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Southeast Zone weekly hunting report

SOUTHEAST ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING TURKEY (opens April 15)

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Wolves 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.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

http://www.co.harney.or.us/huntmaps.html

Turkey - Youth hunting will open on April 13-14. Spring turkey season will open April 15th. Turkeys can be found in the northern portion of the county on or near national forestland.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote - Populations are fairly high throughout Harney County. The highest concentrations are associated near mule deer wintering areas and private agricultural or calving areas. Hunters are reminded to ask permission before entering private lands. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species.

Ground Squirrels - These are becoming more active on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission when entering private lands.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Turkey – Youth hunting opens on April 13 – 14 and the regular spring season opens on April 15th. Best prospects are in the southern half of the Keno Unit. Turkey hunting is restricted by bird distribution to the Keno Unit. Hunting access is good in the southern portions of the Keno Unit as a result of low snow pack levels over winter. This area is predominantly either open to hunt private timberland or BLM land. Areas to check for turkey activity are south of Hwy 66 and west of the Klamath River Canyon to Copco Road. Turkeys can also be found north of Hwy 66 around Johnson Prairie. In addition to natural reproduction which is expected to be at or slightly below normal this year, supplemental releases of turkeys which were removed from populated areas in southwest Oregon due to agricultural damage and nuisance animal complaints were released in the Keno Unit. Hunters are asked to please contact the local ODFW district office in Klamath Falls at 541-883-5732 if a banded turkey is harvested. This information will be used only to track the harvest of released versus naturally reproducing birds.

Bear – Southcentral controlled spring bear season opens on April 15th. Access is very good due to the low snowpack this winter.

Ground Squirrels – Ground squirrels and marmots are emerging now with the nice weather. Best prospects are on private lands although good opportunities exist on some public lands as well. Because of the damage these rodents cause to agricultural lands, many landowners allow access for those willing to ask.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Big game are now leaving concentrated winter ranges as snow recedes and summer habitats become available and cougars will follow this seasonal movement of their prey base. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote - Are at a relatively low level in their natural population cycles, however good calling opportunities still exist. Focus on low lying areas where grasses and forbs are beginning to green up and ground squirrels are emerging. Coyotes may also be congregated around cattle feed lots or where cattle are calving. Stand hunting or active calling may both be effective in these areas. Hunters are reminded to ask permission before entering private lands.

SPRING BLACK BEAR seasons are approaching. The South Central Controlled Hunt will open April 15, and hunters should expect fair to good hunting conditions. Bears are most abundant in the Cascade Mountains zone, and hunters should look to openings created by fire or logging activity during early morning or evening hours to locate bears feeding on new grass green-up and grubs in rotten logs, stumps, and rock piles. Bears can also be found in the eastern portions of the hunt area in forested areas. Hunters are reminded to review the hunting regulations for information on hunt area boundaries and season dates. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in harvested bears no more than 10 days after harvest. Please bring bear head in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated Feb. 19, 2013

Gorr Island Unit

Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat.

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals are both located on the west side of Upper Klamath Lake approximately 10 miles to the north and west of Klamath Falls.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Public use is restricted to the public roads and parking lots from February 1 to April 30 to minimize disturbance to migrating wildlife.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website at http://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/cenfindex.html

Running and training of dogs is allowed only in the Dog Training Area by the boat ramp on Klamath River from February 1 until August 1, 2013.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. Discharge of firearms is prohibited except by permit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734 or lanny.a.fujishin@state.or.us.

LAKE COUNTY

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. Deer are starting to concentrate on winter ranges and cougars will move with this prey source. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill of any species, calling within ½ mile of the kill can be very effective. Hunters are reminded that the Silver Lake-Cabin Lake road closure in the north end of Lake County is in effect through March 31. Motorized vehicle access in this area is restricted to protect wintering deer.

Coyote - Numbers appear to be increasing throughout the county. Pair bonds are starting to form and as the breeding season progresses, the pairs will get increasingly territorial. Coyote vocalizations will become more effective than prey distress calls.

Squirrels –Belding Ground Squirrels are active, with the best hunting opportunities on sunny calm days. Hunters are reminded that all hunting opportunities are on private land and permission is required before hunting.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on April 8, 2013

Parking permits are now required on all vehicles. Hunters get the permit free with the purchase of their annual hunting license.

Discharging firearms is prohibited, except by special permit.

Breeding season is underway for early nesting species and viewers are reminded that running or training of dogs is prohibited. Please keep dogs on leash or under very close control during this critical time of the year.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote – The coyotes have become very call shy. This time of year, howling and pup distress calls can be effective. Cattle calving areas tend to draw coyotes but be sure to ask permission to hunt on private land.

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