Part of being a responsible hunter is to ALWAYS know the laws and regulations. Click here to see the 2017 Hunting Regulations for Oregon.
Wolves are present in Oregon
ODFW is monitoring about 20 areas of known wolf activity, mostly in northeast Oregon and several in southwest Oregon. Wolves may also occur in central Oregon and the Cascades. See the Wolf web page for the latest information.
Wolves remain on the federal ESA west of Hwys 395-78-95. In the rest of eastern Oregon, wolves remain protected under the state’s Wolf Management Plan and no take is allowed, except in defense of human life or by livestock producers in certain situations in the eastern third of Oregon.
Oregon has not seen any conflict or human safety problems between people and wolves, but there are some tips online on how to avoid problems. This flyer also has tips on recognizing wolf sign, differentiating between wolves vs coyotes and protecting dogs from wolves.
ODFW appreciates any information about wolf sightings or encounters from hunters. Use the online wolf reporting form to share this information with wildlife managers.
ODFW is closely watching both wolf and big game populations. ODFW has not seen negative impacts from wolves requiring big game hunting tags to be reduced.
Besides annual surveys of wolves and big game, OSU and ODFW are working together on a wolf-cougar research project looking at competitive interactions and prey selection between wolves and cougars in the Mt Emily unit.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Game has put together a quiz I encourage ALL of you to take. As Southern Oregon and Northern California are confirmed wolf territory, KNOWING the difference between a coyote and a wolf on sight can be very critical.....ESPECIALLY for hunters. You MUST know the differences between a wolf and a coyote in appearance.
I did get 100 percent on this test. I mean I would sure hope I would being the Chairman of the Jackson County Wolf Committee. Let's see how you do. Some of these are going to be easy. Real easy. But there are a couple pictures in here that will require a real good look.
Click here to take the test.
OPEN SEASONS: COUGAR, COYOTE, BEAR, WESTERN OREGON RIFLE DEER.
The 2017 Big Game hunting forecast is availaable online. Click the red highlighted area to get to it.
There are just a few changes from last year:
Edible portions of game mammals is now defined and includes the meat from the front quarters, hind quarters, the loins (backstrap) and tenderloins. For elk, the meat of the neck is also included. See page 95 of the Big Game Regulations.
Hunters with a disabilities permit are reminded to check page 93 of the Big Game Regulations to see which units allow them to take any sex deer or elk. The bag limits are the same as they were last year.
JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES (Applegate, Chetco, Evans Creek, Rogue, portions of Dixon, and Sixes)
C2 Ranch Adult Archery Hunts – application deadline Oct. 31
The C2 Cattle Company, a 9,500 acre ranch near Medford, is conducting a drawing to allow six archery deer hunts for adults during the late archery season (Nov. 11 – Dec. 3). These hunts are made possible through the ODFW Access and Habitat Program. Each hunt is for three days and is unguided. Interested hunters can apply by mailing, faxing, or emailing this application. Applications must be received by Oct. 31, and winners will be drawn on Nov. 1. This hunt requires a general bow deer tag. For more information contact ODFW’s Central Point Office at (541) 826-8774.
DEER: Western Rifle Deer season is open got all areas west of the Cascade Crest. Hunter success has remained steady for the past few years so expect a season similar to that of 2016. The first three weeks of the aseason were slow, but the arrival of rain and high elevation snow really caused success to pick up.
Remember that deer in the Dixon, Rogue, and Evans Creek unit typically are at high elevations during the early fall and as winter approaches they migrate down to lower elevations; however there are resident deer on the valley floor year round. The early rains this September may have started to get the deer moving, however with a warm opening weekend forecast it will most likely still be best at higher elevations. In the Applegate and Chetco units deer that are present at higher elevations usually only move when pushed out by severe weather. Remember when heading out this season that some areas here in Southwest Oregon are still closed due to firefighting activity. The southern half of the Sky Lakes Wilderness is now open again, and new areas are opening back up as the weather gets cooler.
