ODFW releases this week's hunting report

OPEN: WATERFOWL, UPLAND BIRDS, COUGAR

REPORT HUNTS EVEN IF YOU WEREN’T SUCCESSFUL!
You need to complete a hunter harvest survey for each deer, elk, pronghorn, cougar, bear and turkey tag purchased—even if you weren’t successful or didn’t go hunting. Report online at www.reportmyhunt.com (or at ODFW’s website under Hunting) or call 1-866-947-6339. Hunters that fail to report 2012 deer and elk tags by the deadline (Jan. 31, 2013 for most hunts) will be fined $25 when they purchase a 2014 hunting license.

This penalty was put in place because after several years of “mandatory” reporting with no penalty, just 41 percent of tags were reported on time last year. The information provided is critical for setting tag numbers and seasons—information that’s become more and more difficult to get through traditional phone surveys because hunters have moved, screened their calls, or don’t provide phone numbers.

Furbearers – A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open.

Wolf coyote identificationWolves and coyotes can look alike
Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

 

COOS COUNTY

Rocky Mountain Goat
Courgar
- Royalty Free Image-

Cougar - Cougar season is open year round in Oregon until quotas for specific zones are filled. As of Nov. 16, 91 cougars have been taken in zone A, the zone Coos County exists in. the quota for the zone is 120. Refer to page 41 of the 2012 Oregon Big Game Regulations for more information. Most successful cougar hunters scout for deer and elk and locate areas where these animals congregate. Cougars can be found near these concentrations. Hunting with predator calls in areas where deer and elk are plentiful is often the most successful way to hunt cougars.

Coyote - Populations are good in Coos County and they will often respond to calls. Calling coyotes in the coast range is challenging due to brush. Many landowners with sheep are complaining about losses of sheep to coyote predation. Hunters interested in hunting coyotes may find success in asking for permission to hunt private land where landowners are losing sheep.

Waterfowl seasons - Are open in Coos County.  Recent rain has caused these birds to disperse into inland valleys.  So hunting may be less productive than times when birds are more concentrated.  Often hunters find pre-hunt scouting to be crucial for having a productive hunt under these conditions.  Also, hunters often report good success with small spreads of decoys since the birds are used to finding other birds in smaller groups.

Wilson Snipe - Wilson snipe are migratory birds that pass through Coos County in the fall and winter. At times hunting for them can be worthwhile. Generally they are found in flooded grass around ponds or flooded pastures. Hunters interested in hunting snipe should use small, non-toxic shot and hunt places where grass has flooded due to recent rain. Bird dogs are very useful in hunting snipe because snipe tend to hold very well and will let hunters walk by them without flushing. When snipe are shot they can be very hard to find because they are small and cryptic in color.

Grouse/Quail - Abundance is very low in the county this year. This is due, in part to poor brood survival this summer and low numbers of adults because of poor brood survival over the past three years. Hunters may find birds by hunting closed roads, particularly roads that follow ridge lines.  On days when wind is not blowing hard, hunters may be able to hear mountain quail near clear cuts which will make the search for birds easier.
 

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Elk - Only controlled hunts are open at this time. Elk populations are similar to last year.

Cougar – Cougar season is open. Hunting cougar is most successful adjacent to private land with high deer populations.

blue grouse wing

Blue grouse Hunting
-Photo by Nick Myatt-

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Grouse & Quail - The season ends for grouse and quail on January 31, 2013.

Crow– The season ends on Jan. 31, 2013.
Waterfowl - The season ends on January 27, 2013.

TRAPPING:

Furbearers – A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open.

Bobcat & Gray Fox – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon.  The last day of the season for these species is February 28, 2013.

River Otter, Beaver & Raccoon – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is March 15, 2013.

Mink & Muskrat – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon.  The last day of the season for mink and muskrat is March 31, 2013.

Marten – Currently open.  Good populations at higher elevations of the Cascades.  The last day of the season is January 31, 2013.
 

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

DENMAN WILDLIFE AREA: Remember to get your parking permit for the new year. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash. More information
  
Cougar - General season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Refer to regulations for more information. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

Western Gray Squirrel - Open only in the year-around portion of the Rogue Unit, check Big Game Regulations for area descriptions. Squirrels can be found in oak or mixed conifer stands. This is a great animal to hunt for first time hunters.

Coyotes – Are abundant in our area. Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands.

TRAPPING

Furbearers – A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open.

Bobcat & Gray Fox- Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon.  Last day of the season is Feb. 28, 2013. Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat.

River Otter, Beaver, & Raccoon – Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is Mar. 15, 2013.  Pursuit season is currently open for fox and raccoon.

Mink/Muskrat- Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is March 31, 2013.

Marten – Good populations at higher elevations of the Cascades. Last day of the season is Jan. 31, 2013.

Grouse and Quail – Season closes Jan. 31, 2013. Look for mountain quail in brush thickets and old clear cuts near water. Ruffed grouse can be found along streams or near springs at middle elevations, and Sooty (blue) grouse can be found at higher elevations.

Both Duck and Goose seasons will close Jan. 27, 2013.  All of the fields on the Denman Wildlife Area are now flooded, but hunting success will be dependent on storm systems moving birds around. Hunting is best during high wind or rain/snow.

Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Snipe
- Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

Wilson’s SNIPE season is open through Feb. 17, 2013. Nontoxic shot is the only shot allowed for snipe; refer to page 10 of the Game Bird Regulations. Snipe is another challenging bird to hunt for they are small, fast and erratic low-flying birds that can be hard to identify. Be sure to know how to differentiate it from killdeer and other shorebirds before you hunt. Snipe may be spooked in areas where there are high numbers of hunters but other times a person can walk up on them. Snipe almost always emit a call when they take off in flight. The best time to hunt snipe will be late fall and winter months. Denman Wildlife Area has decent numbers of snipe.

Crows – Season is open until January 31 2013. No limit on harvest. It is critical to distinguish between crows and ravens. Crows are smaller in size (17.5 inches) with smaller beaks, fan shape tail in flight and they make a caw sound. Whereas ravens are larger (24 inches) with long heavy bills, wedge shaped tail, with a low, drawn-out croak call and are protected.