Hunting season is here, and opportunities abound

Deer and elk archery hunting continues and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that conditions were “excellent” for the opening weekend in some northeastern Oregon counties like Baker and Grant where snow at high elevations and cold weather put animals on the move and made hunters quieter.

Conditions were drier and hunters noisier in the Ochocos and southwest Oregon, where hunters should expect deer and elk to remain on higher ground for the next several weeks.

September Canada goose started runs through Sept. 15. This hunt is primarily to assist landowners dealing with agricultural depredation by the geese and targets resident not migratory geese. Generally production for resident geese has been good so if hunters have done their homework and scouted the birds’ location pre-season, hunting should be good. See the zone reports for more about location conditions. Remember Klamath County and southwest Oregon counties west of Hwy 101 are closed to September goose hunting.

It’s also open season for forest grouse, California and mountain quail, mourning dove, bear and cougar as well.

Remember to check with Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service, BLM or other land managers about fire restrictions before going hunting; restrictions can change suddenly.

Sign up now for September youth upland bird hunts Sept. 13-14 at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area in the Portland area (call 503-621-3488) and Sept. 20-21 and Sept. 27-28 at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area near Monmouth (541-745-5334).

The free upland bird hunts are for youth aged 17 and under this fall. A free shotgun skills clinic will run 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (shells, clay targets provided) at many of the hunts.

To participate, youth must have a hunter education certificate, a hunting license w/HIP validation, upland bird validation, and be accompanied by an adult that will not be hunting. (Hunters 13 years of age and under receive their hunting license for free and are not required to purchase an upland bird validation.) All participants must wear a blaze orange hat, blaze orange vest and eye protection (provided at event) and attend a brief safety meeting before their hunt. See page 22 of the 2008-09 Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Resident Canada goose production was good this year and the birds can be found throughout the Willamette Valley. Pre-scouting goose movements is an essential part of goose hunting so if you did your homework, hunting should be good.

Registration is open and slots can fill quickly.

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September can be a great month to fish the High Cascade Lakes. ODFW stocks several hike-in lakes and by September most fish have reached their maximum size for the year. Mosquito populations are declining in the cool fall temperatures and hiking conditions can be ideal.

To help plan your trip, check the Trout Stocking Schedule on-line at and follow the links for “High Lake Stocking” and “High Lake Info” to see what lakes have been stocked, then check in with the local U.S. Forest Service district office to learn about trail conditions, fire hazards, etc.

Speaking of stocking, Foster Lake is scheduled to get 5,000 trout on Monday, Sept. 15, and another 5,000 on Sept. 29, which will be the final stockings for this year.

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Surprise. The poachers are back again.

The Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division in Newport is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the person or persons responsible for killing and leaving to waste a five-point bull elk in Lincoln County.

According to OSP Trooper Ryan Kehr, on the opening day of archery season, Aug. 30, he received a complaint of poached bull elk off of the Forest Capital 2200 road east of Devil’s Lake near Lincoln City.

The elk had been dead for at least a day and had been left to waste.

A reward is being offered through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) program, which is administered through the Oregon Hunters Association, for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s).

Any person with information in this case is asked to contact Kehr at (541) 270-0097 or the TIP hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Information may be kept anonymous.

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Silver Falls State Park will celebrates its 75th anniversary with cake and a commemorative plaque from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, and the public is invited to the party.

The events will take place in the South Falls Historic Day-Use Area. Visitors can explore the area’s historic buildings and view historic photos and slide shows focusing on early Civilian Conservation Corps work that helped build the park.

Officially opened in 1933, Silver Falls is Oregon’s largest state park. It covers 9,064 acres of Cascade mountain foothills 26 miles east of Salem and 10 miles southeast of Silverton.

For more information, call (503) 873-8681, ext. 21.