ODFW Recreation Report - Nov. 8

Photo by  Carl Heyerdahl  

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl 

Recreation Report Highlights


Elk hunting
General Rocky Mountain bull elk 2nd season is open through Nov. 12. Coast bull elk first 1st season opens Nov. 11. Conditions for big game hunting have improved with the rain. See reports below or the Big Game Hunting Forecast for what to expect.

Duck seasons open statewide
Recent cold, wet weather should help put ducks on the move. Seasons are open statewide into January 2018. Check out the waterfowl and upland bird harvest statistics at ODFW wildlife areas.

There’s still time to take a friend hunting
Hunters have until the end of the year to enter the “Take a Friend Hunting” contest. For veteran hunters who want to pass on their passion for the outdoors, this is the year to take that friend hunting—and enter to win a prize for your efforts. Find more details about how to participate.

Fall trout fishing continues
While many west side rivers and streams closed to trout on Oct. 31 in order to protect migrating smolts, many more water bodies remain open to fishing. These include most ponds, lakes, reservoirs and rivers/streams east of the Cascades. Just because sunburn is now off the table is no reason to put the trout gear away!

Find regulation updates in the Recreation Report
You’ll now find fishing regulation updates on the new website at the top of each Fishing Report in the Recreation Report.

Big Game Hunting Report, South Central Oregon

Mandatory reporting deadline for hunts that end Dec. 31, 2017 is Jan. 31, 2018. There are several ways to report, including online.


Hunting forecasts now available

Biologists from around the state weigh in on what to expect this fall. See the Big Game and Bird Huntingforecasts online. Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Test your identification skills with ODFW’s new Coyote and Gray Wolf ID Quiz.


Cougar: Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Use of predator calls is a great hunting technique during the summer period. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt.

Coyote hunting opportunities are improving. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species. Please consult the annual Big Game hunting regulations for further information.

Test your identification skills with ODFW’s new Coyote and Gray Wolf ID Quiz.

Bear: General Fall Bear Season continues. Best bear prospects are in the Cascades or in the Interstate Unit. Hunters are reminded to check-in harvested bears at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please bring in skull thawed with mouth propped open. Be sure to call ahead to schedule an appointment.


Elk: Second season bull elk opened on Saturday, Nov. 4. Elk populations in the district are generally low when compared to other areas of the state but stable at those levels. The North Lake cow elk and Youth antlerless elk hunts continue. 

Fall bear season continues. Bear populations in Lake County are generally low, though populations in the Silver Lake and eastern portion of the Interstate WMUs have been increasing over the last several years. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations across the District appear to be stable or slightly increasing.

Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Cougar populations are healthy throughout the District. Predator calls can be an effective cougar hunting lure at this time of year, though bears and other predators may also be particularly interested and hunters should be prepared for predators other than cougar to respond.

All cougars harvested must be checked into an ODFW office, by appointment, within 10 days of harvest.  Please prop mouth open at time of harvest and either wait to freeze or thaw the skull before your appointment.

Coyote populations are good and hunting is available throughout the district. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.


All big game hunting seasons are now closed. 

Game bird hunting season is underway.