KNOW this mountain? you could WIN A WORK SHARP!
HUNTER Membership publication of the
Oregon Big Game Outlook
Oregon Hunters Association
$3.95 JulyAugust 2019
Big changes in big game regulations From salem: Good, bad & ugly bills Wolf PLAN APPROVED!
Bowhunting blacktails Blackpowder with no points singing the blues for forest grouse
WIN A DREAM HUNT FOR ELK ON ZUMWALT PRAIRIE!
Find Berries, find bears Get 6 issues a year of Oregon Hunter delivered to you when you join OHA!
OHA member and Nosler Photo Contest finalist Kyle Cham took this muley in the Whitehorse Unit.
Legendary Sheep hunter and Guide, Arctic Red River, NWT
Oregon’s 2019 big game preview: How will last winter’s weather affect fall hunting?
vol. 37, No. 4
Coquille Valley Ryan Gertken
Oregon Afield: Here are some hot summer tips for hunting burns, bears and coyotes
Blackpowder hunts with no points and scouting tactics for bowhunting blacktails
16 Oregon Big Game Preview By Jim Yuskavitch What will the cold, snowy winter mean to Oregon’s fall hunting season? 20 Desert Duet By Lance Sargent Father and son enjoy common ground hunting antelope in Oregon’s High Desert. 24 Singing the Blues in the Cascades By Scott Haugen A photo essay explores the habits and habitats of these different drummers.
OREGON AFIELD 10 SUMMER COYOTES: Why this is the hottest time of year to hunt 10 WHERE THERE’S SMOKE: Find good hunting in recent burns 11 BEAR: Take a bearing on food sources to find fall bears
Desert Duet: Father & son find common ground hunting high desert pronghorns
Photo Essay: Start the season on a high note singing the blues for forest grouse
6 FINDING DIRECTION
Know Oregon? Win a Work Sharp!
8 HUNTING CALENDAR
You’re invited to local OHA events
12 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Good, bad & ugly bills affect hunting
Hunts you can draw with no points
Tips for scouting trophy blacktails
28 GAME ON THE GRILL
Camp cooking for forest grouse
A family grand slam on Oregon elk
32 OHA NEWS & VIEWS
Oregon’s wolf plan is approved and big changes are proposed for big game regulations
Commission is at a crossroads
8 OREGON HUNTING QUIZ
30 YOUNG GUNS
Wolf plan adopted; regs changes due
38 OHA CHAPTER NEWS
Chapters slate projects, youth events
40 ASK ODFW
See proposed big game regs changes
41 NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST
Your best shot could win a Nosler rifle!
46 PARTING SHOTS Here’s Your Sign Cover: Nosler Photo Contest finalist Kyle Cham’s Whitehorse mule deer.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Medford (541) 732-3700
Portland (503) 777-8700
Salem (503) 589-0800
Bend (541) 693-5000
Hillsboro (503) 844-9100
Klamath Falls (541) 273-3000
Albany (541) 928-5400
Roseburg (541) 673-0200
By Jim Akenson
Walla Walla Unit/ODFW
The Commission’s vote to approve the revised Wolf Plan on June 7 serves as a good example of how OHA’s research, testimony and work with commissioners can pay dividends. See story on Page 33.
Changing of the guard puts Commission at a crossroads
he fact that most rulemakers in Oregon’s wildlife management are no longer hunters should wave red flags for us. In recent years, about half of the seven Fish and Wildlife Commissioners (Governor appointees) have been hunters, but the trend has been for less and less participation in hunting among commissioners. Recently, it looked like the tide was turning in this non-hunter trend with the initial appointment of James Nash of Wallowa County, who is an avid sportsman and a hunting and fishing guide by profession. The environmental extremists threw such a fit that the chair of the legislative committee opted not to move him forward to the Senate approval hearing. This was a bad sign for hunter representation on the Commission. So why did this happen? Simply, it was the opposition to social media photos OHA state and posted of Captain Nash shown with several African animals chapter leaders harvested legally, ethically, and as part of a sponsored hunt for disabled military veterans. Ultimately, we lost a good are trying to stay person to represent our interests as hunters. on top of issues So how do we regain effectiveness to protect our hunting heritage? The answer is better involvement with that influence our decision makers, which includes communication efforts hunting heritage, that educate them on the conservation accomplishments of but we need sportsmen. It is unfortunate that the term “conservationist” has been taken away from sportsmen by environmentalists. reinforcement from This has been a slow-but-constant change, with a lot of help the membership from under-informed media that perpetuate the myth that environmental extremists are conservationists. We prob- to make it ably will not change that inaccuracy, but we can change meaningful. the awareness of non-hunting decision makers. Most of OHA’s membership recognizes the value of a letter or email to the Commission, and that submitting comments two weeks prior to a given Commission meeting on a topic of concern is an effective method of communication. If you attend a Commission meeting, be sure to visit with the individual commissioners during a break or after the meeting. This gives you the chance to talk to them directly, comfortably, and more effectively by initiating a more personal dialogue. Our recent OHA approach for encouraging the Wolf Plan approval has been to arrange for individual phone visits with each commissioner. This is probably the very most effective strategy for input. It informs commissioners that we really care and that we have “skin in the game.” Apathy is our worst enemy, and a slow progression of change can lull us into an unintended acceptance. Your OHA state and chapter leaders are trying to stay on top of issues that influence our hunting heritage, but we need reinforcement from the membership to make it meaningful, and the time is now as we face a major change of the guard, with five of seven Fish and Wildlife Commissioners being new in 2019. 6
Editor & Publisher Duane Dungannon (541) 772-7313 Editorial Assistants Cynthia Martinich, Bret Moore State Officers President: Mike Ayers (541) 840-3723 Vice President: Ken McCall, (541) 602-1819 Secretary: Jason Haley (541) 601-8799 Treasurer: Mike Vallery (503) 538-8232 OHA Board of Directors Chair: Fred Walasavage (541) 296-6124 Northwest: Steve Hagan (503) 551-8645 Northwest: John Putman (503) 842-7733 Midwest: Paul Donheffner (503) 399-1993 Southwest: Vacant Southwest: Cindy Rooney (541) 430-4722 Northeast: Vic Coggins (541) 263-0335 Southeast: Gary Lewis (541) 317-0116 Southeast: Ralph Goode (541) 505-4826 OHA State Coordinator Duane Dungannon (541) 772-7313 Field Director Bryan Cook (971) 270-7035 Conservation Directors Jim Akenson, Enterprise (541) 398-2636 Karl Findling, Bend (541) 410-0538 Outreach Coordinator Amy Patrick (503) 949-9785 Lobbyist Al Elkins (503) 780-6824
Official publication of the Oregon Hunters Association, dedicated to wise management of Oregon’s huntable wildlife. United in protecting hunter interests in the state of Oregon. Our mission: Protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage. Oregon Hunter (ISSN 1545-8059) is published bimonthly by the Oregon Hunters Association for its membership and is sold on newsstands statewide. Membership rates are: Individual: $35 a year, $65 for two years, $90 for three years, $800 for lifetime, $10 for junior, $12.50 for full-time student; family: $45 a year, $80 for two years, $900 lifetime; business membership $75. Memberships include $5 magazine subscription. Periodicals postage paid at Medford, Ore., and at additional mailing offices. Oregon Hunter welcomes articles and photos pertaining to wildlife and hunting in Oregon. We are not responsible for unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped return envelope. Advertising media kits are available. OHA does not necessarily endorse advertisers, or goods and services advertised in Oregon Hunter. Address inquiries to OHA State Office, 804 Bennett Ave., P.O. Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501, (541) 772-7313, firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTMASTER: Send changes to Oregon
Hunter, PO Box 1706, Medford, OR 97501.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 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 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 and range from 320+â€?. 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. Need not be present to win. Drawing: 7pm, March 21, 2020, Josephine County Fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Rd, Grants Pass, OR
Work sharp OREGON HUNTING QUIZ Helping sharp Oregon hunters hold their edge
Know Oregon? Win a Work Sharp! 1. Sharp-tailed grouse were reintroduced into what Oregon county 20 years ago? a) Clatsop b) Wallowa c) Curry d) Malheur
e er n? Wh rego O in
4. What is Oregon’s largest non-sea duck? a) canvasback b) pintail c) mallard d) shoveler 5. Motorized decoys can be used for: a) cougar b) deer c) antelope d) all of the above 6. The Trask Unit is home to: a) mule deer b) pronghorn c) blacktail d) all of the above
JUNE 29 OHA youth & family events: Lake County 541-219-0614 Clatsop County 503-359-3535 JULY 1 Fall turkey application period opens; upland game bird, waterfowl, and HIP validations available
2. The best method for determining the age of a buck or bull is: a) antler points b) tooth wear c) hoof length d) nose length 3. Black-tailed deer migrate in what units? a) White River b) Rogue c) Applegate d) all of the above
WHERE IN OREGON
WAS THIS PHOTO TAKEN? Name this mountain, 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, email email@example.com, or submit your guess online at oregonhunters. org, where a larger version of the photo appears. One entry per OHA member. Entry deadline: July 25, 2019.
7. What animal has no dewclaw? a) moose b) antelope c) elk d) deer
JULY 13 OHA Pioneer Chapter duck box project, 503-349-2824 JULY 20 OHA Tualatin Valley Chapter Tillamook Forest cleanup, 503-290-6143 AUGUST 1 Fall bear season opens AUGUST 10 Standard antelope season opens AUGUST 11 OHA Yamhill Chapter youth shotgun shoot, 503-804-2843 AUGUST 16 OHA Klamath Chapter’s Gerber Reservoir youth antelope hunt BBQ, 541-281-6518
TRUE OR FALSE?
