This was the first time in several years that I did not tag a Spring bear. I spent and amazing 8 days in a public access road closure area in the rugged Western Oregon Mountains. The first three days of the hunt, I brought along my 52 year old friend and first time hunter Sharon. The rain was pouring down and it was COLD. Making the best of the trip, we did quite a bit of scouting in the back country and we were able to determine some great hunting areas that had all the makings for great bear habitat; steep rugged Western slopes, thick heavy cover, open clear cuts loaded with grass, numerous water sources and lots of game populations such as Roosevelt Elk and Blacktail Deer.
The next three days were spent hunting with James Kussman. Having successfully scouted and located some extremely remote, road less areas, our first day out was rather successful. That first night we made a spot and stalk on a gorgeous chocolate bruin and set up to take the shot at a mere 300 yards when along came her tiny twin cubs. The next day we encountered no bear, but did manage to get 25 yards and some incredible footage of a herd of Roosevelt Elk in a clear cut and located a really nice solo 4x4 bull. James even managed to find a nice Roosevelt shed antler.
The final three days, I spent solo. I was able to stalk within 10-30 yards of four different Blacktail bucks a series of clear cuts and attain some great video footage. On my walk out one night, with the wind in my favor, I nearly walked into a black bear as I was heading down the closed road. He was hidden within in the thick black berry vines and reprod and even being less than 10 feet from the bruin, I could only hear him run off and never got to see him. Later that same night, I saw another bruin funneling through the thick brush and vines, only to see his face and never receive a clear shot or a decipherable shot as to his body angle.
After glassing clear cuts without much success at locating a bruin, my last night bear hunting, I returned to the location where I had nearly walked into the bruin on the road. The bear had been clawing trees and shredding bushes in a territorial display, so I was fairly certain he would be in the area. I brought along my Montana Fawn Decoy and set it up alongside the closed road and proceeded to do a series of cow/calf distress calling with my diaphragm call with the hopes of drawing in the territorial bruin without luck.