Oregon Hunting Report

COUGAR: The best way to hunt these cats is with a predator call. Densities of these cats are estimated to be lower on the north coast than other geographic areas.

FOREST GROUSE and QUAIL: Relatively high numbers of birds were seen on late-summer brood counts, indicating good prospects for hunters. However as the fall progresses, hunting tends to slow down. Mountain quail will be most common along brushy clearcuts on south-facing slopes, especially in the Nestucca drainage and in eastern portions of the Coast Range. Ruffed and blue grouse are most commonly seen along streams and ridge tops, respectively.

WATERFOWL: Hunting has been very slow, and fresh migrants from the north still haven't arrived in large numbers. Hunters in coastal estuaries should pay close attention to the tide and weather conditions when planning their outing as these greatly influence success and are an important safety consideration once out on the bay. Hunting is generally best in coastal estuaries when it's stormy, but before extensive field water develops in adjacent areas.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area:

Goose hunting on the wildlife area is closed for the remainder of the season. Duck hunting continues until January 20th. Please check the 2001-2002 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for the hunt day schedules and bag limits. Parking permits are available on the island at the Reeder Beach Resort and the Cracker Barrel Grocery at the end of the bridge. Off-island locations are the 7-11 in Linnton and local Fred Meyers, G.I. Joe's, Rite Aid, BiMart Wal-Mart, and the Portland Fisherman's Marine Supply.

South Willamette District:

Open seasons include the Northwest Oregon general zone goose hunt, and the cougar, bear, forest grouse, mountain quail, and duck seasons.

Hunter ethics have become more important than ever in the battle to maintain hunting as an activity that is acceptable to the public. There is much publicity about all the Threatened and Endangered species that are in need of extra protection. Lost in all this publicity is the fact that most game species are doing very well and are even creating significant damage problems on private lands because of their abundance. Many hunting seasons have been expanded in recent years to address these growing damage problems. Examples are the many new hunts for elk, bear, cougar, geese and turkeys. Where in the past hunting occurred mostly in October and November, we now have seasons that start earlier and run later. The longer hunt calendar has resulted in more potential for hunters to wear out their welcome on private lands. Hunters need to be more careful than ever to be sure they have permission to hunt on private lands and to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner toward landowners.

Rogue District:

DENMAN WILDLIFE AREA: All ponds on the Denman Wildlife Area are completely flooded now. Hunters are averaging 1 to 2 ducks per day. The Hall Tract is open for hunting only on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays. Pheasant season is now closed.

BEARS: With colder weather, many of the bears have gone into hibernation. Some bears are still being attracted into fruit trees and abandoned orchards for remaining fruit, and low-elevation oaks for acorns. Hunters are reminded to turn in a tooth from bear harvested for the ongoing bear population study in Southwest Oregon.

COUGAR: Cougars are very secretive, but can be called with a predator call in areas where cougars are known to be present, or where tracks have been seen. Low-elevation snows are a good time to be looking for tracks and recent activity.

GROUSE and MOUNTAIN QUAIL: Grouse and mountain quail had excellent nesting success this year, resulting in good populations. With wetter fall weather the birds have dispersed away from streams, and are widely scattered.

WATERFOWL: Hunting success has been improving as northern birds arrive in the valley. Hunters are reminded that most other birds are on private property, and permission must be obtained to hunt. Hunters floating the Rogue River are reminded to be considerate of residences along the river.

Umpqua District:

MT QUAIL: Hunters working the edges of older clear-cuts away from traveled roads should find good numbers of birds. Best opportunities are at mid-elevations in the Cascades and at higher elevations in the Coast range.

FOREST GROUSE: Both blue and ruffed grouse numbers are good this year. However, birds are becoming wary and more difficult to find. Oregon State University, in cooperation with ODFW, has initiated a grouse research project. Hunters who kill grouse can help by saving wings and tails from grouse and taking them to the ODFW Roseburg office.

WATERFOWL: Duck and goose hunting is fair for locally raised birds. Goose hunting is best on private property on the valley floor. Don' t forget to ask for permission for hunting on private lands.

BEAR: The Coast Range has very high bear densities and should provide a little better hunting than the Cascades. Hunters are reminded to collect teeth and some tissue from bear killed in Southwest Oregon.

COUGAR: These animals are very elusive and difficult to hunt. However, Douglas County has plenty of cougars, and anytime hunters are out in the field, there is a chance of seeing one. Best opportunities for finding cougar are in areas that have good deer numbers.


Klamath District:

WATERFOWL: Duck and goose hunting is only fair, as a number of waterfowl have continued south into California. Colder weather should improve goose hunting as birds become more concentrated around open water and feeding areas. Over the last month the Klamath basin has received approximately two feet of snow. This will improve goose hunting with birds having to travel more frequently to feeding grounds.

COUGAR: Conditions should improve with winter weather. A combination of snow tracking and calling can be effective. All cougars that are harvested need to be checked in at a local ODFW office.

COYOTE: Hunting opportunity will increase around agricultural areas and big game wintering grounds.