AUGUST 18 Standard antelope season closes
8. An 8-year-old can hunt birds in Oregon. 9. Moose are classed as game mammal in Oregon.
AUGUST 23 Bow tag sale deadline
10. Western gray squirrel are classed as a game mammal in Oregon.
AUGUST 24 General bow season opens
12. Whitetails are listed as threatened in Douglas County.
Lake County/Tyler Dungannon
11. Antelope are ungulates.
LAST ISSUE’S WINNER: John Bambe, Bend
John’s name was drawn from among the OHA members who recognized Mt. Thielsen and Klamath Marsh.
Answers: 1-b; 2-b; 3-d; 4-a; 5-d; 6-c; 7-b; 8-T; 9-T; 10-T; 11-T; 12-F.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
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
ildfires can be destructive and devastating, but they spawn a seedbed of hope for hunters. Fires typically generate a plethora of new growth by opening up canopies, freeing dormant seeds in the soil and allowing sunlight to germinate them. These seeds create high quality browse and feed for all kinds of animals. Animals are attracted to the fresh grass, broadleaf plants, and re-growth on surviving trees and shrubs. “Forage is the primary attractant as new grass shoots and broadleaf plants are highly palatable,” said ODFW wildlife biologist Brian Wolfer. Many burned areas undergo re-seeding efforts by the BLM, Forest Service, con-
Photo by the author
Where there’s smoke, there’s hot hunting Because recent burns attract wildlife, they should attract the savvy hunter, too. servation organizations like OHA, and private landowners who aid in the recovery process of crucial habitat. Western Cascade burns recover quicker than fires in the eastern deserts. Small burns caused by lightning strikes the clear 10-15 acres are excellent places to look, because animals will visit the openings in the forest canopy to gorge themselves on the fresh growth. Burn edges where the forest meets the burned landscape are prime places to look for traveling animals, especially in the morning and evening hours. Desert burns take a few years longer
to recover, because there is less rainfall and some of the foliage is slower growing. Fires at all elevations become a hotbed for hungry animals over time. No matter where you plan to hunt this fall, make sure to keep an eye on the wildfires this summer and research past fires. There’s a good chance you might just find some hot hunting in old burns. Additional helpful information: • www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/ default.aspx • www.nwfirescience.org/current-fireinformation —Troy Rodakowski
Coyotes: Why summer sizzles
Younger coyotes can be careless in the summer, so when you scout for big game, take your call and help the game in the area you will hunt.
f I could only hunt coyotes one month of the year, it would be August. September is second best, October not a distant third. When the weather turns cold, coyotes can, for a time, be easier to tempt with the offer of an easy meal, but they are hardened again by January and downright educated in February. There is no better time to hunt the little prairie wolf than on a scouting mission for big game. Think of it this way: The best thing we can do for our elk, mule deer, blacktail and pronghorn is kill predators. If you hope to put that good fresh meat in your freezer and a trophy on the wall, the odds improve for every sharp-toothed fawn-eating, calfkilling critter you remove. In late summer the old dogs kick the pups out and now the young dogs have to fend for themselves. Help them make bad decisions. A good go-to call in the summer is a woodpecker or a flicker in distress. A battery-operated woodpecker decoy or a
feather tied on a string helps complete the illusion. I use a Fox Pro electronic call, but there are other good choices as well. If the batteries die, I pull a lucky rabbit call out of my pocket. Looking for a good place to hunt coyotes? It’s not hard. Coyotes can be found throughout the state, but are most prevalent in the vicinity of big game herds, near alfalfa fields where they can pick up rodents, and around cattle operations. Think dairies on the west side, feed lots and large grazing allotments on the east side. Maybe you have heard of so-called coyote hunting contests (we call them free speech), held to reduce the number of predators that prey on sheep and cattle? Coyotes are abundant in Lake, Harney and Malheur counties. In the Santiam Unit, in the foothills of the Cascades, coyotes make a great living around small farms. The same holds true in the Coast Range from Tillamook to McMinnville to Corvallis and Coos Bay. —Gary Lewis OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Take a bearing HELP WANTED on the food for Cascade bears
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
ugust is prime time to hunt bears in Oregon’s Cascade Range. Hot weather, concentrated food sources, and limited water tend to keep bears in a small area. While spring bear season in the Cascades finds bruins covering ground in search of food, as well as preparing for the rut, fall is different. In early fall, once berries start ripening, bears will travel great distances to feast on them. If berries, especially blackberries, are plentiful, bears might stay on them for weeks. A consistent situation where Bears are you’re likely to opportunistic find bears in the fall – and loads feeders and of fresh bear won’t wait sign – is in draws where blackfor berries to berry groves are ripen before dense, a creek devouring them. or spring flows through or very near it, and fir trees are thick. Reprod stands that are 15 years old or so provide thick cover and cool shade where bears can come and go as they please. Locating a habitat with shaded shelter, water and food is key in filling a fall bear tag. Though hot, the August opener can be very productive. Bears are opportunistic feeders and won’t wait for berries to ripen before devouring them. In addition to blackberries, elderberries and snowberries have been thriving in recent summers, and each will attract and keep bears in an area. The use of trail cameras can help you pattern a bear and estimate its size. Because prime habitat is often in draws, thermals can make approaching a bear challenging. It may be necessary to watch from a distance with a spotting scope, waiting for a bear to be in perfect position with stabilized winds prior to commencing a stalk. With fall bear season nearly here, scout, locate food sources, cover ground and get dialed-in so you’re ready to fill a tag come opening day. —Scott Haugen OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
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Read and track current bills and contact your legislators at
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By Al Elkins & Paul Donheffner
By Al Elkins, OHA Lobbyist Alvinelkins@yahoo.com OHA has helped restore funding for a new anti-poaching program in the ODFW budget that is now on its way through the Oregon Legislature. This funding had been left out of the Governor’s budget. During the interim legislative session, OHA worked with legislators and representatives from the OSP, ODFW and various fishing and hunting organizations to develop legislation that would help catch poachers and prosecute them severely. One of the bills that came out of the work of the interim group is HB 3087. This bill directs the ODFW to create an anti-poaching campaign program. Recently the program was unveiled. Here are some of the highlights of the first year of the proposed six-year program: • Increase OSP enforcement patrols. • Increase OSP training on investigation and enforcement of poaching. • Create a position with the Department of Justice for a “Roving” wildlife prosecutor to work with District Attorneys around the state to prosecute poachers. • Develop a public outreach anti-poaching campaign to make public aware of the poaching problem and what to look for. Bill Updates • 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. This is not the time to relax, however. There is still plenty of time left in this legislative session for gun bills that have already been introduced to be heard or new gun bills to be written. The legislative session is not over until the final gavel. • HB 3035 This is the bill we have been working on with OSP and ODFW to increase maximum penalties for wildlife violations. 12
E. Oregon/Troy Rodakowski
Latest on guns, coyotes, cougars, poaching and more
A bill to ban coyote hunting contests has passed the Senate and moved to the House. Update: This bill has passed both chambers and has been signed by the Governor. The bill goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. • 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 passed both chambers and has been signed by the Governor. The bill goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. • HB 3118 Cougar Bill: Authorizes ODFW to use agents for cougar management. Update: This bill passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources and went to the House Committee on Rules. • 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: The 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: The bill has been signed by the Governor. • HB 2293 Residency Requirements: Amends residency requirements for purposes of licenses, tags and permits related to wildlife. Update: The bill is in Ways and Means.
Donate to OHA’s Victory Fund at
oregonhunters.org/donate • SB 723 Coyote Hunting Contest Ban Bill: Update: The bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House. OHA is opposed to the bill. • HB 2294 Commercial Urine Products: Requires that any commercial product that contains or is derived from cervid urine and designed for luring, attracting or enticing cervids be from a herd free of chronic wasting disease. Update: The bill has passed the House and the Senate and is headed to the Governor. • 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 passed out of committee. The bill is now in Ways and Means. • 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: The bill passed the House and the Senate and is headed to the Governor. OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
There’s no break
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.
Warner Mountains/Tyler Dungannon
in this fight.
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black powder By Gary Lewis
Saved by Zero Getting started? Or starting over? Here’s a fix: two hunts a muzzleloading hunter can draw with no preference points.
