Black-tailed deer hunters should think north-facing slopes at 3,500 to 4,000-foot elevation for the opening of the general rifle season. Preseason counts reveal good numbers of bucks in most local hunting units. Warm, sunny days and clear nights are forecast for the weekend.
The Denman Wildlife Area is hosting its Fee Pheasant hunt. Fresh pheasants are planted nightly at the wildlife area in White City. Check the regulations and tag requirements.
The dry summer weather has concentrated bears near streams, where foraging is better. Hunters should concentrate their efforts in the berry patches in early morning and late afternoon, or around the fringes of orchards where access is permitted.
Blue grouse success is best in mixed conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid-elevations of eastern Jackson County. Hunters who kill grouse are asked to place the frozen wing and tail of each grouse in separate paper bags and leave them at the ODFW office in White City.
Quail hunting should be good. Success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades.
Rifle hunters can expect an average opening weekend for blacktail bucks. Warm, clear weather is forecast for the weekend.
Mountain quail could be found in mid-elevation brush fields and California quail should be found in low- elevation brush fields. The use of dogs will aid greatly in retrieval of these well camouflaged birds.The key to locating mourning doves this season may be to find some private lands that have open grain fields and rooting trees nearby. Remember to ask for permission before hunting.
Bear numbers and densities in Curry County remain high. Berry crops and areas along streams where it is cool will be where hunters will find sign and have the best opportunities. Hunters are reminded to turn in their bear tooth for the statewide population study.
While overall deer populations are down, buck ratios are at or above management objectives in most areas. Summer has been extremely hot and dry, so hunters should expect difficult hunting conditions on the opening weekend of rifle season. Expect to see deer concentrated around water unless we get fall rains before the rifle season.
Mourning dove hunting has slowed considerably at the wildlife area. No dove hunters checked in over the past week. Limited opportunities are available due to low numbers of doves found in the area.