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• Rifle • bow • blackpowder

Public bird hunts on private land go to the shotgun for oregon ducks sweeping changes to big game regs Oregon Afield: • Coast ducks • fall turkeys • Fish duck burgers?

win 1 of 53 great guns!

Membership publication of Oregon Hunters Association

$3.95 NovemberDecember 2019



THE CHOICE OF PROFESSIONAL GUIDES “When I was introduced to KUIU everything changed. I’m constantly drier, warmer, and more comfortable due to the layering system. It allows me to be more mobile and stay out longer in adverse sheep hunting weather and terrain. KUIU is my go to gear - Period!!” Al Klassen

Legendary Sheep hunter and Guide, Arctic Red River, NWT




Photo Essay: From the alders to the aspens, this is what elk hunting is about.

vol. 37, No. 6

Zach Mansfield


Oregon Afield: Your best bets for fall turkey, coast ducks and mitigation for mergansers

Oregon’s oftenoverlooked opportunities for elk with bow and blackpowder

18 Photo Essay: Oregon Elk Hunting By Gary Lewis From the alders to the aspens, this is what Oregon elk hunting is all about. 22 Mixed Bags in Columbia Basin By Glenn Zinkus Enjoy free public hunting access to some of Oregon’s best wingshooting. 26 Winging It for Ducks By Zach Mansfield The season has kicked off for Oregon ducks. Don’t pass; go to the shotgun! 30 OHA 2020 Vision By Jason Haley OHA sets our sights on objectives toward our mission for 2020 and beyond.

OREGON AFIELD 10 COAST DUCKS: Lately Oregon’s coast has offered the most 10 MERGANSERS: Why you should hunt them – and enjoy them 11 TURKEYS: Holiday turkey is best fresh from the field


Private lands open to public game bird hunting in Oregon’s Columbia Basin


The season has kicked off for Oregon ducks. Don’t pass on your chance to go to the shotgun


Last chance to win 1 of 53 great guns OHA will give away with the 2020 Gun Calendar!


Hunters ignored in regs changes


Know Oregon? Win a Work Sharp!


Last call for OHA Gun Calendar Raffle


Gun storage initiative gets ballot title


Meat in the freezer: cold cow elk hunts


Oregon elk hunts to plan for


OHA chapters wrap up fall projects


Need a new duck? Try Mergy Burgers


OHA weighs in on SE Oregon plan


New license plate helps save wildlife


Your best shot could win a Nosler rifle!

46 PARTING SHOTS Under the Sign of the Taxidermist Cover: Coast elk photographed by John Wheland


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Medford (541) 732-3700

Portland (503) 777-8700

Salem (503) 589-0800

Bend (541) 693-5000

Hillsboro (503) 844-9100

Klamath Falls (541) 273-3000

Albany (541) 928-5400

Roseburg (541) 673-0200

By Jim Akenson, OHA Sr. Conservation director

Beatys Butte/D. Dungannon

Finding Direction

Hunter input ignored in changes to big game regs; so now what?


ecently the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the ODFW staff proposal to change a full slate of Oregon’s big game hunting regulations. At the Gold Beach meeting in September, there were some concessions instructed by the Commission, including developing advisory committees for both mule deer and blacktail regulations. However, the packet of more than 350 changes will appear in next year’s big game regulations – basically as ODFW staff proposed. It is hard to believe that with 18 public meetings and several information sessions with OHA leadership and others, that only a couple of the sportsmen’s recommendations were given strong consideration. The consolation is that OHA will be part of the stakeholder advisory committee to assess Oregon’s deer population health and hunting opportunities. The other aspects will have to shake out over time and hopefully can yield something positive for both the game resource and hunters. In OHA’s state board letter to the Commission, we brought up primary areas of concern. In regard to new These seemed general season cow hunts, we questioned the process for like worthy obtaining hunter access on private property, enforcement considerations, capabilities, and being able to maintain elk management objectives at desirable numbers. but they did not We expressed concern for black-tailed deer and the influence the biological effect of spike bucks being legal for harvest during the general buck seasons. ODFW proposal. We also questioned the overall effect of late season hunting of mule deer when these populations have been declining for several years. Finally, we asked about potential crowding associated with hunt areas being combined in many cases. These all seemed like worthy considerations, but they did not influence the ODFW proposal. So now, on the heels of the new electronic licensing system, sportsmen will need to adapt to many changes coming soon, and hunters are not comfortable with broadbrush changes in regulations. Some of these changes will be for the better, but the sheer volume can’t help but raise eyebrows. One principle of our stakeholder input was to simply slow down the implementation process to allow time for assessing the effects of changes. In the review process, ODFW staff touted that this proposal will bring about the most change to regulations in half a century. If that’s the case, it seems only prudent to apply these changes more methodically. This leads to other questions about the follow-up process, including: What will change with hunter reporting to capture the effect of these new regulations? Will field staff – both OSP enforcement and ODFW district biologists – be monitoring the change effects? Ultimately, will there be opportunity to reverse changes that are not going well? Establishing committees to review the changes will indeed be important, but these committees will only be focused on deer. Digesting these changes will take some effort, insight, and input from all of Oregon’s hunters, and hopefully that input will be heard. Stay engaged! 6



Editor & Publisher Duane Dungannon (541) 772-7313 Editorial Assistants Cynthia Martinich, Bret Moore State Officers President: Mike Ayers (541) 840-3723 Vice President: Ken McCall, (541) 602-1819 Secretary: Jason Haley (541) 601-8799 Treasurer: Mike Vallery (503) 538-8232 OHA Board of Directors Chair: Fred Walasavage (541) 296-6124 Northwest: Steve Hagan (503) 551-8645 Northwest: John Putman (503) 842-7733 Midwest: Paul Donheffner (503) 399-1993 Southwest: Vacant Southwest: Cindy Rooney (541) 430-4722 Northeast: Vic Coggins (541) 263-0335 Southeast: Gary Lewis (541) 317-0116 Southeast: Ralph Goode (541) 505-4826 OHA State Coordinator Duane Dungannon (541) 772-7313 Field Director Bryan Cook (971) 270-7035 Conservation Directors Jim Akenson, Enterprise (541) 398-2636 Karl Findling, Bend (541) 410-0538 Outreach Coordinator Amy Patrick (503) 949-9785 Lobbyist Al Elkins (503) 780-6824

Official publication of the Oregon Hunters Association, dedicated to wise management of Oregon’s huntable wildlife. United in protecting hunter interests in the state of Oregon. Our mission: Protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage. Oregon Hunter (ISSN 1545-8059) is published bimonthly by the Oregon Hunters Association for its membership and is sold on newsstands statewide. Membership rates are: Individual: $35 a year, $65 for two years, $90 for three years, $800 for lifetime, $10 for junior, $12.50 for full-time student; family: $45 a year, $80 for two years, $900 lifetime; business membership $75. Memberships include $5 magazine subscription. Periodicals postage paid at Medford, Ore., and at additional mailing offices. Oregon Hunter welcomes articles and photos pertaining to wildlife and hunting in Oregon. We are not responsible for unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped return envelope. Advertising media kits are available. OHA does not necessarily endorse advertisers, or goods and services advertised in Oregon Hunter. Address inquiries to OHA State Office, 804 Bennett Ave., P.O. Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501, (541) 772-7313,

POSTMASTER: Send changes to Oregon

Hunter, PO Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Your support helped OHA keep the ochocos great elk country.

Jim WDard ennis Kirkland,

Give an OHA Gift Membership!

It’s a gift that gives back, fits all sizes, and lasts all year!

With the support of OHA members, our Bend Chapter, ODFW and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, OHA’s lawsuit to protect elk country in the Ochocos prevailed.

Join OHA! • Get 6 issues of Oregon Hunter, the magazine dedicated exclusively to hunting in Oregon. • Receive the Oregon Hunter’s Calendar, with 12 photos of Oregon game animals and important season dates and deadlines. • Make your voice heard on important hunting issues.



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Helping sharp Oregon hunters hold their edge

Know Oregon? Win a Work Sharp!

NOVEMBER 2 2nd Rocky Mountain elk season opens

e er n? Wh rego O in

NOVEMBER 2-3 Youth general rifle season western deer hunt weekend

2. Which of the following Canada goose subspecies was once listed under the federal Endangered Species Act? a) Aleutians c) cacklers b) Taverners d) duskies 3. Elk are fewest in which Oregon corner? a) northwest c) northeast b) southwest d) southeast 4. Which is NOT a distinguishing feature of white-tailed deer? a) antlers c) facial markings b) tail d) none of the above 5. The fleshy growth atop the beak of a turkey is a: a) carunkle c) wattle b) snood d) wart

NOVEMBER 9 Coast bull 1st season opens; late SW deer bow season opens


NOVEMBER 10 Rocky Mountain elk 2nd season ends

WAS THIS PHOTO TAKEN? Name the mountains behind this decoy, be drawn from all correct entries, and win a Work Sharp Original Knife and Tool Sharpener! Send your best guess to Oregon Hunting Quiz, OHA, P.O. Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501, or submit your guess online at, where a larger version of the photo appears. One entry per OHA member. Entry deadline: Nov. 20, 2019.

6. Which is illegal for turkey hunting? a) bow c) muzzleloading shotgun b) buckshot d) decoys made from birds

NOVEMBER 15 Many furbearer seasons open NOVEMBER 16 Late NW deer bow season opens; Coast bull 2nd season opens NOVEMBER 22 Coast bull 2nd season closes NOVEMBER 23 OHA Bend Chapter youth bird hunt, 541-480-7323

7. A baby mountain goat is called a: a) fawn c) lamb b) calf d) kid

NOVEMBER 30 E. Oregon bear season ends

8. Fall tags harvest report deadline is: a) Dec. 31 c) Jan. 31 b) Jan. 1 d) April 15

DECEMBER 7-8 OHA Redmond Chapter Murderers Creek shrub planting, 541-233-3740

9. More NE Oregon elk calves are killed by: a) bears c) coyotes b) cougars d) eagles 10. According to National Shooting Sports Foundation ( statistics, a person is most likely to be injured while: a) hunting c) mountain biking b) snowboarding d) cheerleading

NOVEMBER 12 Coast bull 1st season closes

DECEMBER 8 Late NW deer bow season ends DECEMBER 18 OHA Gun Calendar Raffle drawing; get your calendar at

LAST ISSUE’S WINNER: Mark Hernandez, Roseburg

Mark’s name was drawn from among the OHA members who recognized this sign by Adel on Highway 140.

ANSWERS: 1-d; 2-a; 3-d; 4-d; 5-b; 6-b; 7-d; 8-c; 9-b; 10-d.