Photo by Gary “The Fixer” Lewis
hat if I told you about a blacktail rut hunt you could draw with zero preference points, a hunt you could draw every year if you wanted? What if you could have an elk tag at the same time? Two muzzleloader hunts in Oregon’s Big Game Regulations are often undersubscribed each year and both start the second Saturday in November. The Melrose-North Sixes (123M1) is a nine-day deer hunt that takes in the entirety of the Melrose Unit and part of the Sixes Unit. The downside is access is limited by 92 percent private lands. There are opportunities to hunt public land on the remaining 8 percent, but it’s not too difficult to find private ground. This is a nine-day November hunt when the deer are in the middle of the breeding season. Harvest success runs about 30 percent. It would be higher, but a lot of people hold out for the chance to take a buck. The Melrose Unit, which offers more acreage, attracts the most hunters, but the north Sixes side seems to turn in a better harvest percentage. The real allure of this hunt is that it takes place right in the middle of the rut. By the second Saturday in November, there are blacktail does in heat and bucks on the move, looking for receptive females. Want to rattle for blacktails? This is the time when lonely bucks will come to the sound of two antlers clashed together, or one antler rubbed against a sapling. It helps to employ doe-in-heat scent to complete the illusion of two bucks battling over a doe. Before you start to rattle, put a new cap under the hammer, because deer can show up fast. One Thing Leads to Another A seven-day elk hunt, the NW Cascades
Holding two western Oregon tags in November gives a blackpowder hunter a chance to pursue a big blacktail with the option of taking an antlerless deer, and then hunting elk in the mountains. (200M1) starts on that same second Saturday in November. This hunt takes in all of the Santiam and McKenzie units and part of the Indigo Unit. Hunters may take any elk outside of USFS lands. Inside USFS boundaries, the bag limit is one bull. At seven days in November, the season isn’t long, but it is longer than some centerfire hunts. Who Needs to Win Open up to the Western Oregon unit map on Page 71 of the current regulations and highlight the Santiam, McKenzie and the eastern portion of Indigo. Now find the Melrose Unit and the northern end of the Sixes. Got it? There are a lot of ways to play it, but holding two tags in November gives a hunter a chance to spend a few days in pursuit of a big blacktail with the option of taking an antlerless deer, and then finishing out by chasing elk in the mountains. The dedicated elk hunter might spend the first seven days in pursuit of a bull, and then finish up in blacktail country. A good base camp for elk would be somewhere between Oakridge and Waldo Lake. Consider that country east of Hills Creek Reservoir or, to the north, that land
draining the Middle Fork of the Willamette. By this point in November, elk are out of the breeding season. Younger bulls might still be with the herds, but bigger bulls are in seclusion, feeding on mushrooms and moss before the months of cold set in. Elk hunters report 13 to 15 percent harvest success in the NW Cascades season. From Oakridge, it’s a short drive to the northernmost corner of the Melrose Unit just south of Cottage Grove. Regardless of how and where a hunter spends those days in November, it’s a good idea to carry a bear tag and a cougar tag. Predator numbers are higher on the margins of these units, especially where there are high numbers of deer. An elk tag and a deer tag at the same time? It’s not exactly a combo hunt, but can you think of a better way to spend nine days in November? Maybe you’ll win. Saved by zero. To order a signed copy of Hunting Oregon, send $24.80 (includes shipping) to Gary Lewis Outdoors, P.O. Box 1364, Bend, OR 97709 or visit www.GaryLewisOutdoors. com OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Blacktails in velvet have daily routines, and this is the best time to pattern them.
By Scott Haugen
Get the jump on blacktails
aking a mature black-tailed deer is tough duty, and filling a tag in the early season is the most challenging time. That said, there are ways to find consistent success, which may entail thinking out of your comfort zone. Start with scouting now. Come day one of the hunt, you should have maps marked with locations of multiple bucks discovered while scouting. You should know where several bucks are and have backup plans to hunt them should winds change or fellow hunters botch a plan. If the wind is wrong where Treestands you planned on are still an hunting a specific buck, move underutilized to plan B. Come tool of blacktail back to plan A another time, hunters; the but always have a backup plan. same can be When it comes said of ground to blacktails, the more options you blinds. have, the better. When blacktail bucks are in velvet, they’re highly visible. Locating bucks while summer scouting is the best way to find where they live. Early July is the best time to start scouting and locating bucks. Trail cameras are also valuable scouting tools, and the more you have set out, the better the chance of locating and patterning bucks. When using trail cameras, set them on video mode. What you can observe through video, sound and watching how deer behave will reveal a lot more than what can be seen in a simple photo. Blacktails in velvet have daily routines and this is the best time to pattern them. However, once the velvet is stripped, you have from one to three days before that buck goes nocturnal. When this happens,
July and August are prime times to scout and locate blacktail bucks for the opener. the buck will still utilize the same bedding and feeding areas, but most of its travel is under the cover of darkness and the trails it uses to access these points constantly change. Once nocturnal, a big buck will not travel the same trails every time, which is why scouting in July and August can be valuable to reveal where a buck lives. Scouting also allows you to study the land and figure out how to most effectively hunt it. Treestands are still an underutilized tool of blacktail hunters; the same can be said for ground blinds. Treestands offer a commanding field of view, and more importantly, get your scent off the ground. Air travels in layers, like a river current, and the higher off the ground a hunter is, the better. Ground blinds set where multiple trails converge are also good bets. Brush them in and have them in place well before the season, and set a trail camera near to make sure deer are traveling by. If hunting by spot-and-stalk, find where a buck is bedding, wait for the thermals to stabilize, and then make your move. Be patient, and know that if the wind shifts, you’ll never fool the nose of a buck, so back out and come in from another angle, or return another day. On the hottest days of early archery season, blacktails in the Cascades often move to higher elevations to bed. Mature bucks can have multiple bedding spots, and
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
where they bed this time of year depends on many factors, not the least of which are wind direction and temperature. Rising thermals gain speed with elevation, meaning they can offer deer more relief higher on the ridges. If the ground is too dry to stalk in these situations, hang a treestand on the uphill side of the beds. Often you’ll see many beds near the crest of ridges, where cool breezes blow. With the lack of public land logging, many bucks hunker down in thicker cover where temperatures are cool early in the season. When stalking bucks in brush, don’t get into the cover too early, when the air is cool. Instead, hike to as close as you can comfortably get to a deer’s bedding area, and then wait for the winds to rise. Hunt your way downhill into these draws, to where the deer are moving and bedding. Should September rains and winds be present, get aggressive. Rain makes the forest floor quiet, allowing you to silently cover ground. Rain also knocks down your scent. Start your search for early-season blacktails now. Scout and study the land, so when the opener comes you know precisely where you need to be to fill a tag. Signed copies of Scott Haugen’s best selling book, Trophy Blacktails: The Science of The Hunt, can be ordered at www.scotthaugen.com. Follow Scott on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. 15
Oregon Big game outlook
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
How will the recent winter affect fall big game prospects?
he mild winter with warmer temperatures and little snow abruptly ended in late February when several feet or more of the fluffy stuff fell within a few days in many parts of the state, especially in the higher elevations, making it more difficult for deer, elk and other wildlife to find food and move around. While that had many hunters concerned, the big dumping had surprisingly little negative impact on deer, elk and other big game populations, although it did cause problems in some areas. Overall, hunters can look to reasonably good big game hunting opportunities this year in most parts of the state. Here’s a roundup of what Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists around Oregon recently had to say about upcoming big game hunting prospects. Deer While hair loss has been an ongoing issue with North Coast black-tailed deer populations, Tillamook-based ODFW assistant district wildlife biologist Dave Nuzum has not seen as many instances this year and, in fact, deer populations are pretty robust in his district, which includes the Saddle Mountain, Trask and Wilson units. While the Coast Range got quite a bit of snow in late February, it melted off fairly quickly and Nuzum isn’t very concerned about excessive winter mortality. In southwest Oregon, wildlife biologist Tod Lum in Roseburg reported more deer hair loss than normal. But it was confined to the Rogue Valley area, and overall southern Oregon black-tailed deer populations are stable, overwinter survival was good, and he predicts a typical hunting season for this year. Even though the Cascades got hit pretty hard by the late-winter blizzard, Chris Yee, Springfield-based wildlife biologist, has seen enough adult deer and fawns that sur-
vived the winter to suspect that any winter mortality is probably confined to specific areas where the deer couldn’t find enough food or shelter. But once you cross into mule deer range, the picture changes significantly. “Deer are not looking good and fawn winter survival was not great,” said district wildlife biologist Greg Jackle in Prineville, whose district covers much of the Ochoco Mountains. Fawn ratios are at 17 to 100 does in the Grizzly Unit, 27:100 in the Ochoco Unit, and 31:100 in the Maury Unit, a far cry from the 50s-plus that the biologists shoot for. That low fawn survival will also translate into fewer juvenile bucks for hunters next season. “It’s tough,” added Jackle. “That heavy snowfall and delayed green-up really hammered them.” On the positive side, he has good numbers of adult bucks, which should still provide decent hunting opportunities this year. “Mule deer numbers are dropping across the West, and we are feeling that trend here in Wallowa County,” reported assistant district wildlife biologist Shane Talley in Enterprise. However, despite that overall decline in populations, right now mule deer numbers in his district are stable, with good buck ratios that should provide hunters with decent opportunities for the upcoming season. Mule deer are also struggling in the High Desert region. “We’re not heading in the direction that we want to be heading,” said Hines-based assistant district wildlife biologist Autumn Larkins. Although the desert region was spared the big blizzards that hit other parts of Oregon, they still experienced some high winter mortality. Larkins thinks that was because the deer went into last winter in poor condition due to the extensive drought southeastern Oregon has been experiencing for a number of years now. On a positive note, Larkins reports they have decent buck ratios.
Coast elk/John Wheland
By Jim Yuskavitch
Keno Unit/John C. McFarland III, Creation-moments.com
OHA is helping mule deer stay alive by supporting safe highway crossings and other measures to prevent road kills.
Mule deer continue to decline in eastern Oregon, and the recent winter didn’t help in some areas. Yee notes that elk will move from federal lands onto private industrial timberlands, where there is more logging, in search of better habitat. Despite the heavy February snowfall, it didn’t result in much mortality, as many elk moved down into valley areas to get out of the deep snow. On the other hand, elk are faring well on the North Coast. “It’s looking pretty good,” said Tillamook-based Dave Nuzum. “We have a little more cutting in the Coast Range and a good number of clearcuts are at the stage where they are more productive and attracting more critters.” As with deer, he expects to see good hunting opportunities for the upcoming season.
