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Hunting Report for December 7, 2012

ODFW photo  Cinnamon teal frequent marshes and ponds and feed by dabbling, eating mostly plants but also mollusks and aquatic insects. ODFW photo
ODFW photo Cinnamon teal frequent marshes and ponds and feed by dabbling, eating mostly plants but also mollusks and aquatic insects. ODFW photo

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRDS (see regs), WATERFOWL

Bear season closed Nov. 30

Successful hunters have 10 days after harvest to check in unfrozen bear skulls at an ODFW office.  Call to make an appointment to ensure a biologist is present for the check in. It’s also a good idea to prop the bear’s mouths open with a stick for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

BAKER COUNTY

Grouse — Blue grouse can be found in the higher elevations while ruffed grouse are more common in wetter areas. Hunters should expect an average year for grouse, many birds re-nested, so there are some young birds that are still fairly small. Successful hunters are asked to place the tails and wings from harvested birds in the collection barrels

Cougar — Cougars can be found throughout Baker County but hunters should target areas with high concentrations of deer and elk. Setting up on a fresh kill or using distress calls can all be productive techniques. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached.

Coyote — Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

UNION COUNTY

Grouse — Based on our grouse wing collection barrels, Union County is above the five-year average.

Blue grouse can be found at higher elevations on ridgelines and canyon rims. For ruffed grouse, focus on creek bottoms and moist areas in timbered draws. Blue and ruffed grouse season continues through the end of the year.

Cougar — Cougars are common in Union County.

Focus on game rich areas with long ridgelines or saddles that cats typically travel. Setting up downwind of a deer or elk killed by a cougar can be productive. You need to be extremely patient and wear camo when calling cougars as they come in slowly 

and use every bit of cover as they approach. 

Using remote calls will focus the cat’s attention away from your blind. Above all, do not move. Their eyesight is excellent. Nonresident hunters can include a cougar tag with others tags for $14.50. All cougars taken must be checked in within 10 days of harvest; call for an appointment before coming in.

Coyote — Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

LADD MARSH WILDLIFE AREA

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is open Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and the following holidays, Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Day during pheasant, quail, partridge and waterfowl seasons. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area.

Waterfowl hunting has been fair to good. Recent storms have improved water conditions and increased waterfowl numbers. Most wetlands have good water for hunting. Hunters should watch local weather reports for high winds near Ladd and Pyles canyons. This generally means good hunting conditions at Ladd Marsh. 

Upland hunting has been good for pheasants and quail. Nesting conditions were good for both this year. Hunters should be advised that vegetation on the wildlife area is extremely thick and dogs are highly recommended.  

New this year, a parking permit is needed for Ladd Marsh. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display the permit on your car dash.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Chukar — Chukar numbers are still well below the long term average. However, coveys of birds can be found if hunters are willing to cover some ground searching. 

Waterfowl — Local goose numbers are good and geese can be effectively hunted with decoys in agricultural fields. Duck numbers are increasing and are scattered with open water throughout the valley.

Coyote — Good numbers of coyotes can be found throughout Wallowa County. Calling coyotes with rabbit distress type calls has been effective for hunters. It is important to choose areas with abundant coyote sign and little human activity. 

Cougar — Cougar numbers are strong throughout Wallowa County.  Most lions are taken incidental to other hunting. However, calling with fawn bleat, or locating a cougar kill and waiting for a cat to return are often successful techniques.

REPORT HUNTS EVEN IF YOU WEREN’T SUCCESSFUL

You need to complete a hunter harvest survey for each deer, elk, pronghorn, cougar, bear and turkey tag purchased—even if you weren’t successful or didn’t go hunting. Report online at www.reportmyhunt.com (or at ODFW’s website under Hunting) or call 1-866-947-6339. Hunters that fail to report 2012 deer and elk tags by the deadline (Jan. 31 for most hunts) will be fined $25 when they purchase a 2014 hunting license.

This penalty was put in place because after several years of “mandatory” reporting with no penalty, just 41 percent of tags were reported on time last year. The information provided is critical for setting tag numbers and seasons—information that’s become more and more difficult to get through traditional phone surveys because hunters have moved, screened their calls or don’t provide phone numbers.

Bear season closed Nov. 30

Successful hunters have 10 days after harvest to check in unfrozen bear skulls at an ODFW office. Call to make an appointment to ensure a biologist is present for the check in. It’s also a good idea to prop the bear’s mouths open with a stick for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. 

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

Wolves are protected by state law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters in Northeast Oregon need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. ODFW needs hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon.
Report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to the La Grande office at
541-963-2138.

Hunter orange required for youth

Don’t forget: hunters age 17 and younger must wear a fluorescent orange upper garment or hat when hunting upland game birds (except turkey) and game mammals (deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn, goat, sheep, Western gray squirrel) with a firearm.

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