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Southeast Zone hunting report, May 10

SOUTHEAST ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31)

Spring turkey hunting open April 15-May 31

Tips for beginners and field reports/forecasts from ODFW district wildlife biologists are available at the spring turkey hunting forecast. This NW Sportsman Magazine article has some good tips on late season turkey hunting.

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

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

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

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 low throughout Harney County. Recent reports indicate calling has been slow. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Ground squirrels and marmots are active on warmer days now. While some opportunities exist on public lands, best prospects are on private lands, and many landowners do allow access for those willing to ask permission.

Most Mule Deer bucks have shed their antlers and the interest in hunting sheds is increasing. Due to extremely variable road conditions and the effect of increased harassment on mule deer survival, shed hunters are urged to keep ATV’s on existing roads or trails and minimize disturbance to wintering big game herds. Many wintering areas in Klamath County are closed to motor vehicle access during the winter months to protect vulnerable big game herds from harassment. Please respect these efforts on both public and private lands.

Cougar hunting is open year round. Best prospects are in areas with concentrations of big game.

Coyote hunting has been slow. Populations are fairly low. Few coyotes were observed during recent big game surveys.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Open during regular state waterfowl and upland bird hunting seasons. Many seasons are now closed.

Gorr Island Unit

Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat. Gorr Island is open daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

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. Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Unit are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days (please see the 2013-14 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.

Management programs on the Klamath Wildlife Area-Miller Island Unit will impact waterfowl hunter access during the 2013/14 waterfowl seasons. Efforts to rehabilitate portions of the marshlands around the Miller Island Unit, to improve long-term habitat benefits to a multitude of waterfowl species will require dewatering certain wetlands and actively controlling overgrown vegetation. While efforts will be to bring water back to all areas as soon as feasible, some portions of the unit may be dry and will not provide good hunting opportunities throughout the season.

Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl hunting is now closed.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Upland Game Bird Hunting is now closed.

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; just be sure to put it on your dashboard. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734 or thomas.r.collom@state.or.us

LAKE COUNTY

Access: It has been warm and rainy over the last 2 weeks. All native surface roads are very muddy. Hunters should restrict motor vehicle travel to all weather roads.

Ground Squirrels are above ground and active on sunny days. All of the opportunity for squirrel shooting is on private land, hunters must get permission from the landowner.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective. Mule deer herds are dropping toward lower elevations to take advantage of spring green up. Cougar hunting near big game herds increases the chance for success.

Coyote pairs are forming and breeding season has started. From now through June the most effective calls will be coyote vocalizations. Prey distress calls will still work but are less effective.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 10, 2014

All game bird hunting seasons have ended and discharging of firearms is prohibited.

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 hunting is available throughout the district. Coyotes are very call shy this time of year but may respond to territorial challenges.

The Islands of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in the Snake River are closed to all public entry Feb 1 – May 31. Maps of the closed islands can be found here http://www.fws.gov/deerflat/map.html

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