OHA is rehabilitating habitat in southeast Oregon where catastrophic wildfires destroyed vital forage and cover. Klamath Basin/Randy Shipley, wrshipley.zenfolio.com
Elk In Oregon, elk are generally doing well, and in some places a little too well. “Elk are faring pretty well,” said Shane Talley in Enterprise. “We have some herds where we are managing more intensively to curb their growth.” Talley expects northeast Oregon elk hunters to have a good season this year. Despite some low calf ratios in the Malheur River Unit, Larkins reported that there are still a lot of elk in that unit along with the Silvies Unit and High Desert region. The story is the same in the Ochoco region of the Blue Mountains. Elk numbers are good and stable, according to Greg Jackle. “The bull elk population is stable to increasing in the southern Blue Mountains,” he said. In the Grizzly Unit, the bull-to-cow ratio is 11:100. “Hunters will see about the same opportunities for elk as they have over the past few years,” predicted Jackle. However, the situation changes as you move into the Cascade Mountains. “Elk in the Cascades continue to decline,” said Lum. That’s largely because of the decline in logging on federal lands in the Cascade Mountains, resulting in less plant diversity for forage. Because of that decline, there have been no cow hunts allowed throughout the Cascades for the past several years to try boosting numbers. “For anyone who has been elk hunting in the Cascades for the past several years,” Lum predicted, “it will be about the same – poor.” Further north in the Cascades, Chris
Pronghorn Pronghorn numbers are generally stable. “That’s a species we usually are not too concerned about, because we manage them so carefully,” said Larkins. However, with the past seven or eight years of drought, Larkins is concerned that it might start to eventually take a toll. She notes that for now ODFW is not concerned enough to adjust tag numbers. Jackle reports that the pronghorn herds in the southern Blue Mountains region are generally stable. He notes that hunting pronghorns in his district is a little different than the typical desert pronghorn hunting experience, as the animals there utilize forested areas. Bighorn Sheep “Bighorn sheep are doing pretty well,” said Talley. “We’ve been fighting pneumonia for the past 20 to 25 years, but for now they are doing pretty well.” Well enough that ODFW has added two new bighorn sheep hunts in northeast Oregon – one in the Wenaha Unit and another in the Snake River Unit. “We’ve got some good rams out there that hunters should be excited about,” Talley said. In southeast Oregon, Larkins reported that some bighorn herds are doing better than others. East Beatys Butte/Alvord Peak bighorns are having ongoing problems. “Something is going on there. and we can’t seem to put our finger on it,” said
Pronghorn populations remain stable in Oregon, and hunters with tags should do well.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
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ODFW has added two new bighorn hunts in northeast Oregon. Larkins. ODFW captured a number of bighorns last winter and tested them for disease, but they came up clean. However, there is ongoing concern that disease could spread to southeast Oregon herds by infected sheep across the border in Idaho and Nevada. On the other hand, the Steens Mountain herd is doing very well. Larkins credited to some extent the removal of cougars as part of the Mule Deer Initiative that also benefitted the bighorns. Rocky Mountain Goat Rocky mountain goats have been faring very well across the Blue Mountains and into the central Oregon Cascades, where they were reintroduced in 2010. “Goats are doing well and are starting to fill up some of our underutilized habitat,” said Talley. Any hunter who draws a goat tag has a very good expectation of a successful hunt. Bear and Cougar Bear and cougar numbers are healthy statewide, with highest numbers of bears along the coast, especially as you move south, while northeast and southwest Oregon have the largest cougar populations. In general, many ODFW biologists believe that the cougar population is at carrying capacity for much of the state. However, there has been an increase in cat numbers in recent years along the mid-coast that may be starting to expand northward. Dave Nuzum, in Tillamook, noted that he is seeing increasing hunter harvest of cougars along with more road
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OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Desert DUET By Lance Sargent
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
t had been almost a decade since my Dad and I had sat together in this spot. The slow play of shadows danced as the two of us carefully scanned different angles of the draw we’d known antelope to move through in the past. The stark desert landscape gave both of us plenty to watch, and it was hard to see every angle through the natural rock blind we’d come to appreciate. My time here in the Beatys Butte Unit would be short. I had three days to score a buck. My father, Don, was with me as well. While the early morning was fighting the coffee in my blood, his eyes moved with tireless determination. He’d taught me most of what I know about hunting, from tactics to ethics, himself being mostly self-taught. As it grew lighter, we saw movement over the ridgeline, but the shapes quickly resolved into a doe and her fawn, and later some sage grouse. Watching the grouse and fawn eye each other suspiciously was our first entertainment of the morning. Around 9:45, we’d seen five antelope does, but no bucks. Once the animals moved off to where we thought we could get out of our stand without spooking them, we moved up the hillside to get a better vantage. At the top, we split up to watch different areas. I hadn’t gone far before I noticed movement on the horizon. By now the August heat was making the horizon waver and shift as temperatures climbed. Upward of 400 yards, four does came up a far-off plateau – behind them, a buck.
“Desert Hangout” by Oregon artist Jane Vanderzanden/imaginationsofthewild.com
A father and son enjoy common ground in Oregon’s High Desert.
The author’s father, Don Sargent, tagged this trophy buck scoring 74 0/8 after a difficult stalk and an excellent shot. I had raised my binoculars the moment I’d seen movement, and stood there stonestill, hoping I’d be mistaken for a tree, but their superior eyesight picked me out within moments, even through the desert mirages. The four does stared directly at me. The buck, previously more interested in his harem, followed their gaze. I don’t know how long we watched each other, but finally the buck broke into a run in my general direction, and the rest of the
animals followed him. As they ran, they dropped out of sight heading east. Free of their scrutiny, I moved quickly to gain high-ground vantage and maybe cut them off. I hadn’t gone far before their heads appeared over the ridgeline closest to me. Seeing my still profile, about 150 yards from them, they stopped and stared me down. Without much hesitation, the does broke into a full run. Alternatively, the buck
Author Lance Sargent took this buck on opening day of his hunt with his father. 22
hesitated for some reason. He watched the does, and then looked at me, taking another few steps in my direction. Satisfied with his rack and the possible shot, I ducked into my shooting crouch, left arm stabilized on my left knee, and took aim. After the shot, I watched five forms disappear without effect over the horizon. I waved to my Dad to come closer and find out if he’d seen the buck go down. I thought it was a lost cause until I heard Dad yell a couple hundred yards away. The ecstatic way he waved at me told me all I needed to know. I jogged over in the 90-degree heat. I’d hit the buck right in the bread basket. The buck had a wide girth, and a weathered set of horns. His age perhaps explains both why I think he mistook me for another buck, and how gristly his meat was when we tried to eat it (turned it into pepperoni and sausage). After the work was done, and a nap, we started scouting for our next goal: getting Dad a big trophy. The next morning we made our stand in another drainage we’d seen animals in before, setting up on opposite sides of the canyon. We did see one buck that we labeled our “backup,” but most of the day turned into a scouting exercise. Day three found us in the same stand again with some added entertainment. The “backup buck” was there again, along with a slinking bobcat, short-eared owl and OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
more sage grouse. The payoff however came around 8:30 a.m. when a monster wandered into our area. The massive black V approaching us made both of us wideeyed and our pulses pound. Unfortunately, Dad wasn’t able to get close enough before the buck left the area, and we watched the animal disappear in the distance toward the edge of the unit. By late afternoon, after hunting without luck the rest of the day, Dad spotted the monster browsing in a long line of shrubs far off the north side of the highway. Knowing we didn’t have much light left, we decided to try to pincer the animal. I took the long road, hoping that if the buck spooked while my Dad tried to get close off the highway, I could cut him off and push him the other way (it had worked before). While I tried to stay behind natural blinds and drainages, knowing nothing could make me feel worse than if I spooked the buck before Dad could get a shot, he parked his rig and made a long...long crawl toward the buck in the shrubs and sparse bushes. About the time I cleared my route I saw the buck and stopped to wait. With dusk nearly upon us, I watched a figure rise from the brush on the other side of the buck. The antelope stopped grazing to evaluate Dad’s figure. I saw smoke explode and heard the shot. The buck vanished as he dropped into the shrubs. There was no guesswork this time. The rest of the evening was a flurry of action trying to field-dress the animal, get pictures in the fading light and ogle what we knew had to be a trophy antelope. Dad had gotten his trophy pronghorn, and after his long crawl I figured he’d earned it. I was beyond excited to have been a part of his success. We had the racks scored later to confirm our suspicions: Dad’s was 74 0/8, and mine came out at 66 6/8. But the real treasure was the hunt itself and the memories that came from it.
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This story is dedicated to the memory of Donald Lee Sargent, my friend, mentor, and father. Dad was an active OHA member for most of his life, and had several hunting stories published about his adventures. His dedication to conservation, the ethical way he did everything in his life, and his warm personality are sorely missed. OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
23 4/30/19 2:11 PM
s e u Bl
s e d sca
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Start your season on a high note with these different drummers. Photo Essay by Scott Haugen
eaching the end of a scree slope that spilled into a stand of Douglas fir timber, I figured the hunt was over. Just as I put the whistle in my mouth to corral my two dogs, one locked on point. Soon the other dog was engaged on the same spot. Slowly, I approached from behind the dogs, shotgun at the ready, when the morning silence was broken by erupting wings. My first shot hit the mark, and Kona was on the downed bird. My second shot found air, but the third connected, and soon Echo was sprinting down the face of a steep ridge in pursuit of the grouse. Within seconds Kona delivered a plump blue grouse to hand, then descended into the canyon to help Echo. But before he could make it down to her, Echo was bringing in a beautiful adult male blue grouse. It was a fitting end to our hike, one of many we enjoyed last season on the western slopes of the Cascades. Last fall was likely the best grouse season I’ve ever seen in Oregon, certainly rivaling memorable hunts I had as a boy in the mid-1970s. Never had I seen so many blue grouse at such low elevations, that’s for certain. I was hunting the same land I did as a kid. The region had been void of grouse for many years, blues and ruffs, or so it seemed. The occasional ruffed grouse would pop up, but last year was different. Commencing with the season opener, where we bagged a limit of blues and saw over a dozen other grouse, you just knew something good was in store. Prime nesting conditions and high brood survival resulted in a booming grouse population throughout the Cascade Range, and the hunting was stellar for the first two months. The dogs and I covered a lot of ground early in the mornings as I mountain biked logging roads behind gates closed to motorized access. Here, we’d not see a single grouse hunter all season long. Morning dew allowed the dogs to pick up the heavy scent of blue
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Hiking and mountain biking are great options when it comes to hunting blue grouse on public land in the Cascades.
