Gearing up for Spring Bear

Gearing up for Spring Bear

April is here and that means Spring Bear season is upon us!

I was fortunate enough to draw an Oregon Spring Bear tag with zero points, so I'm looking forward to getting back up in the mountains of the Oregon Coast Range to chase bruins.

Bear has quickly become my favorite wild game meat and I'm hoping to restock my freezer this spring.

Hunting coastal Oregon bears is a bit of a different ball game to bear hunting in many other parts of the country. No dogs, no bait. Just spot and stalk with any legal weapon. That being said, the vast quantity of logging roads that are available make it more of a truck hunt.

My typical M.O. on this type of hunt is to be super mobile with my truck setup and move quickly between timber cuts. Eventually, you'll run across a bear that's out and about.

In my successful Spring 2023 season, I revisited the timber cut where I eventually killed my bear four times on multiple days before he was finally out feeding while I was there.

I'm expecting a somewhat similar hunt this spring as I'll be back in the same area, so here's my setup/plan:


My primary camp setup consists of the Bush Company Alpha roof top tent paired up with the Exped Megamat Duo sleeping pad. This combination has been the best setup for premium sleep while out in the woods. Being up off the ground means less mental energy put into the random sounds you hear at night and sleeping on the Exped is like sleeping on a cloud with the combo of air + memory foam. Some other favorite pieces of camp gear include my Dometic fridge/freezer, Camp Chef Everest stove, and my DIY storage drawer setup in the back of the truck (although, the time has finally come to rebuild it).

The only downside to this setup is that if I need to be driving around each day, breaking down the roof top tent every morning gets old pretty quick. Especially in poor weather and having to put it away wet. Still, I think the benefits outweigh that drawback, though I am looking at possibly moving the RTT to a trailer setup. 


I like to keep food really simple while hunting. That means quick breakfasts consisting of protein bars and something like MTN OPS Ignite. If we're not in a rush to get out of camp, I'll occasionally do up a biscuits and gravy meal from Peak Refuel or Mountain House. Lunches are typically some kind of easy sandwich/wrap that I can throw together quickly. Dinners are either a freeze dried meal or something simple that I can just heat up. My staples are the various heat and serve items you can get at Costco, like Kevin's Thai-style Coconut Chicken or Del Real Foods Birria Pupusas.

I generally don't like to take food that require a lot of prep, cooking time, and cleanup. I like to get back to camp, decompress for a minute, make a meal and then pretty much head into the tent to get rested up for the next day. No muss no fuss.


As always, I'll be packing my trusty Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint chambered in .308, paired up with a CGS Hyperion K suppressor, Tract Toric 3-15x50 BDC scope, and shooting Nosler Trophy Grade 165gr Accubond rounds. The Spartan Precision Javelin Bipod coupled with the Rugged Ridge rear rest makes for a super stable shooting platform. I absolutely love this setup and so far it's taken every animal I've shot it at.

For glassing I carry the Tract Toric 10x50 binos and a Vortex Razor HD spotting scope. The spotter is primarily used for video footage as the terrain doesn't really dictate the need for high-powered glassing. This spring we'll also be testing out the Maven CS.1S straight spotting scope


In the past I've used my Exo Mountain Gear K3 4800 pack. It carried out my 2023 spring bear with ease. This spring I'll be testing out the new Mystery Ranch Metcalf 50. Full disclosure, I did not pay for this pack. Mystery Ranch sent it over for me to test out and do a review on. I will share my thoughts/opinions in more detail after the spring bear season and I've had a chance to put it through the paces.


This style of spring bear hunting is quite flexible on the wardrobe. Camo isn't really necessary (is it ever??) and temps aren't too extreme one way or the other. My preference is to run with relatively light/thin pants and then layer the upper body as necessary for warmth. Especially if you use a tall gaiter like the Peax Storm Castle (highly recommend!), the gaiters help your legs retain a surprising amount of body heat. Here are my favorite pieces:

 Hopefully you'll find this helpful if you're looking for some gear suggestions. Just remember, most of this gear is a luxury and not a necessity for being successful! When it doubt, skip the new gear and spend that money on gas to get you out into the woods! You can't kill anything from the couch :-)

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Here are some products we used or would recommend for this type of adventure!