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$3.95 SeptemberOctober 2019
Oregon Deer! • Blacktail • Muley
Last call to comment on Big changes in big game regs
Game bird forecast
Gun storage initiative back from the dead
Bowhunting elk country
Oha gives away a gun a week! Get yours!
• Cascade elk • chukar chances • Roadless ruffs
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Work Sharp Oregon Hunting Quiz: Know this spot? You could win a Work Sharp!
Blackpowder blacktails on the coast and perspective when you’re bowhunting in elk country
vol. 37, No. 5
Oregon Afield: The latest on Cascade elk, chukars and roadless ruffs
16 Oregon Game Bird Forecast By Jim Yuskavitch Oregon’s fall outlook should have bird hunters looking up. 24 Hunting Oregon’s Own Blacktails By Scott Haugen If you want to match wits with a trophy blacktail, there’s no place like home. 28 How to Pick an Oregon Muley Unit By Gary Lewis Success rates and percentage of public land are the key factors in the equation.
OREGON AFIELD 10 CASCADE ELK: You need every edge to be successful in this hunt 10 RUFFED GROUSE: Roadless ruffs offer a different approach 11 CHUKARS: Outlook has chukar hunters liking their chances
DEPARTMENTS 6 FINDING DIRECTION
Hatching Hope: The fall forecast for game birds will have hunters looking up
Hunters again lead conservation
8 OREGON HUNTING QUIZ
Know Oregon? Win a Work Sharp!
8 HUNTING CALENDAR
Don’t miss your tag sale deadlines!
12 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Gun storage initiative back from dead
Oregon’s overlooked Chetco hunt
Perspective in Oregon’s elk country
20 OHA IN ACTION All Hands, All Brands for Public Lands
Special Deer Section: The best deer hunting Oregon has to offer from east to west
22 GAME ON THE GRILL 32 YOUNG GUNS
Nosler Photo Contest: Give us your best shot, and we might give you a Nosler Custom Rifle!
Put some pep in your game pepperoni
Chocolate buck makes a sweet trophy
34 OHA NEWS & VIEWS
Last call to comment on regs changes
36 SPOTLIGHT ON POACHING
Preference points are popular rewards
38 OHA CHAPTER NEWS
OHA chapters to host youth bird hunts
40 ASK ODFW
Urine scent ban starts Jan. 1
41 NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST
Your best shot could win a Nosler rifle!
46 PARTING SHOTS The Used Dog Salesman Cover: Mule deer photographed by Dennis Kirkland, HisImages.com
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 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 Ken McCall, OHA Vice President
John .C McFarland III
Effort to provide safe wildlife passage again puts hunters on leading edge of conservation
unters are some of Oregon’s and America’s most ardent conservationists. Recent controversy surrounding Gov. Kate Brown’s nomination of hunter James Nash to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission may give the false impression to many that hunting and wildlife preservation are mutually exclusive concepts. The Oregon Hunters Association is a statewide organization with more than 10,000 conservation-minded sportsmen. Since 1983, we have been advocating for wildlife, enhancing habitat and passing along Oregon’s proud hunting heritage. The word “conservationist” should not be only applied to environmental groups. The media and public may be surprised to know how often our priorities align with those organizations. We have worked to keep the Elliott State Forest in public hands and have fought to preserve access to places like the Owyhee Canyon, Ochoco Mountains and monuments in southern Oregon. One of our most pressing priorities is the improvement of habitat and the protection of migration routes for Oregon’s big game species. Oregon has robust and economicallyimportant populations of migrating mule deer, elk, and pronghorn that are facing habitat fragmentation and loss due to development and road building. These animals’ migration patterns intersect roads, posing danger to wildlife and motorists. The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates there are 7,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions per year, resulting in $44 million in vehicle damage, 700 people injured and two fatalities. A proven way to address safe passage for wildlife and humans alike is to identify and conserve the migratory habitat that big game species rely on while also building wildlifefriendly crossings where that habitat intersects with our busy roads and highways. Wildlife crossing structures, fencing, underpasses and other transportation design options result in fewer collisions, fewer injuries, and healthier populations of wildlife. In areas where the state transportation department has worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to install these options, such as U.S. 97 in central Oregon, we have seen an 86 percent decrease in wildlife-vehicle collisions. This success shows we must do more on wildlife corridors, and we are. Gov. Brown just signed House Bill 2834, the Wildlife Corridor and Safe Road Crossing Act, which guides the state agencies for fish and wildlife and transportation to work together in prioritizing wildlife-related infrastructure needs that will also reduce risks to drivers. This law is a great start, and there are ample opportunities to collaborate with the federal government on this issue. Just last year, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior issued an order that directs the Department of the Interior to work in collaboration with western states to identify and conserve migration corridors. The state has an opportunity to take advantage of the federal government’s commitment to this issue and give critical feedback on ways that wildlife friendly infrastructure can be better addressed in federally supported transportation projects. The governor stands in a unique position to connect the dots between two great, budding initiatives at both the state and federal level. By leveraging our state’s expertise on both wildlife migrations and transportation planning, we can improve our habitat conservation goals while also improving the safety of our roadways. Oregon hunters are ready to work with all parties to conserve our wildlife and improve their habitat. Conservation and hunting go hand in hand. Let’s make sure that is the narrative and the legacy that folks know about. This article first appeared on OregonLive.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTMASTER: Send changes to Oregon
Hunter, PO Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Win a Guided Elk H on The Nature Conservancyâ€™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 www.oregonhunters.org/store 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.
Work sharp OREGON HUNTING QUIZ Helping sharp Oregon hunters hold their edge
Know Oregon? Win a Work Sharp! e er n? Wh rego O in
2. What is the weight of a large adult billy Rocky Mountain goat? a) 200 b) 300 c) 400 d) 500 3. A benchleg is a: a) deer b) elk c) banded bird d) population objective 4. Pronghorn antelope primarily shed their horn sheath in which month? a) September b) October c) November d) January 5. What is Oregon’s deepest lake? a) Waldo b) Crater c) Klamath d) Odell 6. Which is a fish duck? a) merganser b) wigeon c) scoter d) bufflehead
WHERE IN OREGON
WAS THIS PHOTO TAKEN? You don’t see this sign on every corner. Name the location, 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 oregonhunters.org, where a larger version of the photo appears. One entry per OHA member. Entry deadline: Sept. 20, 2019.
SEPTEMBER 14-15 OHA Pioneer Chapter Sight-In Days, Canby Rod & Gun club, 503-710-1233 SEPTEMBER 20 Fall turkey drawing results available; general fall turkey tags go on sale SEPTEMBER 21-22 OHA Pioneer Chapter Sight-In Days, Canby Rod & Gun club, 503-710-1233 SEPTEMBER 27 Tag deadline for rifle deer, bear and cougar SEPTEMBER 28 Rifle deer season opens OCTOBER 5 Seasons open for chukar, pheasant, E. Oregon quail, Hungarian partridge and E. Oregon fall turkey OCTOBER 12 Cascade elk hunt opens
8. Which bird is native to Oregon? a) turkey b) sharp-tailed grouse c) chukar d) pheasant
OCTOBER 15 W. Oregon general fall turkey season opens; fox season opens
b) canvasback d) fish duck
10. Which unit is entirely within Harney County? a) Whitehorse b) Steens Mountain c) Wagontire d) Beatys Butte
SEPTEMBER 7 OHA Chapter banquet: Umpqua 541-430-7324 SEPTEMBER 14 Lake County guzzler project 541-417-1750
7. Where are you most likely to see an antelope in the Trask Unit? a) Mt. Hebo b) Carlton Lake Refuge c) east end d) a tavern
9. A spoonbill is a: a) northern shoveler c) bluebill
SEPTEMBER 1 Seasons open for forest grouse, mourning dove, W. Oregon quail
OCTOBER 19 Cascade buck rifle season reopens; OHA Lake County duck and goose boxes, 541-417-1750
LAST ISSUE’S WINNER: Karl Adams, Hermiston
Karl’s name was drawn from among the OHA members who recognized Lookout Mountain in Baker County.
ANSWERS: 1-b; 2-b; 3-a; 4-c; 5-b; 6-a; 7-d; 8-b; 9-a; 10-b.
OCTOBER 19-20 OHA Klamath Chapter youth chukar hunt, 541-643-7077 OCTOBER 23 Rocky Mountain elk first season opens OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Warner sunset/Duane Dungannon
1. In 1980, Oregon’s mountain goat population was 75. What is it now? a) 300 b) 900 c) 600 d) 1,200
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
OREGON AFIELD Keno Unit/Photo by the author
Bone up for Cascade bulls
he bad news for Cascade elk hunters is success is still low. The good news is tags are available over the counter, and you only need one bull. So if you didn’t draw a controlled elk tag, make the most of your 2019 Cascade elk hunt by doing your homework. The winter of 2017–18 was drier and warmer than normal. Most places were dry at the start of last fall and 150 wildfires burned thousands of acres throughout Oregon. This should create quality habitat moving forward. There were fires on the Umpqua, Rogue River, Winema, and Siskiyou National Forests. Dan Etheridge, assistant Rogue District biologist, shared preliminary spring counts and stated that the data “didn’t show well.” Rogue Unit bull ratios were “pretty poor at 8 per 100 cows, which was
Bow or rifle, you need a solid work ethic or a lot of luck to take a bull in the Cascades. disappointing for us,” he said. ODFW has difficulty finding bachelor groups at higher elevations in thick timber, so keep that in mind. I’ve already seen dandy Rogue Unit bulls on cams. Etheridge reported good green-up in burnt areas of the Seven Lakes Basin in Sky Lakes Wilderness. How that will hold up come fall remains to be seen. Central Oregon experienced a long winter. ODFW published shed hunting guidance out of concern for wintering herds, but according to Deschutes District
Wildlife Biologist Corey Heath, elk fared just fine. Heath’s district includes the Upper Deschutes, Metolius, Paulina, and Northwest Fort Rock areas. Spring flights showed calf ratios are good at 32/100, district wide. Metolius was better at 41/100. Herd numbers are increasing west of Highway 97, although bull ratios are low, district wide, especially on the west side. According to ODFW’s most recent big game forecast, elk numbers in recent years are lower on most of the public lands in the Evans Creek, Rogue, and portions of Dixon units. Cascade general elk season success has been roughly the same over recent years with Evans Creek success up slightly to 10 percent and the Rogue Unit slightly up at 4 percent. That’s still poor. Densities are higher in Dixon and Indigo, especially on the west sides near Powers and Melrose where numbers are close to management objectives. Elk hunting should be about the same there. Most private timberlands are closed until after fire season, so get familiar with access policies. Scout the wilderness. Hunt cover adjacent to openings created by clear-cuts or wildfires. Think edges. Access is the key. —Jason Haley
Roadless ruffs – another approach
Photo by the author
Your best friend can help you find birds – dead or alive – in western Oregon’s thick backcountry.
