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Turkey season's start shows promise for '14

The spring turkey season kicked off this week with a lot of young ones in the field.

The annual youth-only turkey hunt ushered in the season April 12-13, and if what they experienced is a barometer, there will be a lot of youth turkeys around, as well.

Early-season hunters have reported a strong showing of young males, called jakes, among the flocks of larger and usually more sought-after toms.

"With the mellow spring last year, we had good nesting success and polt survival," says Mark Vargas, Rogue District wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "That's possibly leading to a lot of jakes this year. We'll see."

The main season began Tuesday and runs through May 31 statewide, with Southern Oregon one of the hot spots.

Hunters can buy up to three tags to bag toms here, and there is no tag-sale deadline like there are for most big-game hunts. However, hunters must possess a 2014 hunting license and turkey tag to hit the field with the traditional camouflage, turkey call and shotgun.

The Rogue Unit of eastern Jackson County remains one of the top three hunting units for spring turkey, with the Evans Creek and Applegate units among the top six, as well.

Last year, 886 hunters averaged almost four days afield in the Rogue Unit, bagging 219 birds for a 25-percent success rate, according to ODFW statistics compiled from mandatory hunter reporting rolls.

The Evans Creek and Applegate units collectively lured 750 hunters, with success rates of 47 percent in the Applegate Unit and 40 percent in the Evans Creek hunt.

The Remington Arms Company has begun a voluntary recall of some of its rifles because engineers determined that some of their triggers could unintentionally fire, the company said.

The recall covers Remington's Model 70 and Model Seven with X-Mark Pro triggers manufactured between May 1, 2013, and April 9, 2014.

Remington said in a news release that its own engineers discovered that some of the triggers, called XMPs for short, might have had excess bonding agent used in their assembly, which might cause them to discharge unintentionally.

Anyone who owns one of these rifles should immediately cease firing it and return it at no charge to the North Carolina-based firearms manufacturer, where it will be inspected and have its triggers cleaned and returned at no charge.

The company warns owners of these rifles not to attempt to diagnose or repair the recalled rifles.

Remington has established a dedicated website and toll-free hotline to help consumers determine whether their Model 700 or Model Seven rifles are subject to recall.

The website is http://xmprecall.remington.com and the telephone number is 1-800-243-9700. The phone line will be manned from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Monday through Friday.

Remington was founded in 1816 and is the nation's oldest firearms company.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.