Oregon Deer Opener Reports

It’s hard to judge across the board, but initial reports from ODFW indicate that deer hunters in Eastern Oregon may have fared better than those on the I-5 side of the Beaver State did over the opening weekend of rifle season.

Here are reports straight from the agency’s weekly recreation report:

SOUTHWEST

Deer season opener here was slow as expected.  Conditions were warm and calm and few hunters were making an effort.  Several commented they were scouting for elk as much as anything.  Warm calm conditions have deer moving and feeding mostly at night which makes hunting them difficult.  The lack of effort and success is not unusual for the coast; most hunters wait for rain before they expend much effort.  As rain occurs, effort and success should pick up; it always does.

The buck ratio going into the season is fairly good this year and a good proportion of that ratio is made up of by bucks with better that forked antlers.  So the deer season in Coos County should be a good one as long as weather cooperates.  The best days to hunt are days with light rain or mist late in October.  Deer will be found in or near clear cuts with lots of brush growing in them.  The most productive time of day will be just after the beginning of shooting hours and just before the end of shooting hours.

SOUTH WILLAMETTE WATERSHED

Hunting was fairly slow due to the warm weather but a few hunters found animals. Conditions in the woods are fair in terms of the “crunch” factor, but deer are not real active right now. Hunters may find deer feeding early or late in the day but the deer will most likely be bedded down during most of the day.

NORTH WILLAMETTE WATERSHED DISTRICT

A typical opening weekend for hunters in the NWWD. The majority of industrial forest land managers in the district have opened their lands for access, motor vehicle or walk-in, to hunters. The number of hunters in the field appeared to be similar to previous years. Staff were out in the field and checked 52 hunters but did not encounter any hunters that had harvested a deer. Prospects for this weekend: Average! Forecasted cool and wet weather will help dampen leaves that have fallen and make stalking more successful. Deer will be found in clearcuts and other forest openings early in the morning but will quickly move to brushy cover areas to bed down for the day. Hunters should concentrate their efforts on these bedding areas during mid-day.

CENTRAL

Opening weekend buck hunters enjoyed average to above average success though conditions were hot and dry. Most of the animals taken were yearling bucks, but several nice older bucks were taken in the Maury and Ochoco units. The predicted cooler weather should provide improved hunting conditions, and the bucks taken have been in excellent shape. . Overall harvest success for the weekend was 8%, an improvement over the 5% observed last year. Hunters are reminded the Rager and South Boundary Travel Management Areas (TMA’s) will be in effect in the Ochoco unit.

NAOMI SMITH'S TAGGED OUT, BAGGING HER BUCK LAST SUNDAY IN THE GRIZZLY UNIT. THE HANDSOME FORKED HORN WAS FEEDING IN A CARROT FIELD. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

SOUTHEAST

Weather conditions were quite variable this year. Opening day conditions were hot and dry with temperatures into the upper 80s and lower 90s. By Saturday evening storm clouds had moved in and some areas experienced light showers. Sunday brought intermittent showers and provided enough moisture to settle the dust and create quieter hunting conditions. Daytime temperatures for the second day of deer season ranged from the upper 50s and lower 60s. Opening weekend hunter success as measured on the second day of the season varied depending upon the area.  Many unsuccessful hunters reported seeing some yearling bucks, but were holding out for something larger. Success rate averaged 15 percent district wide.

NORTHEAST

Rifle Buck DEER season opened Saturday Oct. 2.  Warm temperatures opening weekend resulted in lower hunter effort and few hunters were checked. The highest success was reported in the Sumpter unit with an 11% success rate. Temperatures dropped substantially October 4 and success should improve as the season progresses.

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