Tag Archives: Oregon Hunts Rifle

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Oregon Coyotes in numbers

Let us not forget about the resilient Coyote that roams all of North American. Ever thought about asking a chicken or duck farmer to hunt the Coy Dogs that will lay in wait free roaming egg layers…

Having recently talked with a ODFW Bio, the news is out that the Coyotes are eating well! There is an over abundance of Rodents and Rabbits in S.E. Oregon. Time for hunters to get out reduce the Coyote numbers if they want Pronghorn and Deer fawn survival in the future!
Keeping this short with an ending comment!
“If you can’t call in a Coy  Dog, you don’t know how to call” (CF)

If you want to find the big boys you need to take out the Coy Dogs!

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Saving Big Game Hunting

Predators taking the place of big game animals

This is one of five Cougars spotted near a town, working within the same proximity of each other.

One might not find this to be a factual statement, but in reality it is becoming increasing reality.   It may not be in every state in the Union, but it surely is in on the Pacific Coast, which includes Washington, Oregon and even into California.  As for the other states in CONUS, I can’t give thoughts on the subject of predators taking a front row seat on the taking of Elk, Deer, Pronghorns and even Bighorn Sheep.

In Oregon the management of all wildlife and fish are managed by O.D.F.W. or better known as the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.   There are 7 members that are part of the commission and they are selected by the Governor of Oregon.   In my opinion for a long time, I do not feel that the Governors of Oregon since 1991 have not had much thought on the importance of  hunting, fishing, shooting or any other sport related to the outdoors in Oregon.

In 1994 in the State of Oregon voters, voted on Measure 18 on the banning of dogs for the hunting of Bears and Cougars.  43,501 votes more votes lead to the ban.  At the time the Governor was Barbara Roberts a Democrat.  A great influence of outsiders (lobbyists – protesters) from the Great State of California came and created havoc and fear into the already changing demographics of from what Oregon use to be.   Oregon use to be much like Idaho in thought and action, but Oregon has changed over the years, becoming a state that the folks from the Golden State could sell their homes and come to Oregon and buy the same home for half price and less congestion in life…

The Black Bear is not Smokey the Bear or a playful toy and the Cougar is one hungry predator that will take a deer a week.  They all might look cute as cub or kitten, but once they get bigger that is not the case.  Since there is no hunting with dogs any longer, these two predators go un-checked for the most part.  As for Wolves, it all started in Yellowstone and has escalated too many other states.  My thoughts are that Wolves hunt to kill and rarely eat the complete animal; it said the other predators will handle the remaining carcass.   Oregon has about 60 Moose (Shiras) scattered throughout the N.E. part of the state.  With the increase in Wolf population, just how long will it take for the reduction in Moose?  One other little notes about Wolves in Oregon, many have been released by so-call do-gooders that breed or breed hybrids.  Many years ago, I had a customer tell me she did… From the information I get, there are more Wolves than reported.   Such is the case in the Mt. Hood National Forest with reports of sporadic with sightings from persons that do know the difference between a wolf and a dog…

Washington State does not allow the use of dogs to hunt for Cougars or Bears also.  This came about in 2001 I believe.  Only under conditions deemed by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife can dogs be used to harvest a Cougar or Bear that are causing problems with humans or livestock.

In the State of Oregon, through my sources with the government, hired government hunters as we call them can hunt year round to reduce Cougars or Bears in troubled areas.  With the used of dogs by the public that hunt, there would be little need for government hunters.  Just think about the revenue that the state would take in, plus the amount of sales at sporting goods stores, guides would be able to guide again.   Oregon has quotes on the amount of Cougars that can be taken in zones and once it met, then the year round hunting stops.  Going onto the ODFW back pages and looking at expected quotes on Cougars, the inside reports via contacts tell a different story.

There is a large area in the 2017 ODFW Game Regulations this year on Cougars. This is the map that showing what ODFW feels is the key area. I do believe there are more areas than on the map…

LINK:  O.D.F.W. Cougar Agenda

A hunter should make contact with a Game Biologist.  In the State of Oregon, these biologist are very happy to help.  As one biologist that I have know for more than 30 years once told me “my job is to help and without hunters, I would not have a job”

ODFW has a major budget deficit and last year came up with idea of special tags big game tags, creating some cash flow revenue.   Those that got one of the special tags through a drawing might just have a chance to hunt most anywhere and with a rifle even hunt during a bow season or extended season.  Many older hunters have just given up hunting, as their old haunts just don’t have the game as it was prior to 2000.   Other than the old boys in the hunting culture, I do not believe that the younger generation has caught up with the problem of predators.

