Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting - MonsterMuleys.com

It's over!

 
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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-10-17, 
09:51 PM (MST)
"It's over!"

The storm today will be the straw thar breaks the the Mule Deers back! 8 or so more inches and more coming + rain now that will freeze this weekend.

There is about 3 feet now in Burns! The Burns school district is closed tomorrow for the first time that anyone around here can ever remember.

I'm so made right now that I can't even sleep! The deer just didn't need this!!!!! And to make it worse it sounds the same in ID, WYO, and CO!!!!!

Okay I feel better now. Thanks for listening

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: It's over!  dz      Jan-11-17   1 
  RE: It's over!  robinsg61le      Jan-11-17   2 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-11-17   3 
  RE: It's over!  huntindad4      Jan-11-17   4 
   RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Jan-11-17   5 
    RE: It's over!  huntindad4      Jan-11-17   6 
     RE: It's over!  manny53      Jan-14-17   7 
      RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Jan-15-17   8 
       RE: It's over!  264mag      Jan-15-17   9 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-15-17   10 
  RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Jan-15-17   11 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-18-17   12 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-20-17   13 
  RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Jan-21-17   14 
   RE: It's over!  dz      Jan-21-17   15 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-22-17   16 
  RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Jan-22-17   17 
   RE: It's over!  elkliver      Jan-23-17   18 
    RE: It's over!  bonepicker      Jan-24-17   19 
     RE: It's over!  lostinOregon      Jan-24-17   20 
      RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-24-17   21 
       RE: It's over!  bonepicker      Jan-25-17   22 
        RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Jan-25-17   23 
 RE: It's over!  springer      Jan-31-17   24 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Jan-31-17   25 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Feb-06-17   26 
  RE: It's over!  dz      Feb-06-17   27 
   RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Feb-13-17   28 
 RE: It's over!  Switchback00      Feb-26-17   29 
  RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Feb-26-17   30 
   RE: It's over!  Switchback00      Feb-26-17   31 
    RE: It's over!  huntindad4      Feb-26-17   32 
     RE: It's over!  Togwotee      Feb-27-17   33 
      RE: It's over!  bobberdown      Feb-27-17   34 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Feb-27-17   35 
 RE: It's over!  manny53      Mar-01-17   36 
 RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Mar-01-17   37 
  RE: It's over!  manny53      Mar-04-17   38 
   RE: It's over!  smackdown      Mar-04-17   39 
    RE: It's over!  kickerbuck      Mar-04-17   40 

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dz
(902 posts)
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Jan-11-17, 
10:16 AM (MST)
1. "RE: It's over!"

Same here in La Grande. The town deer will be the only ones to survive. I quit deer hunting a few years ago. I think it will be a long time before the herds everywhere recover from this winter. In my opinion they never recovered from 86 and 92 winters. But they have had the deck stacked against them. We need to go knock down some yotes and lions or we will be calling them town dogs and cats soon.

DZ

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robinsg61le
(190 posts)
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Jan-11-17, 
11:48 AM (MST)
2. "RE: It's over!"

I noticed all the deer walking the streets here in La Grande too. I think it's their only means to survive now. I sure hope ODFW will cancel hunts.

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-11-17, 
12:00 PM (MST)
3. "RE: It's over!"

I hope ODFW will cancel hunts too! And what are they going to do with the OTC Archery hunter's? Over here the Silvies, Malheur River, and Steens are full of bow hunters. Not to mention right into rifle.

I really wonder what ODFW will do?

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huntindad4
(1541 posts)
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Jan-11-17, 
05:48 PM (MST)
4. "RE: It's over!"

I agree kicker, we scouted the Silvies Labor Day weekend and there were TONS of bowhunters. I was shocked, I had bow hunted there years ago and we hunted the opener and there weren't a fraction of the hunters.

Then we in rifle season saw the effects of 990 rifle tags. That's a lot of hunters in a unit that size , should have been about 1/3 the tags IMO. And now this winter..... The deer were extremely healthy however and all the does seemed to have twins. I. Hope that helps the herd survive a bit.

