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Hunting Outlook: April 29, 2010

Turkey hunting has been a mixed bag so far this season, with turkeys not responding well to calls is rural-residential areas. Turkeys are feeding on insects and grasses now. Turkey numbers appear to be above average, with most turkeys now in low- and mid-elevation oak and fir stands near clearings. Use locator calls before light or after dark to locate roosting trees, then set up in an area of their travel and begin calling as light approaches.

Spring bear hunting has been somewhat slow, though bears have been more active earlier this year than normal. The best bear hunting is early morning and evening along south-facing slopes, where bears will be seen turning over rocks and stumps for insects. Good bear numbers exist throughout the area. No bear tags are available now for the spring hunt.

Turkey hunters had a great early season these past two weeks, but effort has slowed down so now might be a good time to get back out there for some early calling. Last summer's chick/poult counts were above the 15-year average, with 6.3 poults per hen. Coupled with a mild winter that helped create good survival rates, this year's season should be above average. Hens are getting on the nest so toms should be responsive to gobbling between storms.

The Umpqua National Forest and the Elliott State Forest are both home to solid black-bear numbers. Hunting around young timber stands should be good and will pick up as the season goes on.

Turkey hunting is slow and effort is light, with a few birds taken in the Powers area, as well as the upper Pistol River drainage.