The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on Sept. 30 released the following hunting report:HUNTINGBaker DistrictGeneral conditions: Due to drought conditions, forest and range have been extremely dry, except at the higher elevations of the Elkhorn and Wallowa mountains. Recent rains have helped that situation, and fire restrictions have been lifted. For updated fire restrictions, hunters can check with the Oregon Department of Forestry at 575-1139, Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service at 575-3000.Rifle deer - The season opened on Sept. 28. Recent rains have helped the summer drought conditions. Mediocre fawn survival last year will mean fewer yearling bucks available. Therefore, hunter success is expected to be a little lower than normal.Bear and Cougar - The general season for these two species is open. Bear may be found near berries and fruit orchards.Forest Grouse - Season opened Sept. 1. Reports have been good.Dove - Season closed Sept. 30.Grant DistrictGrouse - Forest grouse are fairly abundant this year. Areas around springs, as well as creeks and rivers, should produce ruffed. Blues will still be on open ridge tops and dark forest.Dove - Season closed Sept. 30.Deer - Overall, deer numbers are down, but the buck ratios are holding and larger bucks are still a large component. Desolation Unit fires are producing excellent forage. There are areas within Easy Murderers Creek and West Beulah units that are closed to public use due to fire. Check USFS maps for fire perimeters.Cougar - Hunters, while scouting, are frequently seeing cougar, and harvesting a few. Any cougar taken must be examined and tagged within 72 hours at the nearest ODFW office in the hunt zone where harvest occurred. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. Tag sale deadline was Sept. 27.Bear - Tag sale deadline was Sept. 27.Heppner DistrictDeer Rifle Season - Deer season opened Sept. 28. Deer numbers are down from previous years and fewer yearling bucks are expected this year. Hunters are reminded that certain private land areas are closed to hunting in the Heppner Unit and are advised to seek permission before entering private lands.Grouse - Season opened Sept. 1. Fewer blue grouse have been found thus far this fall and hunters should expect somewhat lower success this season. Ruffed grouse production appears to be similar to previous years with birds located in forested areas. Hunters with dogs willing to cover much area should have a fair opportunity for birds.Dove - Fewer doves were counted this summer in the Heppner area and hunting is expected to be poor. Better hunting is expected to the north in the Hermiston and Boardman agricultural areas. Bear and Cougar - Bear and cougar sightings are distributed somewhat randomly throughout the forest, making prediction of harvest difficult. Harvest by most hunters with tags seems to be sporadic and often associated with the hunting of other big game. Cougar harvest in the Heppner and Fossil units has declined from previous years. Umatilla DistrictBlue and Ruffed Grouse - Good forest conditions during the spring and early summer resulted in good production for both types of grouse in some areas. Hunters should target wet, forested areas with deciduous understory for ruffed grouse and timbered, grassy ridge tops for blue grouse.Mourning Dove - Doves will be found near snags in riparian areas. Migration occurred in mid- to late September, limiting dove numbers at the end of the season.Deer Rifle Season - Due to drought conditions, deer are concentrated near green feeding areas and will be found in different locations than normal. Moderately good fawn survival last spring in the Walla Walla, Mt. Emily and Ukiah units should provide good numbers of young bucks for hunters this season.Bear - Currently, bears are concentrated in the moister high elevation areas and riparian corridors along streams. They will be feeding on berries and grubs and will be near those resources. Tree stands and spot-and-stalk techniques will be productive during this time.Cougar - Mountain lions will be operating near deer and elk concentration areas. In addition, they will be using travel corridors on ridges and in saddles. Tree stands and spot-and-stalk will work best. In addition, if hunters discover a deer or elk kill, waiting near the kill for a lion to appear may be a good strategy.Union DistrictBear - General bear season continues through Nov. 30, although tag sale deadline was Sept. 27. Areas with fruit trees or berry patches are good areas to hunt.Cougar - The season continues through Dec. 31, although tag sale deadline was Sept. 27. Sightings have increased but hunting will be difficult until the weather cools and rainfall occurs. Using calls would be the most effective method.Deer Rifle Season - Controlled buck season continues through Oct. 9. Cool temperatures and rainfall are improving hunting conditions.Grouse - Forest grouse season continues through Nov. 24, with a bag limit of three blue grouse and three ruffed grouse each. Hunters are reminded to have an upland game bird validation to hunt and to drop off wings and tails at the collection barrels.Chukar, Hungarian Partridge and California Quail - Hunting season opens Oct. 5, with good numbers of birds available. Chukar and Hungarian partridge daily bag is eight birds and California quail, 10.Duck - Duck season opens Oct. 5, with only fair numbers of birds locally. Hunters should check regulations for bag limit specifics. Goose season opens Oct. 12.Mourning Dove - Season ended Sept. 30.Wallowa DistrictDeer Rifle Season - Deer season opened Sept. 28 and hunting conditions have improved with recent rains. Both the Shamrock and Noregaard road management areas are in effect. Wenaha, Sled Springs, Chesnimnus, Imnaha and Snake River units - Mule deer populations remain below management objectives in all units. Post-season buck ratios are at or above management objectives in all but the Snake River Unit and fawn survival was improved over last year. Hunters can expect to see more yearling bucks due to higher fawn recruitment.Minam Unit - Mule deer populations remain below management objective as a result of reduced fawn recruitment. Post-season buck ratios are below management objectives, but hunter success is expected to be fair.Grouse - Hunters are reminded to save wings and tails. Collection barrels are located at the Promise/Noregaard Road junction, Charlois Road, Crow Creek/Chesnimnus Road junction, Minam, Enterprise District office, Imnaha Highway/Wallowa Mountain Loop Road junction.Fall General Season, Black Bear - Hunting should be fair. The best locations are old orchards and riparian zones with fruit-producing shrubs. Hunters are reminded to send in bear teeth for aging.Cougar - Cougar sightings are frequent. Best places to hunt are areas with concentrations of deer and elk.
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