But they certainly deserve a break. Lower the tag numbers ODFW.

Bill

People who work for a living are quickly being
overwhelmed by people who vote for a living.

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Jan-11-17, 
06:24 PM (MST)
5. "RE: It's over!"


ODFW won't cut tag numbers. the manage budgets not wildlife.


Get rid of 90% of ODFW and keep a few good managers. then put the leftover money into law enforcement because that's all we get for our money anyway.


Stay Thirsty My Friends

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huntindad4
(1541 posts)
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Jan-11-17, 
10:00 PM (MST)
6. "RE: It's over!"

I agree 100 percent Tog.

Bill

People who work for a living are quickly being
overwhelmed by people who vote for a living.

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manny53
(4921 posts)
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Jan-14-17, 
10:49 PM (MST)
7. "RE: It's over!"

happens bout every ten years or so, only problem I see different in my lifetime is the hordes of Mt. lions and now the wolf to add to the hurt...

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Jan-15-17, 
09:29 AM (MST)
8. "RE: It's over!"


This hasn't happened since 92/93. cyotes are killing more deer than anything else right now.

The cyotes are staying on top of the crust and the deer are breaking through. it's like a dog in the chicken house.


We lost about half the deer in 92/93 and after that we still had more deer than we did going into this winter. do the math on where that puts us this spring.


Seasons where numbers are below objectives should be closed until they're met. they won't be and Oregon hunters being the type they are won't object.


Stay Thirsty My Friends

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264mag
(5578 posts)
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Jan-15-17, 
10:09 AM (MST)
9. "RE: It's over!"

The only updates I get from ODW is about crabs and fish.

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-15-17, 
12:37 PM (MST)
10. "RE: It's over!"

They are having the 3rd annual coyote classic this week over here in Burns which should knock a few of them over. Tog you're right though I watched 40 or so deer cross a flat over here yesterday every step was difficult for them. The coyotes even bobcats are just walking on the top at throat level on the fawns. The coyotes just cut one out and it's over!

I saw about 100 Antelope bunched up at a gate off HWY 20 just starring at the road. Seems like the animals don't know where to go next?

The Elk are all fine though pushing all the deer off the hay stacks..... Ridiculous!!!!!!!

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Jan-15-17, 
07:48 PM (MST)
11. "RE: It's over!"

We're supposed to have a lot of rain and temps in the 40's this week. as much snow as we have it's not going to take it out but it should condense it down , possibly into a block of ice. still that would put the deer on equal footing so to speak and expose some feed. warmer temps are great but 40 degree rain is as hard on them as below zero dry .

Been the toughest start to calving season I've seen in years. if you don't get them up and dried in minutes it's over.


The reason you won't see updates from ODFW is if people knew how bad it was they'd be demanding they do some feeding. that ain't gonna happen , doing something useful sets a bad precedent.

Stay Thirsty My Friends

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-18-17, 
01:27 PM (MST)
12. "RE: It's over!"

Freezing rain all night in the Burns area which put about a half inch layer of ice on the snow. Now it's snowing again with 4-8 more inches expected.

The long term weather conditions do not look good at all.

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-20-17, 
09:37 PM (MST)
13. "RE: It's over!"

Another foot+ of snow last few days and nights all the way from Riley to at least Juntura. There is about 3 feet on the winter range in Juntura where there should be nothing. The deer are in real trouble and are dying already. I heard La Grande Baker area is even worse. Sad deal for the Mule Deer! Help less feeling because if it's not snowing it's -20. Either one is equally bad at this point!!!

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Jan-21-17, 
08:52 AM (MST)
14. "RE: It's over!"

Sounds like the Juntura chucker are going to be wiped out just like the Snake River birds. it makes you wonder how much worse it can get.

We missed this last storm in central Oregon and it's breaking up a bit.

We're going to lose most of the older bucks and last years fawn crop. I'd say that's our best case scenario.

Stay Thirsty My Friends

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dz
(902 posts)
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Jan-21-17, 
11:26 PM (MST)
15. "RE: It's over!"