grouse, usually following them into tall grass, low-growing salal or the edges of timber patches. Nearly every grouse we put up last season came within 100 yards of mature stands of Douglas fir. This is where blues roost at night and retreat during the middle of the day. Early morning hunts were most productive, and we nabbed a few birds in the evening. The majority of blues were encountered where I’d never before seen them, between 750 and 2,500 feet in elevation. This was the region where I’d taken plenty of ruffed grouse over the years, and we found our share of those, too, last year. But far and away it was the blues that dominated the forest grouse woods at this elevation. On occasion the dogs sniffed out coveys of mountain quail, an added bonus to our blue grouse hunting escapades. The mountain quail were almost always on the edges of logged units, living in piles of slash destined for fall burning. When covering ground from one timber patch
Blue grouse roost in mature Douglas fir forests, and retreat to them during midday. Hunting near such stands early and late in the day is a good choice. to another, that’s when the mountain quail were stumbled upon. In late September and through October, a number of blue grouse were found feeding in middle-aged stands of Douglas fir. Here, the grouse plucked the new growth from the ends of fir boughs. Upon the first crop inspection, I thought it was full of dandelion buds. But peeling apart the
Ruffed grouse can often be heard drumming throughout their range in the spring, marking points where hunters will want to focus efforts, come fall.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
food, I learned it was rather the tips of soft, freshly coiled fir boughs. This discovery extended our hunting day. From that point on we’d focus early morning hunts in areas of grit, grass, clover, and insects, followed by mid-morning hunts through 15- to 20year old stands of fir trees. The dogs and I learned early to not
Hunting blue grouse with a dog not only increases the number of birds you’ll encounter, but greatly expedites the retrieval process.
venture far from water or big timber, as both are essential to fulfilling the daily needs of blue grouse. We also learned the value of frequent water breaks. While blue grouse can be hunted on your own, covering ground with a dog reveals just how many of these birds are roaming the woods, and greatly increases hunting success. Getting off the beaten path, exploring meadows where grasshoppers abound, logged units where various berries thrive, and moist, shaded areas in which clover and grass flourish, these are the places to find consistent success. Blue grouse have certain needs, while ruffed grouse can be encountered anywhere, anytime. Bagging both birds is common in the Cascades, at least it was last season. As an avid bird hunter eagerly anticipating the coming of Oregon’s grouse season, I can only hope this season will be a repeat of last year. For signed copies of the Haugen’s popular hunting books & cookbooks, visit www. scotthaugen.com.
Author Scott Haugen and Echo emerge from the woods with a limit of blue grouse taken near their home up the McKenzie River Valley.
A tell-tale tail of two grouse – ruffed and blue.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Game on the Grill By Tiffany Haugen
Camp Cooking Forest Grouse
ne of the joys of hunting camp is cooking your quarry. When hunting big game this fall, don’t overlook the opportunity to hunt forest grouse and cook them up fresh in camp. Regardless of what you’ve got in the game bag – blue or ruffed grouse, even quail – hobo packs are a great way to cook up a meal over the campfire, charcoal, or a gas grill. Preparing hobo packs Hobo packs are a great way to cook up a meal over the campfire or a grill. ahead of time is a time-saver when it comes to camp cooking. And if all else fails and you come up empty-handed, you have a For signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Game Birds, send a check for $20 to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box nice vegetarian meal ready to heat up at the end of the day. Plan on two to four grouse breasts and thighs per person. A 275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order at www.scotthaugen.com. combination of any or all of the following ingredients can be included in a hobo pack. Note that some vegetables need to be cooked ahead of time, as you don’t want to overcook your grouse. Sliced potatoes, partially cooked Sliced carrots, partially cooked Sliced zucchini Sliced mushrooms Diced bell pepper Diced tomato Minced onion Minced garlic Corn Peas Butter Provolone Cheese Salt, pepper and smoked paprika Cayenne pepper or red chili flakes, optional Heavy Duty Foil Prepare hobo packs prior to leaving for hunting camp. Partially cook potatoes in an oven or microwave until they just start to soften. Steam carrots on the stove or covered in the microwave until tender. Let cool completely before slicing. Chop all other vegetables. Cut two 18-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil for each hobo pack. To assemble hobo packs, put two pats of butter in the middle of the foil. Spread a layer of sliced potatoes on top of the butter, about a 6- to 8-inch square. Add carrots on top of potatoes and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, paprika and any other spices you’d like. Continue building your meal adding any of the other ingredients desired. Add another sprinkle of salt, pepper, paprika on top of the vegetables. Finish with another pat of butter and close the foil. Store in a cooler or refrigerator until ready to cook in camp. Prepare grouse by removing breast and thigh meat. Chop meat into tiny pieces and inspect carefully for any shot. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper, paprika and any other spices you’d like. Tuck grouse meat into the middle of the hobo pack above the potatoes and carrots but below the other ingredients. Top with a slice of provolone cheese, reseal the package and cook on the edge of the campfire, on top of hot coals or in a medium-hot grill. Packs should take 15-25 minutes to cook. 28
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OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
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By Shannon FitzGerald
A Family Elk Grand Slam
Jorie drew first blood in early August to notch the first of 4 elk tags her family had in 4 different hunts.
or the entire family to tag an elk, it would take a hot start and a cool finish from a competitive pair of Baker City sisters. Matt Hedgpeth got himself and all his gals dialed in for elk season draws; 12-year-old Reanna (Anna), 14-year-old Marjorie (Jorie) and Kirsten (mom). All but Jorie landed their first choice rifle tags. But that wasn’t a problem, her shorter secondchoice hunt meant she was up first and would get the drop on her little sister Anna. Running Aug. 1- 24, Flat Creek is a tiny juvenile hunt carved with intention from the west side of Murderers Creek, Unit 46. Friday’s forecast read a scorching 112 degrees for Dayville on the west side of the unit. The family’s elk tags were separated comfortably over five months. Matt would enjoy individual time hunting with all the gals, but over 100 degrees might not be enjoyable for Jorie. Who wants to hunt an elk that’s already cooked? As the two ventured west to Dayville, they encountered another problem for the hunt – heavy smoke from wildfires. After camp was set up, Matt and Jorie made the best of the midday heat and the smoke, and hiked into a couple lakes carrying their fishing poles, and then hunted elk the remainder of the day. Masquerading as fishermen apparently didn’t fool the elk, and the pair returned to camp emptyhanded. Early Saturday they located a forest boundary at the conclusion of a dirt road. Then Matt and Jorie hunted to the top of a nearby ridge. “The smoke was so thick we figured the wildfires might be closer than we thought.” Matt explained. They circled the ridge, and part way down, froze at the sound of the high pitched chirping of calves. A herd of elk started to appear below them. “They were either bunched up together or blocked by brush,” Matt explained. For 15 minutes they watched, unde-
tected, their scent masked possibly by the smoke. The elk would lie down and get up to browse again. Finally, to their left, Matt caught movement of a cow elk. Jorie placed her shot perfectly. Shortly after, Jorie declared, “Good thing I got one before Anna did!” Since Anna’s hunt was five months long, there was plenty of time to match her sister’s success. But she couldn’t get it done before her mom. Kirsten’s hunt started the second week of October. She kept the family fortune going by catching a cow elk climbing toward her out of a canyon. A two-mile pack and two tags down. Two weeks later Matt and his hunting partner, Duane, had the first season Lookout Mountain tag running Oct. 24-28. The two cashed in the second day when an army of random hunters pushed a herd right toward them. Contrary to Matt’s account, Duane’s recollection of the event was that he “self-
Anna tagged her elk on New Year’s Eve to complete the family grand slam.
