Rutty blacktails await Beaver State hunters when deer season reopens this weekend, but if you haven’t filled your elk tag, there’s news for you too.
Here’s more from ODFW’s most recent Recreation Report:
General DEER rifle season is open (Cascade area reopens Oct. 24). The north coast is home to modest populations of black-tailed deer, but the ratios of bucks to does are relatively high, especially in the Wilson Unit. Look for deer early in the morning and late in the evening in clearcuts or other openings. During the middle of the day, stalk-hunting timbered areas or making drives through cover areas is more productive. As October progresses, bucks will be more vulnerable due to the rut. In general, areas on the eastern slope of the coast range tend to have higher deer numbers than those in the far western side near the coast. When hunting on private industrial forest lands, please be mindful of the company’s access policies.
Western Oregon General Rifle DEER season is open, though the Cascade area closes from Oct. 17-23 for elk season. Hunters are encouraged to bring the heads from any harvested deer or elk into the ODFW offices in Clackamas or Sauvie Island so that samples can be taken for ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) monitoring. Call ahead (Clackamas 971-673-6000 and Sauvie Island 503-621-3488) to ensure someone will be around to collect the sample or to make an appointment for another day.
DEER hunting in the Cascades will reopen on Oct. 24 and reports indicate that some of the mature bucks are already showing signs of the rut. Hunters can increase their chance for success by using deer scents to attract and hold bucks in more open habitat where they will be easier to locate. Hunters heading to the National Forest should also look for patches of available forage. Forage may be found in burned areas, recent thinnings, or old clearcuts. Many of the old clear cuts are brushing in and becoming difficult to hunt but hunters may have luck finding deer in the large timber next to the old cuts.
Coastal black-tailed deer hunters are reporting average success despite the favorable hunting conditions. Hunters will find higher densities of deer occurring on private timberland properties where clearcuts have increased forage availability. Deer hunters checked in the field report they are finding more deer by getting away from roads open to vehicle traffic and still hunting and glassing clearcuts along roads open only to non-motorized travel. There are several travel management areas (TMA), North Coast TMA and Upper Tualatin-Trask TMA, located in the coast range that provide hunters an opportunity to leave their vehicle behind and hunt on foot. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private property.
Hunters in the Indigo Unit need to be aware that the USFS has implemented a large public access closure due to the Tumblebug Wildfire. Hunters in the Indigo Unit should check with the Willamette National Forest for closure details and update. Closure information can also be found at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1894/.
Cascade Bull ELK hunters are finding low numbers of elk in the Mt. Hood National Forest and hunting is expected to be similar to last year with only fair success. As is previous years, bull elk will be widely scattered and difficult to locate and hunters will need to find fresh tracks and other sign to ensure that herds are in the area. Hunters heading for the industrial timberlands or agricultural lands in the northern half of the Santiam Unit should see increasing elk numbers and success rates should improve. Weather conditions have been and continue to be excellent for elk hunting.
General Cascade DEER rifle season in Indigo, Dixon and Evans Creek units re-opens Oct. 24 in the Cascade units. The recent wet weather will help hunters locate bucks for the last couple weeks of the season. Also, harvest success should continue to improve as the season progresses with bucks starting to come into rut. Many of the controlled doe seasons are open from Oct. 24– Nov. 6 in Douglas County.
Local wildlife biologists checked some nice ELK opening weekend in the Diamond Lake and Lemolo Lake areas. The duff/forest floor was relatively quiet because the last several rain storms quieted the woods but warmer weather fronts with a southwest flow created little precipitation with high snow levels. Hunting pressure was down slightly compared to last several years. Cascade elk rifle season continues through Oct. 23.
RIFLE DEER season is open and the Coast season continues through Nov. 6. Deer will become most active during rain and shortly afterwards, as weather fronts pass. Walking roads closed to motor vehicles and glassing clear cuts will be most effective. Some hunters find that rattling deer antlers can be an effective way to attract bucks lat in the centerfire rifle buck season as the rut approaches. Wearing florescent orange clothing is recommended while rattling deer to make the hunter more visible to other hunters. Florescent colors are not colors deer see well so wearing them will not scare approaching deer.
JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES
DEER rifle season will reopen Oct 24 for the Cascade units (Rogue, Evans, and Dixon). Coast season will remain open (Applegate) through Nov 6. With the wet conditions of opening weekend a big portion of deer have migrated down although more will trickle for the next three or so weeks. When deer season reopens lower elevation will be the best areas to find deer.