here was a time when wherever I went in Oregon’s Coast Range for the Sept. 1 grouse opener, I would be alone, but no more. In fact, I encounter more upland hunters in the Coast Range during the early season than any other time during the five-month hunting season. Just think – all of the logging roads lead to the same place – upland hunters targeting the same grouse cover, the same edges. Even if I do not see another hunter, it is likely that another hunter has been through the area and pushed the birds. Grouse are birds of edges. These birds inhabit space between thick and thinner cover. Study the maps, scout the forests, and develop a game plan to hunt grouse in locations away from the logging roads. Modern day technology now gives us a high resolution satellite view of our hunting areas. Think Google Earth and the ultra-portable apps like onX Hunt. Do some desktop scouting with Google Earth and then use onX Hunt with boots on the ground at hunting areas.
Coast Range lands are covered by timber company clear-cuts of various ages. Look for adjoining tracts of more recent cuts and mature forest. I also look for groves of hardwoods, or any deciduous tree zones within the coniferous Coast Range forests. I find birds in this thicker, early-season cover. Early-season birds are always near sources of water. I map out and scout waterways as potential paths to grouse. Creeks are my corridors to the grouse cover I mapped out. Often new cover is discovered along the way. Many times, I find one grouse, then find grouse coverts unknown to other hunters. I continue my path along the creek, eventually breaking off to climb up to higher ground and the transition areas between younger clear-cuts and mature forest mapped out earlier. A GPS device while on these creekside hikes is essential. Roadless ruffs, and the solitude, sounds and a wild bird in hand resulting from arduous efforts bring more satisfaction than any bird I can drive right up to. —Glenn Zinkus
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Photo by the author Signs point to a good season for chukars.
Commission ad sales help for Oregon Hunter magazine. Work as little or as much as you like. Contact Editor & Publisher Duane Dungannon at DD@oregonhunters.org
Liking chances for chukars
iven the fairly mild weather in 201819, I hope to see a bump in upland harvest from this low number,” said Mikal Cline, ODFW Upland Game Bird Biologist. Areas around Juntura, Vale and Ontario are prime for quail and chukar. Look for water sources where birds will congregate and feed nearby. I’m always more worried about rattlesnakes early in the season, not only for myself but for my pooch. There are quite a few, and hunters need to be aware while hunting during warmer weather early on. Bird numbers are said to be very stable, with the weather and good amounts of moisture we have had throughout this past spring. Additionally, the reports indicate good vegetative growth on seed-bearing plants that chukars and Huns need to thrive. National Forest and BLM lands are my favorites to hunt, especially because access to private lands may be restricted in September and October due to fire danger. However, later in the year, private timber can be abounding with birds. Throughout the early season, most upland birds can be easier to find, as they are not spread out and will hold better. However, hunting late you will likely find fewer birds, many of which will not hold well and will run out ahead of your drives and dogs. Blocking works well, and when hunting in snow, you may also find birds kegged up in dense cover. Walking or hiking through thick brush or up rocky hills in pursuit of coveys of feathered game can be taxing on the body, so remember to pace yourself. Remember to leave a wing or head on birds as evidence of sex and species. (Previously, only a head was permitted as evidence.) Remember to check http://www.eregulations.com/oregon/hunting/game-bird/ for regulations in the area you plan to hunt. —Troy Rodakowski OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
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By Al Elkins
OHA supported a bill that will develop a wildlife corridor and safe road crossing action plan for use by state agencies.
By Al Elkins, OHA Lobbyist Alvinelkins@yahoo.com A new ballot measure has been submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State: The “Safe Gun Storage” Ballot Measure 2020-040 states: 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 by saying 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. You can find a copy of the ballot measure here: http://oregonvotes.org/ irr/2020/040text.pdf This ballot measure is basically the same as Ballot Measure 44 from 2018. OHA and our allies were successful in the Oregon Supreme Court in stopping that before it got to voters. It is also similar to parts of SB 928 that was defeated in the 2019 Legislative Session. The gun owner would be responsible and liable for a stolen gun even if it is locked up. Like earlier attempts, there is no reference at all for stiffer penalties for those who actually steal guns. “Ban Home Defense” should be the title of this ballot measure because it requires that your self-defense firearms be locked away. OHA will be working with gun
rights advocacy groups to help defeat this ballot measure. Stay tuned; the fight has just begun (again). If this measure gathers enough signatures, it would appear on the November 2020 ballot. FINAL LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP The 2019 Legislative Session is over. Here is one last look at the status of the bills OHA was following throughout the Session. BILL UPDATES Bills Passed and Signed • HB 3035 Poaching Penalties: This is the bill we have been working on with OSP and ODFW to increase maximum penalties for wildlife violations. Update: This bill has been signed by the Governor. • HB 2834 Safe Wildlife Passage: Bill requires ODFW, in consultation with Department of Transportation, to develop Wildlife Corridor and Safe Road Crossing Action Plan for use by state agencies. OHA has testified in favor of this bill. Update: This bill has been signed by the Governor. • HB 2069 Unallocated Big Game Tags: Removes requirement that State Fish and Wildlife Commission issue leftover game mammal hunting tags to anyone first-come, first-served; allows ODFW to restrict leftover tags to those who have not drawn a tag. Update: This bill has been signed by the Governor. • HB 2294 Commercial Urine Products: Bans any commercial product that is designed for luring, attracting, or enticing cervids. Goes into effect January 1, 2020. Update: The bill has been signed by the Governor.
Gun storage initiative roars back to life
• HB 2068 Percentage of Nonresident Tags: Increases percentage of nonresident tags that can be issued for hunting of black bear, cougar and antelope within areas that may be issued by drawing. Update: This bill has been signed by the Governor. • SB 5510 ODFW Budget: The Governor’s ODFW budget did not include funds for the anti-poaching campaign that the Legislature mandated in a budget note OHA requested last year, so OHA lobbied to get those funds restored to the budget. Update: This bill has been signed by the Governor. • HB 2841 Information Disclosure: This bill allows ODFW to refuse disclosure of information relevant to department ability to manage or protect described fish or wildlife species or individual members or populations of species. Exempts information from disclosure as public record. Update: This bill has been signed by the Governor. Bills That Died • SB 978 Gun Sales & Storage Restrictions: SB 978, the gun bill that was introduced this legislative session, is dead as a result of a compromise reached by Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats. • HB 3118 Cougar Bill: Authorizes expanded use of agents for cougar removal. Update: The bill died in Committee. • HB 2293 Residency Requirements: Amends residency requirements for purposes of licenses, tags and permits related to wildlife. Update: The bill died in Committee. • SB 723 Coyote Hunting Contest Ban: Update: The bill died in Committee. • HB 2361 Multi-year Resident and Nonresident Hunting Licenses: Requires the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to establish and prescribe fees for multi-year resident and nonresident hunting licenses. Sets agent fee for issuance of each multiyear license at $5. Update: The bill died in Committee. • HB 2566 & 2082 ATV licensing and registration: Died in Committee. • HB 2072 Game check stations: The bill died in Ways and Means.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
There’s no break
Dennis Kirkland, HisImages.com
in this fight.
Gun control activists are back to finish what they started last year, wolf advocates want no management of this apex predator whatsoever, and developers are setting their sights on some of Oregon’s critical habitat. Please support us in protecting our heritage.
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black powder By Gary Lewis
Blackpowder Blacktails in the Chetco
hirty-seven tags. One of them could have been yours. That’s how many deer tags ODFW allocated for the 2019 season in the Chetco Unit’s late season muzzleloader hunt. With approximately 60 people applying for this hunt each year, it offers a hunter with zero points something better than a 50 percent chance to draw the tag. It’s a pretty good bet with one point. But that’s not the best thing about this hunt. With 82 percent public lands, the Chetco Unit offers better access than any other unit west of the Cascades. The Chetco is located the farthest away of any unit from the Portland/Salem area, too, which makes it less likely to gain a big following. And, in the shadow of the Applegate Unit, which posts better harvest success numbers, it does not attract the attention from out-of-state hunters. Bounded by the Rogue River on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the west, Highway 199 on the east and the California border, the Chetco takes up some of the most remote backcountry in western Oregon, including the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Good jumping-off points include Gold Beach, Hunter Creek, Pistol River, Brookings, O’Brien, Selma, Grants Pass and Agness. Because there have been major fires here in the last 10 years, deer numbers could be higher in some of the old burn areas. Scout online to find burns. Google Earth can provide some clues as to fires that burned three or four years ago and where the forest is filling back in. Another
Try this overlooked hunt for the best public access in western Oregon
No other unit west of the Cascades offers more public land than the Chetco. resource is the GEOMAC wildland fire support website at www.geomac.gov. The GEOMAC site provides information on current fires and containment which can hold clues for the future. For next season’s scouting, click up the EcoWest interactive map at https:// vis.ecowest.org/interactive/wildfires.php then zoom in on Oregon. This is where we go back four years to look at the fires that burned in the Coast Range. Slide the toolbar back to 2016, then click on a fire in the Fires List, and look for wildfire incidents in the Chetco. Now click on a fire and select the “Zoom in to fire” box. This will provide a burn footprint. An animation shows where the fire started and how it spread. Do this for each of the last five years throughout the unit. Another way to find habitat improvements in deer country is to find thinnings. To find the latest information on thinnings, contact the Forest Service and the nearest BLM office and ask for a report on thinnings in the last three to eight years. It’s high-tech scouting and it can put a hunter way ahead of the game by focusing in on the places deer want to be.