lessly yielded” the 5X6 to Matt, before he himself “settled for a spike. But I’m over it. Really.” Regardless of any eyewitness discrepancies, Matt had tagged his family’s third elk. After more than a day of packing, Duane stated adamantly, “Well, now you have to get Anna an elk. Not many families go 4-for-4 in four different hunts.” On New Year’s Eve – Anna’s last hunt day – Matt was digging his truck out of deep snow during a storm high on Lookout Mountain. They dropped down out of the chaos and parked on a familiar ridge. “I just happened to see one elk go up over a hill,” Matt said. On foot, Matt and Anna bailed off down the canyon in 8 inches of snow and followed tracks to the top of the next ridge. “This is sooo not worth it!” Anna protested trudging up through the snow. “It’ll be worth it when you get one,” he encouraged, trying to keep her spirits up. A group of 20 elk ran over the next ridge. Matt crested a rise and spied four cow elk lying under a juniper. The other elk had disappeared, so using sagebrush as a screen, Matt and Anna belly crawled through the snow closer to the four elk. Anna got set up on the elk through her scope. Nervously, the four cows stood up. Anna filled her tag in two shots. “I was younger than Jorie when I got mine!” an excited Anna beamed. “How do you feel now?” Matt asked. “Oh this is sooo worth it!!” An hour later, packing the elk though the snow, Anna grumbled again, “This is soooo not worth it…” One family, four different tags, four elk down, and five months later Anna capped off her family’s perfect year. This season, the sisters want something wearing horns, but definitely bigger horns than Matt’s selfless hunting partner got. OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
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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
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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
OHA News & Views OHA members hit the beach for State Convention
he Oregon Hunters Association’s 2019 State Convention on May 18 at Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City was another in a long string of smashing successes. Guests enjoyed a gourmet buffet, the auction of a 4-month Access & Habitat statewide elk hunt that sold for $41,000, the drawings for 12 Oregon dream hunts for bighorn, pronghorn, mountain goat, deer and elk, Nosler Rifle Raffle, the ever-popular Wall of Guns and Les Schwab raffles, and the new Coastal Farm & Ranch Raffle offering a Nosler Custom rifle. In all, OHA gave away more than 100 items worth a total of more than $40,000. Auctions featured great hunts, fishing trips, getaways, premium firearms, optics and other great hunting gear. Net proceeds from the event, hosted by OHA’s Lincoln County Chapter and local 4-H shooting program, will fund wildlife conservation, youth education and other projects and programs throughout Oregon that benefit hunters and hunting. The live and silent auctions featured more than 120 top-quality items ranging from firearms and optics to fine art, hunting trips and getaways. More than 50 quality firearms found new homes in an array of rousing raffles, including the sold-out Nosler Rifle, Wall of Guns, Leupold and Coastal Farm & Ranch raffles. Two dozen handguns also
OHA’s 20th Anniversary rifle was donated back to OHA by the family of the late Dan Allee, who won it at OHA’s 20th Convention in 2003. 32
On Armed Forces Day, veterans were honored with a drawing featuring a Citadel 1911 flag pistol donated by Legacy Sports and gear donated by Leupold, Gerber, Vortex and Adventure Outfitters. made banquet guests happy winners. The top firearm at the event was the OHA 20th Anniversary Rifle, a custom Weatherby, donated by the family of the late Dan Allee, who won the gun at OHA’s 20th State Convention in 2003, when he was the president of OHA’s Pioneer Chapter. Another custom rifle – to be built to the specifications of the winner – was sponsored by Bryan Scott of Centerfire Gunworks, as well as Defiance Actions, McMillan Stocks and Trigger Tech. A raffled rifle package coordinated by Adventure Outfitters raised funds for Hunt of a Lifetime, providing hunts for kids with life-threatening illnesses. Major state-level sponsors for the 2019 Convention included Coastal Farm and Ranch, Les Schwab, Sig Electro Optics, Nosler, Benchmade, KUIU, Coast knives, Traeger Grills, Green Mountain Grills, Adventure Outfitters, Legacy Sports, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Chinook Winds Casino Resort. Besides the Access & Habitat Statewide Elk Tag and the 20th Anniversary Rifle, top-fetching auction items of the night included an Argentina big game hunt with ATB Outfitters, and a pair of African safaris. Other top trips included pheasant hunts donated by Lake in the Dunes and Southern Oregon Pheasants, a duck hunt from Troy Rodakowski, and a surf perch trip with Jody Smith Guide Service. Getaway retreats were donated by
Sunset Lodging of Sunriver, and OHA members Buck and Gerri Teasley. Other great gear was donated by KUIU, Work Sharp, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Wilderness Packs, Cabela’s, Vortex, Adventure Outfitters, Klymit and Leupold. Printers of OHA publications sponsoring guns included Pronto Print, Century Publishing and Valley Web Printing. The Bowhunters Bownanza Raffle featured a Bowtech Realm SR6 sponsored by Waldron’s Outdoor Sports. The event honored veterans and offered a complimentary drawing arranged by Adventure Outfitters for a dozen top quality sporting goods items (including a Citadel 1911 flag pistol donated by Legacy Sports). Complimentary drawings were also held for OHA life members, ladies and youths. Guests were treated to complimentary OHA pint glasses sponsored by Chinook Winds Casino Resort and OHA poker decks featuring this year’s banquet art by Oregon artist Jane Vanderzanden. Other major raffle and live auction donations included fine wildlife art donated by Tom Derbyshire, Gerald Sticka and Jane Vanderzanden, and an amazing afghan by Shirley Pritchett. Many local donors provided a flavor from the coast. Make plans now to attend OHA’s 2020 State Convention on May 30 at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville. See you in sunny southern Oregon! OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
After many months of research and testimony by OHA and others, the Commission approved the revised Wolf Plan by a 6-1 vote on June 7.
Wolf plan approved! Tireless work by OHA and allies pays off with Commission vote The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on June 7 approved the revised Oregon Wolf Management Plan, retaining language providing hunting and trapping as future management tools. The plan was adopted by a 6-1 vote after minor amendments. OHA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, the Farm Bureau and others worked for many months to advocate for the interests of wildlife, sportsmen, ranchers and livestock in the plan’s language, never missing a meeting or an opportunity to provide input. The revised plan’s adoption represents a major step forward for Oregon’s wolf management, but this issue will be ongoing for many years to come, because wolves and the problems they cause are here to stay. The original Wolf Plan adopted in 2005 allowed for controlled take only in Phase 3 (currently eastern Oregon), in cases of recurring depredations or when wolves are a major cause of ungulate populations not meeting established management objectives or herd management goals. ODFW has not proposed any controlled take of wolves and has no plans to at this time. OHA thanks our volunteers and staff, particularly Senior Conservation Director Jim Akenson, for many months of research and testimony that helped the Commission make the right decision.
By Karl Findling, OHA Lands Director Karl@oregonhunters.org After a year-long process considering visitor use management strategies for five wilderness areas in the central Cascades, the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests will require use permits and the purchase of overnight permits, with quotas in place for the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo Lake and Diamond Peak wildernesses. Quotas have been set for all 79 trailheads, of which 19 will have conditions imposed. Fees have not yet been determined. OHA provided objections to the plan, both in writing and at meetings. OHA maintained that a tag for any OHA provided species should objections, serve as a perstating that a tag mit, as well as for any species for scouting and game retrieval; should serve otherwise hunters are getting as a permit, as double-taxed a license does to hunt public at state wildlife l a n d s . O H A areas; otherwise stated, “Hunters use the landhunters are scape much difgetting double- ferently than recreationalists taxed to hunt — the largest user group — public lands. and are very low impact. Many never use trailheads, and are dynamic on the landscape, like the animals we pursue.” In response, the Forest Service exempted the High Cascades Buck hunt 119A and general season archers (currently, only deer; elk were not exempted — an omission USFS is aware of). The permits and quotas are aimed at curbing resource impacts from increasing use, including damage to meadows and riparian areas, tree damage, presence of human and dog waste, widening and braiding of trails, and site compaction.
OHA challenges USFS plan to charge fees, limit access to five Oregon wildernesses
One of many new ODFW proposals would make spikes legal in western Oregon buck hunts and illegal in antlerless hunts.
OHA urges members to comment on major changes to hunt regs By Jim Akenson, Sr. Conservation Director Jim@oregonhunters.org In the latest phase of its effort to simplify hunting regulations, ODFW is proposing significant changes to 2020 big game hunts. Highlights of proposed changes include: 127 existing hunts consolidated into 49 hunts. 91 hunt dates expanded, made simpler or made consistent with other hunts, including expanding the dates of most bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts to at least one month long. 85 hunt areas expanded to the entire unit or hunt boundaries made simpler. 57 bag limits made simpler or made consistent with other hunts, including a proposal to change western Oregon deer bag limits to “buck with visible antler” and “antlerless deer.” Nine new controlled hunts, including three late-season mule deer hunts, two mountain goat hunts, and a pronghorn hunt. It’s critical that hunters stay informed and comment on the proposals. ODFW will host 18 public meetings around the state in July (schedule will be posted on MyODFW.com); please attend and comment. OHA will submit comments at the Sept. 13 Commission meeting, where a decision will be made on proposed changes.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
OHA awards $31,000 to fund 3 projects By Ken McCall, OHA Vice President The OHA State Board has approved three new wildlife grants to fund major wildlife projects this spring: 4 $12,000 for GPS transmitters for an Oregon State University/ODFW study of sage grouse habitat and population recovery following the recent devastating fires in the Trout Creek Mountains. Studies will add to the knowledge of habitat used by the birds and aid in their recovery. 4 $4,000 for a winter forage grant for black-tailed deer and elk winter range habi-
tat improvements by removing conifers and other competing vegetation species to promote early seral forage on Forest Service lands in the Butte Falls area in the Rogue Unit. 4 $15,000 for winter range forage improvements and protection of year-round water sources near Fort Rock. This project is directly linked to OHA’s efforts to improve wildlife passage between winter and summer range currently affected by deer/vehicle collisions on Highway 97 south of Bend. Tillamook’s Jacob Berge is an OSU wildlife student.
Jacob Berge is OHA’s new Youth Ambassador A Nosler Custom M-48 rifle was the lead-off prize in OHA’s 2019 Gun Calendar Raffle. The 2020 calendars are on sale now at oregonhunters.org/store
OHA gives away a gun a week! Got yours? 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 29 for your chance to win 1 of 53 guns!
