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Author Topic: First Spring Hunt: Copalis  (Read 656 times)

Offline Pac_NW

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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

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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.
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Offline Pac_NW

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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

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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.

Online brew

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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

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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

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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: