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MailTribune.com
  • Spring season bear hunting tags going fast

  • Bear hunters in southwestern Oregon probably have less than a week left to buy tags for the spring season, which is when the 4,000-tag quota is likely to be reached.
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  • Bear hunters in southwestern Oregon probably have less than a week left to buy tags for the spring season, which is when the 4,000-tag quota is likely to be reached.
    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sells spring bear tags for the Southwest Oregon hunt on a first-come, first-served basis, and as of this week, 2,821 tags had been sold, says Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the agency's Wildlife Division.
    Tags for this hunt typically sell out just before the Feb. 10 deadline for the various controlled spring-bear hunts across the state, Dennehy says.
    The Southwest Oregon hunt encompasses all of Jackson, Josephine, Coos, Curry and Douglas counties, as well as portions of Lane County. The hunt opens April 1 and runs through May.
    Those who buy one of these tags are precluded from applying for a controlled tag in spring bear hunts elsewhere in Oregon. Also, those who receive a spring bear tag elsewhere in Oregon are banned from buying a tag for the Southwest Oregon hunt.
    However, hunters who fail to draw a tag in one of the controlled hunts can buy a Southwest Oregon tag after the controlled hunt results are made available Feb. 20 — but only if any of the Southwest tags remain unsold.
    Hunters killed 488 bears statewide in last year's spring hunts.
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