OPEN: Cougar, coyote, spring turkey (opens April 15), spring bear (controlled hunt, opens April 15)
Don’t forget to report your hunt results. Anyone who purchases a big game or turkey tag must report hunt results online or by phone. Reporting is required even if you did not fill your tag or go hunting. More information
PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT
Snow accumulations are receding, but drifts are present at higher elevations blocking some roads across the Ochoco National Forest. Outdoor enthusiasts should be prepared for rapidly changing weather and be equipped for difficult driving. Dress and be equipped to for walking and/or driving through everything from dry surfaces, to mud and snow. Deer, elk and pronghorn are moving to higher elevations as the spring thaw progresses.
Green-up is occurring and TURKEYS are moving to higher elevations, including BLM and Ochoco National Forest lands. Typically, the better concentrations of birds occur along the south slopes of the Ochoco unit, and in the Bear and Trout Creek drainages of the Grizzly unit. Hunters should consult with local BLM and Ochoco National Forest offices regarding access as motorized travel may be restricted to avoid soil damage and protect wildlife habitat. See this PDF online brochure for more information about turkey hunting in Oregon.
COUGARS are tied to deer, elk, and pronghorn and will be following dispersing animals as they move to higher elevations. Remember cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days after harvest; please bring them in thawed and with mouths propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.
GROUND SQUIRRELS are active in hay fields and pastures. The best hunting will be on private lands, particularly along the Crooked River between Prineville and Paulina. Having permission from landowners is a must before hunting.
THE DALLES WILDLIFE DISTRICT
TURKEY season opens April 15. Toms are actively strutting, and birds continue to move to higher elevation as the snow gradually recedes. See this PDF online brochure for more information about turkey hunting in Oregon.
Spring bear hunting also opens April 15; see the forecast for what to expect.
The LOWER DESCHUTES WILDLIFE AREA is accepting comments on its draft management plan through April 17, 2009. More information
For hunters wishing to pursue COUGAR, the best opportunity will in areas where deer and elk are congregating. One of the better areas is generally around White River Wildlife area, where both deer and elk are present in fair numbers. As spring conditions continue to show themselves, deer and elk are spending more time on open hillsides taking advantage of green-up. Cougar will be in close proximity. Successful cougar hunters, remember check-in is mandatory; please bring them in thawed and with mouths propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.
Those wishing to pursue COYOTE will find the best success near agricultural lands. Be sure to ask permission to hunt private lands. Limited opportunities may also be found at White River Wildlife area.
California Ground SQUIRRELS, or gray diggers, are very active with the recent warming trends in the area. The best hunting opportunities for squirrels are generally found on private agricultural ground, but good opportunity also exists on White River Wildlife area. Make sure to ask permission to hunt on private lands.
WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA
TURKEY and BEAR season open April 15.
COYOTE and COUGAR hunters can find success in open areas along the eastern perimeter of the wildlife area. Please take caution to reduce disturbances to wintering wildlife in the area. Remember cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days after harvest; please bring them in thawed and with mouths propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.
The wildlife area is a vehicle regulated use area. Open roads have a green dot on them. Hunters bringing their ATVs are reminded that all vehicles are to stay on roads; cross country travel is prohibited. The roads for through vehicle travel have been closed for the winter and most of the roads will reopen April 1, 2009. Please use caution even on open roads, as spring moisture can create hazardous conditions. If a road appears too wet for travel, please find an alternate route.