Chetco blacktails in the high country are likely to migrate farther than blacktails in other parts of western Oregon. These migration routes are in use during the muzzleloader season, and because this hunt takes place during the breeding season, big blacktail bucks are more likely to show themselves during daylight hours. This is the time of the year when rattling with a pair of shed antlers can bring a buck on the run. Starting in the second week of November, the hunt typically runs through the end of the month (see the Oregon Big Game Regulations for exact dates each year). Harvest success comes in at something less than 30 percent, but this data is deceptive when compared to the nearby Applegate Unit, because the Applegate hunt allows antlerless deer as part of the bag limit, while the Chetco is a buck-only hunt. Put that in your pipe, er, muzzleloader and smoke it. For 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, September/October 2019
Bowhunting Perspective on the other 30 days
sat on the cool, damp wood of a debarked lodgepole pine and mused at the metaphor that its life represented. It had begun as a seed that had found its way to the forest floor, upon which it managed to find a suitable landing spot. In time and against all odds, it had managed to grow. It grew large and strong, until its base was nearly 2 feet in diameter. This world has a very interesting juxtaposition in which the largest and most formidable organisms on the planet often succumb to the very smallest of creatures. Tiny beetles had killed this tree, and the vicious winter wind which it had once withstood, finally toppled it over. It had been a very slow year in elk woods. Nearly 30 days had gone by with very little elk activity. Perspective is often the best thing that the elk woods do for us. Even in times of relative boredom, it gives us a chance to ponder our lives, a moment to put our cell phones down and close our laptops. That said, when the switch flips and the elk woods come alive, it provides an unrivaled experience. A bull squealed across the draw. I jumped into action and my brain shot back to the present. I navigated the rest of the steep north slope until I hit an elk trail that skirted around toward a wallow I had hunted in the past. The bull was reaching the bottom below me with intentions to cross onto my side. I caught the movement of a cow moving up the hill ahead of me. She had beaten me to the spot, and the bull would as well if I didn’t act quickly. I rushed forward another 50 yards and ducked behind the base of a giant white fir. Ever so softly, I let out a timid mew. Nothing. Had he made it past without me seeing him? I mewed again. The seconds ticked at half their normal cadence. Without warning, he screamed from the other side of the tree, and as he stepped forward, I saw his eye guards coming out of the thick reprod a mere 20 yards away. I leaned into the fir trunk and drew
Photos courtesy of the author
By Chad Dotson
Down time while bowhunting affords you plenty of opportunity for perspective and pondering. simultaneously as he walked out into the open. He stopped to smell the trail that he was sure the cow he had just heard had travelled. As I settled my pin, he looked up directly at me, but it was too late. The arrow was on its way. He ran back through the bottom of the shallow draw from which he had come, and as he began to climb the other side he expired in sight. I had just harvested my first archery elk. I sat down and reflected. The gravity of the moment was epic. Elk hunting is hard. Elk hunting with archery equipment is really hard. So, what is it about archery elk hunting that we love? Truly, if the only thing we loved was the moment we sent that arrow toward the vitals of a bull, would any of us bowhunt elk? What about the other 30 days of the season? We do it for the same reasons the steelheader stands in the river for hours on end with numb fingers – for the same reasons that the whitetail hunter will sit in his stand hour after hour and day after day until his back aches and legs tingle. We do it because we enjoy seeing a great grey owl perched on an old growth white fir. The smell of the damp forest undergrowth reminds us of walks with our grandparents. The steelheader loves to watch the riffles dance by and the low murmur of the river drowns out the ticktick-ticking of the computer keyboard in his mind. He enjoys watching dippers hop from rock to rock searching for aquatic insects. The whitetail hunter observes the tree squirrels busily gathering food for the winter and realizes he literally gets to watch the world go by around him. We find solace in these places and in these wild creatures, and the perspective it gives us we cannot repay. I encourage
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
everyone to learn the names of the small forest birds that flit about as you pass by, and to recognize the foliage, the flowers and the trees. It all works together to enrich our experience while in the field. It’s the other 30 days that make that singular moment a complete experience. But by all means, when that bull screams a challenge bugle and steps out to stare holes through your soul at 20 yards, don’t think of the western tanager you saw the day before yesterday. Live in the moment, because the moment is epic.
Hatching Hope Oregon’s fall game bird forecast is looking up. By Jim Yuskavitch
espite heavy late winter snowstorms that hammered much of Oregon, along with a cold spring, for the most part upland birds managed to get through it all with minimal negative impacts, although there are exceptions here and there. In general, predictions for upland bird and waterfowl hunting will be similar to last year. Forest grouse are an exception, with populations high in the Cascades and Coast Range, while their desert counterpart, sage grouse, are struggling with declining numbers. Although it will probably not have much impact on sage grouse hunting opportunities this year, it is a long-term conservation concern. Based on the Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife’s spring breeding duck surveys, it looks like it will be an average year for duck hunting, while Canada goose populations remain high throughout most of the state. Here’s an overview of what ODFW biologists around Oregon have to say about game bird populations and prospects for the 2019-20 bird hunting seasons. Pheasant While the most reliable pheasant hunting opportunities these days are the fee hunts at Denman, E.E. Wilson, Fern Ridge and Sauvie Island wildlife areas, there are still a few places in Oregon where you can pursue wild birds, mainly east of the Cascades. North-central Oregon in the Heppner and Pendleton areas still have reasonably
reliable wild pheasant populations. In the Heppner area, local ODFW district wildlife biologist Steve Cherry reported, “I have been seeing more pheasants than I have seen in awhile.” The Ontario-Vale area is another wild pheasant stronghold, although hunting success depends on picking the right locations. Ontario-based district wildlife biologist Phillip Milburn explains that in the core valley area, pheasant populations are doing poorly, mainly because modern farming practices leave little cover and food for the birds. These days, you will mostly find them along river corridors where they have better habitat or on the increasingly rare agricultural lands that do provide adequate cover. There are also some wild populations on the Malheur OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Numbers of white-fronted geese, shown here in Klamath County, are nearly twice the management objective. Photo by Randy Shipley (wrshipley.zenfolio.com)
National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding agricultural lands, some of which are open to public hunting through the ODFW Access and Habitat Program. Tom Collom, ODFW district wildlife biologist in Klamath Falls, notes that there are some wild birds in the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area, but says that most of the best hunting is for put-and-take birds released by Unlimited Pheasants. Quail According to Sam Dodenhoff, ODFW assistant district wildlife biologist in Central Point, valley quail are doing well and the population is fairly steady, especially on the Denman Wildlife Area and along the fringes of agricultural lands where the birds find good habitat. OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Tom Collom reports that valley quail are doing pretty well in his district, particularly in the Cascade foothills where there is lots of sagebrush and bitterbrush. In the John Day area, valley quail are also doing well and came through the winter in good shape. “Quail tend to hunker down in bad weather and do OK,” said local district wildlife biologist Ryan Torland. Overall, he is seeing an upward trend in upland bird populations in his area. In the Heppner area, Steve Cherry said, “quail have been increasing over the past three or four years, and I have been seeing a fair number of broods.” Milburn, in Ontario, reports seeing smaller broods this year but expects they will do reasonably well as range conditions have been excellent with enough moisture to produce
insects but not so wet to freeze chicks. Hines-based assistant district wildlife biologist Autumn Larkins reports good numbers of valley quail in the High Desert, although she notes there has been a slow decline in populations in recent years. Mountain quail seem to be doing pretty well throughout their Oregon range. ODFW assistant wildlife biologist Dave Nuzum in Tillamook, along with Dodenhoff in Central Point and Collom in Klamath Falls, all report healthy populations in their districts. Forest Grouse Forest grouse seem to be doing well, and are even on an upswing in many parts of the state. Nuzum noted, “We have heard more sooty grouse during our surveys than we have ever had in the past.” Populations
Jefferson County/Ken Klock look good on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. “We had a wet, cold spring but that didn’t seem to affect them very much,” said Central Point-based Dodenhoff. A good spring on the east slope of the Cascades in the Klamath Falls area was also favorable to grouse. “Sooty grouse are all through the Cascades and there is a good population,” said Collom. Sage Grouse The news is much less rosy for sage grouse. Larkins, in Hines, reports that ODFW surveys in the High Desert found a 45-percent decline in the number of male sage grouse attending leks this spring. Large wildfires in the High Desert in 2012 also damaged substantial areas of prime sage grouse habitat that will take decades or longer to recover, which is contributing to the birds’ troubles. Ontario biologist Milburn also reports a downward trend in sage grouse populations in his district. Chukar Based on good range conditions in the Ontario-Vale region, Milburn thinks it could shake out to be a decent to good year for chukar hunting out his way. Steve Cherry in Heppner also reports that chukar numbers have been up in his area for the past few years. Larkins is less optimistic for the High Desert, where chukars have been struggling since the hard winter of 2016. “They will come back but it’s not going to happen overnight,” she said. “It will take awhile.” Ryan Torland in John Day is also a little pessimistic about birds in his area due to difficult winter conditions. “I’m expecting fewer chukars this year,” he said.
