• Hunting Forecast 2010

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    Applegate, Chetco, Evans Creek, Rogue, portions of Dixon and Sixes units - For the last few years, deer numbers have increased and buck ratios appeared to be high during summer surveys. Most deer will be in high elevations through September. Hunter success is generally weather-dependent, with rain and snow bringing the best hunting. Unlike many blacktails, Jackson County's deer are migratory, and hunters are encouraged to hunt high elevations in the first part of the season, switching to mid to low elevations later in the season. Don't forget to check fire restrictions before heading out, especially early in the season.
    Dixon, South Indigo, Northwest Evans Creek, Melrose, Southwest Siuslaw, East Tioga and Northeast Powers Units - Deer populations are up the last two years, with good numbers on the Umpqua Valley floor with lower numbers in the Cascades and Coast ranges. Fawn production has improved the last couple of years, showing a general increase in overall deer populations throughout the county. Buck ratios are good enough that hunters should expect to find legal bucks if they work clear cuts and other places with brushy habitat. In addition, mild winter conditions the last few years have contributed to excellent survival, providing a good deer-harvest opportunity this season.
    Most property on the Umpqua valley floor is privately owned and hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. In addition, before going hunting, all hunters should check with local timber companies to obtain information on access restrictions related to fire conditions.
    During the early part of rifle and archery season, hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green-up areas.
    West Tioga, west Powers, north Sixes, southwest Siuslaw units - Deer populations are improving, thanks partly to a reduction in Deer Hair-Loss Syndrome in fawns. Buck ratios were good after the season closed last year, so buck numbers should be good this season. Hunting prospects are good in all units, but your best chance is to find access to private land in the Sixes Unit. Hunt for deer in brushy openings, meadows and clear-cuts where brush is beginning to grow up.
    Prineville District (Maury, Ochoco, Grizzly units) - Deer hunters should find improved prospects for a buck this fall. A combination of a mild winter and a wet spring provided good fawn survival. Buck ratios also improved in all three units, which should provide for improved hunter success. Archery hunters are reminded, as part of the Mule Deer Initiative, the Maury Unit is now a controlled unit requiring archers to possess a controlled-entry buck tag.
    Deschutes District (Upper Deschutes, Paulina, North Wagontire, Northwest Fort Rock, Metolius units) - Buck ratios are near or above management objectives in all Deschutes District units. There should be decent numbers of mature and yearling bucks available in all units. Measures 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 because of disease, habitat loss and disturbance, poaching, predation and road kills. As a result, hunter success will probably be lower than average this year in the Paulina, Upper Deschutes, North Wagontire and Fort Rock units.
    Klamath District (Keno, Klamath Falls, Sprague, Southwest portion of Fort Rock, West portion of Silver Lake, West Interstate) - Over-winter fawn survival was lower this year in most units despite a fairly mild winter. Buck tags were reduced in the Klamath Falls and Interstate units in response to the lower numbers. Fawn recruitment in Keno, Silver Lake, Fort Rock and Sprague was average and tag numbers are the same as last year. Although populations remain below management objectives, all units are at or above buck ratio management objectives.
    BAKER DISTRICT (Sumpter, Keating, Pine Creek, Lookout Mountain units) - Over-winter survival was good thanks to a milder winter. Buck ratios are above management objectives, so hunters should experience good success rates throughout the county.
    GRANT DISTRICT (Northside, Desolation, Southeast Heppner, northwest Beulah units) - Deer populations in Grant County continue to be below management objectives because of poor habitat and predation. The winter was relatively mild with a long and wet spring that kept mule-deer forage green late into the summer. Fawn survival dipped a little compared to last year. Buck ratios continue to be slightly below management objective, but antler growth and body condition should be excellent because of the above-average spring rains and corresponding forage growth.
    HEPPNER DISTRICT (Heppner, Fossil, East Biggs, southern Columbia Basin units) - Deer in Heppner are stable to slightly increasing and buck ratios are good. Adult deer survived the winter well for the most part. A 60,000-acre fire that burned three years ago along the breaks of the North Fork John Day should provide better forage and more opportunities for success.
    The Fossil Unit deer numbers are stable to slightly increasing. Public-lands hunters can work the old Wheeler Burn, which is still producing a fair number of deer and is historically a good spot.
    The Columbia Basin and East Biggs deer herds are stable to slightly declining. However, if you are lucky enough to have access to private land in the Columbia Basin or John Day River Canyon, you can expect decent hunting.
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