UPLAND GAME BIRDS: Hunting on the Klamath Wildlife Area has been about the same as previous years. Goose hunting will continue to improve with adverse weather conditions.

FURBEARER TRAPPING and HUNTING: Seasons are open for gray fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon and river otter. Bobcat season is open and runs through February 28. Bobcat and river otter need to be checked in at a local ODFW office. An ownership tag will be affixed by ODFW at district and regional offices and shall remain so affixed while the pelt is in raw form.

Lake Wildlife District:

WEATHER: Significant snow has fallen throughout the county since Thanksgiving. Hunters should be prepared for back roads with drifted snow up to 18 inches and poor access. It is still snowing.

COUGAR: Deer migration to winter ranges is complete, and therefore, cougar have moved with the deer. Hunters should call or stand hunt in areas with deer concentrations. Hunters should be advised the Silver Lake/Cabin Lake winter road closure is in effect and runs through March 31. Therefore, vehicle access is restricted on Silver Lake, Fort Rock and South Paulina winter ranges.

CHUKAR and QUAIL: Strong winds have blown snow off some of the south slopes and allowed chukar to scatter. Hunters should focus on rim areas with little snow. Quail occur mainly on private land. Hunters should always get permission before hunting on private land. Hart Mountain National Antelope refuge is open to chukar hunting, but closed to quail hunting.

WATERFOWL: Fall migration is over. Bird numbers throughout the county are restricted to normal winter residents. Cold weather has frozen many wetlands in the county.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area:

PROSPECTS: Prospects for waterfowl hunting remain fair to good. Weather conditions have become somewhat harsh. Currently, about 80% of the Area is frozen over, and snow cover on the ground has lessened. These conditions, coupled with low bird populations, will result in very poor pass shooting opportunities, but decoy hunters might find hunting prospects good since open water foraging areas for ducks can still be found. Hunters need to be aware that the season for canvasback is now closed. Most birds remain in refuge areas or can be found roosting on the iced-over Summer Lake proper.

PHEASANTS: Pheasant season is now closed.

CALIFORNIA QUAIL: Hunters are still reporting fair numbers of California quail. These can be found predominately on northern portions of the Area in brushy uplands and around homestead sites.

COMMON SNIPE: Common snipe season reopened on December 29. Hunters are urged to review the 2001-2002 Oregon Game Bird Regulations prior to hunting for important information on bag limits and other area regulations.

CHECK-IN: All hunters are required to check in and obtain a daily hunting permit prior to hunting the Area. Permits are available at the Check Station located 1.2 miles south of the town of Summer Lake. Please follow the instructions for the self-serve permits carefully. Hunters must have a valid hunting license, appropriate HIP (all hunters) and game bird validations (depending on species and if over 14 years of age), and if over 16 years of age, a Federal waterfowl stamp.

CHECKOUT: Checkout is mandatory, and can be accomplished by returning permit to collection boxes found at Headquarters, campground and access areas. Hunters are reminded that nontoxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the area.

Prineville District:

GENERAL: All hunters are reminded to purchase a 2002 hunting license.

COUGAR: The Ochoco and Maury units offer the best opportunities due to the higher amount of public lands. Areas to consider include the Maury Mountains, Lookout Mountain, Mill Creek and the south fork of the John Day River.

QUAIL: Hunting is slow, particularly in the Madras area and on the Crooked River National Grasslands. Best opportunities are in areas close to water near the agricultural lands. Hunters are reminded to ask permission to hunt on private property.

COYOTE: Numbers are high, with good hunting opportunities on BLM lands in the Ochoco and Maury units. Hunters should look for concentrations of wintering deer as coyotes will be in the same areas. Some BLM lands have moderate access restrictions in effect, and the BLM's Prineville office (541) 416-6700 should be contacted for maps and information.

WATERFOWL: Most birds are using private lands where access is difficult. Hunters are reminded permission is necessary before hunting private lands.


Malheur District:

CHUKAR: Cooler temperatures and recent rains have caused chukar to disperse away from permanent water sources. Good numbers of birds can be found in the sagebrush-rimrock habitats found throughout the district.

QUAIL: California valley quail numbers are high, especially around agricultural areas on private land. Fair numbers of birds can be found around riparian habitats in sagebrush country.

WATERFOWL: Hunting will continue to be slow until weather conditions to the north force birds to move south. Mild local weather conditions have allowed ducks and geese to be widely dispersed.

COYOTE: Fair numbers of coyotes can be found throughout the district. Hunters can expect to do best on mule deer winter ranges. Hunters who use centerfire rifles for hunting of coyotes are reminded to check the big game regulations for times and areas in which centerfire rifles can be used so they do not conflict with ongoing big game seasons.

REMINDER: New 2002 hunting licenses will be required January 1.

Baker District:

GENERAL CONDITIONS: Recent storms have resulted in some accumulation of snow down to the valley floor, resulting in improving conditions for upland bird and cougar hunting.

