Reporting deadline looms for hunters

Oregon hunters are facing the first mandatory reporting deadline of the year. By Sunday, all of last year's big-game tag-holders must report their success, or lack of, in 2015.

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday for those who purchased deer, elk, pronghorn, cougar, bear and turkey tags for hunts that ended in 2015, and many of those who don't report will face future $25 fines, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Holders of 2015 tags for seasons that slop into.....

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Big rewards offered in three Rogue Valley poaching cases

Investigators hope the lure of big cash and the cloak of anonymity can help break open three separate big-game poaching cases from this fall around the Rogue Valley.

Rewards of up to $5,500 are being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for elk-poaching cases outside Shady Cove and in the Applegate Valley as well as a trophy deer killed recently in southeast Grants Pass.

The Oregon Hunters Association, through its Turn In Poachers...

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Young guns can register for deer hunt

Young guns can register this month for a chance at a black-tailed deer hunt of a lifetime at the C2 Cattle Company ranch off Highway 140 during the Christmas holidays.

Sixteen youth hunters younger than 18 will be chosen in a drawing for these hunts, which have been offered since 2006 at the 9,500-acre ranch as part of the state Access and Habitat Program.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will take applications for the hunts through Nov. 30, and the winners will be...

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Camo queen

Camo queen

Remi Berube’s hunting and fishing buddies live in fear.

They are not worried about being attacked by a grizzly bear or pack of wolves while archery elk hunting, that’s part of the thrill of the sport. No, what they fear is Remi’s wife, Kristen, and she’s only 5-foot-5, cheerful and funny.

“My buddies are terrified that they’re going to get lined out in the book,” Remi said.

The book he’s referring to is...

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Free forage seed available for wildlife grass plots

Landowners who would like to attract more wildlife to their property can do so under a free grass-seed giveaway now under way.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has teamed with the Medford-based Oregon Hunters Association to provide 1.5 tons of a mix of grass seeds to create forage opportunities for everything from big-game animals to non-game birds.

Each interested landowner can get a 25-pound bag to be planted this fall, which is enough seed to turn about 2 acres into.....

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Sprinkles, better temps, await elk hunters

UNION CREEK — Rifle hunters who hit the high mountains of Southern Oregon this weekend in their quest to bag Western Oregon's largest fauna can expect slightly better conditions than their deer- and archery-hunting brethren have faced so far.

Persistent drought conditions and warm October temperatures have Southern Oregon's woods tinder-dry, so those participating in the upcoming general rifle season for Roosevelt bull elk again will face tough hunting conditions and fire...

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Sprinkles, better temps, await elk hunters

UNION CREEK — Rifle hunters who hit the high mountains of Southern Oregon this weekend in their quest to bag Western Oregon's largest fauna can expect slightly better conditions than their deer- and archery-hunting brethren have faced so far.

Persistent drought conditions and warm October temperatures have Southern Oregon's woods tinder-dry, so those participating in the upcoming general rifle season for Roosevelt bull elk again will face tough hunting conditions and fire...

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Archers can apply for C2 Ranch hunt

The state's Access and Habitat Program is once again partnering with the C2 Ranch to offer six adult hunters a chance to bowhunt on the ranch's high-grade habitat near Lake Creek.

Winners in an upcoming drawing will get a free, three-day, unguided hunt on the 9,500-acre ranch during the late archery season between Nov. 14 and Dec. 6.

The ranch offers these unique hunting access opportunities in exchange for the A&H Program helping to pay for seeding and buck-brush removal at.....

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The Weyerhaeuser Experiment

The Weyerhaeuser Experiment

It's being called the Weyerhaeuser Experiment, and whether it's greeted with a sullen sigh or the gnashing of teeth, it's getting more face time every day with Oregon hunters.

After decades of offering public access to its highly managed commercial tree farms — often loaded with deer and elk — the private timberland giant slapped the gates closed on huge swaths of its Western Oregon holdings and put up a "for rent" sign just before last year's controlled-hunt...

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2015 Hunting Forecast

DEER AND ELK

Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties

(Applegate, Chetco, Evans Creek, Rogue, portions of Dixon, and Sixes units)
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Waterfowlers see 18th straight maximum duck season

A record count of nearly 50 million breeding ducks means Oregon waterfowlers once again will enjoy their 18th straight season with the maximum number of hunting days available to them.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surveys found duck counts along the four flyways to be 51 percent above the long-term average dating back to 1955.