Seems all great, but we have a real problem with the big game population in this state.   I spend much of my time from April to August taking wildlife pictures and working areas at key times of the day looking for big game.   In just 4 short years many of the great haunts are void of the great bucks that I would find.  The Cougars especially have worked over the area well.  I won’t waste my time to hunt these areas anymore.  I have move into the rural areas closer to the city to find game…  The Cougars use to follow the game coming down from the mountains during the winter months.  Now with the shortage of game to eat, they are now showing up in the lower valleys in the summer months.  It may seem to those reading that I am bias, but I am not.  It is about what is more important, the chance for someone to see a Cougar, Wolf or even a Bear in the wild or preserving the big game that you can see anytime.   Once the game is gone from the area the predators with move to new feeding grounds.   It takes the depleted area a fairly long time to recover the mature bucks and bulls in the area.

Bear season Oregon is a bit different and not all year long.  The draw tag season from April 1st, to May 31st normally.   The general season opens August 1st and ends December 31st on the west side of the Cascades and November 30th on the east side of the Cascades.   So one has to glass and find bears, a bit tougher to do, than getting a do to tree a bear.  Government hunters can do whatever to get a problem area done.  Special tags are issued for timber companies to handle bears in Oregon…

I believe that anyone that is hunting in Oregon should have a Cougar tag and Bear tag on their person.  Many times hunters have run into the overabundance of Cougars in a particular area and shot a Cougar, did not have a tag.  You will be ticketed and in some cases it could have been life and dead encounter, you might or might not get out of the ticket if caught.

In Closing:  I will give a few instances for 2016 from some of hunting buddies, plus I will put out a few key areas with onXmaps HUNT map pictures for those that want to challenger their talents to find a Cougars.  Bear season is just about over, but send me and email and I can direct you to spots in the future.

 

  • 2016 Owyhee Deer Hunt: MJ and BO drew the tags for the great Owyhees in Oregon.   In the day as I remember the Owyhees, the bucks were big and plentiful, sort of a pick and choose hunt for big Mulies.   MJ and BO have private land to hunt on breaks of the Oregon/Idaho border on the Oregon side.  Having done a great deal of planning and making calls, they truly thought they had it dialed in.  The land was in prime condition for Mule deer habitat.   During their week hunt, only a few small bucks were seen, remembering they had made an early scouting trip in August 2016, with the same results.  The local ODFW biologist told them they hit at the wrong time…  Very experience hunters that in the past were used to finding big Mulies.  The hunters over on the Idaho side still have the Mulies of size, as they control the Cougars still with dogs.
  • 2011 Archery Elk/Deer Hunt: Another hunting partner from my past went to a new haunt near an old haunt.  This is an area that the government hunter has taken out more Cougars than 4 times the quota of the Cascades, which are 271.   ST has during bow season taken a Cougar and on the same day could have taken another one.  2016 he had two Cougars at 100 yards from him at this ground blind.  His 1911 could not get the job done at 100 yards in the timber. I also feel they are braver and human scent or the fact Cougars are keen on knowing, fear little.  Deer were very scarce, though the elk were in good numbers.   The Heppner Unit has been known as an elk breeding area…
  • My son this year (2106) during a rifle deer hunt near an RV Park outside of a rural town jumped two mature Cougars. He did not have a tag and knew what would happen if he had killed them.  The deer population was way down and the team only got one 2 year old deer about 2 miles from the sighting…
  • Another comment is from my buddy Mark D., who lives near Oregon City, Oregon on 90 acres. Five Cougars have been sighted during the month of August 2016 around this place.  His place is within 15 minutes of a major city.   The deer are way done on this place, as he has cameras out.  Just recently he caught sight of one decent Blacktail buck.  The elk have not been on his place for more than 6 months.
  • 2016 Pronghorn hunt for one of my onXmaps HUNT hunters. I had suggested him talk to one of the ranchers in the flat lands in the Steen’s Mountains Unit.  He was told by the rancher that the Pronghorn are scare, less than 5 years ago they were pest on the ranches and farming lands.  The big C word (Cougars) came out.  The hunters had to hunt very hard to find a good buck, not a monster.  The Steen’s Mountains of Oregon once produced the #2 B & C Pronghorn…  Those us that have hunted the Steen’s Mountains for big Mulies, which are gone now.  No longer a pick and choose style of hunting there.  The Steen’s at one time was 4X4 or better hunt…  
Let us not forget about the resilient Coyote that roams all of North American. Ever thought about asking a chicken or duck farmer to hunt the Coy Dogs that will lay in wait free roaming egg layers…