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 34
By Jason Haley, OHA Secretary Jacob Berge of Tillamook was appointed to the newly created position of Youth Ambassador by the OHA State Board of Directors in January. He is a second-year student at Oregon State University, majoring in Natural Resources, with an emphasis in Forest Ecosystems. He is also an active OHA member and serves in the Army National Guard. Jacob was raised outdoors in a rural part of Tillamook County with his parents and older brother. He enjoys hunting, fishing, archery, ATV riding, hiking and all things outdoors. In high-school, he spent time volunteering and planning events to raise money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. He also served on the school’s natural resource team working on local water quality and restoration projects. The Board was impressed with Jacob’s passion for OHA’s mission and his desire to engage others in his age group using his experience and training. Since January, he has hit the ground running, participating in several board meetings and serving on two important committees. He attended the recent all-day board meeting at the State Convention in Lincoln City and manned a gun raffle table after that. Jacob has demonstrated excellent communication skills during his short term, asking great questions and offering unique ideas in an effort to further OHA’s goals. OHA thanks Jacob for volunteering to serve on the OHA State Board. OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
OHA defends public hunting access on OWEB properties
Contributions made recently to the OHA Memorial Fund In memory of DAN ALLEE from his family
In the last two months, OHA has issued five checks from our Turn In Poachers (TIP) Reward fund totaling $3,100 in five cases involving wildlife violations. Charges included: unlawful take of elkclosed area, unlawful take of spike buck-no hunting license or tag, unlawful possession of bull elk, no big game tag, felon in possession of a firearm, PCS-cocaine, exceeding daily limit of steelhead, aid/counsel in a wildlife offense, interfering with a peace officer, tampering with physical evidence, hunting closed season. Warnings were issued for waste of big game animal, continuing to angle after retaining a limit, and failure to immediately validate tag. An elk was seized and donated to the Clatsop County Food Bank.
In memory of DON SCHALLER from Larry & Marie Blankenship
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
OHA pays out $3,100 in 5 TIP poaching cases
By Amy Patrick, OHA Outreach Coordinator Amy@oregonhunters.org OHA staff attended the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) meeting on April 16 and 17 in response to concerns raised by OHA members on the North Coast regarding the potential loss of hunting access on lands acquired with OWEB funds. OHA submitted a letter to OWEB outlining concerns of a net loss in hunting access across public lands. Additional public comment was made during the meeting echoing those points. Several board members expressed support for public access, particularly for hunters and anglers. Approval of the land acquisition was not given until assurances could be made that bowhunting would continue to be allowed on the 95-acre property in question. OHA will continue to engage with OWEB and other conservation organizations to ensure our voice is heard regarding sportsmenâ€™s access.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
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Chapter News Join your local chapter for a summer project or youth event 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 meeting date has moved back to the second Wednesday of the month. BEND Bob Dixon (503) 572-2805 www.oregonhunters.org/bend-chapter Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m., Bend Golf & Country Club Update: Chapter volunteer activities this spring included our Youth and Family Day held June 1, three members completing a patrol and repairs of the Hwy 97 wildlife crossing fence between Bend & Sunriver, staffing an OHA booth at the BHA Beer, Bands & Public Lands event in Bend on June 15, and providing some volunteer support for the Raise Em’ Outdoors camp on June 15-16. Bend Chapter members went to All Hands, All Brands for Our Public Lands, the multi-chapter campout and work party in the Ochocos, June 21-23. Many members went over early on May 10 and performed habitat work all week before the rendezvous. Chapter members will volunteer and staff an OHA booth at NW Women’s Hunting Camps on July 19-21 and July 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 contributed money and volunteers to the Youth Outdoor Day June 8 at E. E. Wilson Wildlife Area.
The OHA Bend Chapter hosted its Youth & Family Day on June 1. Other OHA chapters are hosting similar events this summer. To check out the full schedule of upcoming OHA events, visit oregonhunters.org/events. CHETCO Wes Ferraccioli (541) 450-4100 Chapter meetings: 6 p.m. 3rd Thursday, every other month; next meeting: date TBA, at Beachfront Bistro in Brookings. Update: Chapter members volunteered at the hunter education field day in Brookings on April 27. CLATSOP COUNTY Kevin Werst 503-325-1036 www.clatsopcountyoha.com Chapter Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. speaker, West Lake Chinese Restaurant, Seaside. Update: Wendell Locke, longtime member of our chapter, has stepped down from the office of chapter president. Enough can’t be said for what Wendell and his wife Diana have done for our chapter over the years. The good news is Wendell has agreed to operate our Youth Educational Trailer. Our Youth Field Day is scheduled for June 29 at the Clatsop County Fair and Expo, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A big thank you goes out to all the donors, members, volunteers and attendees that made it possible to raise over $40,000 at our banquet in March. COLUMBIA BASIN Dean Groshong (541) 377-1227 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of the month, The Saddle, 2200 Court St., Pendleton, 5:30 p.m. meeting, dinner and drinks available. COLUMBIA COUNTY Jordan Hicks (949) 533-7271 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Monday, 7 p.m.,
dinner 6:30 p.m., Kozy Korner restaurant, 371 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens. Update: Our chapter staffed a booth at the Heller Enterprises Gun and Knife Show in April, where we sold 13 gun raffle calendars, gaining 13 new members. 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. HOODVIEW Catherine Hamell (503) 358-7821 Facebook: Hoodview OHA Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., Elmer’s, 1933 NE 181st Ave., Portland. Update: The chapter work party at White River took place June 8-9. We skipped the April general chapter meeting in favor of putting our time into the Youth Turkey Clinic on April 6. There will be no general chapter meeting in July or August. 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: Youth Day was June 1 at Josephine County Sportsman’s Park. We met in Cave Junction on May 11 to do trash pickup. Volunteers helped on April 27 to pile slash and debris from a conifer removal project on Dasher Meadows. Duck box report: 20 volunteers installed 23 new duck boxes and checked and cleaned an additional 38 boxes. OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
KLAMATH Allen Wiard (541) 884-5773 www.ohaklamath.webs.com Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., Shasta View Community Center. 2019 banquet: held April 27. Update: The Hart Mountain project and campout weekend was May 18-19. Our clean up on Green Diamond property was June 1. We’ll host a BBQ for Gerber Reservoir youth antelope hunters on Aug. 16; call 541-281-6518. LAKE COUNTY Tom Zarosinski 541-219-0614 Chapter Meetings: 1st Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Eagle’s Lodge, Lakeview. Update: June 29 is Youth Day; call 541219-0614. We worked on guzzlers on May 18. Our next guzzler project is scheduled for Sept. 14; call 541-417-1750. LINCOLN COUNTY Todd Williver (541) 648-6815 http://lincolncountyoha.com/ Chapter Meetings: 2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m. meeting, location TBA. 2019 banquet: We hosted the OHA State Convention May 18, at Chinook Winds Casino. Update: Our chapter youth day was held at Big Timber Rifle and Pistol Club on June 2. 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 July 18. Update: Chapter members volunteered at the White River youth turkey clinic in April. 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. OCHOCO John Dehler, III (541) 815-5817 Chapter Meetings: 1st Tuesday, 7 p.m.,
Room 1868, 152 NW 4th St., Prineville. Update: Our chapter is a proud sponsor of Ladies Hunting Camp, July 19-21 at Dry Creek Ranch, La Pine; go online to ladieshunting.com. Chapter members participated in All Hands, All Brands for Our Public Lands, the multi-chapter campout and 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: Our annual guzzler camp-out and work party at Millican took place June 7-9. Members will staff a booth July 1-4 at the Molalla Buckaroo PRCA Rodeo; call 503-710-1233. Duck box work will be on July 13; call 503-349-2824. Our chapter has pledged $500 to the TIP program following the poaching of three cow elk in Tillamook County. REDMOND Tim Van Domelen (541) 771-8383 https://oregonhunters.org/redmond-chapter/ Chapter Meetings: 3rd Tuesday, VFW Hall. Dinner and meeting starts at 6 p.m., board meeting at 7. Update: At our April Bridge Creek and Priest Hole weekend we installed drip line and planted 5,000 shrubs and 500 cottonwoods. 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: Young Oregon Hunters (YOH) Day was held on June 8. OHA Volunteers piled slash and debris from a conifer removal project at Dasher Meadow on April 27. Our chapter put on a turkey clinic for youth in April, and provided matching funds for access to C2 Ranch, where 12 lucky youth hunters had 1-day guided private lands opportunity. TILLAMOOK John Putman (503) 842-7733 Chapter Meetings: 3rd Monday, 7 p.m., Tillamook PUD. 2019 banquet: Held May 4, Tillamook Fairgrounds.
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: May 4 was Youth Day at Myrtle Point Gun Club and Family Outdoor Ed weekend was June 21-23. 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: We did habitat work at Barney Reservoir on May 18. We had a booth with archery & BB guns at the I’m Hooked Family Event June 1-2 at Henry Hagg Lake. We’ll do cleanup on the Tillamook Forest July 20; call 503-290-6143. UMPQUA Tadd Moore (541) 430-6353 www.umpquaoha.org 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: July 18 is the chapter picnic at Roseburg Rod and Gun Club. UNION/WALLOWA COUNTY Morgan Olson (541) 786-1283 Chapter Meetings: La Grande Library, next date TBA. YAMHILL COUNTY Bill Dollar (503) 804-2843 Chapter Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7 p.m., 6:00 p.m. dinner, American Legion Hall, 126 NE Atlantic, McMinnville. Update: We staffed a booth June 1 at Hoodoo Ski Bowl for the Northwest Mountain Challenge, and we’ll staff a booth at the St. Paul Rodeo July 2-6; call 503-551-4969. Yamhill County Chapter women are running a booth June 29 at the Rack Stackers Women’s Only Hunting Seminar at Rosse Posse Acres in Molalla. We’ll be at the Yamhill County Fair July 30-Aug. 3. On Aug. 11 we have our Youth Shotgun Shoot at the Newberg Rod and Gun Club. We donated $5,000 to the Newberg and YamhillCarlton trap shooting teams and $2,500 for the state 4-H shooting competition.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
ODFW continues efforts to improve big game regulations New proposals for 2020
ast year, ODFW began a multi-year effort to review and improve hunting regulations. A number of changes took effect in 2019, and now ODFW has new proposals for 2020. Change in bag limit Western Oregon General Centerfire One of the major ideas proposed will be a change in the bag limit for the most popular hunt in Oregon—the Western Oregon general rifle deer season. ODFW is proposing to simplify the bag limit from “one buck deer having not less than a forked antler” to “one buck with visible antler.” All 600 series antlerless deer hunts in western Oregon currently with a “one antlerless or spike deer” bag limit would also change to “one antlerless deer.” The current bag limit is different from the eastern Oregon deer bag limit, creates enforcement issues, and is not biologically relevant. It is a relic of when western Oregon offered a large number of antlerless deer tags in some wildlife management units. While it may result in an increase in buck harvest, there are sufficient bucks in the population to support increased harvest. The change may also help the buck deer population by allowing hunters to remove the bucks genetically inclined to remain spikes. Other eastern Oregon hunts in the 600 series that allow for buck harvest will be moved to the 100 series buck hunts for consistency and to more equitably distribute hunting opportunity. General season antlerless elk damage tag pilot program Over the last few decades, elk populations in many areas have increased on private land adjacent to row crop or irrigated agricultural lands, leading to conflict, economic damage, and reduced hunting opportunity in some units. ODFW and landowners use a variety of tools to address this damage, including controlled antlerless elk tags and damage tags. However, controlled hunts can be inconvenient for hunters who must know far in advance that they will have private land access. Damage tags can be cumbersome for landowners and staff to implement. In many areas, overall harvest is still inadequate and elk populations on private land continue to increase.