DECEMBER 31 Seasons end for pheasant, fall turkey, W. Oregon bear

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Lake County/Duane Dungannon

1. What turkey subspecies has been released in Oregon? a) Rio Grande c) Merriam’s b) eastern d) all of the above

NOVEMBER 1 Western rifle deer season closes

PREPARATION DELIVERS SUCCESS Every sportsman knows sharp knives are critical to ďŹ eld dress and butcher your game. In these moments, Sharp Matters. Knife & Tool Sharpener L E A R N M O R E AT : W O R K S H A R P T O O L S . C O M



ast season marked one of the worst in modern day memory for waterfowl hunters in our western valleys. Fair weather and plentiful food kept many birds up north all winter, with the exception being the coast. Early last October I was crabbing along a few places of the central coast, and was amazed with the number of mallards in the tidal waters. Fellow hunters reported some of the best puddle duck and early diver duck hunting they could recall, from the season opener through November. As winter progressed, more ducks made their way down the coastline. While the valleys saw virtually no wigeons, parts of the coast were inundated with them, along with a solid number of green-winged teal. Mallards, ringneck ducks and buffleheads were plentiful.

Photo by the author

Coast ducks can be a hit

The Oregon coast has abundant wigeons, mallards, ringnecks and buffleheads right now. By late December a variety of divers, including an impressive number of canvasbacks, were pouring into places along the coast. “This is the best I’ve seen in years,” shared Josh Farnsworth, of Farnsworth Guide Service (541-206-7163), who spends a lot of time guiding hunters along the central Oregon coast. “The number of canvasbacks really caught the attention of hunters, and scaup along with ringnecks, bufflehead and ruddy ducks, were very consistent additions to a daily

limit of divers.” “Last season a lot of divers were rafting up on some of the waters we hunted, and a key to consistent success was being mobile,” continues Farnsworth. “Having your diver decoys on a string that you can pull up and quickly move goes a long way in helping secure limits. Often the wind changes direction on the coast multiple times a day, and being able to re-set the decoys is important for attracting birds on the wing.” —–Scott Haugen


or a baby steelhead, from the moment they hatch out of the gravel, they are on the menu, and one of the most murderous predators is the merganser, that sharp-beaked gobbler of guppies, that executioner of alevins, that pummeler of parr, that finisher of fingerlings, that assaulter of smolts. I had always wondered how many baby steelhead and salmon mergansers eat, but never thought to ask an expert until I talked to Jim Skaar, the manager at the Trask River fish hatchery. Skaar said a merganser can eat between half-a-pound and a pound-anda-half of small fish per bird per day. It takes up to 900 baby steelhead to make up the daily requirement of grub for one merganser! On a December day we slid a driftboat into a river on the Oregon Coast. Yes, we had fishing rods, but they were mostly for show. Our shotguns would see the most action this day, because there were very few fish in the river. Part of the problem? The merganser. And part of the solution?

That was us. Think about how many times we see mergansers. In spring, summer, winter and fall, they are there, on gravel bars, in back waters. And think how many times we duck hunters pass up the shot on a merganser, hoping to take another mallard to fill out a limit. Perhaps in the interest of steelhead conservation, we should shoot more fish eaters. Skaar thinks so. He started hunting mergansers a couple of years ago. Fishing guide David Johnson started hunting them about the same time. Now they pass up mallards to get more mergansers. Mergansers are fast flyers, and they will challenge your shooting skills. It is a fish predator we can do something about. Mergansers are managed with ducks in the migratory game bird regulations with a daily limit of seven birds and three limits in possession. Check the regulations on local waters prior to the hunt. Find a great recipe for mergansers on Page 34. —Gary Lewis


Samuel Pike

Don’t duck out on mergansers

Mergansers need to be hunted for the benefit of our fish, and they can be tasty fare.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Duane Dungannon

Holiday turkey is best fresh from the field

Turkeys tend to gather in larger flocks in the fall, which can make them easier to locate.


regon now has turkeys in every county, and their numbers have reached a point where we also have damage and nuisance complaints. This is an awesome problem to have, especially for young hunters. I’ve been chasing turkeys since the 70s with my pops, a former guide. Turkey hunting wasn’t always this way, so let’s enjoy it. Fall turkey behavior and tactics are different. Gobblers are usually batched up or solo. Large flocks of hens and their young are common. Conventional wisdom says bust up the group and The deadline call them back for controlled together, simifall turkey hunts lar to the way it has passed, but works for mountain quail. They there’s plenty of want to regroup, general season so they’ll talk. Get in the midopportunity. dle and let them know you’re there. Don’t over-call. They have a GPS in that tiny brain. Every bird will know precisely where you are. The deadline for controlled fall turkey hunts has passed, but there’s plenty of general season opportunity. The limit is one turkey (either sex) per day, one per season, except for western Oregon, where the seasonal bag is two. Our best habitat and hunting can be found in the southwest, with bird densities and success highest near Roseburg, but populations are increasing on the east side, particularly in the northeast. The original Rio Grandes were planted east of Medford. If you’re planning a fall wild turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, try marinating in Italian dressing and baking in an oven bag/bread pan with your favorite seasonings. ODFW’s first management plan was adopted in 2004. It was updated in 2018, with input from OHA, ensuring continued enjoyment for hunters and non-hunters alike. —Jason Haley

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OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

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All of our time, effort and solid science-based recommendations fell on deaf ears – and had no influence on ODFW’s proposal to the Commission.

Legislative update By Al Elkins

By Al Elkins, OHA Lobbyist Supporters of a gun storage ballot measure have submitted enough signatures to qualify for a forthcoming ballot title, and soon will be circulating their petitions. This ballot measure includes these provisions: A person who owns or possesses a firearm shall, at all times that the firearm is not carried by or under the control of the person or an authorized person, secure the firearm: • With an engaged trigger lock or cable lock… • In a locked container, equipped with a tamper-resistant lock… The measure also addresses guns being used while hunting, stating that this measure does not apply if the unsecured firearm was obtained for the purpose of hunting, trapping or target shooting, during the time in which the person is engaged in activities related to hunting, trapping or target shooting. This language is similar to the proposed language in 2018, but that proposal never made the ballot. During the 2019 Legislative Session, similar language was included in a gun bill, but that bill was killed as part of negotiations to get the Senate Republicans to return to the Capitol building. Like earlier attempts, there is no reference at all for stiffer penalties for those who actually steal guns. OHA will work with gun rights advocacy groups to help defeat this ballot measure. If this measure gathers enough signatures, it would appear on the November 2020 ballot.

Donate to OHA’s Victory Fund at 12

South Coast/John Wheland

Gun initiative turns in its signatures

OHA questioned the logistics and effects of the new general season cow elk hunts, to no avail.

Commission approves sweeping changes to big game regulations By Jim Akenson, OHA Sr. Conservation Director and Al Elkins, OHA Lobbyist Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on Sept. 13 to adopt the large package of regulation changes proposed by ODFW. Most of these changes will go into effect beginning in 2020. The three biggest issues presented by OHA representatives were about the new bag limits for blacktailed deer, the situation with mule deer populations in eastern Oregon, and the scale and process of the proposed general cow elk hunts. Black-tailed Deer: The Western Oregon deer bag limit will soon allow for spike harvest with the new bag limit of “one buck with a visible antler.” Spike bucks will be illegal to harvest during controlled antlerless hunts. Cow Elk Damage Tags: This is for areas of the state with high elk damage and will replace 19 controlled hunts and the need to provide damage tags to landowners. Hunters taking advantage of this new opportunity would still need permission to hunt on private land to use the tag and it would be their only elk hunting opportunity. Work Group Development: The Commission also directed staff to form a work group to continue the big game hunting season and regulations review, specifically focusing on blacktail and mule deer issues.

OHA will play a key role in this process as it develops. We will keep you updated on the progress that the workgroup makes in future columns. What served as the impetus for forming this work group was the testimony OHA staff and a State Board member gave before the Commission at the September meeting in Gold Beach. Here are some of the highlights of that testimony: OHA, the largest hunting group based in Oregon, had detailed conversations with ODFW staff on their proposals. As a respected stakeholder, OHA spent hundreds of hours evaluating each proposal with consideration of the biological resource as the first element. During our meetings with ODFW staff, we shared our concerns. All of our time, effort and solid science-based recommendations fell on deaf ears – and had no influence on their proposal to the Commission. The proposals adopted by the Commission illustrate a significant change in the way Oregonians hunt. For such a huge change, the process of discussion and interaction between stakeholder groups and Department personnel was just the opposite of the wolf plan process: there was not a great deal of time for anyone to read and respond to these significant changes.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

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YES! I want to support the activities to protect my hunting rights, wildlife and habitat management! I understand that my contribution must be dated by December 31, 2019, to entitle me to an Oregon Tax Credit of up to $50 per individual or $100 per married couple filing jointly on the 2019 Oregon Tax Return. My contribution: ___$1,000 ___$500 ___$250 ___$100 ___$75 ___$50 ___Other $_________ The following is required by the Secretary of State and contributions cannot be accepted without it: Name of each contributor_________________________________________________________________ Occupation of each contributor____________________________________________________________ (If self-employed, please state type of business) Address_________________________________________City________________________ State________Zip_____________Employer________________________________________ Employer Address____________________________________________________________ Phone (optional)______________Fax (optional)______________Email (optional)___________________ Signature___________________________________________Date_______________ Authorized and paid for by Oregon Hunters Alliance PAC (OHAPAC) Oregon Hunters Alliance PAC, 89286 Cranberry Lane, Bandon, OR 97411 (541) 347-4423 Make checks out to: OHAPAC


Hunters: This is your wake up call!

By Jason Haley

Six controlled late-season hunts allow Oregon bowhunters the chance to hunt bulls in the general season and then hunt cows later in the year.

