time with an ODFW office or designated collection site to present the skull to be checked. At that time, the date and location, WMU, and either a completed paper tag, the confirmation number of an electronic tag, or a completed Wildlife Transfer Record Form will be needed. Hunters are requested to submit the reproductive tract of any harvested female bear.

What Is Their Reasoning For Hunting Bears?

  • Regulating bear population

  • Controlling nuisance problems

  • Recreational opportunity for sportsmen and women

What Is The Government Organization(s), That Is In Charge Of Bear Hunting/Wildlife?

  1. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)

  2. The Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society

  3. Oregon Wildlife Foundation

When Does The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Hold Their Meetings?

The ODFW has 15 scheduled meetings. Dates, times and locations are posted here -

Are The Meetings Open To The Public?

They do offer Public Meetings, which will be posted here -

Who Has The Power To Stop The Hunt?

The Governor and Oregon’s elected General Assembly Members have the authority to introduce and vote on proposed law changes. 


Michael Finley, Chair of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission

Hunt Clubs And Organizations That Participate In And Fund Bear Hunting.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) -

Wilderness Unlimited -

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