To address these issues, ODFW is proposing a new general season elk damage tag with an antlerless bag limit for the 2020 hunting season. This tag would replace 19 controlled hunts and the need for landowner damage tags during those timeframes (Aug. 1-March 31 for elk de-emphasis areas and western Oregon, and Aug. 1-Nov. 30 in other areas). The tags would be valid in specific chronic elk damage areas mapped annually by ODFW. Hunters considering this new tag would still need to think ahead about permission to hunt on private land and the tag would be their only elk hunting opportunity for the year. ODFW also proposes changing a few general bull elk rifle seasons in eastern Oregon (in Hood, White River, and central and SE Cascades) to controlled hunts, both for consistency and because some units are not meeting bull ratio objectives. Other proposed changes include: • Longer, later seasons for pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain goat hunts to give hunters who draw one of these prized tags a later opening and more time to hunt. • 127 existing hunts being consolidated into 49 hunts; 91 hunt dates expanded, made simpler or made consistent with other hunts; 85 hunt areas expanded to the entire unit or hunt boundaries were made simpler; 57 bag limits made simpler or made consistent with other hunts. • Nine new controlled hunt opportunities, including three late season mule deer hunts, two mountain goat hunts, and a pronghorn hunt. More information on the proposed changes is available on MyODFW.com. ODFW is also hosting public meeting around the state in July to present these concepts and get feedback. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will be briefed on these concepts at their June 6 meeting in Salem, and make a final decision at their Sept. 13 meeting in Gold Beach when they adopt 2020 Big Game Regulations. Comments on the proposals can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: MyODFW.com
NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST General Category Finalists
Central Oregon/Duane Dungannon
OHA member John Cham of Wilsonville claims an OHA Coast Knife and a place in the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest for this photo of Kyle Cham with a mule deer he tagged last fall in the Whitehorse Unit.
Robert Hamman, OHA member from Grants Pass, wins an OHA Coast Knife and entry to the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest with this photo of Norm Hewitt and himself with the turkey he bagged in a hunt donated to the OHA Capitol Chapter banquet. Robertâ€™s wife outbid him for the hunt and gave it to him for his birthday.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST
Youth Category Category Finalists
OHA member Karl Adams of Hermiston scores an OHA Coast Knife and a place in the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest for this photo of his son Cody, 14, with a spring turkey he tagged this year in the Sumpter Unit.
Avery Orlow, OHA member from Gold Hill, bags an OHA Coast Knife and entry to the finals of the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest with this photo of himself with the turkey he took this spring in the Applegate Unit.
OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
NOSLER PHOTO CONTEST honorable mention
Sean Joyce, OHA member in Canby, earns honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Jack Joyce with the elk he took on a Chesnimnus Premium Elk Tag, which Sean says provided Jack with several seasonsâ€™ experience with one tag.
Thomas Derbyshire, OHA member in Pleasant Hill, garners honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of himself with a kudu he killed in South Africa with a .300 Jarrett and 200-grain Nosler bullets.
OHA member Sharlene Whitaker of Monmouth gains honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of herself with a British Columbia black bear.
Enter your favorite photo in the 2019 Nosler Photo Contest at oregonhunters.org
Terrebonne OHA member Marc Forsythe gains honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Erika Forsythe with a turkey taken in Deschutes County. Levi Rowe took this pronghorn last year in the Juniper Unit with a Ruger 77 7mm.
Jason, Albert and Josh Vanderzanden earn honorable mention for this photo of their 2018 Paulina mule deer racks.
Zachary Yoder of Hood River collects honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of his Hood Unit turkey.
Moon over the Ochocos/Duane Dungannon
Jon Bass, OHA member in Eugene, receives honorable mention and a Nosler hat for this photo of Hayden Bass with a mule deer he took with a Remington 700 in .280 Rem. last November in the Interstate Unit.
OHA member Greg Naugle garners honorable mention for these photos of Colorado elk and mule deer. OREGON HUNTER, July/August 2019
Our old hound dog can still hear me if I speak with just the right inflection and use one of several words like … bacon.
By Uncle Geddy
Here’s Your Sign
here is perpetual disagreement at our house as to how old our hound dog Polyp really is. This year I say he is 15, while the Missus says he is 14 and Lil Sassy says he is 98. But what we can agree on is his hearing is mostly gone. When the Missus talks to him, he doesn’t even open his eyes. When Lil Sassy speaks, he doesn’t bat an eyelash. I tell the ladies he has lost his high frequency hearing, but he can still hear me if I speak with just the right inflection and use one of several words like … bacon. In years past, I have written of Polyp’s ability to read my mind and have tried to train the female members of our household to also communicate telepathically, but they don’t bat their eyes when I speak to them anymore either. Unless I say one of several words like … chocolate cake. Recently I have been experimenting with sign language. The trick, of course, is to catch Polyp with his eyes open. If I want him to go for a ride in the truck, I hold my two hands together in front of me like I am holding a steering wheel. If I want him to go for a ride in the Mustang GT, I sign for one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the shifter. But then he looks at me as if to say, “You wish you had a Mustang GT.” And, of course, he’s right. And then we go for a ride in the truck. When I tell him it’s time to go outside after a bowl of kibble or fish parts, I hold up two fingers with my thumb between and wave it. Potty. Number Two. Sometimes I have to pick up his paw and put the sign there for him to feel and then he gets up and heads for the door. Works every time. I have taught Polyp the American Sign Language word for bear, too, which is arms crossed, hands on chest with clawing motion. Since the only real opportunity for Polyp to actually see a bear is when we are driving in the truck, I have to hold the steering wheel with my knees when we talk about bears. Fortunately, we haven’t seen a bear on the highway. This all seems to work really well, and we are making progress on new signs like Bite The Brother-in-Law, which shows
promise, especially because I provide one of several rewards like bacon. My renewed interest in sign language caused me to recall the various meanings of the backroad hand signals I learned in my youth. When you grow up in a small farming and logging community like I did, you tend to wave at the neighbors (everyone is a neighbor unless they are driving a Subaru) when encountered on roads other than the freeway. To the city dweller, backroad hand signals are a quaint habit used by backwards country dwellers, but in fact, this communication is highly developed. Briefly it works like this: One finger lifted off the steering wheel means, I Live Around Here, I Acknowledge You. Proper execution of this gesture is effected by a simple 35-degree lift, straight up. Two fingers together signify honor extended to the other person, who might be an older person, a World War II veteran or might be driving a lavender ‘57 Ford Fairlane Skyliner. Two fingers lifted from the steering wheel, but split apart, of course, means Peace, Dude. We advise NOT using this signal unless you live in or around Humboldt County, California, Josephine County, Oregon, or in certain parts of Los Angeles. A three-finger lift means Word Up (also translated as Wait For It) or War, Dude, all of which are confusing and not advisable under 55 miles per hour. Four fingers means I’m Not From Around Here, But I Acknowledge You. In some parts of Montana, it also means How. A five-finger lift means I Just Got to The Country and I’m Trying to Fit In. A thumb lifted up means I Got A Deer or I Just Got A Bear or A Big Fish. No hands on the wheel, of course, means I’m Texting. If a guy looks at you and gives the old
chin wag with no fingers visible, that can be translated as Filling A Trucker Bottle Right Now or Rolling a Doobie. All these same hand signals and quite a few others can be used on the freeway and during rush hour, but their meanings are quite different at speeds over 55 miles per hour. Of course, Polyp is new to all of this. We had to go for a ride in the truck and ended up in town at the grocery store where I had to procure a chocolate cake for Lil Sassy. When we left the parking lot, both Polyp and I spotted a veteran at the same time. We deduced he was a veteran because he held a cardboard sign that said Veteran. I gave him the two fingers together salute which Polyp immediately misinterpreted. I smelled it and had to stop about 90 feet further on, which caused the veteran to misinterpret my intentions. He jogged all the way down to where I was parked, gagging, opening the windows. And, because the veteran was willing to work for food, we worked out an arrangement in which he scraped the carpet and I gave him cash in lieu of grub. He later confessed he misinterpreted my two-finger salute. He said he had played Little League and thought I was telling him to steal second. He might not have been a real veteran, but at least he has real work experience now. I haven’t been able to eat chocolate cake for a week. 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, July/August 2019
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