Fall Black BEAR season continues. Hunters can expect another good year. The Applegate unit has historically had some of the highest harvest in the state so focus your efforts there; however the Rogue and Evans Creek can also be very productive. There were a large number of bears checked-in here in Southern Oregon after this opening weekend of deer season; it should be a very good fall season for bears. It is always a good idea to buy a bear tag if you are deer hunting because you may just see a bear while trying to find a buck. Here in Southern Oregon you are allowed two fall bears by purchasing your SW Additional Fall Black Bear tag, this tag is good for all of units 20-30. Remember that there is a mandatory check in of your bear skull at an ODFW office or designated collection site within 10 days of harvest, the skull must be unfrozen. In addition if you harvest a female bear you must turn in the entire reproductive tract to ODFW. See page 30 in the big game hunting regulations for more information.
Youth Antlerless ELK seasons are currently open for units in our area; these are controlled draw hunts that provide a limited number of youth to harvest an elk in our area. This is a great opportunity for the youth to harvest an elk. These hunts are designed to provide young hunters with a safe, well supervised, low-stress setting where they can enjoy the hunt while building fundamental skills. A reminder that youth are required to wear hunter orange.
COUGAR season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met (see zone quota page). With the upcoming elk and deer seasons remember to purchase your cougar tag since majority of the cougars are harvest while in pursuit of other species. There is a mandatory check in of all cougars harvested within 10 days of the after harvest; the unfrozen skull, hide, and proof of sex must be taken to an ODFW office during normal business hours. If a female cougar is harvested it is also mandatory to bring in the reproductive tract in order to gain valuable population data. For more information refer to page 34 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.
WESTERN GRAY SQUIRREL continues in our area until Nov. 8, the daily bag limit is 5 squirrels with a 15 squirrel possession limit. There is no bag limit or closed season in that part of the Rogue unit south of the Rogue River and S Fork Rogue River and north of Hwy 140.
DOUGLAS COUNTY (Dixon, S. Indigo, NW Evans Creek, Melrose, SW Siuslaw, E. Tioga and NE Powers Units)
Deer - General Western Deer Rifle Season started Sept. 30. Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. Check conditions and landownership restrictions before entering industrial timber lands.
Black Bear – General bear season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. As fall arrives, watch for bears utilizing late berry crops. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades.
Western Gray Squirrel – Squirrel season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas of oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission on these lands before hunting.
Cougar – The cougar season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.
Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.
Eurasian Collared-Doves – These non-natives are expanding throughout Douglas County. These birds have no protections in Oregon, so there are no closed seasons for these invasives and no limits to their harvest. Target Eurasian collared-doves around agricultural areas and forest openings where food sources are abundant. Be sure of your identification before you hunt these abundant invasive birds. Identify this species and its habitat
COOS COUNTY (west Tioga, west Powers, north Sixes, southwest Siuslaw)
Rifle Deer – Season opened Sept. 30. Deer numbers are in line with long term trends and hunters can expect to find animals across the county. Riparian areas, clear-cuts, and agricultural lands can all be productive. In the mornings and evenings. When deer become more active, they may move on to brushy hill slopes and grassy meadows to feed. Fire precautions levels have been reduced due to the weather but hunters should check with local land managers to ensure access rules and regulations. For the opening weekend of the season weather conditions were good with some rain and cool conditions. Hunters should target time periods when these conditions occur as they tend to make deer more active.
Bear – Fall bear season continues. Bears are numerous in the county and can be found along riparian areas. As the berry crop continues to progress, hunters should focus their efforts on blackberry patches, particularly along abandoned/closed roads, where bears will be concentrated. Focusing on patches that have been trampled and/or where berries are missing should be productive. As the berry production time of year progresses blackberries will ripen and fall off the plants. Other berries will be coming into their own. Hunters may find that bears will begin feeding on evergreen huckleberries as fall comes on. Hunting these areas from tree stands or ground blinds can be very productive under the present conditions. Most opportunities will come in the early morning or late evening hours.
Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Coos County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.
Cougar - Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.
To see reports on Game Bird hunting, click here.