Meat in the freezer: Oregon’s cold-weather cows


ur big game regulations have changed, with more to come in 2020. The old general late-season elk bowhunts went away in recent years. What archers have now is a cold-weather six-pack of controlled antlerless hunts, two on the north coast (Stott Mtn. and Alsea) and four in the Cascades (Santiam, McKenzie, N. Indigo, and W. Rogue). All but one (W. Rogue Bow) are 16-day, late-fall hunts taking place over two weeks and three weekends. That’s enough to get something done. The W. Rogue hunt is a full two months of winter in January/February 2020. February 2020 is 29 days, so if you haven’t taggedout or frozen to death by then, you get another day in the field. Let’s start with that “red-letter” hunt. ODFW warns that private lands will limit access. “Don’t apply unless you have a place to hunt.” It’s still about 35-percent public land. That’s plenty. Know the hunt boundaries. You’ll be dealing with patchwork BLM land in the southern half of the Rogue and some in Jackson County in the southern Dixon Unit. I’ve seen elk on public land in both units during this time period. The Alsea and Stott Mtn. units were part of the late general bow hunt that disappeared circa 2011. There are decent elk populations on public BLM lands in the eastern portions of both units, particularly Alsea. Archers who already know these hunts from before could enjoy less competition with the new “controlled” label. You won’t be able to save preference points as before, but you won’t burn many, either. There’s a Cooperative Travel Management Area affecting both units that should be open by the time these hunts start. There are pros and cons with this, but it could save your muddy boots a few miles and perhaps reduce animal recovery time. The Mid-Coast TMA in Alsea is permanent. This is Siuslaw NF lands. Both units have

a year-round TMA on Hancock Forest Management lands with motorized access only on green-dot posted roads. The McKenzie Unit Bow (219R) takes place in Unit 19, excluding the Willamette National Forest. That leaves middleelevation private and scattered BLM lands east of Eugene. There are some decent private forest tracts. The Wendling TMA encompasses good deer and elk country. Currently, Giustina Land and Timber and Giustina Resources properties in the Tree Farm, Gate Creek, and Mt. Hagen blocks are open to hunting. Weyerhaeuser, one of the major landowners, has withdrawn from the TMA agreement and has converted their lands into fee-access. The Santiam Bow hunt (216R) includes those portions of Unit 16 in Linn and Marion Counties, excluding Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests. It’s not red-letter. There are some large blocks of BLM land available north and south of Highway 22. Some of the largest blocks are contiguous to the national forests, which tend to be hotspots for elk movement. The N. Indigo Bow hunt (221R) is a 415-square-mile patch in the northwest corner of the unit near Cottage Grove,

Foothills Taxidermy Preserving Hunting Memories


west of Oakridge. It’s 23-percent public land, almost entirely BLM. The area east of Oakridge is fairly well-known for elk. Some of these critters should be occupying the lower elevations to the west when the season starts. There were 770 tags awarded this year. There were only 93 first-choice applicants in 2018. It’s an easy draw. All have a “one antlerless elk” bag limit. Tag holders can hunt the general archery elk season, as well. This means a shot at bulls in late summer and makes for a potentially long season. Success for these late antlerless hunts is difficult to determine, as the early kills are lumped in. Bag limit variations further complicate things. There are “any elk,” “any bull” and either/or bag limits (depending on whether you hunt USFS land or elsewhere). Confused? Basically, all these hunts are at or below 10-percent success. The antlerless harvest in Alsea was nine animals in 2018. Stott Mountain and Santiam each yielded six. Early general season success is slightly higher. The early season could provide scouting intel for the late season. And who has too much hunting opportunity?

P.O. Box 820

13825 NW Meadow Lake Road

Carlton, Oregon, 97111


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


Win a Guided Elk Hunt on The Nature Conservancy’s Famous

Zumwalt Prairie Preserve! 1 Hunter and up to 2 non-hunting guests & 1 guide for 3 days in 2020 Lodging included in updated historic ranch house with solar powered electricity, full indoor plumbing (supplied by local spring) and full kitchens.

Tickets: $50; 5 for $200. 500 offered. Value: $4,900 Drawing: March 21, 2020 Tickets & info: call 541-772-7313 or visit 3-day guided bull elk rifle hunt for 1 hunter on the 33,000-acre Zumwalt Prairie Preserve in Oregon during the fall 2020 season (dates TBD; likely November), including lodging at a fully functioning facility at the Preserve. Hunter may bring up to two guests (who do not hunt). Hunting is all on foot and hunters should be in good physical condition. Recent hunter success rate has been close to 100%. Mature bulls are common with trophy potential. The Preserve is part of the largest remaining intact Pacific Northwest bunchgrass prairie in North America. Restrictions: food, beverages, gear, and gratuity not included. Transportation to the Preserve not included (once there, the guide will provide transportation). The elk tag is guaranteed, but the hunter is responsible for license and tag fees. Hunt takes place during the fall 2020 season only. Proceeds benefit OHA projects. Donated by The Nature Conservancy. Drawing: OHA Josephine County Chapter banquet, 7 p.m., March 21, 2020, Josephine County Fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Rd, Grants Pass, OR. Need not be present to win.


black powder

it on a regular basis. Some hunters will opt for the “fifty” for an all-around rifle, but count me in the .54-caliber camp, especially when it comes to elk. It is never too early to plan for next year’s hunt and if a new rifle and a new way of hunting are in your future, take a look at these:

By Gary Lewis

Gearing up for Cascade elk


he Department of Fish and Wildlife is making a real effort to simplify regulations, to make the sport easier for newcomers to get started. It shouldn’t take the equivalent of a college education to understand how to hunt big game in our state. For this effort, we applaud them. But while the regulations will probably be simplified, I cannot help but wonder if the ad sales people that sell ads in the 104-page Oregon Big Game Regulations are working overtime to fill the extra white space with revenue-generating ads. I suppose we can blame ourselves for suggesting they “run it like a business,” but I wonder if the Oregon Big Game Regulations booklet will be less daunting to the new hunter if the overall size does not shrink next year. One of the most confusing aspects of the current regulations is the part that describes what constitutes a legal muzzleloading rifle. On Page 18 we are told what is legal and what is illegal. Much of the technical jargon is lost on the new hunter. In fact, hunting with a muzzleloader is not complicated at all. Hunting in Oregon, where rifles are limited to 1840s-era technology, is less complicated than in other states. When selecting a rifle that will do double duty for deer or elk, one of the things to consider is the minimum legal caliber. In Oregon, a hunter must use a .50-caliber or larger projectile for elk. When I started hunting with a muzzleloader, the .50-caliber suited me just fine, but after I had a number of seasons behind me, I came to favor the .54-caliber for everything from blacktails to bison. The reason is the size

The season is short and the odds are long, but scouting and playing the percentages prepares the Cascades elk hunter for success this year and next.

Blackpowder Elk Hunts

James Flaherty carries a Lyman Trade Rifle on a foggy day deer hunt. The author prefers a .54caliber to do double duty between deer and elk. of the hole the bullet leaves. The bigger bullet is better at breaking bone and leaving a (short) blood trail. My go-to is a Lyman Trade Rifle that has accounted for blacktails, pronghorn and other critters. I load it with 100 grains of Triple Seven (a blackpowder substitute) and a pre-lubed 425-grain .54-caliber conical. The ignition is provided by a No. 11 percussion cap. To ensure it fires every single time, I often unscrew the nipple and dribble a little extra powder in the flash hole. There may come a time when I swap out the percussion cap for a musket cap ignition, but the system is working for me now. Up top, I changed out the primitive sights for Lyman adjustable fiber-optics at front and back. This allows for more precise aiming and surer shots. The final touch is a sling to which I’ve affixed a speedloader. Thus equipped, my muzzleloading rifle is legal for everything from western gray squirrel to elk and mountain goats. And I shoot it enough to be able to trust it out to 100 yards. Yes, throwing that heavy bullet is akin to pitching a pumpkin, but I have the data taped to the stock to tell me where I need to hold anywhere between 25 yards and 125 yards. I am just as confident with this rifle as I am with my bolt-action .30-06, although I can’t shoot it as fast or as far. That comes with familiarity of hunting small game and big game with


The NW Cascades (200M1) elk hunt takes in two units on the west side of the Pacific Crest Trail and part of another. Tags are easy to draw, with most hunters drawing the tag every year. The NW Cascades hunt includes the Santiam and McKenzie units and part of the Indigo Unit. The SW Cascade (200M2) hunt is made up of the Dixon, Evans Creek, Rogue and part of the Indigo. In the tag drawing, hunters can expect to draw a tag every other year or so. Evans Creek Unit hunters seem to be the most successful in the last few years. Harder to draw, the E Cascade (234M) hunt offers a nine-day season in early November. The units contemplated are Upper Deschutes, Metolius, Grizzly and Fort Rock for about 70 percent public lands. Hunters can expect to draw this one every fourth or fifth year. In the Cascades, the elk are often on a five- to seven-day rotation that can put them 10 miles away from the other end of their home range. The blackpowder elk hunter should think in terms of shadowing a specific herd. Dial in to their habits, their feeding areas, their bedding, their rotation cycles and escape routes. The NW and SW Cascade hunts lend themselves to the family hunts that have largely disappeared throughout much of the rest of the state. Tags are easy to draw and the parties can find a place to camp every season. The NW Cascades and SW Cascade and East Cascade hunts offer a chance to learn the land and learn the habits of an individual herd. That is the kind of elk hunting education that pays off in the long run. To order a signed copy of Hunting Oregon, send $24.80 (includes shipping) to Gary Lewis Outdoors, P.O. Box 1364, Bend, OR 97709 or visit www.GaryLewisOutdoors. com

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

The Elk Hunt From nonstop November rains in the alders, to pack-in camps in the Cascades, to wall tents in the Blues, this is elk hunting in Oregon. By Gary Lewis


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


tangled roots, taking a seated position, bracing elbows against knees. Elk streamed down through the trees. A cow, a calf, more cows and calves, a spike bull, a branched-antler bull. We could hear and feel the thunder of their hooves as they came on. Thirty elk. Troy threw a call to the left and the herd split around us. My tag allowed me to take one antlerless elk. I focused on the cow at the leading edge of the herd, then let that one pass, selected the next and brought the rifle to my shoulder. Elk thundered by, the last a fivepoint bull, which followed the group that hooked to our left. We watched the bull, then trailed the cow to where she lay against a fire-felled tree. Over two miles into the wilderness, we started on the chore of removing our winter’s meat from the bone and loading it into our packs. Oregon’s Rocky Mountain elk are found from the crest of the Cascades, all the way to the Idaho border. Elk are associated with the forests of northeast Oregon and south central Oregon, but large numbers make a living in the sage and junipers of the high desert throughout southeast Oregon.

South Coast/John Wheland

ix years after the fire, many of the dead trees still stood, their warped limbs cast down in defeat, waiting for a winter storm to deal the final blow. Sometimes, what is bad for the trees is good for the forest. New life rose from the ashes. Grasses, lichens, browse, and succulent plants that were stifled in the shade, now thrived among the knee-high offspring of the pines and fir. If there were any elk in the pocket of the old burn, they knew we were moving toward them. Sometimes a branch would pop underfoot and Troy or I would imitate a cow or calf call to make them think we were a small band of elk on the move. All morning, four of us labored up the steep slope to where we now stood on a little bench, on the shoulder of the ridge. Troy began to call again. Ron heard the answering bugle from the timber on the edge of the burn. We waited, straining to see through the dead timber on the slopes. We all heard the second bugle, closer now. Next to our log was the base of a toppled tree. I huddled up next to the

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


James Flaherty hunted solo in the Cascades for this late October last-day bull. The elk responded to a single bugle. Found in the Coast Range and throughout the Cascades, Roosevelt elk tend to run in smaller herds and live in smaller home areas. General elk bow and controlled bow seasons begin at the end of August and

This is not what we mean when we say look for elk sign, but it’s at least a sign that you’re on the right track.

provide up to four weeks in the field. Bag limits are set to meet management objectives in specific units. Controlled hunts are held to promote opportunity and trophy quality and also to minimize damage complaints on agricultural lands. The general first season and second season hunts in late October and November provide opportunities for rifle hunters who were unsuccessful in the controlled hunt lottery. The success of elk in Oregon and around the West is a tribute to far-sighted sportsmen, who in the early 1900s, pushed for legislation to protect them from overhunting. Foremost was President Theodore Roosevelt, who was instrumental in setting aside crucial habitat so that future generations would be able to see, and hunt elk in the wild. Today, organizations like the Oregon Hunters Association and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation keep the spirit alive, with efforts to promote conservation and enhance wildlife habitat. To improve hunting opportunities in Oregon, OHA has become a key influencer in the management of predatory species and has sought to improve elk habitat through grants, projects and even successful lawsuits. OHA has also strived for better public access, from working with landowners to keep gates open, to supporting Access & Habitat projects that open many thousands of acres to public hunting.