COUGAR: The 2001 cougar season closed December 31. The 2002 season begins on January 1. Hunter success is especially good when snow covers the ground and deer are concentrated on winter ranges, usually December-February. The Snake River from Oxbow to Huntington, the Powder River from Baker City to Richland, and Burnt River Canyon should provide the best harvest opportunities. All cougars must be checked by ODFW during business hours within 72 hours of harvest.

COYOTES: Coyote numbers remain fair to high and calling should be good beginning in the fall. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

CHUKAR AND HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE: Season opened October 6. Inventory suggests chukar populations above the long-term average, increasing slightly from the 2000 season. Hungarian Partridge seem to be expanding in Baker County, but populations remain isolated. Recent snows may concentrate birds on open ridges. Daily bag limit is 8 birds per day with a possession limit of 24. Please consult the 2001-2002 Game Bird Regulations for more information.

WATERFOWL: Recent winter storms should improve hunting conditions. Look for any open water as freeze-up continues. Please consult 2001-2002 Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Grant Wildlife District:

ELK: Private lands antlerless elk hunt 247D (West Grant Private) continues through March 31, 2002. The Upper John Day River antlerless centerfire firearm season (246D) opened December 1. This season continues through January 6, 2002.

COUGAR: The 2001 cougar season ended on December 31. The 2002 season begins January 1, 2002. Cougar hunters will need a 2002 hunting license and cougar tag starting January 1. All cougars must be checked by ODFW during business hours within 72 hours of harvest.

FURBEARER HUNTING & TRAPPING: Gray fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon and beaver seasons are open. Bobcat season opened December 1 and continues through February 28, 2002.

CROW: Crow season opened October 1.

DUCK, MERGANSER & COOT: This season continues until January 20, 2002.

COMMON SNIPE: This season was closed until December 29.

GOOSE: Goose season runs through January 20, 2002. There are few Canada geese in the John Day Valley.

CHUKAR, HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE, CALIFORNIA QUAIL: Good numbers of game birds are found throughout the District, and hunting pressure has been low. Most upland bird hunting opportunities are found on private land. Remember to ask permission to hunt on private land. The season for these game birds continues through January 31, 2002.

Heppner District:

CHUKAR & HUNS: Hunters are experiencing moderate success with most hunters finding multiple coveys of birds to pursue. Hun populations have rebounded in most historic areas and chukar populations appear to have improved in most habitat areas. Chukar and Hun season ends December 31 in Morrow County.

WATERFOWL: Some of the late-season birds are starting to show up on the Columbia River. Hunting success has been moderate. Hunting should improve as the winter storms push more birds down from the north. Most birds will be found on or near the larger bodies of water.

Umatilla District:

COUGAR: The 2001 season closed December 31. Best opportunities still exist using tree stands in prominent saddles along ridgelines and following tracts to track individuals down. Hunters are reminded to check harvested lions in to an ODFW office within 72 hours of harvest.

WATERFOWL: Cooler weather and recent storms have brought waterfowl into the Columbia Basin. Hunters should find enhanced hunting opportunities for both ducks and geese.

VALLEY QUAIL: Season closed December 31 in Umatilla and Morrow Counties. Brood success was high for quail this past summer. Where appropriate habitat exists, hunters should find good numbers of quail present.

Union District:

COUGAR: The 2001 Season continues through December 31. Sightings of cougars continue to be reported throughout the county. Hunting conditions are excellent with new snowfall for tracking almost daily. All cougars must be checked out at an ODFW office within 72 hours of harvest.

CHUKAR, HUNS & CALIFORNIA QUAIL: Season continues through January 31, 2002. Hunters can expect improved bird populations as compared to last year. Hun populations have rebounded in most historic areas and chukar populations appear to have improved in most habitat areas. Quail numbers are high with birds using all areas with good habitat.

WATERFOWL: Duck and goose season continues through January 20, 2002. Local numbers of waterfowl are low but should improve with the arrival of migrants. Scarce open water will limit hunting opportunities.

Wallowa District:

COUGAR: Some hunters have had success using calls. Try areas near concentrations of deer and elk. Snow should aid hunters in locating cats.

CHUKAR: Chukar numbers are below normal throughout most of Wallowa County and hunter success has been poor to fair.

WATERFOWL: Numbers of ducks are increasing in the Valley. Duck and goose numbers will continue to improve as the season progresses as migrant birds move into the county.

Harney District:

CHUKAR: Snow cover has changed hunting conditions on most ranges. Good numbers are being found as birds are more concentrated into the canyons. Strong winds may open up some upper slopes where green grass had developed earlier. Those birds will be difficult to locate. The hard, crusted snow has pushed birds on most ranges downslope, so access to hunters has become easier. The condition of the harvested birds still remains good.

QUAIL: California Valley Quail numbers are very high, and they can be found in most of the chukar habitats, as well as around more agricultural areas inhabited by pheasants. Expect excellent harvest associated with pheasant hunting around agricultural lands.

GEESE and DUCKS: Duck hunting has been poor, and waters will be frozen prior to northern migrants arriving. It appears that most migrating ducks passed over Harney Basin again this year. Good numbers of local honkers are available. However, those key alfalfa fields with green showing above the snow are becoming less abundant. Access to private land having current goose use remains the key to good success.

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