So in reality the states that have a problem with predators are the same states (metropolitan cities) that were Blue in the recent election, giving the point that we know those that are the loudest and not using their common sense for the good of all…  

Attached link for:  Predator Defense

“There is a place for predators, but they should not replace renewable resources in nature”

“The elected politicians of any state must take in account the outcome of a bad decision that they have made bowing down to a small load group of “Tree Huggers”, much like the Old Growth Spotted Owl farce”

A few photo from onXmaps HUNT IPAD Mobile Mapping:

 

The Warner Unit in Oregon, known for Pronghorn, Deer and even Elk. A key spot for removal of Cougars.
A great deal of B.L.M. in the Steen’s Mountains, near Diamond, Oregon. Elk, Deer and Pronghorn roam these hills. This area was well now for big Mulies…
This is the east slope of the Steen’s Mountains. Big Horn Sheep, Deer and Pronghorn work this area from the valley floor to 10,000 feet. Cougars have been working all of the Steen’s for a long time.
This map is of an area in the Rogue Unit in Oregon. The Cougars have worked close to Willow Lake RV Resort. The Blacktail population is down from previous years.


Frank Biggs aka Bwana Bubba

2013 Successful Hunter’s Pictures – Mostly!

The following are just pictures, that might or might not have a story to go with!

Grizzly Unit

    Grizzly Unit
One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!
One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!
David K and his Applegate Muzzleloader Blacktail!
David K and his Applegate Muzzleloader Blacktail!
Mike a. Applegate Muzzleloader Hunt!
Mike a. Applegate Muzzleloader Hunt!
Donnie! First deer-Blacktail Buck-Redland, Oregon
Donnie! First deer-Blacktail Buck-Redland, Oregon
Mark D's Archery Blacktail Molalla, Oregon
Mark D’s Archery Blacktail
Molalla, Oregon
Mark D's old time friend and his buck from Mark's Place.
Mark D’s old time friend and his buck from Mark’s Place.
Bwana Bubba 615 Tag Filled!
Bwana Bubba 615 Tag Filled!
Warner Unit 2013 Archery
Warner Unit 2013 Archery
Warner Unit Archery 2013
Warner Unit Archery 2013
Ace with his 2013 Pronghorn from the Juniper Hunt Unit in Oregon. A well earned dandy Lope!
Ace with his 2013 Pronghorn from the Juniper Hunt Unit in Oregon. A well earned dandy Lope!
Dandy Buck Lope from the South Wagontire Unit in Oregon!
Dandy Buck Lope from the South Wagontire Unit in Oregon!
Mark with his P & Y Buck! First bow kill of big game!
Mark with his P & Y Buck! First bow kill of big game!
Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!
Frankie with his first bow buck kill with the bow and arrow!
A great picture of what looks to be one of Oregon's Benchleg Bucks from the Cascades! Mike's Opening Dad Buck 2013
A great picture of what looks to be one of Oregon’s Benchleg Bucks from the Cascades! Mike’s Opening Dad Buck 2013
Whitehorse Lope 2013! First time shooter1
Whitehorse Lope 2013! First time shooter!
Willamette Valley Blacktail 2013 Archery
Willamette Valley Blacktail 2013 Archery
Lope Down! South Wagontire1
Lope Down! South Wagontire1

Derek’s Antelope Hunt Steens 2016

A new predator in the hood has taken a liking to

Pronghorns the Steens Mountains

Derek's hard earned Pronghorn from the Steens Mountains in Oregon
Derek’s hard earned Pronghorn from the Steens Mountains in Oregon

The most frustrating hunt I have ever had!   Left early Friday morning and after shredding a drive belt on the truck in Madras, Oregon made it to The Narrows south of Burns by 11:00 to start scouting.  The plan was to ask landowners to hunt the pivots in Princeton.   After talking to 3 owners I was informed that they had seen very few antelope this year, in the past there where 100’s and were considered pest.

