Oregon Spring Bear Apps Due Feb. 10th

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Hunters are reminded that the deadline to apply for a controlled spring bear hunt is Feb. 10, 2009.

Apply by faxing or mailing in the controlled hunt application form on page 15 of the 2009 Oregon Big Game Regulations or at your local license sales agent or ODFW office. The cost to apply is $4.50 and the tag itself costs $11.50. Hunters cannot yet apply for spring bear or other controlled hunts online but ODFW is working on offering this capability in the coming months.

A total of 3,885 bear tags spread across 14 adult and three youth controlled hunts are available this spring. See the hunting statistics Web site for information on points needed and success rates last year.

New for this year, the SW Oregon hunt has been changed from a controlled hunt to a first-come, first-serve hunt with 3,750 tags available. Hunters no longer need to apply in advance for this hunt; they just need to purchase a tag no later than March 31, 2009 or before tags sell out. As of today, 978 SW Oregon spring bear tags are still left for sale.

Hunters that purchase a SW Oregon spring bear tag prior to the controlled hunt drawing are not eligible to apply for other controlled spring bear hunts or point savers. Results of the draw will be available by Feb. 20.

Successful black bear hunters, remember that check-in of bear skulls is mandatory. See page 35 of the 2009 Oregon Big Game Regulations for details. New for this year, skulls must be unfrozen when checked in; otherwise biologists cannot take measurements or extract the pre-molar tooth necessary to determine the age of the bear. It's also a good idea to prop the bear's jaw open with a stick soon after harvest; this makes measuring and tooth extraction easier.

Anyone that purchases a spring bear or any other big game or turkey tag must also report the results of their hunt online or by phone. Check-in and reporting are mandatory for hunters so ODFW can more accurately assess the state's black bear population and continue to provide a variety of bear hunting opportunities.

Spring bear seasons open April 1 or April 15 and close May 31. For more information on black bear hunting, visit ODFW's big game hunting Web site at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/big_game/