Hunting

 

 

Wolves are present in northeast Oregon!

 

Wolves are protected statewide and it is unlawful to shoot one, except in defense of human life. This flyer has tips on recognizing wolf sign, differentiating between wolves vs coyotes and protecting dogs from wolves.

As of summer 2014, ODFW is monitoring 12 areas of known wolf activity, 11 in northeast Oregon and one in southwest Oregon.

 

Area of Known Wolf Activity for each pack:

  • Chesnimnus Wolves

  • Imnaha Pack

  • Minam Pack

  • Sled Springs Pair

  • Snake River Pack

  • Umatilla River Pack

  • Unnamed Pack in Catherine Creek / Keating Units

  • Mt Emily Pack

  • Walla Walla Pack

  • Wenaha Pack

  • OR7

  • OR26

 

ODFW appreciates any information about wolf sightings or encounters from hunters. Use the online wolf reporting form to share this information with wildlife managers.

BAKER DISTRICT (Sumpter, Keating, Pine Creek, Lookout Mt.)

 

DEER

 

Over-winter survival was good in all units with average fawn ratios of 41 per 100 adults, higher than last year. That means a higher percentage of young bucks for harvest in 2014 season. Buck ratios are still at or above management objectives (19 for Sumpter, 17 for Lookout, 19 for Keating, 16 for Pine Creek). The body condition of animals should be excellent with the early summer rains producing forage later than usual.

 

ELK

 

Like last year, elk herds in Baker County again came out of the winter in good shape. Bull ratios are at or near management objective for all units. Calf ratios are stable throughout the units, with the highest in the Lookout Unit. For the best chance at tagging an elk, get as far away from roads as possible, perhaps by hunting in one of the cooperative Travel Management Areas.

CROOK COUNTY (Maury, Ochoco, Grizzly)

 

DEER

 

Recent wildfires this summer may have impacted areas that hunters have historically hunted. Please check with the appropriate land management agency to ensure that your area is open and has no restriction due to fire activity.

 

Deer hunters should find good prospects for a buck this fall. Buck ratios are slightly above management objective in all Prineville District units. Fawn recruitment was very good this spring, so hunters should find a good number of small bucks available for harvest. Overall, deer populations continue to be lower than desired due to habitat loss and disturbance, poaching, predation, disease and road kills.

Archery hunters are reminded that as part of the Mule Deer Initiative (MDI); the Maury unit is now a controlled deer archery unit requiring archers to possess a controlled entry buck tag. Hunters can expect to see larger, older age class bucks as a result of MDI-related tag reductions in the last three hunting seasons. Hunters should expect to see juniper cuts within the Maury unit. Remember the new travel rules for the Ochoco and Deschutes national forests that went into effect a few years ago. Pick up a motor vehicle use map so you know what’s open vs. closed.

 

ELK

 

Elk populations are just below management objectives and bull ratios are quite variable in all three units. Elk are in good body condition and highly mobile across their range. Depending on weather conditions, hunters should expect to find elk on north-slope drainages and high elevations during archery season and more scattered during rifle seasons. Elk bow hunters must also have a controlled Maury Unit deer bow tag (used/unused) to hunt elk in the Maury Unit.

 

The Maury and Ochoco units offer the best opportunities for bagging an animal on public land, while the Grizzly unit is mostly private land where access can be difficult. Ochoco unit rifle hunters are reminded the Rager (pdf) and South Boundary (pdf) TMA motorized vehicle restrictions will be in effect. Maps of those areas are available on ODFW’s website and from ODFW and Ochoco National Forest offices. A majority of cow elk tags have been eliminated in the Ochoco unit on public land due to declining elk populations on national forests. New private land hunts for the Ochoco unit are intended to increase elk use on the national forest and eliminate elk staying on private land throughout the seasons. GRIZZLY is approximately 70% private land so access is challenging. Public lands are mostly on the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland.

 

DESCHUTES DISTRICT (Upper Deschutes, Paulina, North Wagontire, Northwest Fort Rock, Metolius)

DEER

 

Spring 2014 fawn ratios were fair across much of the Deschutes District. Buck ratios are near, or above, management objectives in the Deschutes District units, with the exception of the North Wagontire which is below the desired buck ratio management objective. There should be decent numbers of both mature and yearling bucks available in most units relative to the population size. Management activities including controlled hunting, increased enforcement, disease monitoring and closures to protect wintering habitat have helped bring buck ratios up. Overall, deer populations continue to be significantly lower than desired due to disease, habitat loss, disturbance, poaching, predation, and road kills. Higher hunter success is expected in the Metolius unit. Hunter success should be fair in the Paulina, Upper Deschutes, North Wagontire and Ft. Rock units. 

 

ELK

 

Paulina, East Fort Rock and Wagontire unit bull ratios are down slightly this year. Relative to the number of elk, branch antlered bull opportunity will be decent in the Paulina and East Fort Rock units. Herds are at relatively low densities and cover a lot of country, so hunter success is typically low.

Elk numbers continue to grow slowly in the Cascade units. The Upper Deschutes, Metolius and West Fort Rock units are managed under the general season ‘Cascade' hunt. Elk densities are moderate, but hunter densities are high in the roaded portions of the Cascade units. For solitude, seek more remote wilderness and roadless areas in the Cascades. Persons with a “Disability Permit” are limited to a “legal bull” bag limit in these Cascade units this year.

 

Elk numbers in the North Wagontire (High Desert hunts) are quite variable due to the large movements these animals make. In the North Wagontire Unit, the bull ratio is below management objective. The elk are most consistent in their daily patterns near alfalfa fields. Hunters are advised to select their target animal carefully when elk are in open country and/or in large herds, to avoid wounding animals or multiple animals being hit.