Wild Turkey Wild turkeys are doing very well just about everywhere there are populations in the state. “Every year we see turkeys in new areas that indicate the population is expanding,” said Dodenhoff in Central Point. Turkeys are doing so well in John Day that they are shipping some off for damage control to the Klamath Falls area where they are being released into the Keno Unit. “We know we have annual production because we see jakes harvested without leg bands,” said Klamath Fallsbased Collom. Doves and Band-tailed Pigeons Band-tailed pigeon populations are stable in the forest habitat they prefer, especially around mineral springs. Tillamookbased Dave Nuzum notes that he sees and hears them regularly when he is out and about in the field. Oregon has good populations of mourning doves, but hunting opportunities depend more on when the first cold snap arrives that drives most of them south. Ducks and Geese ODFW spring breeding pair surveys found that it will likely be a good year for resident duck production. “I expect that we will have a full waterfowl season,” said Nuzum in Tillamook, “with lots of mallards and wigeons, which is our bread and butter for duck hunting.” For the southwest part of the state, Dodenhoff predicts duck hunting opportunities to be average. In the Klamath basin, Collom expects to see good fall hunting opportunities for resident ducks. Larkins notes that most of the duck hunting on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is also primarily for resident birds.
Sprague Unit/Duane Dungannon
Oregon’s abundant valley quail offer one of the state’s most overlooked upland opportunities.
According to Steve Cherry, most duck hunting opportunities in north-central Oregon are along the Columbia River, primarily for migrants, making waterfowl hunting in his region better later in the season as winter storms drive birds down from the north. On the Snake River, duck hunting tends to improve when the Grande Ronde and Baker valleys freeze up, sending the birds eastward looking for open water. Canada goose populations are high across the state, and increasing in some areas, offering lots of hunting opportunities, although usually on private lands. However, as goose numbers increase and do more damage to crops, farmers and ranchers have been more open to allowing hunters on their properties. Brandon Reishus, ODFW Migratory Game Bird Coordinator, reports: Duskys had a good spring populationwise and good production this summer. That is welcome after several years of declines since we closed the check stations. Cacklers are similar to last year, with breeding counts at just over 200,000. That means the bag limit for Canada geese in the Northwest Permit Zone will not increase this season and remains at 4 per day (duskys closed). At deadline there was still no word on production on the Yukon Delta, where all of our cacklers and most white-fronts
Forest grouse are faring well in Oregon. This sooty hen had a nearly grown brood with her in August, just three weeks before this fall’s Sept. 1 season opener.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Contributions made recently to the
In memory of BRYCE MITCHELL from Bryan Cook
Wigeons are doing well along Oregon’s coast, where they and mallards are “the bread and butter.” originate, or any population estimates or production from Wrangel Island for snow geese. White-fronted geese are down from last year, but the 3-year average remains twice the population objective of 300,000. Pilot biologist reports from the USFWS’s spring survey (https://www.fws. gov/birds/surveys-and-data/populationsurveys/aerial-ground-crew-blog.php)
indicate that conditions in the prairies of Canada were fair to poor. Oregon receives a good portion of its migrant waterfowl from Alberta, and to a much lesser degree Saskatchewan, so we would expect fewer birds winging this way from the prairies this fall. But conditions improved in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories, which is good news for us.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Send contributions in honor of loved ones who loved wildlife to: OHA Memorial Wildlife Fund P.O. Box 1706 Medford, OR 97501
OHA Ladd Marsh memorial overlook/Jim Ward
Douglas County/Willy Onarheim
OHA Memorial Fund
By Eric Brown
All hands, all brands help our public lands
ore than 75 volunteers from several different conservation-minded sportsmen’s organizations, including OHA, turned out in force June 21-23 for “All Hands, All Brands for Public Lands,” a rendezvous-style gathering and work party in the Ochoco National Forest. Projects included fence repair and replacement with wildlife-friendlier fencing around aspen stands. The work is vital because aspen stands across the West are not regenerating due to impacts from domestic cattle and wildlife. New projects were discovered and planned for next year’s event. Volunteers were treated to a potluck dinner and raffle Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning. Various conservation organizations provided booths, raffles and donations. Bend and Capitol Chapter members showed up at Sugarcreek Campground
Ochoco moon/Duane Dungannon
OHA in ACTION
More than a half mile of fencing was constructed to protect aspen and riparian areas. paved walking trail that is on both sides of Sugarcreek at the campground. Several of the guzzlers that the Bend Chapter maintains were cleaned and/or repaired. On Thursday those present went to the two projects on Sunflower and prepped the perimeter where the fence would be installed by cutting out trees and brush, hauling rock for rock jacks and bringing in other materials needed for the projects. On Friday the same thing was done at the
Archery and rimfire events offered a break.
Volunteers finished the projects in short order. as early as June 16 and then every day after in order to put out information signs, a kiosk with maps and locations of projects, dispersed camping signs, and to make sure the campground was ready for all the attendees. Debra Brown spent six hours removing the pine needles from the
Salter’s project, while other members went out and maintained guzzlers. Archery and .22 shoots offered a break on Friday afternoon. A raffle was held for both events on Saturday. Groups headed out Saturday to the Salter’s and Sunflower projects, while a smaller group repaired broken poles at two buck-and-pole projects near the Sunflower sites. All three projects were successfully completed by midafternoon. Saturday evening offered a potluck and prize drawing that featured donations from participating organizations and sponsors, including Legacy Sports, Leupold & Stevens, Sig, Benchmade, Work Sharp and many more. Evening events also included short talks with participating organiza-
By The Numbers
79 people attended the event. 70 volunteers worked on projects. 38 participated in the archery event. 46 participated in the .22 event. 754 volunteer hours at the projects. 474 hours driving to the event & back. 3,200 feet of fencing constructed. tions, followed by music and song by Chad Marks-Fife (USFS) and Mikal Cline (ODFW). Participating organizations included OHA’s Bend, Capitol, Ochoco, Tualatin Valley, Yamhill County, Emerald Valley, Mid-Willamette and Union-Wallowa chapters, as well as state OHA staffers. Others included Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Work Sharp, ODFW, USFS and even outgoing Fish and Wildlife Commission member Holly Akenson. Volunteers built a lot of fence, and that alone was a success, but this project was much more than that. Monty Gregg, Ochoco USFS Wildlife Biologist, has for the past several years mentioned wanting to do a project like this. Monty, who is a past winner of OHA’s Conservationist of the Year Award, expressed a desire for different organizations to come together and learn about each other and show what we as a collective group can accomplish. Monty’s vision became a reality, and this project was a huge success. Feedback from those at the project has been positive, with many saying that they would like to come back next year.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Game on the Grill By Tiffany Haugen
Put pep in your pepperoni TiffanyHaugen.com
epperoni can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Be it from a big game animal or game bird, make sure the meat is cleaned. Making good pepperoni does not mean relegating poor quality, dirty or bloodshot meat to do the job. Once you have the techniques and equipment mastered, the flavor possibilities are endless when it comes to making pepperoni sticks. Using ground pork with wild game meat keeps the pepperoni sticks from drying out too much. The pork also acts as a neutralizer for taming wilder tasting meats like waterfowl. When making pepperoni, keep things simple the first few go-rounds, and then get creative by adding unique seasonings and different meat combinations. If you want to taste-test the flavors before stuffing the casings, simply fry up a sample in a small pan. Flavors can be amped-up by adding more seasonings or made milder by adding more ground meat to the mixture. Be sure to keep track of exact ingredients so you can replicate your creation.
Good pepperoni starts with good meat – you get what you put into it.
1 pound ground wild game 1/2 pound ground pork 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 1/3-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/3 teaspoon pink curing salt 19mm pepperoni casings Remove all fat and silverskin from wild game and grind in a grinder using the medium grind plate. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours. Secure sausage attachment to a grinder or jerky gun. Stuff the barrel of the gun with pepperoni mixture. Cut casings to desired length and slide on to the horn of the jerky gun. Fill casings and twist ends or pinch together to keep meat mixture from coming out. Place pepperoni sticks in a smoker set to 185º. Smoke 6-12 hours or until pepperoni sticks reach an internal temperature of 160º. Replace smoke chips up to 3 times during the smoking process. If desired, pepperoni sticks can be smoked 3-4 hours and finished in a 160º oven or food dehydrator. Keep pepperoni sticks refrigerated up to a week. Vacuum seal and freeze for longer term storage. For signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Big Game, send a check for $20 to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order at www.scotthaugen. com. Watch Tiffany online at Cook With Cabela’s, and check out her blog for more great recipes. 22
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OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
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OHA T-shirts in Realtree camo. Short sleeve no pocket XL $15, XXL $17. Long Sleeve with pocket L & XL $18, XXL $19.
Order at oregonhunters.org or call 541-772-7313
Oregonâ€™s Own Photo Essay by Scott Haugen
If you want to match wits with a trophy blacktail on his turf, there’s no place like home.
started hunting Columbia blacktails at the age of 12, near our home on the McKenzie River. My dad and grandmother, both avid blacktail hunters, were with me when I took my first buck, on the first morning of that hunt. Though it was my first blacktail hunt, it was far from my first blacktail experience. Like many Oregonians growing up on the west side of the Cascades, I was carried into the blacktail woods on the shoulders of my grandfathers and father. By the time I was old enough to hunt these grand deer, I knew what to expect, or so I thought. As of today, 43 years after taking my first blacktail buck, I’m still not sure I know what to expect when it comes to hunting these elusive deer. Having written hundreds of articles and a book on the topic of hunting black-tailed deer, what I’ve discovered is there’s always something new to learn. Every year I learn something, and acquiring knowledge isn’t just limited to hunting season. For dedicated blacktail hunters, Were it not for learning about these secretive deer is a year-round passion. The two most humbling tools when it comes trail cameras to learning about blacktails could be trail cameras and dogs. Nothing and my dogs, reveals more about blacktail numbers, I’d have given ranges, movements, behavior and age classes as a trail camera, especially when set on video mode where clips up on many can be observed, not merely looked blacktail bucks. at. Dogs trained to locate and retrieve blacktail sheds also reveal how many bucks may reside in an area. Were it not for trail cameras and my dogs, I’d have given up on many blacktail bucks. The last record class buck I arrowed came after more than 125 hours of hunting him, and that didn’t include the countless hours of off-season scouting. Trail cameras kept me optimistic on this quest. Last season marked my third in a row of chasing one of the largest blacktail bucks I’ve ever seen. I first saw the buck while scouting in the summer. I hunted that buck in the fall, making a near perfect stalk before a fellow hunter came rambling down the trail on a four-wheeler; I never saw the buck the rest of the season. The next year I caught one trail camera shot of the buck. Last fall I hunted the buck many times, but never laid eyes on it. In fact, I never caught a trail camera shot of it until late November. His large 6x6 rack, massive body, and squared chest are images I see in my dreams.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Annual antler cycle: from velvet to hard horn to shed. The best time to scout for blacktails is in the summer, when theyâ€™re in velvet and frequent open habitats.