In recent years, OHA has engaged in three high-profile elk management discussions. OHA has advocated for mutually amenable solutions for Coast elk tend access in the to run in smaller Ochocos. And OHA took legal herds and live action against in smaller home the Ochoco National Forest, opposing the areas. Summit OHV Trail development on grounds of increased disturbance in critical elk habitat. To the east, in the Chesnimnus Unit, OHA has developed a dialogue with ODFW, landowners and the USFS to develop hunting effort and elk disturbance management to hold elk on public land. Of late, in the Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge, OHA has encouraged hunting to provide relief for neighboring landowners experiencing elk damage issues. These are the good old days of elk hunting. Oregon’s elk herds are healthy and growing. Still, elk can be hard to find in the mountains and deserts. Many hunters will end this season without a shot, some

Logging helps create forage openings for elk, but most logging now takes place on private timberland.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

A trophy non-typical Blue Mountain bull – the stuff elk hunting dreams are made of. without spotting an elk at all. Elk hunting is hard work. Many different reasons Organizations draw hunters to like OHA and elk camp every year. Some to the RMEF get away from the pressures of help elk thrive business, some to spend time through efforts with family and friends, some to promote for the challenge of finding conservation a big bull, some for the chance and enhance at putting in a year’s supply of wildlife habitat. meat. I think the elk hunter chases freedom. He carries all he needs in a backpack and the rifle or bow on his shoulder. He sets his sights on a far peak and, walking there, looks again to the horizon. Somewhere in these forests is a majestic animal, symbol of the wild and free.

Photos courtesy Flip Freeman

A successful Mt. Emily elk hunter kindly explains it all to visitors.

To contact Gary Lewis, visit www. OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


Mixed Bags in the

Columbia Basin Private Land for Every Hunter Story & Photos by Glenn Zinkus


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


eemed one of the top bird hunting towns in the USA by Pheasants Forever, the town of Heppner provides an ideal base camp location for Columbia Basin upland bird hunts. A vast majority of the hunting cover in this region is in private hands, but fret not, for there are numerous opportunities to hunt this land. Not only are there premier hunting lodges in the vicinity, but there are private lands open to every upland hunter available through various Heppner District Cooperative Access Programs that allow hunter access to private land in exchange for incentives to landowners. This program is active throughout Morrow and Gilliam counties in the Columbia Basin. Hunters in Oregon pay for this with a $4 surcharge on hunting licenses, as well as funding from other sources, including an annual auction and raffle, and other enhancement and restoration programs.

There are two types of walk-in hunting access on private lands. There are “Hunting With Permission” properties, indicated by yellow signs. When hunters note the “Hunting With Permission” properties, they can use the contact details on the sign to contact the landowner and schedule a hunt. This allows landowners to control hunter numbers, and ensure responsible hunters are granted access to the property. There are “Welcome To Hunt” properties, indicated by green signs. Hunters are allowed to freely access these properties (at proper access points, of course) during the hunting season. Both of these sign types identify which species on the property hunters can hunt. Hunters need to seek out the cooperative access properties. You can contact the ODFW Heppner field office (541676-5230) for an information packet and general map identifying property locations. You will need to get out in the field, locate these properties, and obtain contact infor-

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

mation from the signs to reserve time on Hunting With Permission properties. Hunting Opportunities The Upper Columbia Basin is a hotspot for upland bird hunting because of the diversity of hunting opportunities in the area. Besides hunting with a gorgeous backdrop of rolling hills, fields of grain, rugged canyons and mountains, there are viable populations of pheasant, Hungarian partridge, quail, and chukar throughout the Basin. Properties change from year to year, and while it’s heartbreaking to see a favorite covert exit the program, there are new properties becoming available. Pay attention to signage and scout this area out before the hunt. The greater Heppner area is a popular hunting destination, hosting upland and big game hunters. These access programs attract Oregonians and out of state hunters to the area. Hunter numbers educate the roosters, even to the extent that these birds evade being cornered by a pair of experi-


The Columbia Basin is one of the few remaining strongholds of wild pheasant hunting in Oregon. enced hunting dogs. I’ve witnessed all the signs of departing birds before reaching the holding cover more times than I can count. First off, these birds are long distance runners, somewhat akin to a 5,000-meter track runner. The first time I was in a Heppner area field that was new to me, my 6-year-old Brit picked up scent, turned into the downhill, and made a quick descent. Sensing that this was a pheasant on the run, I also turned and picked up the pace to keep up. We dropped several hundred feet down to the base of a knee high golden grassy field, when a hen launched from a clump of sage. This sort of incident repeated itself several times over during the day; and not at just that location, but other fields in the area. At another location, within the shadows of a homesteader’s barn, my Brit sprang up a hill on what could be nothing else than fresh bird scent. Given the pace and distance, it had to be a pheasant, and probably a rooster. I trailed Parker weaving between mammoth clumps of grass. Parker was in full agility dog mode, running with the scent cones becoming tighter as he neared the bird. Before cresting a hill, against a sky darkened by storm clouds, a rooster rocketed straight up, hesitating a moment before flapping into horizontal flight. Other times, I hunt a grassy valley that just screams birds. I’ve found pheasants on the verdant floor level, Huns in a transition area between the wild grassland and an adjacent grain field, and chukars climbing 24

the tops of the basalt rimmed slopes. Parker and Rogue go into immediate bird mode after walking no more than the length of a football field. They crouch just a little lower to breathe in scent, and begin

Welcome-to-Hunt properties allow open access, while others require permission in order to regulate hunting pressure.

a creep; both of them intersect the other’s path at a thick, green, thorny bush. Both dogs lock in on a point, Rogue raising his right leg into point resembling a dog frozen in time in a Kirmse etching. Each dog is on opposite sides of the bush, blocking possible escape paths. I close in, but no cacophony of feathers and cackles happens. I kick the brush and nothing happens. Curiosity ensues, and I dive into the brush because something has to be there. The search reveals nothing but a few feathers and some scratched up ground. Whatever birds were there got out of Dodge. It is not as if I made much noise. It’s just myself and the two dogs. It was enough to push the bird or birds out. Despite these guileful birds in the Welcome To Hunt fields surrounding Heppner, I never get over those birds that come out to strut their stuff as sunset approaches. It’s a regular pheasant social hour. More than once I’ve emerged from a brushy canyon to find a rooster or two walking amongst the cows on a grass-covered slope soaking in the last rays of sunlight. Be ready for any sort of weather, from days that are just too hot for dog work, to snow squalls that descend from the sky without warning after what was a fine October morning. I’ve faced this in recent years. Plan for weather variations by dressing with multiple layers that can be shed throughout the day as the temperature climbs. Hunters experience foggy and frosty mornings, to bluebird days with the thermometer touching 80 degrees. This is especially noticeable on early autumn days. There often is a rapid drop in temperature during the late afternoon in the shaded canyons. Just as noticeable is the rise in temperature as we drive back into town from these higher elevation canyons. I don’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity to hunt private land. Hunting opportunities and experiences are equally good on the land that is both Welcome To Hunt and Hunting With Permission. There is a sense of more privacy when hunting properties that require permission, as many property owners limit these properties to one hunting party in a day, but we find birds on all of types of land. Perhaps most of all, hunting this diverse cover after multiple species provides us with great, memorable hunting days, and richer stories and experiences than we get close to home.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Winging It With early bird seasons and big game hunts taking center stage early in the fall, duck season can sneak up on you like a greenhead landing in your decoys before dawn.

Story & Photos by Zach Mansfield


stretch down the creek bank, with close to 30 yards from the hese ducks had seen other hunters, no doubt. We were first guy to the last. The two outside guys, Kurt and I, had the weeks into the Oregon waterfowl season. The previimportant duty of finding the birds and getting on the calls ous five days had dealt us some unseasonably cold early. Jody was in the middle; his duties were dog handling and temperatures. Open bodies of water were beginning the pull-string decoy. to freeze. My hunting partners, Jody Massey and Kurt The first group made a hard right-hand bank turn over Boyd, joined me in setting up on a stretch of water that was kept open by waterfowl and the steady current passing through. Kurt’s outside shoulder. In an instant, the ducks were in the dekes, shotguns were emptied, and we had a Scouting the days before had been key; all three handful of mallards down with the smattering of of us had made special trips to see where the birds The first cold 12 gauge steel flung through air. The next group were working in this particular stretch of water. snap thins out came straight up the creek with little time to get We had trees and landmarks designated so that the the competition our three-piece band together. After a quick hail early morning frosty decoy set would be a breeze. call from yours truly and some backup vocals As the grey light of early morning gave way to and sets the from Jody and Kurt, we had another mess of ducks the pastels of a frosty fall sky, birds began to work stage for an down and more excellent dog work to behold. our spread. Before we knew it, they were in our It happens to me every year – fall slips by decoys. At one point, we had north of two dozen unforgetable faster than teal over the decoys. September is live birds mixed in with the fake ones. duck hunt. filled with weekend archery hunts, maybe with a Before the thought of even pulling my trigtrip into the wilderness to chase elk. October has ger entered my mind, I was in complete awe. The me chasing the elusive mule deer bucks in the mountains and constant whistle and hum of mallard wings overhead, coupled canyons of northeast Oregon and Idaho. Then, before I know it, with the sight of silhouetted duck after duck dropping into our decoys, is something that never gets old. As soon as the second it’s the middle of October and I’m getting phone calls and texts inviting me to sit behind the wood stock of my semiauto 12 hand ticked passed legal hours, we took beads on the next gauge trying to fool some early season ducks and geese. group that worked our decoys. We were set up in a three-man


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

The early-season waterfowl hunting is fine, but my only complaint is the competition that goes with it, and It messes up my deer and elk hunts for the year. Waterfowl hunting is a ton of fun, we all know that, and with the mild weather and unseasoned birds, you’d be a fool not to get out and try your hand with some early-season birds. But the best hunt for me is after the first cold snap. When the mercury dips well below freezing for a few extended days, the competition thins out. There are two types of waterfowl hunters: the diehards – the ones who hunt no matter the weather, and the not-so-diehards. When I first started, I was a diehard. No matter the conditions, I was willing to withstand the elements for a chance at an epic bird hunt. Anymore, I find myself being a bit more selective. Not sure if it’s age, maybe I’m getting smarter, or maybe I’m just getting soft. When the cold weather kicks in, the not-so-diehards usually stay home for a cup of coffee instead of a frozen shotgun barrel. With less competition for already seasoned and patternable birds, the first cold snap can make for an unforgettable hunt.