They rack up the missing antelope to cougar problems.  So that said went to 2nd spot Dry Lake just south.  The lake was half full and had multiple camps around it.   Talk to a few campers/hunters and said they too had seen only a few antelope in the area.  My son and I only saw 1 herd of Lopes that were staying around the Round Barn in Diamond on private land with only a very small buck in the herd.

The week before I had talk to O.D.F.W. & B.L.M., Burns, Oregon and all had said the same thing, very good water year and the antelope were spread out everywhere making them difficult to find.

We moved south to New Moon Rd.  Check out the waypoints I was given from Bwana Bubba based on using onXmaps HUNT and my Garmin GPS and did stop at all overlooks and canyons to spot.  Saw nothing, 3 hours later we were at the end of the road at Fish Lake.  Went to the top of Kiger Gorge and talked with a few camps that we set up on the road leaving the view point.  Again no one had seen Antelope.  Frustrated we headed back down and to the HHH road, above Fish Lake to get away from the main road.    Had a very hard time finding a place to set a tent, thought we might have to set it on the edge of the road at one point.   Found a meadow on a spring head right above Fish Lake on edge of private ground.      With the lots of batches of Aspen trees were surprise at the lack of any animal signs.  The Steens seems to be a dead zone with very little wildlife left…

Started opening morning glassing the open basins to no a fail, only a lonely doe across the Blitzen Canyon.  Decide to break camp around 10:30, and headed back to main road.  Came around the last corner and 20ft in front of the truck are 2 doe Lopes and seconds later 40 more crest the ridge in front of use.   I jump out of the truck and go to the back of the truck and the Lopes all cross in front of use at 50ft away; there was 1 very nice buck in the middle of the herd.  They see a fence in front of them and panic and turn around and pass us again, yet the buck is buried in the middle of the group.  As they crest over the ridge he almost gives me a parting shot, but gone.   We run up the road only to see they are circling the ridge above us heading back towards Fish Lake.  We run up the road and rush to the ridge line were I get an open shot at 150yds, but cannot take it as I knew they were on the wrong side of the  fence on private land.   We watch the herds for over 10 minutes, traveling miles to the top of Kiger Gorge where they were fired on by the hunters camping on top.

Frustrated we went for gas in Frenchglen.  Talking to other hunters, all had the same story can’t find Lopes.  Decided to skip going back to New Moon Rd and opted to head to the South Loop Rd south of Frenchglen.  Drove and glassed for a couple hours.  Lots of water holes and all were still wet.  Saw A few other hunters driving and glassing.  After only seeing herds of horses and cattle heading back towards highway 207, our goal was to find small spur round to get off on our own.  At a junction I saw a rancher unloading his quad and hay bales.  Stop and talked to him and was informed he had seen a small group of Lopes every day for the past week right above us working the area.  He suggested a hunt strategy and told us about water holes up the old road he was using.   We did the hunt the spot, saw no Lopes only horses so decided to make camp in the area.  The area was more deer country with juniper trees and draws with open plains in between.

Next morning were up glassing before daylight on the plains above camp looking out towards Hart Mtn.   Saw nothing, around 7:30 I get a buzz from my son who has locate the group in a draw find a mile above camp.   20 mins later I’m in the same area hugger under a Juniper tree watching the group in the draw.  Saw 2 does and 4 yearlings mixed through the Juniper trees at 400yds, after 5 min I see a buck moving in the trees.   My son decided he would move down the draw cross it and get to the other side.  I was afraid they would see him and move up the draw out of range.  The buck was now at 375yds. I decided I better make the shot as I probably will not see him again.   I was getting ready to make the shot when I saw the does; they were closing their distance, walking right towards me up the old road.  Told my son to stay put and turned the radios off.  The does and yearlings passed to my right just 40yds away the buck was trailing, so ended up taking the shot at 60yds, dropping him in his tracks.   There was 10 minutes of per thrill as he closed the distance to me on the road, thought for sure something would go wrong or the does would see me.   Took care of the Lope and broke camp, was on the road by 11:00AM with the Lope in the rear seat of the truck and A/C on high.