The only bright spot around La Grande is that most of our snow came with wind. The drifts are crazy but there is areas that the deer can get to the ground. There are not many animals left out in the woods. Most have found there way to a town. Last two days it has been melting and settling down. Next is to hope we stay on this melting slowly as flooding wont help either.

DZ

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-22-17, 
10:15 AM (MST)
16. "RE: It's over!"

For the love of God please stop! It's snowing in Burns again and has been since last night late. Even if it's just a few more inches it's bad news. I have talked to a lot of people who have lived here their whole lives and they say this is 91-92 all over again.

Tog I made it to Juntura yesterday for a look around in the day time. I talked to an old timer that said the Chukar are hammered and he wished ODFW would call the season. I saw a fawn on a hill side by his/her self eating a thistle as its the only thing left exposed. The snow is a foot from covering the fence lines

There was a State Trooper out of the Burns Office who saved an Antelope that was hung up in a fence a few days ago. The rest of the heard about 100, stayed right there about 50 yards away and wouldn't leave the tangled one behind. Cool story I have even more respect and admiration for the animals after that as even in a life or death winter they wouldn't leave one behind!

Glad to hear LA Grande and other spots it may be mellowing out. Just hope it's in time!

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Jan-22-17, 
05:36 PM (MST)
17. "RE: It's over!"

Looks like our worst fears are being realized.

The chucker could take years to recover. the deer may never. when I said we had more deer after the 92/93 winter than we did going into this one I wasn't joking. I can't imagine what this spring is going to look like.


Stay Thirsty My Friends

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elkliver
(149 posts)
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Jan-23-17, 
09:47 PM (MST)
18. "RE: It's over!"

Deer around Bend are getting desperate. They are having to bed down where someone has plowed as they cant get around in 3 foot of snow. second from left is nice 5 pt but hard to see against dark background

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bonepicker
(873 posts)
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Jan-24-17, 
04:05 PM (MST)
19. "RE: It's over!"

Well we have to look at the bright side, without Mule Deer in Oregon, the cougar population will drop and there will be less for the wolves to eat so they may just go back to Idaho!
Seriously though, it's sad to see but we knew that we were due for a big one eventually. Not much we can do about it and that's the frustrating part. My son gets his first deer tag this year, we may just have to put his tag on a deadhead from the winter and call it good.
Maybe this will be enough for ODFW to stop all the doe hunts at the very least?

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lostinOregon
(1281 posts)
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Jan-24-17, 
05:59 PM (MST)
20. "RE: It's over!"

You will not see a corresponding decrease in tag numbers due to the winter. Mark my words.

Rich

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-24-17, 
09:06 PM (MST)
21. "RE: It's over!"

>You will not see a corresponding
>decrease in tag numbers due
>to the winter. Mark
>my words.
>
>Rich

Rich,

So what will happen and what are they going to do? This is a 30 year event. There is 3 feet of snow or more on the winter range in certain units. Some deer heards are actually trapped now in spots because of the snow and cold. And to top that it's only January.

People can't hunt what's not there! Even if ODFW has a bend but don't break mentality this winter will change everything for most of the east side. The days of hunter opportunity over east has to come to an end IMHO.

I think we all agree that the deer still haven't recovered from 92-93 and the predators are a whole other story.

Also why can't ODFW feed them with a special blend of pellet like Utah F&W is doing near Bear Lake?


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bonepicker
(873 posts)
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Jan-25-17, 
02:44 PM (MST)
22. "RE: It's over!"

LAST EDITED ON Jan-25-17 AT 02:46 PM (MST)

I would say a lot of it revolves around money. They can't drop tag numbers because of money, they can't feed because of money, the can't do a lot of practical habitat/water/invasive species/law enforcement work because of money. Cougars are a great example of how this has played out, before dogs were banned, people would buy cougar tags and would hunt cougars very successfully and keep the population under control, benefiting the deer and elk herds and allowing ODFW to put a lot more money to other things. Now, the cougars have knocked down deer populations lowering the tags that can be sold,(though it's not as low as it should be) and requiring that ODFW pay tens of thousands of dollars to trappers to kill off cougars in focus units like the Steens. So less income from deer tags and higher expenses for cougar control is like a cut both ways, like you took and 50% pay cut at work and your rent doubled in the same week.

