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Hunting Outlook: Oct. 15, 2009

JACKSON - Duck and goose hunting opens Saturday throughout Western Oregon, and rainy weather should improve opening weekend conditions. Cold weather in Canada has enticed birds to migrate down the flyway earlier this year. The Rogue River corridor and the Denman Wildlife Area are two popular local waterfowl hunting locations.

Rifle hunters will see rain for the start of the Roosevelt bull elk season in the Cascades. The elk are split between low-elevation ranches and high-elevation forests. Rainy weather should improve stalking conditions, but the snow level remains very high.

The fall turkey season starts today, and fall hunting should be good throughout Jackson and Josephine counties. The birds are in large flocks now, and the best way to hunt them is to break up the flocks and then wait for the toms to return. This year's bag limit is two turkeys.

KLAMATH - Early waterfowl hunting is good around Klamath and Agency lakes. Water levels are low and access remains difficult. Reservation and stand-by hunting remains available this weekend at the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

DOUGLAS - Roosevelt bull elk hunting should be good in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness Area for those packing in. The snow level is expected to remain too high this weekend to make an impact on stalking opportunities.

LAKE - Chukar season is open and early-season success has been fair. June rains created poor nesting success, but most of the adults re-nested and the chukar numbers are fair but lower than the 10-year average.

SUMMER LAKE - The last weekly bird count available Wednesday was from Sept. 30, when 15,000 ducks and 1,600 geese were counted. However, weather conditions were windy during the count and large numbers of birds likely went undetected.