Hunting Report for October 12, 2012

Written by Observer Upload October 15, 2012 01:23 pm

NORTHEAST ZONE

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

FIRE RESTRICTIONS AND CLOSURES

Be sure to check for any fire restrictions before you go afield. Oregon Dept of Forestry has a list of fire restrictions and closures online and InciWeb has information about current fires. Or check with USFS, BLM or the appropriate landowner.

BAKER COUNTY

RIFLE BUCK DEER:  Season ended Oct. 10.

GROUSE: Grouse season started September 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. Hawthorn, huckleberries and plums are favored by bears in the early fall. 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

RIFLE DEER: Season ended Oct. 10.

BEAR: The fall bear season is open. Hunters should focus their efforts in areas with high concentrations of berries or fruit trees. As we move into the fall, pay special attention to huckleberry patches and old abandoned orchards. Successful hunters are reminded that check in of harvested bears is mandatory. 

COUGARS: 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 other 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. Water levels arelow due to high temperatures and little precipitation. 

Conditions are improving with cooler temperatures. 

Waterfowl hunters are advised to call Ladd Marsh for water conditions. Upland hunting has been good for pheasants and quail. Nesting conditions were good for both. 

Access for upland hunting is excellent due to low water. However, hunters should be advised that vegetation in the dry wetlands is very 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 on car dash. 

WALLOWA COUNTY

BLACK BEAR: Hunting for bear early and late in the day will provide hunters the best opportunity to observe bears. Bears are using draw bottoms to eat hawthorn berries and service berries. Spot and stalk hunting will likely provide the best opportunity for harvest.

FOREST GROUSE: Upland game bird brood counts indicate blue grouse numbers are low with fewer than normal number of broods. 

Ruffed grouse numbers appear to be down as well, although hunters should have better luck finding ruffed grouse than blues. 

Riparian areas along creek bottoms are good bets for ruffed grouse.

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.