The early season offers mild weather and unseasoned birds.

Later in the season the competition thins out and birds can become more concentrated in the remaining open water.

Over the past few years I’ve kept a log of extremely successful hunts. One thing that I’ve noticed that keeps showing up in my reports is scouting and weather. Some days are flukes and we have good or bad hunts, despite the work or lack of work we put in. But if you want to be successful in filling your strap on continuous hunts, get serious about understanding duck and goose tendencies during weather changes and the importance of scouting. Another aspect that adds a real appeal to a duck decoy spread is movement. Incorporating a pull string system of some kind into your decoy spread is a game changer. I like to hit birds on the corners with the pull string. It seems to flare fewer birds, and it’s those subtle lifelike movements that give the birds confidence to land in the decoys. By the time the third group of ducks winged in, we decided we should try to stretch this hunt out. Instead of shooting at every large flock of mallards that came our way, we began to find singles and doubles and work them into our spread. Over the next two hours, we had ourselves a real “gentleman” shoot and shot one or two birds at a time, only letting one guy shoot while the others sit back and critique his every miss. It was a fantastic morning. At the end of the day, we each walked away with a limit. Looking back on all of the great waterfowl hunts I’ve had the privilege to note in my journal, this one ranks near the top.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019



Remember the thrill of your first hunt? Do you have a passion for hunting that you would like to pass on to others? ODFW’s Hunter Education Program NEEDS you!

The hunter education program involves passing on the hunting tradition to future generations in a safe, fun, and responsible manner. n n

Firearm and hunter safety Hunter ethics and responsibilities

n n

Wildlife management and conservation Outdoor safety

Hunter education instructors are individuals 21 and older who have a passion for hunting. You do not need to be an expert hunter to teach this course; a strong interest in introducing young people and adults to the sport is what is required.

How do I become a Certified Instructor? n

Easy process: contact the number below for an application.

ODFW Hunter Education Program 503-947-6028

OHA seeks part-time Conservation Director • Flexible 10 or 20 hours per week • $23-25/hour + partial health reimbursement Job Summary: primary duty is to advocate for Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and sportsmen, and represent OHA in meetings and public appearances. PRIMARY FUNCTIONS • Follow important conservation issues and keep OHA advised of their potential impacts on Oregon hunters and wildlife. • Assist OHA chapters in organizing at the local level to be involved in habitat and wildlife management in their areas. • Promote the conservation goals and accomplishments of OHA through the media, social media and public speaking engagements as assigned by OHA State Coordinator, including public agency meetings and legislative hearings. • Review resource management plans as directed, and prepare and submit comments for OHA. • Maintain daily contact with OHA State Coordinator and prepare written reports for the State OHA Board of Directors that include a timetable of work completed and planned. • Effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders on land use and wildlife issues. • Assist with the annual OHA State Convention and annual Chapter Summit workshop. • Perform other duties that may be assigned by the OHA State Coordinator. KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES • Degree in natural resource field or work experience equivalent. • Working knowledge of wildlife and land management. • Must be highly organized and be able to organize and motivate volunteers. • Must be able to take direction, and work closely with OHA staff and board. • Must possess basic computer skills & knowledge, such as word processing, e-mail and Internet skills. Spreadsheet and database program skills a plus. • Strong interpersonal, writing and public speaking skills. • Must support OHA mission, values, and organizational structures.

sKy laKes WilDerness/Duane Dungannon

For an application or more information, contact the OHA State Office, 541-772-7313, Application deadline: Nov. 15, 2019

By Jason Haley

OHA sets its sights on objectives for 2020 and beyond.


n protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage, the challenges are clear. But so is OHA’s vision for the future. State Board members, chapter leadership and professional staff have teamed to formulate this vision for the year 2020 and beyond. It looks like this: Develop tools and measures for responsible management of cougar populations. Besides the hard work logged by staff on the state’s recently revised cougar management plan and target areas, we’ve introduced bills to bring relief from our expanding cougar population every legislative session since Measure 18 banned hunting them with hounds in 1994. After the ban, OHA successfully pushed for a year-round season, later tag sale deadline and cheaper cougar tags so that more hunters would buy them. OHA is currently helping ODFW gather genetic data to improve cougar population models and range projections to enhance management of cougar target areas. We must do more. Evaluate and report on the effectiveness of Oregon’s Cougar and Wolf Management Plans. OHA’s professional staff and State Board Wildlife Committee have been actively involved in predator plan updates. Our goal is to ensure that hunting is a tool that’s available for wildlife managers. We 30

track harvest data, spring survey/recruitment info, tag quotas, regulations and unit-by-unit management objectives and work closely with ODFW staff. ODFW and OSP attend nearly every OHA State Board meeting and share proposals to secure hunter feedback in advance. We were instrumental in obtaining Commission approval of the new wolf plan that retains language providing for future wolf hunting and trapping, and we will continue to track plan effectiveness. Fight to ensure no net loss of public hunting access. OHA helped stall recent efforts to privatize and restrict hunting in the Elliott State Forest. Our work continues. We are actively involved as Oregon’s State Land Board seeks ways to decouple the Elliott lands from the Oregon Common School Fund requirements, create a habitat conservation plan and find management options for BLM lands in the Applegate. We’ve slowed efforts to eliminate hunting on traditionally available timberlands purchased by Portland Metro. The trend of buying land and adding them to “reserves” in response to population growth is a continuing concern. There’s an effort to purchase and add 5,000 acres of former timber company land to the “no-hunting” Arch Cape area. OHA chapters on the north coast are working to

maintain hunting on these lands. OHA tracked and commented on plans to expand monument designations in the Cascade-Siskiyou/Soda Mountain area and Owyhee Canyon area. OHA recently won a lawsuit to protect key elk habitat in the Ochocos and led successful efforts to maintain traditional public access to popular hunting areas in the region. OHA also provided key support to create the new Coquille Wildlife Area and add public lands on the Deschutes, and we helped secure the first-ever public hunting access to a new state park in Cottonwood Canyon. Our support of the Access & Habitat Program and cooperative OHA projects with private timber companies have helped keep many thousands of acres of private land open to public hunting. No longer can we take for granted that public lands are open to hunting. OHA is on the frontlines of efforts to ensure that they are. Enhance large-scale wetlands for waterfowl hunting and other wildlife benefit. OHA funded a water management project at Summer Lake, an important flyway refuge for over 200 bird species and a popular destination for hunters, birdwatchers and environmental educators.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

We’ve done goose banding, wood duck boxes, mallard hen-house projects, and covered viewing platforms at Ladd Marsh and Denman Wildlife Area via the OHA Memorial Fund. Local chapters prepared hunting blinds for the new youth hunt at Baskett Slough NWR. This hunt was a first and involved OHA effort to become a reality. OHA is currently involved with water management efforts to improve waterfowl habitat in the Klamath Basin. Support a long-term increase in forest management and fuels reduction on public lands. “The reduction of timber harvest and suppression of fire on National Forestland in western Oregon for the past quarter-century has had a detrimental impact on habitat for many wildlife species, and we have seen serious population declines in some areas,” said OHA Conservation Director Jim Akenson. “OHA is excited to support work that will benefit wildlife habitat in the No longer can Cascades.” we assume that OHA approved $15,000 public lands for habitat restoration in the are open to Willamette Nahunting. OHA is tional Forest. PineGrass on the frontlines The Restoration Project lies in of efforts to the upper Middle ensure that Fork Willamette River basin and they are. consists of a mix of open forestland of large trees along with an undergrowth of native bunchgrasses. Over the years, younger stands of trees in the 20- to 40-year range have crowded in, shading out the grasses and forbs valuable for wildlife and increasing the danger of wildfire. Thinning improves early seral conditions. The Emerald Valley Chapter will donate 250 volunteer hours to the project. Our funds will also be used to restore Johnson Meadow, a 120-acre site on the Calapooya Divide. OHA has also funded large-scale habitat improvements through brush clearing and burning in the Cascades, and projects have helped slow conifer encroachment in foraging areas on both sides of the Cascades.

Manage public lands for the benefit of game species as a top wildlife priority. OHA teamed with other conservation groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in a lawsuit to overturn USFS approval of a large off-highway vehicle park in critical elk habitat in the Ochoco National Forest. We are currently part of a coalition examining water shortages in the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges, one of the most important rest stops for waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. OHA continues dialogue with ODFW, landowners, and the USFS to develop a combination of hunting effort and elk disturbance to hold elk on public land – and available for hunting in the Chesnimnus/ Zumwalt area. We are promoting hunting on the Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge, which has served as a hiding place for elk doing damage to crops in the Hermiston area. A dozen hunters, selected from a damage list, have been able to harvest cow elk. OHA has provided input on ODFW’s regulation simplification process from the beginning, seeking to ensure that wildlife is mangaged by the best available science, not just the simplest regulations. Protect against threats to firearm ownership and use. In 2018, OHA helped defeat IP 43 and 44, both serious threats to Second Amendment gun rights. This session we fought SB 978 (Gun Sales & Storage Restrictions), which did not pass. We monitored countless others. This fight is continuous. As manufacturers provide more nonlead ammunition options, OHA maintains a voice advocating voluntary use of non-lead ammo, rather than force-placed regulations. Our conservation partners support this position. Maintain and increase OHA’s leadership in science-based wildlife and habitat management. OHA’s involvement in shaping the recent predator management plans for the best interests of Oregon’s ungulate species and sportsmen underscores our efforts to see that Oregon’s wildlife is managed by good science and not raw emotion. Another good recent example is OHA’s opposition to a sweeping regional ban on trapping to protect the Humboldt marten, which was a huge overreaction that would not accomplish anything except hindering trapping as a management tool for other species. OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Protect critical winter range from energy development, migration barriers & hazards. OHA is tracking and providing input during the scoping and permitting processes of large solar and wind farms proposed in valuable wildlife habitat. Oregon Hunter recently covered wildlife impacts associated with the booming cannabis industry and solar farms. The OHA State Board funded a grant toward the construction of a new wildlife crossing near Gilchrist along Highway 97, one of the deadliest stretches in Oregon for man and beast alike. The existing Lava Butte underpass recorded a 90-percent reduction in wildlife/vehicle crashes. The Bend Chapter has been regularly repairing the fences that funnel wildlife through the existing safe passage near Sunriver. OHA is supporting Protect Animal Migration (PAM) for wildlife passage and educational outreach. OHA chapters collectively pledged $111,000. Continue to increase OHA membership and keep OHA members informed and engaged. We’ve increased membership through sports shows, calendar/magazine sales, banquets, youth outdoor days and direct mailings. Our Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (RRR) Committee just launched a campaign that engages current members, women, minorities, former members, licensed hunter non-members, and youth via retreat-style get-togethers and eye-popping promotional material. Our magazine, newsletters, e-mail alerts, social media pages and website continue to inform and engage members, as do chapter newsletters. OHA partnered with ODFW to offer beginner adults ages 22-44 the knowledge and skills to hunt big game. The program includes four Learn-to-Hunt workshops: Rifle Skills & Knowledge, Archery Skills & Knowledge, Hunting Techniques & Scouting, and Field Dressing & Butchering. Participants can find workshops at OHA recognizes that these are not the only challenges facing Oregon hunters in the years to come, and these issues will not be resolved in the year 2020. But by focussing our vision on the most pressing issues, we can set our sights on a plan of action to advance our mission of Protecting Oregon’s Wildlife, Habitat and Hunting Heritage in 2020 and beyond. 31