High numbers within the Pacific Flyway mean Oregon hunters will have the full 107 days of duck hunting allocated to them, leaving a 105-day season after.....

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Deer fever on the rise for good reason

Bulging buck ratios, dropping disease problems and improving weather conditions are combining for an outbreak of buck fever in Southern Oregon heading into one of the more promising general deer seasons in years for rifle hunters.

Coming off last year's season, when one in five Rogue Unit hunters slapped his or her tag on a tine, Southern Oregon hunters have plenty of reasons to be optimistic this fall.
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Elk hunters look to expand on last year's improved season

Coming off one of the strongest hunts in years, Roosevelt elk hunters in the south Cascades are heading into the season with a little more mystery than normal.

The bull ratio estimates that generate optimism among general-season riflemen aren't there this year, a victim of state budget cutbacks.

But it doesn't take a biologist in a helicopter flitting about the hillsides to know Jackson County is home to a good number of elk. But with degrading habitat in national forests,...

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Mountain quail wings to unlock population secrets

Mountain quail wings to unlock population secrets

A wing and a tail is all Mark Vargas asks from successful grouse and mountain quail hunters this season as the state wildlife biologist embarks on a new study to shed light on the health and habits of these upland game birds popular among Southern Oregon hunters.

It's new to Southern Oregon this fall, but Vargas' Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife brethren have been conducting these wing-and-tail collections for decades in parts of Eastern Oregon to gauge mating success and age...

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Sheep hunters' lifetime hunt lasts less than a day

Sheep hunters' lifetime hunt lasts less than a day

Schyler Gorman is the latest Oregonian to learn exactly how fleeting a hunters' once-in-a-lifetime moment can be.

The 26-year-old man beat the nearly 431 to 1 odds by landing one of Oregon's coveted tags to hunt California bighorn sheep this year after just four years of applying for the tag.

And he came through in spades, killing his ram Aug. 22, less than eight hours into the two-week hunt in the Fish Creek  area of southeastern Oregon's Warner Unit.

"It happened so.....

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Hunt fit: New endurance sport mixes bowhunting with extreme cross training

Hunt fit: New endurance sport mixes bowhunting with extreme cross training

ASHLAND — Trever Niestrath hurtles the 70-pound sandbag he's carried along a trail, then bursts into a quick quarter-mile run before dropping his bow and breaking into a series of pushups and jumps that send his heart rate through the roof.

Niestrath then grabs his bow and steadies his breathing before letting loose an arrow that hits the kill zone on a 3-D deer target 45 yards away. He immediately dashes off to the next station in this ultimate workout for bowhunting junkies...

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Three-turkey spring limit could go statewide

The rest of Oregon's spring turkey hunters will get to enjoy what their Southern Oregon brethren have for years if a proposed increase in the spring turkey bag limits gets approved for 2016.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has proposed a three-tom statewide limit on spring turkeys as part of a suite of season and limit changes for the 2015-16 seasons with an eye toward making seasons and limits more consistent region to region in Oregon.

A similar effort is underway in....

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Hunter-ed courses taken now will get kids afield this fall

Young guns who hope to hit the field for their first hunting experiences have opportunities now to get their hunter-education requirements handled or they will miss the upcoming seasons.

Hunter-education classes are taking registrations, and would-be hunters can also sign up for the required range days scheduled across Oregon in August and early September.

Too often would-be hunters wait until too close to the fall hunting seasons to seek out the hunter-education courses required....

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Hunters, anglers facing fee increases

Oregon deer hunters can expect to shell out $4.50 more to hit the woods next year, while steelheaders will be paying an extra $13.50 in licenses and fees under a compromise bill to help fund fish and wildlife budget woes beginning next year.

A suite of bills involving the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's proposed $350 million budget for the next two years includes a pared-down version of a fee-hike the agency sought to help settle a $30 million budget gap.

Senate Bill...

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Weyerhaeuser doubles lands open to hunters

The Weyerhaeuser Company is more than doubling its access permits and lease programs to more than 733,000 of its industrial forestlands in Oregon, and this program could impact whether hunters seek tags in wildlife-management units where these lands are located.

The company plans to allow 107,134 acres of land to be accessed only by successful bidders for leases, while permits can be obtained to enter 625,980 acres of Weyerhaeuser lands, according to the company's...

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March 13, 2015

Hunting's Second Season

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