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Home arrow Opinion arrow Hunting Report for November 16, 2012

Hunting Report for November 16, 2012

For a male valley quail, pleasing the ladies includes finding a lofty perch and singing melodiously. Keeping one’s topknot preened and in good condition can help. The birds were introduced to Northeast Oregon in the early 1900s and have done well. Nesting later than most game birds tends to improve brood success by missing early, cold rains. The valley quail season runs through Jan. 31. JIM WARD photo
For a male valley quail, pleasing the ladies includes finding a lofty perch and singing melodiously. Keeping one’s topknot preened and in good condition can help. The birds were introduced to Northeast Oregon in the early 1900s and have done well. Nesting later than most game birds tends to improve brood success by missing early, cold rains. The valley quail season runs through Jan. 31. JIM WARD photo

NORTHEAST ZONE

OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, CONTROLLED ELK HUNTS (in some units), UPLAND BIRDS (see regs), WATERFOWL

Avoid $25 penalty fee. Report your deer and elk tags.

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, 2013 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.

Hunter orange required for youth

Don’t forget: hunters age 17 and under 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.

BAKER COUNTY

Grouse season started Sept. 1. 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 renested, 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.

Bear — Fall bear hunters should focus their efforts on areas with a good food source. 

All successful hunters are required to check in the skull at an ODFW office. See page 36 in the synopsis for details.

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.

Bear — The fall bear season is open. Hunters should focus their efforts in areas with high concentrations of berries or fruit trees. Pay special attention to old abandoned orchards. Successful hunters are reminded that check in of harvested bears is mandatory. Refer to page 34 and 36 of the 2012 Big Game Regulations for more information.

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. 

Early season waterfowl hunting has been fair to good. Water levels continue to improve with cooler temperatures and some precipitation. 

All wetlands west of State Highway 203 have water. 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. Hunters should display the parking permit on their car dash.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Elk – Controlled antlerless elk season opens Nov. 17. Controlled tag holders should have good success in all units. 

Most elk in the Imnaha unit are in the transition area between high elevation summer range and lower elevation winter range. Elk will be scattered throughout the Sled Springs Unit.

Bear – Bear activity has dropped off considerably. Some bears are still available at lower elevations.

Forest grouse – Blue grouse in mid to upper elevations are using trees most of the time. Lower elevation blues can still be found on grassy ridge tops.

Waterfowl — Local goose numbers are good and geese can be effectively hunted with decoys in agricultural fields. Ducks numbers are beginning to increase 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.

 
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