Chapter News OHA volunteers give up hunting time to serve our mission BAKER Charlie Brinton (541) 403-0402 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Best Western Sun Ridge Inn; optional dinner 6 p.m. 2020 banquet: April 4, Baker County Event Center BEND Bob Dixon (503) 572-2805 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m., Bend Golf & Country Club 2020 banquet: March 14, Riverhouse Convention Center; call 541-480-9848 Update: The Wayne Elliott Memorial Youth Upland Bird Hunt will be held in Powell Butte on Nov. 23; call 541-4807323. Bend Chapter members staffed an OHA booth and helped out at the NW Women’s Hunting Camp July 19-21 and 26-28. We presented $1,000 scholarships to two Oregon Youth Challenge members. Volunteers built buck and pole fencing to exclude cattle at Pothole Springs Sept. 21. We are initiating a pilot project to develop a youth board of directors in the chapter. BLUE MOUNTAIN Dean Groshong (541) 377-1227 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of the month, The Saddle, 2200 Court St., Pendleton, 6 p.m. meeting, 5:30 p.m. dinner and drinks available. 2020 banquet: April 4, Pendleton Convention Center; 541-231-4384 Update: Our chapter name has been changed from Columbia Basin to the Blue Mountain Chapter. CAPITOL Ray Wurdinger (503) 585-4547 32

OHA’s Pioneer Chapter made trips to central Oregon to maintain water guzzlers in September and October. Chapter Meetings: 4th Tuesday, 7 p.m., Marion County Fire Station #1, 300 Cordon Rd. NE, Salem. 2020 banquet: March 28, Columbia Hall, Fairgrounds, Salem, 503-585-4547 Update: Our chapter will provide junior memberships to those who go through hunter education with Mark Orr. CHETCO Wes Ferraccioli (541) 450-4100 Chapter Meetings: Nov. 21 in Brookings; Dec. 12, Panthers Den, Gold Beach. 2020 banquet: March 14. CLATSOP COUNTY Kevin Werst 503-325-1036 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. speaker, West Lake Chinese Restaurant, Seaside. 2020 banquet: March 21. Update: We have moved our meeting date to the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Our Educational Trailer was an appreciated addition to the OHA Leadership Summit at Diamond Lake in August. COLUMBIA COUNTY Jordan Hicks (949) 533-7271 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Monday, 7 p.m., dinner 6:30 p.m., Kozy Korner restaurant, 371 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens. 2020 banquet: Feb. 29 Update: Our chapter picnic was at Bushmen Archers July 27. We donated $500 to our local 4H group for clay targets and shooting sports ammunition, and nearly $2,000 to ODFW for rebuilding the public trap shooting range at Sauvie Island, and chapter volunteers helped with the rebuilding on Aug. 17.

EMERALD VALLEY Tony Hilsendager (541) 729-0877 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m., Sizzler Steak House, 1010 Postal Way, Springfield; Board meeting at 5:30 p.m., Social 6:30 p.m. 2020 banquet: Feb. 22, The Graduate (formerly Eugene Hilton); call 541-729-5220. HOODVIEW Catherine Hamell (503) 358-7821 Facebook: Hoodview OHA Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., Elmer’s, 1933 NE 181st Ave., Portland. 2020 banquet: Feb. 22 Update: At our November meeting, member Chad Purdum will share tech tips he learned on a 10-day solo elk hunt in Idaho, including S.O.S. safety and OnX via phone only. We also have Curt Melcher and Doug Cottam from ODFW with an update. Our holiday party is at 5 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Portland Gun Club. JOSEPHINE COUNTY Cliff Peery (541) 761-3200 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., Elmer’s Restaurant, Grants Pass. 2020 banquet: March 21, Josephine County Fairgrounds; call 541-821-1511. We will draw the winner of the Zumwalt Prairie elk hunt (to purchase tickets, visit KLAMATH Allen Wiard (541) 884-5773 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., Shasta View Community Center. 2020 banquet: April 25, Klamath Fairgrounds. We’ll auction an Access & Habitat Statewide Elk Tag. Call 541-882-9593. Update: Chapter volunteers joined the work party Sept. 21 at Pothole Springs constructing buck and pole fencing. The chapter purchased 300 birds for release at our Youth Chukar Hunt, held Oct.19-20. LAKE COUNTY Tom Zarosinski 541-219-0614 Chapter Meetings: 1st Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Eagle’s Lodge, Lakeview. 2020 banquet: April 4, Lake County Fairgrounds. Update: We staffed a booth at the 100th

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

Anniversary Lake County Fair & RoundUp, where we offered a great raffle package. Our last guzzler project this year was held Sept. 14. We worked on duck and goose boxes Oct. 19. LINCOLN COUNTY Todd Williver (541) 648-6815 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m. meeting, location TBA. Update: We had a chapter BBQ at the Skiles Ranch in Toledo on Aug. 11. MALHEUR COUNTY Bruce Hunter (208) 573-5556 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Thursday, 6:30 p.m., no host dinner 5:30, location TBA in the chapter newsletter. MID-COLUMBIA Stanley Walasavage (541) 296-1022 Quarterly Chapter Meetings: 6 p.m., ODFW Screen Shop, The Dalles. Next meeting is Nov. 14. MID-WILLAMETTE Jacob Williams (541) 740-5992 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., board meeting at 6 p.m., Old Armory, 4th and Lyons, Albany. 2020 banquet: April 4, Boys & Girls Club, Albany. We will auction an Access & Habitat Statewide Elk Tag. Update: Members volunteered at the Youth Pheasant Hunt at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area Sept. 21-22. OCHOCO John Dehler, III (541) 815-5817 Chapter Meetings: 1st Tuesday, 7 p.m., Room 1868, 152 NW 4th St., Prineville. 2020 banquet: Feb. 22, Carey Foster Hall, Prineville; call 541-447-5730 Update: Chapter members helped out at the youth pheasant hunt Sept. 14-15 in Madras. PIONEER Bill Park (503) 730-7650 Chapter Meetings: 1st Wednesday, 7 p.m., Canby Rod & Gun Club. 2020 banquet: March 7, Mt. Angel Community Festhalle; call 503-710-1233 Update: Volunteers cleaned up our stretch of highway Sept. 7 and 21. We worked on duck boxes Sept. 19 and Oct. 26, and took guzzler trips Sept. 14 and Oct. 12. Sight In Days were Sept. 14-15 and Sept. 21-22 at Canby Rod and Gun Club.

REDMOND Tim Van Domelen (541) 771-8383 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, VFW Hall. Dinner at 5:30, member meeting at 6:30, board meeting at 6. 2020 banquet: Feb. 29, Deschutes County Expo Center, 541-233-3740 jlcrafton@ Update: The first Saturday in December, Redmond OHA will be trying a Winter Planting on Bridge Creek near Mitchell. Please contact John Crafton jlcrafton@ for information. ROGUE VALLEY Bryan Coggins (541) 601-9905 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 6 p.m. social & dinner, 7 p.m. presentation, Eagles Club, 2000 Table Rock Rd. 2020 banquet: March 7, Medford Armory; call 503-250-3000 Update: Our board voted to donate $7,500 for the Denman Wildlife Area youth pheasant hunt. For the second year, we teamed with ODFW to put on a 3D archery shoot at Denman Wildlife Area July 28, with more than 100 participants. We also helped ODFW buy one ton of wildlife forage seed mix to be given away to the public to enhance local habitat for big game and upland game birds. The annual program is timed for fall green-up. TILLAMOOK John Putman (503) 842-7733 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Monday, 7 p.m., Tillamook PUD. 2020 banquet: May 2, Tillamook County Fairgrounds; call 503-801-3779 TIOGA Marcey Fullerton (541) 267-2577 Chapter Meetings: 4th Tuesday, 7 p.m., 6 p.m. no host dinner, Puerto Vallarta restaurant, Coos Bay. 2020 banquet: April 4, Coquille Community Building Update: At our Coos County Fair booth we made over $3,000 on the gun raffles, and our parade float was a big hit. TUALATIN VALLEY Tony Kind (503) 290-6143 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, dinner at 6 p.m., meeting at 7, Prime Time Restaurant

OHA volunteers built buck and pole fencing to protect Pothole Springs on Sept. 21. & Sports Bar, Forest Grove. 2020 banquet: April 4, NW Events & Environments; call 503-502-0611 Update: Tualatin Valley Chapter members partnered with folks from Trash No Land, Oregon Dept. of Forestry and NW Firearms for a Tillamook Forest target shooting area cleanup project on July 20. Together we cleaned up five shooting sites, the most ever. Our chapter Christmas Party will be at Meriwether National Golf Club Dec. 14; call 503-502-0611. UMPQUA Tadd Moore (541) 430-6353 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, 7 p.m., Roseburg ODFW office. Board Meetings: 2nd Tuesday, same place. 2019 banquet: Held Sept. 7. Update: We had our annual chapter picnic at Roseburg Rod and Gun Club July 18. Our banquet was a great night at Seven Feathers on Sept. 7. UNION/WALLOWA COUNTY Morgan Olson (541) 786-1283 Chapter Meetings: La Grande Library, next date TBA. 2020 banquet: March 14, Blue Mountain Conference Center; call 541-786-5841 YAMHILL COUNTY Bill Dollar (503) 804-2843 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., 6 p.m. dinner, American Legion Hall, 126 NE Atlantic, McMinnville. Update: After taking July and August off, our meetings started again in September. Our chapter staffs the Stimson gate behind Hagg Lake for deer and elk rifle seasons and the extended youth hunt weekend. OHA Columbia County Chapter members teamed with us Aug. 11 for our 5th Annual Youth Shotgun Shoot at the Newberg Rod and Gun Club.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


Game on the Grill By Tiffany Haugen

“One that won’t beg for breadcrumbs, hangin’ around all day; He’d better mind his manners, better do just what I say Or he’s gonna be duck pâté.” –Weird Al Yankovic, I Need a New Duck


y husband and father-in-law brought home some ducks one day; a 50-50 split between mallards and common mergansers. Right away my father-in-law said he wouldn’t even taste the mergansers. That was all I needed to hear. “Challenge accepted,” was my reply. After breasting all the birds, all of the meat looked the same. They were identical in color, shape, even size, but the merganser breasts were about 1/4” thinner than the mallards. I’ve converted many non-believers over the years, people who thought they’d never taste a good diving duck, sea duck, or even shoveler. The key, I’ve found, after more than 30 years of cooking everything from eiders to scoters, scaup to spoonies and mergansers to longtails, is not overdoing it. The more you overcook any bird, the stronger flavored it will be. Enter Mergy Burgers. Grinding ducks is a great way to tenderize the birds and bring out the best flavor. After my father-in-law and another of his hunting buddies tried burgers made separately from the mallards and mergansers (not knowing what they were eating), neither could tell the difference between the two, and neither believed they’d just eaten a full Mergy Burger, and liked it! 1 pound ground merganser breasts 1/4 cup minced pepperoncini 1 egg 2 tablespoons ketchup 1 tablespoon mustard 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil for frying In a medium bowl, mix duck meat, pepperoncini, egg, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Drop 1/2 cup of burger mixture into hot pan and press to desired thickness. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side. Burgers are fragile so flip carefully. Add cheese if desired and serve on a bun with additional pepperoncini, sauerkraut, or pickled onions. For signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Game Birds, send a check for $20 to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order at www. Watch Tiffany, online, at Cook With Cabela’s, and check out her blog for more great recipes.


