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Hunting Outlook: Sept. 17, 2009

JACKSON/JOSEPHINE - Archers are faring better now for elk and deer, with most successes for elk coming at higher elevations and near water sources. The elk have been a little quiet lately, but they are responding to calling.

Band-tailed pigeon hunting opened Tuesday and hunting success was expected to be fair near water sources and ridge lines.

Blue grouse success is best in higher elevations now around clearcuts or open stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks, mostly at mid elevations. Hunters who kill grouse are asked to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please include only one bird per bag, and include the species, sex, age, unit hunted and date.

Bear hunting is best in cooler draws and around berry patches. Hunting success has been good so far this season. Successful bear hunters must check in their bears' thawed skulls at an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office within 10 days of killing the bear. See the regulation synopsis for more details.

Western gray squirrel hunting is open and those taking advantage of the hunt are doing well throughout the valley floor.

DOUGLAS - Hunters working the High Cascades season are focusing their attention on the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness Area and should do well on north-facing slopes near water sources. Weather conditions have been decent. The season runs through Sunday.

GOLD BEACH - Ruffed grouse hunting has been good along creeks throughout the Coast Range.

PRINEVILLE - Early antlerless elk hunts for rifle hunters are now active on mostly private lands in portions of the Maury, Ochoco and Grizzly units. These hunts include private agricultural and ranch lands that require having landowner permission for access.