Derek D.

Kenneth’s 2016 Owyhee Pronghorn Hunt

Scouting more than 200 miles for Pronghorn

The bluff above my Pronghorn
The bluff above my Pronghorn

Hi Frank
Thanks a lot for directions that you sent me.  I scouted from Wednesday to Friday and cover more than 200+ miles.  Majority of the scouting was in my Ford truck in 4wd low range.  I found a dandy buck on Tuesday morning on the south side of the Mahogany’s running off three other bucks from his 6 doe harem, between water and the bedding area.  This I know, because I had spotted him and the doe’s the day before just as they entered the brush at 10AM.  I camped in my Ford FX4 truck high above them that night and would hunt down in the morning.

My great camp site with my trusty Ford
My great camp site with my trusty Ford

The next morning I worked myself out on the bluff I figured I could find him.   I found him, ranged him in at 350 yards with my Bushnell rangefinder and made the 1 shot kill with my Browning A-Bolt in a 7mm Remington Mag, topped with a Leupold V-3 4.5×14 50MM Gold Ring scope.  Other items in my bag to make the hunt successful were my Garmin GPS with onXmaps HUNT Oregon chip and GIS hunt map.

The bedding area!
The bedding area!

 

My Oregon Pronghorn
My Oregon Pronghorn

Thanks Bubba

Kenneth D

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Game Calling 21st Century

iHUNT by RUGER

iHunt by Ruger Icon_v3

I am always amazed by the advancement of technology and what can be done, so mentioning that fact; I am introducing a new mobile App from iHUNT by RUGER, that I have had the privilege to use and entertain myself (plus the crew at work) with the new App from iHUNT by RUGER.   The App is free to load and some of the features are free.

Home Screen, easy to navigate through. Have fun!
Home Screen, easy to navigate through. Have fun!

The iHUNT by RUGER App is primarily a game call device that you can use with all IOS and Android mobile devices.

It has a number of other superb features such as Solunar Times for hunting, Weather, Compass, Ruger Handguns-Ruger Long Guns (Opens in your search engine), you can shop for Ruger products (Opens in your search engine) , Activity Log and a Place for User photos (Photos that are upload from all users).

Setup the speaker away from you have the game or varmint come in closer!
iHUNT by RUGER Bluetooth speaker that gets an amazing 50 + yards and 110dB of power. The speaker automatically unlocks the App when you connect it to your phone.

As for Hunting Calls (they need to be purchased) the list is so long, it almost unbelievable.

Alright I will give you the list, not the full content of the calls within the within the call!   Alligators-Crocs, Bears, Birds, Bobcats, Buffalo-Bison, Chickens, Chipmunks, Cows, Coyotes, Crows-Ravens, Deer, Donkeys, Ducks, Elk, Foxes, Geese, Goats, Hawks-Eagles, Jackal, Mice-Rats, Moose, Owls, Pheasants, Prairie Dogs, Quail, Rabbit-Hare, Raccoon, Sheep-Lambs, Snipe Birds, Squirrels, Turkeys, Wild Boar-Pigs, Wildebeest and Zebra.   Quite the list to have!  Not that we are going to use them all, but to know the sounds is amazing.

Just listen to the sampler sounds:   

Top = Crow Distress  Middle = Fallow Buck  Bottom = Tom Gobble
Touch the Hunting calls and it goes to this screen to choose.
Touch the Hunting calls and it goes to this screen to choose.
Once you open the animal, bird, or other you get to the calls.
Once you open the animal, bird, or other you get to the calls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides being able to use iHUNT by RUGER in the field, it is astonishing learning tool this App can be for the hunter to learn and understand the sounds that game animals, birds, and non-mammals make.   I would check with your State, Province or Country that you can use an electronic call for game you wish to pursue.  Quick and easy to use, it can also be used by children to randomly go through the long list.   Can you imagine sitting by a creek side with you daughter or son, even a grandchildren and have them tell you that is a Raccoon or the allusive Snipe making the noise you’re all are hearing.