Does and fawns are prime indicators of so many factors blacktail hunters want to consider when pursuing a mature buck.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Capturing the moment, then and now: Many families of blacktail hunters date back several generations in western Oregon. The stories they must have! This is the author’s family in the 1960s, following a morning blacktail hunt. Now hunters not only use their phones to take trophy photos, this fall they will be using them to tag their animals.
Someone recently asked, “If you had one animal to hunt, anywhere in the world, what would it be?” Without hesitation, I piped, “Blacktails!” Another person once quizzed, “If you had one hunt left in your life, what would it be for?” My answer was the same. The feverish addiction of hunting blacktails grows with age, I think because the older we get, the more we realize we truly don’t know about these incredible deer. Yes, we know a doe has a gestation period of about 200 days, but what we don’t know is why blacktail fawns can be seen dropping from May
through July. I think the blacktail rut is the least understood of all deer ruts in North America. This, and other information diehard blacktail hunters yearn to acquire, is lacking because there’s so little funding to study these deer. Blacktail hunters are a small fraternity, many of whom are very secretive themselves. Those hunters who do reveal findings, simply find joy in sharing with fellow blacktail aficionados. For serious blacktail hunters, success isn’t measured in filling a tag every season, as they know it can take years to outwit a single, mature buck. For
these hunters, the thrill, challenge, and continual learning is what drives them, which is why I stand by my words when I say, the best hunters I’ve had the honor of being afield with in many parts of the world are those who grew up hunting Columbia blacktails in the jungle-like habitat of the Pacific Northwest. For signed copies of Scott Haugen’s best selling book, Trophy Blacktails: The Science of The Hunt, send a check for $20 (free shipping) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489, or order online at www.scotthaugen.com.
Photo Captions: OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
How to Pick a Good Mule Deer Unit Study the regulations and a good map to find public land access. Now youâ€™re hunting mule deer with the numbers on your side. By Gary Lewis
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Dennis Kirlkand, HisImages.com
From the crest of the ridge, Ole was no more than 75 yards ast of the Cascades, when we want to hunt mule deer, we have to apply for the privilege. Sometimes it takes away. Foley’s 6.5 Creedmoor cracked, but the first shot was years to draw a tag. For nine years my 21-year-old off target. The big velvet buck tore full-tilt down the hill and daughter Mikayla had hoarded preference points. Foley knew he had one more chance at Ole. Stroking the bolt, swinging with the buck, he swung past Together we drew mule deer tags for the 2018 season. Then, while planning the trip, Mikayla informed me she it, squeezed the trigger and followed-through. The buck ran would only have two days to hunt before she had to go back to headlong, but its great antlers began to droop and the tips work. Two days to hunt after nine years of planning? OK then. of those velvet forks caught in the rocks and it somersaulted We would take two vehicles and she could go home early. to a stop. When we saw the buck, Ole was posed on the back of a Nine years is a long time to plan a mule deer hunt, and, along the way, she did draw a second-chance hunt for the truck. An inch of antler was broken from one tip. Foley, who hails from Milwaukie, had just taken what will Columbia Basin and that was where she tagged her first mule deer. On this hunt, we would go for a trophy. And we would probably be the biggest buck of his life. After a lot of whooping and hollering, we found a tape measure. be hunting a particular animal that the The buck’s ears taped 24 inches from tip outfitter had nicknamed Ole. If we didn’t I want to hunt units that to tip and its front hooves measured in at find the legendary velvet buck after two 3-1/4 inches, which is the length of a .30-06 days, well, that would constitute poor offer 40 to 60 percent cartridge. At their widest point, the antlers planning on her part. And that’s what 28-1/2 inches wide. Fully garagehappened. public land, where four or measured green-scored it taped to 179-1/8 inches, Mikayla was stoked to shoot a nice excluding the inch of antler broken in its forked horn buck on day 2 and she went five out of 10 hunters go headlong fall. home. I shot a wide 4x3 buck the next And the fact that its antlers were still day. That big buck we were looking for? home with a buck. Hmmm. encased in velvet meant it was one of the It gave us the slip. But another hunter in rarest bucks a rifle hunter could get. camp got a chance at it. Let’s look at some rifle hunts for mule deer in the controlled Like us, Kyle Foley had planned for several years to make a good hunt in the Silvies Unit with Diamond A Guides – Justin hunt drawing. and Nikki Aamodt. For most of three days, guide Allan Van Zant and Foley Mule Deer by the Numbers climbed the tops of the hills and looked into the same canyons we had been prospecting. Some of the best mule deer hunting in the state comes from Some 45 minutes before dark, Foley and Van Zant spotted units that provide summer habitat and hunter access with a three bucks together, any one of which would have been a good mix of private land and public ground. To my way of thinking, I want to hunt units that offer 40 tremendous trophy, but one of the bucks was still in full velvet to 60 percent public land, where four or five out of 10 hunters with five points on one side and six on the other. Foley was behind the gun at 513 yards, with a 143-grain go home with a buck. Hmmm. Deer numbers aren’t what they used to be, so let’s open up projectile in the tube and the safety off when Van Zant signaled a move. The deer were feeding over the top of the ridge. the field a bit. A unit with 30- to 50-percent harvest success should fit just fine. The rest is up to the hunter. The two hunters moved, closing the gap in a hurry.
Photos courtesy of the author With only two days to hunt, the author’s daughter was happy to tag this buck on the second afternoon. Pick up a copy of the 2019 Oregon Big Game Regulations and turn to Page 89, the 100 series hunt descriptions. The percentage of public land is listed for each unit, while the most current buck deer harvest numbers can be found online at https:// myodfw.com/articles/big-game-huntingharvest-statistics Access is the most important consideration to this part of the search. Contrary to what some would have you believe, much of the best hunting in our state is still on public land. Another thing to remember – a large unit might have a small percentage of public land but still can offer plenty of opportunity.
Of the Central area units, the Upper Deschutes, Paulina, Metolius, Maury and Ochoco units offer the most access. Over the last few years, the Maury and the Metolius have produced the most bucks and the highest number of bigger animals. The Grizzly Unit, though, should not be discounted just because it has a lower percentage of public land. Success rates in the Grizzly run close to 30 percent. In the South Central area, the Interstate Unit has 56 percent public ground with a success rate close to 40 percent. The Klamath Falls Unit has a high rate of harvest success, but the access is not as good, at 35 percent. It’s one to consider, though, for a hunter with a good working knowledge of the region. A number of units approach our sweet spot of high percentage of public land and high harvest success in the Southeast region. In no particular order, these are the
Foothills Taxidermy Preserving Hunting Memories
Malheur River, Owyhee, East Whitehorse, Beatys Butte, Silvies and Wagontire units. These are not difficult to draw with two, three or four preference points. Other important deer units in the southeast are the Steens Mountain, North Warner and Trout Creek Mountains units, which require more patience with the process. To hunt the Trout Creeks requires about 15 preference points or a good deal of luck. In the Northeast area, several hunts measure up. The Keating Unit is one of the best bets with buck harvest success percentages in the low 40s. But make sure your hunting buddies are in good shape before you plan a trip to the Keating, where the contour lines are closer together than just about any other unit. Other top units in this region include Murderers Creek, Wenaha, Imnaha and Beulah. You can try Snake River or Minam if you have horses. ODFW plans to simplify the regulations in the next two years, and that is likely to shift the way we look at the hunt offerings, but the data is out there. And hunters do better in units where there are more deer. That comes down to some very simple factors like predator control, high quality habitat, poaching enforcement and access. One important concept to keep in mind is that 10 percent of the hunters bag 90 percent of the trophy bucks. And those are the hunters who spend more time in the field. When you draw that tag, make sure to allocate a few vacation days. A day of scouting and one or two extra days of deer season can make all the difference. To contact author Gary Lewis, visit www. GaryLewisOutdoors.com foothillstaxidermybydangrace.com facebook.com/foothillstaxidermyoregon
P.O. Box 820
13825 NW Meadow Lake Road
Carlton, Oregon, 97111
Kyle Foley closed the distance to close the deal on this monster muley still in velvet. 30
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION
SEE WINNERS IN 2019 ON PAGE 35 AND POSTED EACH WEEK ON OHA’S WEBSITE & FACEBOOK!
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(for buyer if not a member; or a gift membership – may not be used as renewal or toward pledge life membership).
