Sample Unit Profile: Washington Unit 681 - Bear River

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Located to the north of the Columbia River delta, this area is best known for elk and waterfowl hunting opportunities. High-quality hunting opportunities exist for other game species, including black-tailed deer, black bears, and forest grouse.


This area is nearly all private land. Look into the access possibilities offered by timber companies. Scouting and covering as much ground as possible will be key points to finding animals. There are good populations of both blacktail and Roosevelt elk.

 General SizeTrophy Potential
Columbian Blacktail Deer80"-100"110"+

Quick Tips

  • Secure private land access early
  • Stick with it after opening day and hunting pressure declines

On the ground


Rugged steep rolling low elevation forest with literally a maze of creeks and cut combined with a patchwork of clear cut in various ages. Undergrowth ranges from grass’ and flower, young saplings and timber in all age classes.

  • Roughly 140 square miles
  • 5% public land 
  • Elevations from 0-1,600 feet


The area is almost completely covered in industrial forest land. The forest is in various stages of regrowth with Douglas fir, western hemlock, and occasionally cedar being the main tree types. There is an occasional red alder stand here and there. New clear-cuts will have various brush types and grasses that game will use to forage on. The south end of the unit is coastline that will have coastal vegetation along its shores.


There isn’t really any public land access in the unit. However, the largest landholders are timber companies which have a variety of access programs worth checking into. Highly recommend caring a GPS to know exactly where you stand in this rugged steep country. There are roads everywhere throughout the unit, however, some road and trails may close or closed to motorized traffic, watch of posted signs. Cell phones don’t work in a large portion of this unit, go in prepared.

  • Spend time scouting this large unit, lots of ground if you bump into more hunting pressure than you like.
  • Check into the various private land access on timber company lands.

Camping And Lodging

Limited primitive camping as the unit is basically all private land, various fire bans and forest road closures may happen, so double check any restrictions or permits necessary prior to your trip. 

There are a few small towns that will have amenities around the outside of the unit. Astoria Oregon, to the south, is the nearest city and should have anything that you’ll need.

Historical Temperature

Historical Temperature

Historical Precipitation

Historical precipitation

Species within this Unit

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Cover as much country as possible looking for any sign that would indicate that there are elk in the area. 

During the earlier seasons, elk are going to be attracted to water sources such as; swamps, creek, bottoms, river bottoms, any place they can cool off and get to water. As the season progresses elk will start to move or get pushed into areas that provide more cover.

Later in the season, elk will be in areas that are harder to reach and away from pressured areas. Look for areas that are steep with thick cover with some benched to provide good bedding areas. With the logging operations that have cut roads throughout the area, biking behind closed gates is a popular approach to hunting. Where it is permitted.

260" - 290"290"+22:10012%

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Sep 7 - Sep 19, 2019

Archery data

Late Archery, General

Nov 20 - Dec 16, 2019

Late archery general data

Muzzleloader, General

Oct 5 - Oct 11, 2019

Muzzleloader general data

Rifle, General

Nov 3 - Nov 13, 2019

Rifle general data

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