Solution? Raise prices for some of the lowest quality tags in the West. Result? More residents and non-residents giving up on Oregon, dropping revenue even more.

I think the reality is that the majority of ODFW's funding needs to come from outside of tag sales (taxes, etc.) However, how do you think this pitch would fly in the Oregon legislature: We need more money so that we can improve deer and elk herd health so more people can have better hunting opportunities.

I wish there was something we could do, but we're stuck! It feels like shooting a few coyotes, buying a cougar tag and cutting a few juniper is not really enough to make a difference.

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Jan-25-17, 
07:42 PM (MST)
23. "RE: It's over!"


It's 100% about money. ODFW goes out of their way to stress feeding doesn't work well and isn't the answer. if they admitted it worked they'd be expected to do something useful and that sets a bad precedent.

It is true you can't wait until they're on their back to feed them it's too late then. but the deer and elk in my haystacks always seem to do just fine so I think there is ample evidence feeding does work.


Stay Thirsty My Friends

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springer
(257 posts)
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Jan-31-17, 
10:55 AM (MST)
24. "RE: It's over!"

The SE part of the State looked ok to me. I just got back from a chucker hunt south of Fields. A couple of inches on the valley floor and I had no trouble hunting the foothills of the Trout Creeks.

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Jan-31-17, 
08:16 PM (MST)
25. "RE: It's over!"

Springer you are right the SE is in good shape there was about a foot or two of snow that way in some spots but it warmed up down there and most of it melted.

Burns, Riverside, and Juntura where deer are wintering has 2-3 feet of snow right now. I was in Juntura today and counted 20-30 deer dead from being hit on the HWY. There was also 10-15 just dead in the creek or hung up on fences.

In other words some spots are better than others!!!

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kickerbuck
(240 posts)
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Feb-06-17, 
09:21 AM (MST)
26. "RE: It's over!"

11 deer in a group got hit and killed last week at one time east of Juntura, and 13 more in a group last night. That's a whole generation of deer. They keep getting on the HWY as there is no snow there then can't get off because of the deep plowed sides.

I think I'm going to need counseling after this winters carnage........

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dz
(902 posts)
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Feb-06-17, 
09:49 AM (MST)
27. "RE: It's over!"

Sad news.

Here in La Grande we have had our first good thaw. With all the wind we have had the ground showed up really quickly. I have green grass in my yard that two days ago was covered with snow and ice. Hope it is enough as the deer look really bad right now. Never seen so many bulls as this winter. Had one group I counted 91 bulls, with maybe 10 at the most being spikes, and no cows. Another group had 54 bulls and about 250 cows. Then just a couple days ago two blocks from my house was about 20 bulls and 20 cows. I wish I could find them in the day light. In the head lights a couple of the bulls looked really good.

Fingers crossed, DZ

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Feb-13-17, 
09:58 AM (MST)
28. "RE: It's over!"

What a difference a week makes. went to Jackson snowmobiling a week ago and it was so bad on the way over around Juntura I wanted to cry. came back yesterday and there was open ground all over the place.


I'm sure we already have big losses but this break in the weather may prevent a wholesale deer die off. too late for the chucker though I fear.


Here in central OR thinks are also much improved. lots of open ground now.


Stay Thirsty My Friends

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Switchback00
(2 posts)
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Feb-26-17, 
06:09 PM (MST)
29. "RE: It's over!"

Have hunted burns area my entire life and I had a bad feeling about this winter over in that area. Heard from our taxi/trapper from burns and he stated the situation as BAD! We know there will be no tag cuts, odfw cant go w/o that money. The only way we hunters can help the deer is self imposed restrictions. This will be the first time in 35 years I won't be spending a week hunting around Burns. If I did, I Would be contributing to the problem. If odfw won't manage our herds when this kind of winter happens, WE HUNTER'S HAVE TO! It's hard to sell tags to people that take a stand with their wallets.

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Feb-26-17, 
08:00 PM (MST)
30. "RE: It's over!"