Need a new duck? Try Mergy Burgers Grinding ducks is a great way to tenderize the birds and bring out the best flavor.

Ask about items with OHA’s new branding!


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019




Valid thru Dec. 31, 2019



Make your own sale with $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more!

No Cash Value. Cannot be used for purchasing Gift Cards or Licenses. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Limit 1 coupon per Customer. Valid Dec. 31, 2019.


Chesnimnus/Chad Dotson

OHA News & Views Who says 10 bucks won’t go far anymore?

By Amy Patrick, OHA Outreach Coordinator The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Sept. 13 approved the requests of petitioners seeking to ban marten trapping west of the I-5 corridor. Additionally, a ban on all mammal trapping within the Dunes National Recreation Area The vote and a prohibition of traps signals a or snares suspended in trees within the Siuslaw broader and Siskiyou National concern Forests were also impleregarding mented. all trapping Despite ODFW staff in Oregon. recommendations and multiple testimonies by OHA staff, Oregon Trappers Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, and Oregon Forest & Industries Council, the commissioners voted 4-3 to uphold the petition filed last year by several activist groups. The vote signals a broader concern regarding all trapping within Oregon in light of California’s recent move to ban all trapping within the state and New Mexico’s ban on trapping in two national forests. OHA continues to support trapping as an important wildlife management tool.

OHA pays out $600 in 3 TIP poaching cases In the last two months, OHA has issued three checks totaling $600 from the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Reward Fund involving five fish and wildlife violation cases. Charges included: Hunting Game Mammal Prohibited Area, Failing to Immediately Validate Big Game Tag, Borrowing Big Game Tag, and Unlawful Take of Salmon. A warning was issued for Lending a Big Game Tag.

By Karl Findling, OHA Lands Director The BLM Malheur Field Office is proposing to amend the 2002 Resource Management Plan (RMP) for public lands within southeast Oregon, a planning area of 4.6 million acres – larger than nine states. A 2010 settlement agreement is the impetus for three management issues being resolved: management for lands with wilderness characteristics, OHV travel management, and grazing permittee relinquishment. Comments for other management concerns are not being considered. OHA weighed in before the public comment period deadline. OHA believes that Alternative D, created by the diverse Southeastern Oregon Resource Advisory Council, is the best balance of multiple use and protections for this vast landscape. OHA asked BLM to consider the effects of its proposed No-Action Alternative, which follows a decades-old plan that has not shown to have made improvements in the three issues above.

OHA reviews proposed Ochoco trails project The nearly year-old Ochoco Trails Strategy Group recently met in Prineville with the Ochoco National Forest acceptance team. The group presented the final draft and plans, looking for the go-ahead for the three separate trail networks for the Ochoco Mountains bike trail system, a planned three-trail network with trails separating equestrian riders, hikers and mountain bikers. OHA and other groups are evaluating the placement and potential conflicts with wildlife. Increasing human impact on wildlife on public lands is a growing concern for OHA.


Annual Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation Oregon Hunter is published bi-monthly for the members of non-profit corporation Oregon Hunters Association, P.O. Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501, by publisher and editor Duane Dungannon, and is sold on newsstands statewide. In the past year, of the average 14,913 magazine copies published each issue, 10,043 were paid subscriptions, 2,112 were sold on newsstands, 317 were outside-county as stated on Form 3541, 13 were other classes mailed through the USPS, and 2,425 were not distributed, demonstrating 97% paid and/or requested circulation. In the preceding issue, 14,900 magazine copies were published, 10,042 of which were paid subscriptions, 4,316 were sold on newsstands, 380 were outside-county as stated on Form 3541, 17 were other classes mailed through the USPS, and 142 were not distributed, demonstrating 97% paid and/or requested circulation.

In Memoriam

Contributions made recently to the OHA Memorial Fund In memory of KEN ELLIOTT from Robin Baker In memory of BRYCE MITCHELL & DON SCHALLER from Stan & Kay Varuska

Send contributions in honor of loved ones who loved wildlife to: OHA Memorial Wildlife Fund P.O. Box 1706

OHA Ladd Marsh memorial overlook/Jim Ward

Commission bans OHA weighs in on SE Oregon Resource marten trapping Management Plan in W. Oregon

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

A KUIU camo Howa 1500 rifle is one of the premium guns featured in OHA’s 2020 Gun Raffle Calendar, on sale now at

OHA gives away a gun a week in Gun Calendar Raffle! Got yours? Last call! OHA is giving away a gun every week to winners in the 2019 OHA Gun Calendar Raffle. The first gun, drawn Jan. 2, was a Nosler Custom M-48 won by Clayton Solberg of Warrenton. A new winner is announced every week on OHA’s website and Facebook page. Not entered? Not a problem. Buy your 2020 OHA Gun Raffle Calendar now at and don’t miss out next year. See details on Page 38 for your chance to win 1 of 53 guns!

OHA State-Level Sponsorships Please support the sponsors who support OHA’s mission of protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.

PLATINUM Coastal Farm & Ranch

Les Schwab Tires


2019 OHA Gun Calendar Raffle winners so far:

2-Jan – Clayton Solberg, Warrenton, Nosler M48 Custom .270 WSM 9-Jan – Kimo Arruda, Gales Creek, Ruger 10-22 16-Jan – Lester O’Dell, Baker City, OHA-engraved Howa 1500 6.5 Creedmoor 23-Jan – David Dias, Hillsboro, Browning Buck Mark .22 fluted target pistol 30-Jan – Corey Ryder, Crooked River Ranch, Remington 870 shotgun 6-Feb – Braedon Bailey, McMinnville, Tikka T-3 SS synthetic .300 Win. Mag 13-Feb – Bill Jackson, Pendleton, Henry Golden Boy .22 20-Feb – Chris Krumland, Eugene, Smith & Wesson SD 9mm VE pistol 27-Feb – Terry Fox, Dallas, Savage .17 HMR with a laminated thumbhole stock 6-March – Darrell Brummett, Junction City, Howa 1500 KUIU camo .22-250 13-March – Bob Schoenky, Hillsboro, Ruger 10/22 20-March – Scott Nations, St. Helens, Smith & Wesson SD 9mm VE pistol 27-March – Travis Kirkland, North Bend, Remington 870 shotgun 3-April – Brandie Glasgow, Klamath Falls, Weatherby Vanguard Lazerguard 10-April – Mary J. Bennett, Redmond, Henry Golden Boy .22 17-April – Jeff Paradis, Hubbard, Browning Buck Mark .22 fluted target pistol 24-April – Brady Hill, Baker City, CZ over/under 12 gauge 1-May – Tom Debrie, Crabtree, Smith & Wesson SD 9mm VE 8-May – Joy Kind, North Plains, Howa 1500 KUIU camo 6.5 Creedmoor 15-May – Travis Kingsford, Prineville, Ruger 10-22 22-May – Troy Ott, Prineville, Browning A-Bolt synthetic .30-06 29-May – Kari Schultz, Brookings, Remington 870 shotgun 5-June – Brian Calabro, Grants Pass, Remington Model 7 SS synthetic 6mm 12-June – Linda Hammerich, Bonanza, Henry Golden Boy .22 19-June – Tyler Wilson, Hermiston, Smith & Wesson SD .40sw VE 26-June – Gordon Waibel, Hillsboro, Savage .17 HMR thumbhole 3-July – Lindsay Nokell, Bend, Henry Big Boy .45 LC 10-July – Charlie Cookson, Bend, Remington 870 shotgun 17-July – Doug Meredith, Myrtle Creek, Ruger 10-22 24-July – Lori Haury, Bonanza, CZ .17 HMR lightweight wood stock 31-July – Lakota Lawson, Dallas, Browning Buck Mark .22 fluted target pistol 7-Aug – Paula Churchill, Roseburg, Remington 700 M40 long range 7mm Rem. 14-Aug – Bryce Denfeld, Salem, Henry Golden Boy .22 21-Aug – Robert Russell, Portland, Smith & Wesson SD .40 SW VE 28-Aug – Mike Templeton, Prineville, Savage .17 HMR lite synthetic 4-Sep – Frederick Pick, Bemidji, MN, Winchester Model 70 Sporter 7mm mag 11-Sep – Troy Mace, Beaverton, Smith & Wesson SD .40 sw 18-Sep – Trevor Cook, Gaston, Ruger 10-22 25-Sep – Ryan Hackett, Trail, Remington 870 shotgun 2-Oct – Scott Jones, Scotts Mills, Stoeger auto 12 gauge, 3-1/2” camo shotgun

Sig Electro Optics

SILVER Nosler, Inc.


TGB Outfitters

Legacy Sports International

BRONZE Chinook Winds Casino

Green Mountain Grills

Sportsman’s Warehouse

Traeger Grills

Pronto Print

For information about OHA state-level sponsorship opportunities, call the OHA State Office at (541) 772-7313.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019





G UN C ALENDAR R AFFLE 2020 Enter for a chance to win 1 of 53 gun prizes! A gun every week in 2020! Values $289-$1,700!

Chances $50 each. 2,000 offered.

Each purchased chance to win includes:

4 2020 OHA Gun Raffle Calendar 4 1-year New OHA membership

(for buyer if not a member; or a gift membership – may not be used as renewal or toward pledge life membership).

4 $20 Sportsman’s Warehouse coupon Drawing: Dec. 18, 2019, 2 p.m., OHA State Office, 804 Bennett Ave., Medford, OR.

Need not be present to win.

