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Hunters pursue cougars, coyotes
Cougars are common in Northeast Oregon. 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 circle around the carcass.
Cougars will often drag their kill to the nearest cover next to the kill site (pay attention to drag marks). Be extremely patient. Wear camo when calling cougars as they come in slowly and use every bit of cover as they approach.
Good numbers of coyotes can be found throughout Northeast Oregon. Calling coyotes with rabbit distress-type calls has been effective for hunters.
TOSSED SALAD: U.S. Forest Service employees, Dennis Rea, left, and Ryan Kennedy deliver breakfast to a group with hay fever at the Starkey Research Station — west of La Grande. These elk have been a vital part of ongoing studies since 1991. Many will be celebrating their 21st birthday in a few months. At birth, they were taken from their mothers, halter broke and used in numerous studies including thermal cover requirements, reproduction issues and dietary needs. This work has been invaluable for elk researchers all over the world and has been used in more than 20 publications. These old gals will remain on “active duty” as long as their health holds out. JIM WARD photo