Part of being a responsible hunter is to ALWAYS know the laws and regulations. Click here to see the 2017 Hunting Regulations for Oregon.
Am I looking at a black tail? Or, a white tail?
Here in Southern Oregon we have both of these deer types. This is mainly in Douglas County. However, over the years reports have come in of white tails being seen in Coos, and Jackson Counties as well. I am not aware of any from Josephine County.
The BIG question is how do hunters tell the two apart quickly? The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has produced a video that will give you quick identification tips to use in the field that will quickly tell you if you are looking at a back tail, or a white tail. And you NEED to be able to tell the two apart. While limited landowner hunting of Columbian white tails is allowed in Douglas County, there is no season for them at this time that allows harvest on public land. To see the video on the tips to tell them apart, click below.
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.
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)
Youth Deer: Started Dec. 15 in the Chetco, Applegate, Evans Creek, and Rogue units, the any deer youth seasons will begin. These are controlled hunts and require a tag for each of the respective units. All hunts will continue until Jan. 5 and is open to any deer. If you are one of the few lucky youth that drew one of these tags focus on the lower winter range areas of Black-Tailed deer habitat. Many landowners are also willing to allow youth to hunt their property so don’t be afraid to knock on some doors to try and get permission. Remember that this is a dedicated youth hunt so all hunters need to have an adult age 21 or older accompany them. For more information refer to page 63 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting regulations.
Fall Black bear season continues until Dec. 31. 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 so it should continue to be a very good fall season for bears. 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.
Spring Black Bear The southwest Oregon limited bear tags are on sale now as a first come first served basis. There were a total of 4,400 tags available starting Dec. 1, as of Dec. 18 there is 3,900 still available. Tags for this hunt are usually sold out by the end of January. The season runs from April 1 through May 31, and is valid for all hunt units within Jackson, Josephine, and Curry counties.
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: Open year-round. 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. See page 4 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations for more information.
DOUGLAS COUNTY (Dixon, S. Indigo, NW Evans Creek, Melrose, SW Siuslaw, E. Tioga and NE Powers Units)
Elk: A few controlled elk hunts are open. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units.
Deer: A few controlled deer hunts are open. 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.
Black Bear: General bear season is open until Dec. 31. Hunters can expect an average year. Bears are still actively looking for limited food sources prior to denning. Concentrate on lower elevation areas where food is still available. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades.
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. We are starting to see a little snow in the Cascades, so finding fresh tracks can make it easier to locate an area to set up a predator call knowing that it has a higher chance of being heard.
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.
Furbearers: Bobcat, fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon, river otter and beaver fur taking seasons are now open. Remember to check your bobcat and river otters in with ODFW for Ownership Tags. The Roseburg ODFW office will check bobcats and river otter pelts on Mondays by appointment only. Call 541-440-3353 to set up an appointment.
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)
Hunters need to be aware that ownership of several timber land parcels in Coos County has recently changed. In some cases the new owners have different access policies than their predecessors. Make sure you know what the policy is before accessing private land and don’t assume the policy is the same as prior years.
Elk: Clear cold weather will force elk to feed in areas where the forage is of the highest quality available to them because they need the extra nutrition to help them deal with the temperatures. The best forage will be found either on private pasture lands where grass gets TLC from the landowner or it will be found on hillsides with south exposure. Sun will warm the soil in these places, which will help grass grow more vigorously. Look for fresh sign of animals in these areas and check them early and late in the day to see if elk are present.
For those with the 224M Muzzleloader tag for3pt+ bull; you should look for bulls in bachelor groups. There may be some bulls in the vicinity of cow herds but many bulls will have moved away from these herds and will be with small groups of bulls or they will be by themselves. In either case elk will be where the feed is best because of their nutritional needs.
Bear: Fall bear season continues through Dec. 31 in western Oregon. Bears are numerous in the county and are likely to be found in areas where huckleberries are present. Due to the fact that food resources are becoming less available to bears, hunters may find bears to be on the move trying to find the last meals of the season. Bears may also be feeding on mushrooms and salmon. When extended rainy cold weather occurs on the Oregon coast bears will move toward dens and they will likely become very hard to find.
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.
OPEN: FOREST GROUSE, QUAIL, CROW, WATERFOWL, FALL TURKEY
To see reports on Game Bird hunting, click here.