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By Shannon FitzGerald
Sweet chocolate buck
onty pushed the door open and stepped back into his restaurant. “Come check out this young girl’s buck!” he loudly insisted of the late-morning breakfast crowd. Jason Federico had signed up his 12-year-old daughter Sydney for Oregon’s Mentored Youth Program. On opening day, the father and daughter were sneaking up a draw toward her older brother, Davis. So far the morning yielded only a tiny buck, a doe and fawn, and one turkey. By 10 a.m. it was too hot to hunt, and they hung it up until late afternoon. That evening, Jason and Sydney were overlooking a narrow draw when they heard something below them. Jason quickly recognized the sound as the slow scratching and scraping of antlers against buck brush. “Sydney, wait right here,” he whispered. Carefully moving down the draw, he glimpsed a large buck, mostly concealed, pushing his way through the thick, abrasive undergrowth. There wouldn’t be time to get his daughter in position before dark. “Sydney you won’t believe the buck I just saw; it had chocolate-covered horns!” Jason reported to his daughter. “That’s the one I want!” Sydney said. “We’ll try and make that happen, but I can’t promise anything,” he said, trying not to discourage his daughter’s youthful optimism, while simultaneously implying the low probability of ever seeing the big blacktail again. Early the next morning – with his son still at a friend’s, and Sydney still likely worn out from opening day – Jason figured he would hunt by himself. Grabbing his coffee and gently pulling open the front door, he froze at the sound of his daughter’s pleading voice, “Daaad… don’t leave me!” For his daughter’s sake, Jason scanned the same hillside as the night before. Surprisingly, he locked onto a buck, and upon closer examination he was shocked to recognize the chocolate-covered horns a short distance from its position the previous day. Jason hurriedly ushered Sydney to a point she could use as a rest to shoot across the draw. “It only took like … half an hour!” Jason said of getting his daughter set up for the shot. The scope for Sydney’s .243 had not yet arrived. Jason, understanding perfectly his responsibilities to cultivate safe hunting practices, chose his next caliber up from the .243 – his .300 Winchester Short Magnum. He got Sydney set for the 140-yard shot across and slightly down the opposite side of the draw. Jason had just gotten set behind Sydney when she fired. Alarmed at her quick shot, Jason had serious doubts about its effectiveness, but to his surprise the buck went down and out of sight.
Sydney Federico took this sweet buck in the Mentored Youth Hunter Program. From the bottom of the opposite side of the draw, Jason could see the buck’s legs sticking straight up on a bench above him. He called his daughter over. They sat there beneath the buck and said a little prayer, giving thanks, while giving the buck a few more minutes. Sydney was excited to finally get her hands around the buck’s chocolate-covered antlers. Asked what she thought about her buck and the shot with the bigger gun, Sydney said, “That was pretty cool!” and the .300 Short Magnum mentoring tool “…didn’t hurt a bit.” “It does have a muzzle suppressor on it, and we haven’t noticed any permanent damage yet,” Jason joked. The day was heating up quickly, so they got busy before the chocolate horns melted. At the butcher, father and daughter were surprised when her buck dressed out to a heavy 126 pounds. Fortunately for Sydney, across the street from the butcher was her favorite restaurant and still time for a celebratory breakfast. After the owner saw Sydney’s buck and summoned the diners, 30 patrons piled out of the doors behind him, gathered around for a glimpse of her deer, and poured out buckets of adulation for the little girl who got the big deer. Meanwhile, Davis heard about his little sister’s big buck, and hunted until dark trying not to be outdone. But it remained Sydney’s day. Sydney got her buck from the taxidermist on her 13th birthday. After sending in a tooth, she learned her buck was 5 1/2 years old, which is perfectly aged for a chocolate birthday treat. OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
WANTED: HUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTORS
Remember the thrill of your first hunt? Do you have a passion for hunting that you would like to pass on to others? ODFWâ€™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
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 www.dfw.state.or.us OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
By Karl Findling, OHA Lands Director Karl@oregonhunters.org OHA is pleased to announce the conclusion to the Summit OHV proposal, with the federal government dropping its appeal process in June. OHA filed a lawsuit challenging the Record of Decision by the U.S. Forest Service to build an additional 137 miles of off highway vehicle trails on the Ochoco National Forest in critical elk habitat. “The Bend and Redmond chapters This is a big were initially conwin for wildlife cerned with illegal OHV use and enand habitat croachment into critical elk calving protections areas,” stated Jim going forward. Akenson, OHA Senior Conservation Director. “This is a big win for wildlife and habitat protections going forward.” OHA’s State Board, staff, and central Oregon OHA chapters had opposed the Ochoco Summit Trail Project since it was proposed in 2009. OHA and other groups, including ODFW, had been fully engaged in the public process to oppose adding 137 miles of OHV trails and roads in critically important elk habitat, citing the Forest Service’s own research in the Starkey Experimental Forest. OHA filed suit, and OHA’s Bend Chapter and RMEF contributed to legal fees. In the latest action, the Federal Government dropped its appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, ending the case and stopping the project. As a prevailing party, OHA will seek to recover legal expenses. 34
Comment now on proposed regs changes By Jim Akenson, OHA Sr. Conservation Director Jim@oregonhunters.org ODFW’s 18 public hearings held across Oregon on proposed big game regulation simplifications are now completed. The purpose of these meetings was two-fold: to inform the public of the status of big game in local areas, and for hunters to hear about and comment on the changes proposed for 2020 and 2021 big game seasons. With roughly 350 changes proposed, basically every hunter and form of hunting in Oregon will be affected – and certainly some aspects are positive, such as with more consistent start and end dates on hunts and season length increases, but others may not be positive. Everyone should comment to the Fish and Wildlife Commission and ideally make sure comments are submitted prior to Aug. 30, so they make it into the Commission packets prior to the Sept. 13 Commission meeting in Gold Beach. For more specific details on hunts and changes go to the ODFW website, under the Big Game tab, and enter: https:// myodfw.com/articles/proposed-changes2020-big-game-regulations How to Submit Comments: Email: email@example.com U.S. Mail: ODFW, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302. OHA members have provided state staff with input, given comments on Facebook, or participated in the OHA website survey. Pulling from this input, and input from the state board, here are some topics and thoughts to consider for your input: General elk damage hunts: How will hunters connect with landowners? Will there be a list available at ODFW district offices? Will ODFW follow up with a questionnaire on the effectiveness of these general cow elk damage hunts? Clarification on hunt boundaries and timing: These could be good, but do they all have to be applied in one year, or could the implementation process take an ad-
OHA prevails again in suit for Ochoco elk
OHA News & Views
Do you think making spikes legal in western Oregon deer rifle season and illegal in the few remaining “antlerless” hunts is a good idea? Email your thoughts on this and other proposals to the Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org
ditional year, or years, to implement and thus provide a chance for feedback and effectiveness assessment? Elk/deer distribution concerns: Given these species being increasingly skewed to private property use, it seems limited to only use expanded cow hunting to redistribute game. We have concerns about overall effect on herd numbers and moving or holding elk and deer on public land. This is a lot of change in short order: Will OSP enforcement be able to handle all the changes on the shirttail of electronic licensing going into effect? Recommend a slower and more methodical implementation process. Bag limit changes for blacktail deer: In an OHA website poll, nearly 70 percent of respondents opposed making blacktail spikes legal in general buck rifle seasons and illegal in “antlerless” hunts. Is this proposal based on blacktail-specific research? How do you know buck ratios can withstand this general-season harvest? Will this change have a review period? If you have questions or want to talk about providing Commission input specific to your hunt area concerns, feel free to email me at: email@example.com OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
OHA State-Level Sponsorships
A Browning Hells Canyon rifle is one of the premium guns featured in OHA’s 2020 Gun Raffle Calendar, on sale now at www.oregonhunters.org/store
OHA gives away a gun a week in our Gun Calendar Raffle! Got yours?
Please support the sponsors who support OHA’s mission of protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.
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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 www.oregonhunters.org/store and don’t miss out next year. See details on Page 31 for your chance to win 1 of 53 guns!
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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 Russett, Portland, Smith & Wesson SD .40 SW VE
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Green Mountain Grills greenmountaingrills.com
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For information about OHA state-level sponsorship opportunities, call the OHA State Office at (541) 772-7313.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
For poaching news as it happens, find OHA on Facebook
to report violations
Preference points prove popular for TIP Rewards
nformants who report wildlife violations now have the option of accepting big game preference points as a reward in lieu of cash, and many honest hunters are taking advantage of the opportunity to bag some preference points by helping police bag poachers. Since its creation in 1986, the Oregon Hunters Association’s Turn In Poachers (TIP) program, in partnership with ODFW and the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division, has been instrumental in helping catch and successfully prosecute poachers and other people who violate Oregon’s wildlife laws by offering cash rewards to anyone who provides information leading to their arrest and conviction. Last year, the law was changed to offer an option to receive big game preference points instead of a cash reward, and by all accounts, it’s proving to be popular. “It’s been very good,” said Lieutenant Craig Heuberger, OSP Fish and Wildlife Division TIP program administrator. “So far this year, we have had more requests for preference points than cash.” Heuberger estimates that of the approximately 50 to 60 people who have qualified for a TIP reward so far in 2019, 36 have opted for preference points. To be eligible for a TIP reward, a person must provide information that leads to a citation for illegal possession, killing or waste of deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, bear, cougar, wolf, furbearers and game birds. The process begins when someone reports a possible violation. An OSP Fish and Wildlife Division trooper will go into the field and investigate the incident. “If you report a poached elk, for example, and the trooper issues a citation, you then qualify for a TIP reward,” said Heuberger. The trooper will ask the person who reported the violation if they want their reward as cash or preference points. If the latter, OSP will send a report to ODFW, which will then award the preference points. Accumulating preference points in-
TIP awards for cash & preference points
creases the odds of a hunter drawing a controlled big game hunting tag, particularly for more desirable hunting areas where tags may be difficult to get. Rewards include $1,000 for cases involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose; $500 for elk, deer and pronghorn; $300 for bear, cougar, wolf or habitat destruction and; $100 for game fish and shellfish, upland birds, waterfowl and furbearers. Preference point rewards are 5 points for cases involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose or wolf and 4 points for elk, deer, antelope, bear and cougar. According to Heuberger, if someone qualifies for a reward for a case that involves several animals, they will receive the full number of points for one of the animals and an additional point for each additional animal involved in the case. “Clearly, preference points are a motivation for some people and more valuable than cash,” said OHA State Coordinator Duane Dungannon. “One of the benefits of offering preference points as an alternative to cash is that it will help our TIP fund dollars last longer. We probably have an additional $10,000 still available in our TIP fund as a result of some informants opting for preference points.” In 2017, OHA increased the TIP award amounts and paid out a record $24,200 to people who helped catch and convict poachers and other wildlife law violators. To report violations or suspicious activity contact TIP at 1-800-452-7888 or by e-mail at TIP@state.or.us. —Jim Yuskavitch
Cash Rewards: • $1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose • $500 Elk, Deer and Antelope • $300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf • $300 Habitat Destruction • $100 Game Fish and Shellfish • $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl • $100 Furbearers The TIP program also offers the option of ODFW preference point rewards instead of cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of big game mammals. Preference Point Rewards: • 5 points for reporting a case involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose or wolf • 4 points for reporting a case involving elk, deer, antelope, bear or cougar.
