collapse
Visit R&R Calls

Author Topic: First Spring Hunt: Copalis  (Read 1202 times)

Offline Pac_NW

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2017
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« on: May 09, 2018, 08:45:04 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I've been lurking for about a year now trying to dissect information from these boards along with all the YouTube videos related to Washington Spring bear. I have logged six days so far this year, and would like to share my experiences so far. Maybe the boards could let me know if I'm on the correct path, or opportunities I may not be aware of. A little background for my hunting history, I've never tagged large game other then black tail (if you can consider that large), and usually waterfowl in the winter.

The first three trips I had were early, I went out the opening weekend, and subsequent weekend after that to do general scouting, and hope to stumble across a bear. My impression is that coastal bear are active earlier then mountain bears, and showed. My partner and I came across some scat, and saw my first bear cub. It was an awesome site to see as it scampered off.

This past Sunday I was planning to hit it hard for three full days. The first day we were glassing clear cuts for about 5 hours, we didn't see any so moved to other clear cuts to see if we could see anything. After turning a corner, I noticed a bear about 150 yards into a clear cut, jumped out of my rig, and it ran down into a creek valley. At this point I started my best predator call, and saw a black figure in the bushes, stopped in its tracks.

I lined up, but like a new hunter to long range hunter, decided to check the distance with my rangefinder. 270 yards, back to my scope, bear is gone.  :'(

The rest of the trip we went to some thinned forested areas where we saw a huge pile of fresh scat, and tried to call, and wait. Never to hear or see anything.

My question for everyone, aside from the obvious I should have taken my shot. I figured do a double check to make sure this bear was not out of my range for ethical reasons. Should we have continued to glass clear cuts on this trip, or was getting into the woods after finding the fresh scat the better opportunity? I would like to get out one maybe two more weekends to tag one.

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

Offline X-Force

  • Solo Hunter
  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2007
  • Posts: 4154
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 09:17:48 AM »
I like to cover a bunch of ground early in the season. A lot of bears will be home bodies early on and if you find areas with lots of peels or piles they will be worth sitting on during your next trip or later that day. I have found its hard to glass up bears in cuts during the spring because most seem to be in thicker cover, in trees that they want to peel. When glassing has been effective its quick hits on grassy roads or tree lines.
Groupie:                         Podcast:
RMEF                              Gritty
NRA                                Western bowhunter
SCI                                 The Hunt Backcountry
BHA                                MeatEater
SAB                                Hunt Talk Radio

Offline Pac_NW

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2017
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 10:29:10 AM »
Thanks X-Force, it sounds like I should stay in the areas where I find signs a little longer. Would you recommend using predator calls when waiting in those areas, or just quietly waiting?

Offline WSU

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2009
  • Posts: 3929
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 10:57:52 AM »
I haven't spring bear hunted much, but in the summer and fall I've found that bears will stick fairly close to the same area.  There will be lots of poop in areas with the feed they want and I've had the best luck just waiting them out there.

Offline brew

  • Non-Hunting Topics
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 940
  • Location: yelm
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 06:54:52 PM »
I've hunted that Copalis unit a few times..i can tell you this-if you're in an area where fresh bear sign is (which you have said you are) that is the area to concentrate on.  I know the area is really thick and mostly flat so if you're in an area of fresh bear sign and you have a vantage point of seeing them i would keep on it .  I've never tried calling them but there is a guy on the site that makes his own calls and has success in that unit so you might try contacting him.  I think his handle is bearmanric.  as the season warms up the better odds you have.  As far as not taking a long (270 yard) shot only you can determine what you are comfortable with.  Most modern big game caliber guns sighted in 2 1/2 inches high at 100 yards should hit dead on at 300 yards. sighting in at 1 1/2 inches high at 100 should put you dead on at 200 and around 4" low at 300.

good luck
beer---it's whats for dinner

Offline Pac_NW

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2017
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 02:31:55 PM »
Thanks everyone for the input. Hoping to get out in the next week or so, and keep you guys updated.

Offline XJcoug13

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 48
  • Location: Grays Harbor County
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 07:42:18 AM »
Not sure what part of the unit you are hunting but I filled my tag in 2016 a couple miles from the Aloha Gate (Off Ocean Beach Rd).  Theres  are some big cuts in there and some of the cuts were new in 2016 so I'm sure they have greened up a lot.  I was able to get up high and glass a bear walking on the next road system over. Put the stalk on and made a 120 yard shot.  A lot of guys hunt Copalis for a weekend and never hunt it again because its "too flat" "no bear sign" the excuses go on.  Theres a ton of bear in there, put miles on the truck and time behind the glass and you'll fill your tag.   :tup:   

Offline Pac_NW

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Pilgrim
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2017
  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 10:16:27 AM »
Update: I spent my weekend out towards the coast again, and had good success finding signs. One morning my hunting partner and I walked out to a spot where we saw fresh signs, and could hear snorting. My assumption was that this came from a bear grazing in the thick trees.

We attempted to call using a distressed fawn, but to no avail, we ended up empty handed. On the bright side, we also saw tons of wildlife, and had a huge bull elk hanging out with us for a while in a clear cut about 300 yards out.

Attached is a picture of a peel we came across, it was real wet and sticky. Does anyone have experience with peels, and how fast they would dry out? I'd like to get a sense on how old it may have been.

Offline WoolyRunner

  • Non-Hunting Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 222
  • Location: Grays Harbor
  • Groups: NRA
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 10:50:16 AM »
Update: I spent my weekend out towards the coast again, and had good success finding signs. One morning my hunting partner and I walked out to a spot where we saw fresh signs, and could hear snorting. My assumption was that this came from a bear grazing in the thick trees.

We attempted to call using a distressed fawn, but to no avail, we ended up empty handed. On the bright side, we also saw tons of wildlife, and had a huge bull elk hanging out with us for a while in a clear cut about 300 yards out.

Attached is a picture of a peel we came across, it was real wet and sticky. Does anyone have experience with peels, and how fast they would dry out? I'd like to get a sense on how old it may have been.

That there is a smoking fresh peel. Only a couple days old at most. Ive been hunting the evenings mostly. I couldve shot 1 already but he was very small so I passed. Seen 3 others cross the road right after last light. What area of the unit are you hunting?

Offline bearmanric

  • RIP Colockumelk
  • Business Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Posts: 3983
  • Location: Tenino Wa
  • Tenino Wa
    • Rick Robbins
Re: First Spring Hunt: Copalis
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 03:42:27 PM »
Go in off 101 come to mainline turn right bear crossing and area  were I do best calling. Rick
RIP Colockumelk
http://rrcalls.com/