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: Rocky mountain elk (oct. 24-28), cougar, bear, forest grouse, upland bird, waterfowl.
Avoid the $25 penalty fee — report deer and elk tags.
Hunters need to complete a hunter harvest survey for each deer, elk, pronghorn, cougar, bear and turkey tag purchased — even if they were not successful or did not go hunting. Report online at www.reportmyhunt.com (or at ODFW’s website under Hunting) or call 1-866-947-6339. Hunters that fail to report 2012 deer and elk tags by the deadline (Jan. 31, 2013 for most hunts) will be fined $25 when they purchase a 2014 hunting license.
This penalty was put in place because after several years of “mandatory" reporting with no penalty, just 41 percent of tags were reported on time last year. The information provided is critical for setting tag numbers and seasons.
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.
First season rifle bull elk: Began Wednesday. Elk populations are below management objectives and bull ratios are quite variable in all three units. The Maury and Ochoco units offer the best opportunities for bagging an animal on public land, while the Grizzly unit is mostly private land where access can be difficult. Ochoco unit rifle hunters are reminded the Rager and South Boundary TMA motorized vehicle restrictions will be in effect. Maps of those areas are available on site and from ODFW and Ochoco National Forest offices. Elk tag numbers were decreased in portions of all units as a result of low population estimates and lower bull ratios. Elk bow hunters must also have a controlled Maury Unit deer bow tag (used/unused) to hunt elk in the Maury Unit.