OHA pays out $1,700 in 5 TIP poaching cases In the last two months, OHA has issued five checks totaling $1,700 from the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Reward Fund involving five fish and wildlife violation cases. Charges included: unlawful take/possession of whitetail buck during closed season, bull elk, antlerless elk, turkey, and fish-closed area; angling prohibited method – snagging; hunting on enclosed lands of another; waste of a turkey; and aiding/counseling on a wildlife violation. An elk was seized and donated to the Union Gospel Mission in Salem.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
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BAKER Charlie Brinton (541) 403-0402 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Best Western Sun Ridge Inn; optional dinner 6 p.m. Update: Our chapter has awarded the 2019 Harold and Rojean Atkins Scholarship to Logan Brashler. BEND Bob Dixon (503) 572-2805 www.oregonhunters.org/bend-chapter Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m., Bend Golf & Country Club Update: The Wayne Elliott Memorial Youth Upland Bird Hunt will be held on Nov. 23; call 541-480-7323. Bend Chapter members volunteered at the Raise ‘em Outdoors camp June 14-16, staffed an information booth at the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Beer, Bands & Public Lands event in Bend on June 15, helped coordinate and attended OHA’s All Hands All Brands for Public Lands event in the Ochocos June 21-23, volunteered and staffed an OHA information booth at the NW Ladies Hunting Camp July 19-21 and 26-28. CAPITOL Ray Wurdinger (503) 585-4547 http://ohacapitol.webs.com Chapter Meetings: 4th Tuesday, 7 p.m., Marion County Fire Station #1, 300 Cordon Rd. NE, Salem. Update: Our chapter worked with the MidWillamette Chapter and Hancock Forest Management June 29 seeding and fertilizing near Newport. We staffed a table at the Rickreal Summer Gun Show June 8-9, and we joined other chapters and organizations at All Hands, All Brands June 21-23. CHETCO Wes Ferraccioli (541) 450-4100 Chapter Meetings: 5:30 p.m.; next meet-
Chapters to help host fall youth bird hunts A shotshell flies from a patriotic shotgun during the OHA’s Yamhill County Chapter’s Youth Shotgun Shoot held Aug. 11 at the Newberg Rod & Gun Club. The event helped kids sharpen their skills just in time for the openers of bird seasons and youth bird hunts in September. ings are Sept. 12 in Gold Beach at Panther’s Den Pizza and Oct. 17 in Brookings, place TBD. 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. Update: We have moved our meeting date to the 2nd Tuesday of each month. June 29 was our Youth Field Day at the Clatsop County Fair and Expo with 49 kids who received training in shotgun, rifle, archery, muzzle-loading, trapping, fly casting and survival skills, and a tour of our Connections with Wildlife educational trailer. Thank you to all volunteers and organizations that helped this year. In June the board voted to donate $1,000 to the Astoria Middle School Library to update their section on Hunting and Outdoors. Our Connections with Wildlife educational trailer has been busy throughout spring and summer with many trips to area schools and the OHA Chapter Leadership Summit at Diamond Lake Aug. 2-4. 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. Update: We have recently changed our name from Columbia Basin to Blue Mountain. COLUMBIA COUNTY Jordan Hicks (949) 533-7271 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Monday, 7:00 p.m., dinner 6:30 p.m., Kozy Korner restaurant,
371 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens. Update: Our chapter hosted a fencing work party at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area June 22-23. Our chapter picnic was at Bushmen Archers July 27. We will donate $700 to our local 4H group for clay targets and shooting sports ammunition, and $2,000 to ODFW for revamping shotgun shooting stations at Sauvie Island. Members staffed a booth at Rainier Days July 12-14. EMERALD VALLEY Tony Hilsendager (541) 729-0877 EmeraldOHA@live.com 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. Update: Chapter members joined the volunteers at the All Hands, All Brands for Public Lands habitat project in the Ochoco Mountains June 21-23. HOODVIEW Catherine Hamell (503) 358-7821 oregonhunters.org/hoodview-chapter Facebook: Hoodview OHA Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., Elmer’s, 1933 NE 181st Ave., Portland. Update: After a summer break, general membership meetings begin again Sept. 12. JOSEPHINE COUNTY Cliff Peery (541) 761-3200 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., Elmer’s Restaurant, Grants Pass. Update: The June general membership meeting was held at our annual campout at Willow Lake June 21-23.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
KLAMATH Allen Wiard (541) 884-5773 www.ohaklamath.webs.com Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., Shasta View Community Center. Update: We hosted a BBQ for Gerber Reservoir youth antelope hunters on Aug. 16, and a BBQ for 4H and FFA members at the county fair. The chapter purchased 300 birds for our Youth Chukar Hunt, to be held Oct.19-20; call 541-643-7077. LAKE COUNTY Tom Zarosinski 541-219-0614 Chapter Meetings: 1st Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Eagle’s Lodge, Lakeview. Update: June 29 was our 11th annual Youth Day, with 37 kids participating. Our next guzzler project is scheduled for Sept. 14; call 541-417-1750. We will work on duck and goose boxes Oct. 19; call 541-4171750. LINCOLN COUNTY Todd Williver (541) 648-6815 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m. meeting, location TBA. Update: We hosted the OHA State Convention on May 18. Our chapter held a youth day on June 2 and staffed a booth at the county fair July 4-7. 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. Update: Our chapter in July began hosting local area weekend hiking events to help get members enjoy getting in shape for fall hunting seasons, and we started Pints & Tines nights, a great opportunity for members to get together and discuss hunting, habitat, OHA and all things related.
OCHOCO John Dehler, III (541) 815-5817 Chapter Meetings: 1st Tuesday, 7 p.m., Room 1868, 152 NW 4th St., Prineville. Update: Our chapter proudly sponsored both Ladies Hunting Camp in La Pine, and a Heart of Oregon work crew for the Crook County area this past summer. OHA Ochoco Chapter members participated in All Hands, All Brands For Our Public Lands, the multi-chapter campout and habitat work party in the Ochocos June 21-23. PIONEER Bill Park (503) 730-7650 https://oregonhunters.org/pioneer-chapter Chapter Meetings: 1st Wednesday, 7 p.m., Canby Rod & Gun Club. Update: Members staffed a booth July1-4 at the Molalla Buckaroo PRCA Rodeo, and one at the Clackamas County Fair Aug. 13-17. Volunteers cleaned up our stretch of highway July 6, and we worked on duck boxes and guzzlers in July and August. Sight In Days are Sept. 14-15 and Sept. 21-22 at Canby Rod and Gun Club; call 503-710-1233. REDMOND Tim Van Domelen (541) 771-8383 oregonhunters.org/redmond-chapter Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, VFW Hall. Dinner and meeting starts at 6 p.m., board meeting at 7. ROGUE VALLEY Bryan Coggins (541) 601-9905 oregonhunters.org/rogue-valley-chapter Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 6 p.m. social & dinner, 7 p.m. presentation, Eagles Club, 2000 Table Rock Rd. Update: Our board voted to donate $8,000 for the Clarks Fork Fuels Reduction and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement project. We teamed with ODFW to put on a 3D archery shoot at Denman Wildlife Area July 28. We donated $2,000 to local Envirothon Team LOGOS, who just won the state competition, for their trip to the nationals in North Carolina. TILLAMOOK John Putman (503) 842-7733 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Monday, 7 p.m., Tillamook PUD.
TIOGA Marcey Fullerton (541) 267-2577 Chapter Meetings: 4th Tuesday, 7 p.m., 6 p.m. no host dinner, Puerto Vallarta restaurant, Coos Bay. Update: Family Outdoor Ed weekend was June 21-23. Volunteers met July 9 to clean our section of highway. We staffed a Coos County Fair booth and had a float in the parade. TUALATIN VALLEY Tony Kind (503) 290-6143 oregonhunters.org/tualatin-valley-chapter Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, dinner at 6 p.m., meeting at 7, Prime Time Restaurant & Sports Bar, Forest Grove. Update: Chapter members did a target shooting area cleanup project on the Tillamook Forest July 20. UMPQUA Tadd Moore (541) 430-6353 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, 7 p.m., Roseburg ODFW office. Board Meetings: 2nd Tuesday, same place. 2019 banquet: Sept. 7, Seven Feathers Casino, Canyonville, 541-430-7324. Update: Our chapter picnic was at Roseburg Rod and Gun Club July 18. Our banquet is at Seven Feathers on Sept. 7; call 541-430-7324. UNION/WALLOWA COUNTY Morgan Olson (541) 786-1283 Chapter Meetings: La Grande Library, next date TBA. YAMHILL COUNTY Bill Dollar (503) 804-2843 https://ohayamhill.com Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., 6 p.m. dinner, American Legion Hall, 126 NE Atlantic, McMinnville. Update: We had no general membership meetings in July or August, but start up again Sept. 12. Chapter volunteers staffed a booth at the St. Paul Rodeo July 2-6, at the Rack Stackers Women’s Only Hunting Seminar June 29, and the Yamhill County Fair July 30-Aug. 3. The following Sunday Aug. 11 we had our Youth Shotgun Shoot at the Newberg Rod and Gun Club. Our board has approved a $1,250 donation to Bullet Holes and Bullseyes 4-H club for the national shooting competition.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Ask ODFW By ODFW STAFF
Ban on urine scent begins Jan. 1 to guard against CWD
he 2019 Oregon State Legislature has passed a bill that bans the possession and use of commercial deer and elk urine scent lures that contain or are derived from any cervid urine beginning Jan. 1, 2020. HB 2294 was sponsored by Rep. Witt (D-Clatskanie) and is meant to reduce the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to the state’s deer, elk and moose populations. The typical scent lure mimics a female during breeding season and can attract a bull or buck to a hunter’s position or mask a hunter’s scent. Oregon’s ban is in keeping with a recommendation from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), urging states to ban cervid-based urine products to limit the spread of CWD. These products are also banned in several other states. Hunters or businesses who have these products should safely dispose of them by bringing them to an ODFW office. ODFW staff will arrange for any scents collected to be incinerated in an 1,800-degree oven, a temperature known to kill the prion that causes CWD. “It’s important that these products are not poured down a drain or on the ground,” said Colin Gillin, ODFW wildlife veterinarian. “We want to limit the prion that causes the disease from being deposited on the landscape.” About Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) CWD has never been detected in Oregon’s wildlife but has been found in free-ranging deer and elk in 26 other states including several western states.
