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THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Despite the harsh weather, wild turkeys are getting spring urges. Many flocks have recently left wintering ranges and have dispersed to spring breeding areas — mostly to upper elevations. Perhaps more so than any other game bird, pre-season scouting for wild turkeys can greatly improve hunter success. April 15 is the opening of the general turkey season in Oregon. JIM WARD photo
Focus on game-rich areas that cats travel
COUGARS are common in Union County.
Due to the mild winter, deer and elk can be found at higher elevations. 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.
A cougar kill is often covered with material that has been scraped up in about a 10-foot diameter circle around the carcass.
Cougars will often drag their kill to the nearest cover next to the kill site (pay attention to drag marks).
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. Finding tracks in the snow, determining direction of travel and setting up ahead of the cat may produce results. 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. Pup in distress as well as prey
in distress sounds can
Bird hunting seasons are now closed. 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 on car dash. More information
All lands west of Foothill Road on Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area (La Grande) will also be closed to entry Feb. 1-March 31 to protect wintering elk.
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