Here is the weekly hunting report for selected areas in and around Central Oregon, provided by wildlife biologists for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:
OPEN: Cougar, bear, rifle deer (controlled hunt, opens Sept. 29), forest grouse, dove (closes Sept. 30)
PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT
Fire danger remains a concern, and recreational users should check with Ochoco and Prineville BLM offices for the latest access and camping information.
CONTROLLED RIFLE BUCK DEER: Season opens this Saturday. Buck ratios are near or above management objective in all Prineville District units (Maury, Ochoco and Grizzly), and deer hunters should find good prospects for a buck this fall. The continued dry conditions have heightened fire concerns, and hunters should consult with the Prineville BLM and/or Ochoco National Forest for the latest fire restrictions.
BEAR: Successful hunters, remember you must check in unfrozen bear skulls at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please call ahead and make an appointment to ensure a biologist is present for the check in. It’s also a good idea to prop the bear’s mouth open with a stick for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. Remember that cubs and sows with cubs are illegal to take, so if in doubt use caution. See regulations for details.
ANTLERLESS ELK: hunts are ongoing in portions of the Maury, Ochoco and Grizzly units. These hunts are primarily on private agricultural and range lands where hunters need permission from the landowner. Typically elk move into these hunt areas in greater numbers during the late summer to take advantage of the irrigated pastures and hay fields.
COUGAR: Present throughout the Maury, Ochoco and Grizzly units but are more likely near deer and elk herds. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of accessible public land. Remember cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts, and be sure to call first to make an appointment.