Dispose of urine products at ODFW collection sites
in captive cervid facilities, and animals from these facilities are considered to be at higher risk for CWD for several reasons: Captive cervids are often moved extensively among facilities between and within states including states that have CWD; they are artificially concentrated behind fences which can more easily spread prions; the testing of captive animals Urine sold may be limited; some high commercially as fence shooter buck herds are a scent lure is not tested at all; collected from and equipment that may be con- captive cervid The disease is caused by a protein called taminated with facilities. a prion that damages the brain of infected the prion when animals, causing progressive neurological shared between disease and loss of body condition. CWD herds and farms provides a risk factor for moving CWD without moving animals. is untreatable and always fatal. The prions can spread through the ODFW has been monitoring the state’s animal’s body fluids (including urine, fe- deer and elk for CWD for years by testing ces and saliva) and through nose-to-nose harvested animals at checkpoints during contact between infected animals. Prions hunting seasons and roadkill carcasses, but shed through bodily fluids can bind to soil has never detected CWD within Oregon. minerals and remain infectious for long The state has also banned the import of any periods in the environment, spreading to deer, elk, caribou or moose part containing new animals for years as deer and elk come central nervous system tissue where the into contact with infected soil and possibly prions exist (such as whole heads or spinal columns) into Oregon. plants containing the prions. Urine sold commercially as a scent lure For more information about CWD, is collected from captive cervid facilities. visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/ Nationally, CWD continues to be found health_program/chronic_wasting/ 40 OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019 Wyoming Fish & Game
Wildlife managers want to keep Oregon’s big game animals looking like the elk above, not the elk below, which is infected with CWD.
NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST General Category Finalists
OHA member Michelle Crafton of Spray claims an OHA Coast Knife and a place in the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest for this photo of wintering chukars after a late snow.
Karl Donheffner, OHA member from Salem, wins an OHA Coast Knife and entry to the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest with this photo of himself with a bull taken last November in Wallowa County.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST
Youth Category Category Finalists
Kyle Paratore of Independence scores an OHA Coast Knife and a place in the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest for this photo of Cody Paratore with a Melrose Unit turkey.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Sprague Unit/Duane Dungannon
OHA member Joseph Hunt of Rainier bags an OHA Coast Knife and entry to the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest with this photo of Griffen Hunt with the dayâ€™s bag of mallards taken with dad in Columbia County.
NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST honorable mention
Nick Levine of Portland gets honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself and his dad David with a turkey Nick bagged this spring in Lane County.
Klamath Lake in a smoky haze/Duane Dungannon
Garrett Williams, OHA member in Tillamook, garners honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Brock Williams with a blacktail he tagged last fall in the Trask Unit at age 9 in the Mentored Youth Hunter Program.
Give us your best shot and we might give you a Nosler Custom Rifle! Enter your favorite photo in the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest at oregonhunters.org
Jeff Haga, OHA member in Estacada, earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Jacob Haga with a turkey he shot with a Remington 870 in the Keating Unit this spring after his uncle called the bird into range.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
Tillamook OHA member Jacob Rasmussen gains honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself with a turkey he took this spring in the Rogue Unit.
OHA member Dudley Nelson collects honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself with a mule deer he took with a Premium Tag last November.
Josh Scrocca, OHA member in Prineville, receives honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of his girlfriend Cheyenne with a Melrose Unit turkey she tagged this spring.
OHA member Joseph Hunt of Rainier earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Parker Hunt with a pair of shed elk antlers found in Union County.
OHA member Jon Duerst of Powell Butte garners honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this trail cam image of rowdy Wallowa County elk.
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
By Uncle Geddy
The Used Dog Salesman
t was the Ides of March, and I had just killed a Caesar salad with anchovies at Charlie’s Fish & Chips, when who should come over and sit down, but that old purveyor of the perches, Charlie himself. It is no secret that my old hound, Polyp, is getting older. I have been on the scout for another four-legger and word had gotten around to Charlie. He said he knew a breeder in Washington that specialized in versatile dogs. A few weeks ago, while I was in Washington on a bit of business, I took the opportunity to stop in and meet the fellow. Of course, he didn’t talk me into one of his puppies right off. He wanted to find out what kind of a hunter I was and what I expected out of a dog. “I’m looking for a versatile breed,” I told him, “a do-everything dog, maybe one that could trail a wounded bear, maybe one that would be comfortable around water in case I hunt ducks. Maybe I would like a dog that was good at finding shed antlers.” “That’s a lot of maybes,” he said. “What are you sure about?” I was sure I wanted a dog with a nose for quail. After bear seasons are over, I like to hunt birds. Now I am no expert, but I have bagged most of the species of quail and expect to complete the grand slam one day, and this dog would be the one I would hope to do it with. “It just happens I specialize in several breeds of versatile dogs,” he said. “But I think I have a dog you will like. She is a young German wirehair. I have been training her to work close and hold a point and not move until she hears the gun.” Now I have been around a few smooth talkers in my time and I noticed all the signs. He was trying to sell me a dog I hadn’t even seen yet. He scuffed his toe in the dirt, he hunkered down and finally I hunkered down with him. He took a stick and started drawing pictures in the dirt
with it and I found myself getting talked into the dog. “On the trail of a bear, she can follow week-old tracks by sight and she keeps her nose up in the air. If a bear walked down that trail two days ago, she will know about it.” This young female, he said, had been worked in the last three months on valley quail in Washington, on mountain quail in Oregon, on Gambel’s quail in Arizona and even caught a whiff of the Mearns’ within a stone’s throw of Mexico. “Never hunted her on those birds they have down in Dixie, but I’d guess she’d be good at those too. You’re going to be around here for a couple of days, so why don’t you just take her for a walk this afternoon? You will find she is just about the sweetest little German wirehair you’ll ever meet. ” The more I thought about what the breeder had told me, the better I liked the sound of this pup. It occurred to me that the Missus was a sweet little wiry hair herself with a bit of the old German. She might get along with this new pup better than the old model who has traded just about every positive trait he ever had in favor of scouting around the kitchen, sleeping all day and scratching. When I showed up at the kennel that afternoon, there was a liver-colored wirehair named Emma on a lead waiting for me. When I started away with her, she walked at heel, her head up, a little prance in her step, but she never strained against the leash. We walked down the street toward the park and when we got right up close to Bob’s Barber Shop, she started to get nervous, looking in the window. Suddenly she froze, locked on something she could see inside. Just then an old Ford Fairlane drove by on the street behind me, I could see it in the picture window reflection. The driver shifted and a ball of unburned fumes ignited in the tailpipe with a bang. Emma broke point and I walked her on down the street. When we arrived in the park, she spotted some pigeons and locked up again. The dog was birdy for sure. We walked back on the next street over so that I could see a different part of town. She was walking off the leash when suddenly she bolted across the empty street and stopped in front of a sporting goods
store. She barked until I got there. When I looked in the window, I saw a bear rug on the wall. She sure enough had a nose for bear. That old brownie must have been dead since before Burger King was a prince, but she had scented it from nearly a block away. The next afternoon, I had a couple of hours to spare and I went back and took Emma for a walk again. Same thing, we got downwind of Bob’s Barber Shop and Emma got birdy. Finally, I had to pull her off point and take her on past. On the way back, we walked without the lead and once I told her to “Heel,” she stayed right at my side. She was so well behaved I would have forgotten she was with me except for the little bit of pressure when she would bump against my leg. When I had walked past the barber shop, I became aware she was no longer alongside. When I turned around, I could see Emma, her left foreleg bent, her tail straight out, her nose pointed inside the shop. I have to say I was a little peeved. A guy wants a dog he can depend on and this wirehair had a problem with barbers to say the least. I walked back and put the leash on her just as the barber stepped through the door. He flipped the Open sign to Closed and turned his key in the lock. “Nice dog you have there,” he said. “You must be Bob,” I hazarded a guess. “That’s right, Bob, or rather, Robert. That’s what my mother calls me. Most everyone else calls me Bob. Bob White. Pleased to meet you, are you new in town?” “Just passing through,” I told him. “Sorry, I don’t need a haircut just now.” He tipped his hat. I clapped my hands and told Emma to heel and we walked back to the kennels. I guess I’d have bought that dog if she didn’t have that one little problem. You can’t have a hound that wants to stop at every salon and I told that used dog salesman so and took my leave. But if you’re ever up in Washington and you need a haircut, look up Bob White, I’d bet he’s a darn good barber. To de-skunk your dog, take a bath in an adult beverage then use tomato sauce. To make it more worthwhile for Fido, add sausage. For all other communications reach out to Uncle Geddy in care of garylewisoutdoors.com
OREGON HUNTER, September/October 2019
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