Call OHA at 541-772-7313 or visit OHA’s online store at



ENTER AUG. 24-Dec. 31, 2019, at Medford store only Awards ceremony: Medford sportsman’s warehouse Jan. 25, 2020

Enter Your 2019 Elk, Mule Deer and Blacktail Trophies! Over $7,000 in Prizes Will Be Given Away! No Entry Fee Required! All entries must be submitted between 8/24/2019 and 12/31/2019 CATEGORIES: • Rifle Roosevelt Elk, 1,2,3 places • Rifle Rocky Mountain Elk, 1,2,3 places • Rifle Blacktail Deer, 1,2,3 places • Rifle or Archery Mule Deer, 1,2,3 places • Archery Roosevelt Elk, 1,2,3 places • Archery Rocky Mountain Elk, 1,2,3 places • Archery Blacktail Deer, 1,2,3 places • Woman’s Blacktail Deer Rifle or Archery, 1,2,3 places • Youth Blacktail Deer Rifle or Archery, one 1st place winner. PRIZES: • Adult 1st place $300 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift card, 2nd place $200 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift card, 3rd place $100 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift card. • Youth 1st place $350 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift card.

Alex’s Guide Service


License plate will fund safe crossing for Oregon wildlife


all marks the beginning of the migration period for deer and elk, which must cross major highways as they head towards wintering grounds. Between 2007-2017, ODOT documented 12,540 animal-vehicle collisions, including deer and elk. The actual number of collisions is higher, as many are not reported if there is minimal damage or no human injuries. Collisions with deer and elk tend to peak in October and November, when migration and breeding (the “rut”) puts wildlife on the move, making them more likely to cross roads.   Highway 97 south of Bend is a hot spot for wildlife vehicle collisions as it runs through a historical deer migration route. ODOT has worked with ODFW, the Rocky OHA has Mountain Elk Foundapledged tion, Oregon Hunters Association and others $111,000 to build wildlife crossings that allow wildlife toward to safely cross over or the next under this busy highway. Currently there Hwy 97 are two undercrossings near Sunriver that have crossing. reduced wildlife-andvehicle collisions by 90 percent since 2012. To the south, a third undercrossing is under construction north of Gilchrist and more are planned in central Oregon. OHA and its chapters have pledged a total of $111,000 toward the Gilchrist crossing, while the OHA Bend Chapter maintains the fences at Lava Butte.   Dedicated funds are critical for implementing projects to support safe wildlife migration. The non-profit Oregon Wildlife Foundation (OWF) is currently selling

The Oregon Wildlife Foundation is selling vouchers for a new Oregon license plate that will help fund safe wildlife crossings. Visit

Driving tips during deer migration

Two highway 97 crossings at Lava Butte where OHA maintains the funnel fences have decreased wildlife collisions by 90 percent. vouchers for a Watch for Wildlife license plate  featuring a mule deer and Cascade Range mountain in the background. OWF has a long history of providing grants for projects that benefit fish and wildlife in Oregon, including helping rid Diamond Lake of tui chub to restore the trout fishery and supporting the Bonneville Fish Hatchery Sturgeon Viewing Pond.   Once 3,000 vouchers are sold, the DMV will put the plate into production. OWF will award the annual monies raised from license plate sales to projects that help wildlife move safely within their range and between habitat patches. Examples of projects that could be funded with Watch for Wildlife license plate proceeds include not only traditional wildlife underpasses like those on Hwy 97, but others like the Harborton Frog Shuttle, an all-volunteer effort that transports threatened red-legged frogs along their migratory route across busy Hwy 30 in Northwest Portland.    Visit OWF’s website for more information,  


ODFW asks Oregonians to watch out for wildlife by being aware of the following: The deer breeding season typically lasts from late October to late November, increasing deer activity and the potential for deer to cross roads. During the next few months there will be fewer daylight hours and visibility will be challenged by darkness and winter weather conditions. Be attentive at all times, especially sunset to sunrise for any potential hazard on or near the highway. When driving in areas that have special signs indicating the possible presence of wildlife, please use extra caution. These signs are posted for a reason. Be cautious in areas with dense vegetation along the road or while going around curves. Wildlife near the road may not be visible. If you see one animal, stay alert for others nearby. When wildlife are near or on the roadway, reduce your speed and stay in your lane. Many serious crashes are the result of drivers losing control as they swerve to avoid wildlife. The same advice applies for smaller wildlife like raccoons – try to stay in your lane and do not swerve for these animals. They are less dangerous to vehicles than big game animals; losing control of the vehicle is a larger concern. Always wear your seat belt, as even the slightest collision could result in serious injuries.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

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NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST General Category Finalists

OHA member Mike Menasco of Martinez, Calif., claims an OHA Coast Knife and a place in the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest for this photo of himself with a moose he tagged last fall in the Yukon’s McKenzie Mountains with a .338 RUM.

Travis Rutz, OHA member from Prineville, wins an OHA Coast Knife and entry to the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest with this photo of Lane Rutz with pheasants taken in January at Gateway Valley Preserve.


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


Youth Category Finalists

OHA member JR Lorimor of Bend bags an OHA Coast Knife and a place in the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest for this photo of Jaret Lorimor, 12, with a three-point mule deer he took with a bow in August in the Upper Deschutes Unit.

Wild Billy Lake/Duane Dungannon

OHA member Kirstin Ornelas of Baker City scores an OHA Coast Knife and entry to the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest with this photo of Anna Ornelas with an elk she took in Baker County last New Year’s Eve – the final day of a five-month season.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST honorable mention

OHA member Mike Menasco of Martinez, Calif., receives honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself with a Roosevelt elk taken last fall in the Powers Unit.

Editor’s Note:

Some good photos were disqualified this issue for failing to follow rules regarding membership and high photo resolution. Please remember to read and follow the rules, and good luck!

Rainier OHA member Joe Hunt earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Parker and Griffin Hunt with a grouse taken during a 2015 deer hunt in the Starkey Unit.


OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

OHA member Joe Hunt of Rainier garners honorable mention for this photo of Becky and Griffin Hunt with Griffin’s Lake County antelope taken in August.

Ryder Sawyer, OHA member in Tenmile, earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself with a buck taken near home on a mentored hunt with his grandfather.

OHA member Dylan Marsh of Eagle Point earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself with a bruiser blacktail he took in the Rogue Unit in 2015.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019


Klamath Marsh/Duane Dungannon

OHA member Avery Varner of Salem earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of herself with a central Oregon black bear she bagged in August.


Taxidermy by Tubbs

By Uncle Geddy

Under the Sign

Here’s your sign

of the



worked out a deal with Tubbs where I bring him interesting pieces of driftwood he then turns into pedestals on which he mounts mergansers and mallards and other web-footed creatures. In return, he lets me hang out in his taxidermy studio and drink coffee. Thus employed, I was at Tubbs’ Taxidermy when Dr. Ivory, my dentist, brought in a bear. And it was a great one, six-feet-five from nose to tail. Brownphase. White blaze. A good first bear, but the tooth doc didn’t seem inclined to share his story. Curious, I thought, for I had given him good advice, just a few weeks before. He asked me to come early to Charlie’s Fish & Chips, said he needed some help getting his first bear and said he would make it worth my while. I knew what that meant. It meant he would buy an appetizer and the first pitcher of root beer and then remind me to floss. Then there would come a time for me to wax eloquent on a theory I’ve been working on – using the Zodiac to plan hunt strategy. We sat down to a basket of clam strips and one of Charlie’s special tartar sauces. A little too much dill for my taste, but Ivory, the dentist, was buying. And whining. Six straight seasons, he said. Even his wife had killed a bear, but he had yet to notch a tag. He wanted to know the secret. “I’m a Pisces, see?” I offered. He looked like he didn’t see. Maybe he didn’t believe me. But I am. I was born in the third month of the year under the sign of the fish. It never seemed important until I began to think about it. I went back through my journals and found my best bear hunts take place close to where bears fish, where fish live, but there is more to it than that. 46

Little Sassy is a Libra, which is represented by a line that appears to meander, like a river with a horseshoe bend. So when we hunt together, we hunt near rivers that wind around. She got her first deer that way, I explained. “Don’t you see? Everyone is different. Each person has to hunt to their strengths.” “Let’s say T. Roy is a Gemini,” Ivory said, “so?” “The twins. A Gemini needs to pair up with someone. He or she is going to be successful more often when hunting with a partner. Two-man drives. One person calling, the other watching, you get what I’m saying.” But that’s not all there is to it. A person needs to consult the Chinese calendar as well. For instance, in the year of the Rat, the quarry is likely to be cunning and good-humored. In the year of the Dragon, the intended prey could be dangerous, and forest fires can come into play. Let’s say a person is hunting bear in the year of the Pig. The hunter is a Scorpio. Best strategy is to find a food source and set up a ground blind. The animal is likely to be gluttonous. That is his weakness. Scorpio strikes from a hiding place. If a person is born under the sign of Cancer – the crab – the hunting strategy is to go slow, take small steps, but be prepared for quick bursts of activity. This is the still-hunter, who takes one step and looks around, searching with his eyes, using binoculars more than his feet. Libra? The Scales. Hunt on switchback trails or meandering streams. That’s Lil Sassy, she’s a Libra. She shot her first deer in a winding creek bottom. The next year, she got a deer in the same place. Also, the Libra cares about balance, about justice. The Libra cares so much that sometimes the Libra lets the Pisces get the first shot or take the biggest trophy. Libra and

Pisces make a great power duo. Especially for the Pisces. Aries? The goat. What do goats like? They are brash or they are gentle. They trust in their instincts. They’re successful when they use their eyes and trust their nose. And they can climb. They get up the mountain and back down again with the trophy. Taurus? The bull is at home on flatter ground and he (or she) can be aggressive and charge ahead and be full of IT. “I’m a Leo,” Ivory said. A Leo. The lion. This Leo had hunted six years and still had not bagged a bear. I stuttered something about watching from high places. “Lie in wait. Be ready to act quickly – to pounce.” Ivory, the Leo, was not happy with my advice. “So what year do the Chinese tell us we’re in now?” Ivory asked. “It’s the year of the Goat,” I said. “A really good time to get a brown – or redphase bear. And your best color is purple.” “I’m not wearing purple.” And that was the conversation I remembered while I watched Ivory and Tubbs drag the bear inside. A good taxidermist is required to account for every trophy that comes through the door. I sat in the corner, sipping Tubbs’ coffee and watching Ivory, the Leo, squirm while Tubbs asked questions. “On what day did you shoot it? What county were you in? Can I see the tag?” The Leo had to walk back out to his truck to get the tag and I followed him out. “First bear. Brown-phase, too!” “I didn’t shoot it,” he said. “My wife did. It’s her second. This is her tag.” “Lemme guess. She’s a Gemini.” “Mmmm.” “Needs a helper. I’m guessing she was wearing purple?” “Mmmhmmm.” I’d watched enough public television specials to figure it out. “And Leo, the lion, waits while the female makes the kill.” “Mmm.” I figured this would be a good time to share a bit more insight. “Next year is the year of the Red Fire Monkey, which means…” Another thing about Leos is they are easily aroused to anger. I had to floss to get the pieces of driftwood out of my teeth.

OREGON HUNTER, November/December 2019

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Oregon Hunter - Nov/Dec 2019  

Oregon Hunter - Nov/Dec 2019