I agree ODFW won't do anything different unless they're forced. so let's force them.

It's time for OHA to stop being a rubber stamp yes man for ODFW and tell them we want game managed not just sold like a commodity.

OHA was created as a watchdog group to protect hunting in OR and that very much included holding ODFW's feet to the fire. I know this because my dad and I were 2 of the first 100 members. I dropped my membership when it was hijacked by losers and became toothless. that sort of thing is exactly what we need today and we don't have it.

Stay Thirsty My Friends

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Switchback00
(2 posts)
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Feb-26-17, 
09:20 PM (MST)
31. "RE: It's over!"

I'm not counting on or holding my breath on oha. They need those tags out there just as ODFW to fuel their bottom line.

It's really simple folks. You don't need an organization or group to tell you what needs to happen. It's plain to see. Don't hunt the affected areas or apply for tags in those areas. We are in control, w/o hunters ODFW is nothing. Go to their meetings and give them more facts and our opinions that fall on deaf ears, or keep your wallet closed, I know they'd raise an eyebrow if we did the latter!

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huntindad4
(1541 posts)
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Feb-26-17, 
11:55 PM (MST)
32. "RE: It's over!"

Or apply and get drawn and then don't buy your tag.

No money for them and no deer killed on that tag. Win/win...

If you refuse to buy without getting drawn you will only be replaced by someone who will buy a tag, hunt and may kill one.

Bill

People who work for a living are quickly being
overwhelmed by people who vote for a living.

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Togwotee
(4825 posts)
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Feb-27-17, 
08:57 AM (MST)
33. "RE: It's over!"


The problem is the tags will be sold and people will hunt. that's just the truth of it.

I've tried and tried and tried to get hunters to let the yearling bucks go and 99.9% never will. if it has horns they'll kill it.

If you can't pass up a dink you're not going to pass up a tag. Oregon hunters are nothing more than opportunists. this has to come from ODFW to have any impact at all.


Stay Thirsty My Friends

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bobberdown
(37 posts)
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Feb-27-17, 
06:32 PM (MST)
34. "RE: It's over!"

I agree with Tog, I hunt the Silvies unit for deer not going to put in for it they should shut it down but they need the money. Hope it warms up soon go blacktail hunting people, or go fishing.

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kickerbuck
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Feb-27-17, 
08:09 PM (MST)
35. "RE: It's over!"

It did warm up over here and a lot melted but now it's back to a super thick crust of ice. A lot of the south slopes opened up enough for the snow to melt in a lot of areas. I think in reality the damage has been done at least on the fawns and weaker deer. The Silvies, Malheur River, at least North and Beulah just flat out got hammered this winter.

The problem I see is even if ODFW cuts rifle tags everyone who doesn't get a tag will go down and buy a package deal Bow and just Archery hunt. Most of those guys aren't true archers but they will have an OTC tag for Deer and over east they will come as always!

I think ODFW needs to take a close look at how Colorado and Nevada does things after this winter.

Super sad lots of dead Mule Deer this year that we didn't have to spare!!!!

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manny53
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Mar-01-17, 
04:23 PM (MST)
36. "RE: It's over!"

any word on the wagon tire unit herd ?

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kickerbuck
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Mar-01-17, 
07:25 PM (MST)
37. "RE: It's over!"

Wagontire will be fine it was not hit like the North unit's right around it. It is pretty much bare ground out there right now.

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manny53
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Mar-04-17, 
00:16 AM (MST)
38. "RE: It's over!"

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smackdown
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Mar-04-17, 
04:59 AM (MST)
39. "RE: It's over!"

How did the southern units fare? Warners, Beaty's Butte, Trouts, Steens? Thanks

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kickerbuck
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Mar-04-17, 
02:18 PM (MST)
40. "RE: It's over!"

>How did the southern units fare?
> Warners, Beaty's Butte, Trouts,
>Steens? Thanks


I'm not sure about Warner but all the other units you mentioned are in great shape. Snow kinda up high but none down low at all. It snowed 2 ft down to the valley floors but it warmed up and melted fast down south, unlike up north and east of HWY 20.

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