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MailTribune.com
  • 2013 fall hunting forecast - Southwest Region

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  • JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES - (Applegate, Chetco, Evans Creek, Rogue, portions of Dixon, and Sixes units.) The fall deer-hunting forecast in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties looks good. Deer counts have been stable for the past three years, with buck ratios remaining strong. Acorn surveys throughout the area show variation in acorn abundance. The spring had less rainfall resulting in reduced brush. Hunting is expected to be average for all of the units. Most deer will be in high elevations through September. Unlike many black-tails, 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. Josephine and Curry county deer populations show very little migration, and deer can be found throughout all elevations. Don't forget to check fire restrictions before heading out, especially early in the season.
    DOUGLAS COUNTY - (Dixon, South Indigo, Northwest Evans Creek, Melrose, Southwest Siuslaw, East Tioga and Northeast Powers units.) Deer populations remain similar to last year, with large numbers on the Umpqua Valley floor and lower populations in the Cascade and Coast ranges. Fawn ratios have been good the last 10 years, showing good overall deer recruitment throughout the county. Buck ratios are similar to last year, so hunters should expect to find a good number of legal bucks if they work clear-cuts and other places that have brushy habitat. In addition, mild winter conditions over 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 private lands. For hunters looking to hunt on private timberlands, don't forget to 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, near water and green-up areas.
    COOS COUNTY - (West Tioga, West Powers, North Sixes, Southwest Siuslaw units.) Overall deer populations in Coos County appear to be stable with some increase seen in the North Sixes and portions of the Tioga units. A decreased prevalence of deer hair-loss syndrome has resulted in better fawn survival in these areas. Buck survival during last season appeared to be fairly high as well. Hunting prospects are good in all units; however, a large percentage of private versus public lands may limit hunter access in some areas of the Powers and Sixes units. Hunters are encouraged to scout early and contact landowners in these areas to obtain access. Hunters are also encouraged to contact private timber companies and ranch owners to ask for hunting access. There is more accessible public land in the Tioga Unit, and areas such as the Elliott State Forest may be productive. Hunt for deer in brushy openings, meadows and clear-cuts where brush is beginning to grow up. Areas where vehicle access is limited will be the most productive for deer.
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