Your pictures can be upload and you can see other's pictures and who they are.
Your pictures can be upload and you can see other’s pictures and who they are.

There are a number of options items that you can also purchase to your game calling experience even better.

Entertain the experience and download the iHUNT by RUGER App to your mobile device and gain proficiency in the art of calling in game or knowing the calls of the wild.

Thoughts from Bwana Bubba!

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Native American Hunting Rights Are Thinning The Herds

Native American Tribal members have the treaty rights to hunt on all public land anytime!

Since this article has raised a great deal of eyebrows from Native Americans, let it be written that the poachers are not the majority of Native Americans.  This article is also based on Oregon and not other states.  Since all that is written has backup from hunters, I will leave it written as it is.  One other question, how many of the Native American Hunters are 100%?

This is what a couple of poached bucks could look like in the back of a pickup!
This is what a couple of poached bucks could look like in the back of a pickup!

The hunter may be unaware of illegal activity, unless it happens in the area he or she is occupying.  Those of us who have spent a great deal of time in the field hunting, fishing, hiking and camping have chronic knowledge about big game poaching.   I never paid attention too, was the fact that the Native American has been subject to poaching for a long time on off-reservation public-private lands.   I thought poaching was done by outlaw hunters capitalizing on the opportunity of out of season, night hunting, closed lands, horn hunters or other illegal means to get it done.  There is an old saying in life “if the janitor talks about it”, usually is true, in this case law enforcement officers have talked about it, besides eye witness to the incidents.

My son during the 2015 Rocky Mountain Elk big game hunt in Oregon, in a hunt unit made up of B.L.M. land (limited road entry) and private land, he and his hunting partners, it came apparent that there is a problem with poaching of big game with Native American Tribal Members, hunting off-reservation involvement.   Opening day in this limited entry by road area along the John Day River, the group were stopped by Oregon State Police Game Officers.   They had just finished a hunt from hunting from the top fence line down to the river, when the OSP Game Officers confronted them.  They were asked numerus times about the poaching of a large bull elk and the wasting game meat, plus severing the rack off.   After three times of the direct accusations and rebuttal comments back, the OSP Officers backed off.   The hunters now had open dialogue with the OPS Game Officers’ of what they had encountered.

Knowing my son and how I have mentored him to hunt and visualize the out of place objects or situation’s, noticed that things had not been right all day in the hunting area.   His group was the only elk hunters that had made a camp in the area, but there were a couple of other vehicles that were in area, traveling all over the open roads and the hillsides (off-road).   JR took pictures of one particular pickup that had no good written all over it.   The OSP Game Officers thought it was strange that he had done this Intel, but later the tire tracks matched the tire tracks at the kill zone.  Since JR., has friends that live in Madras, Oregon he is well aware of the Tribal members and their appearance.

Cutting to the chase on the “elk hunt from hell” as my son would put it; there were 6 mule bucks and 1 bull elk that had been killed on private along the boundary fence.   A great deal of meat wasted, all the racks had been sawed off.  The MO was the same for all the game animals that were within 100 yards of each other.  The deer carcasses were stacked up on each other.   Plus the fact the animals were shot prior to opening morning.  A great way to have a hunt ruin with a special opening day for a selective group that the Federal Government has given special privileges too prior to the regulated Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife opening day.

There was a great discomfort with the poaching; the private lands around the B.L.M. were now being patrolled heavily, plus legal hunters being watched around the clock by the land owners that scanned the hills with spotting scopes and binoculars.  With all the activity, there was not going to be any elk harvested by legal hunters.  The elk had moved into non-road areas, deep into rim rock of the interior on the private land.

So have any of you ever read the Treaty of June 25, 1855 for Tribes and Bands of Middle Oregon. Treaty, you find that the Warm Springs Indians are subject to only their laws and rules when it comes to hunting?  The Game Commission is the tribal council and not the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Tribal members can get their tags from Human Resources free.  Then there are the ceremonial tags that they can get when a tribal member dies of 3 deer and 1 elk.   My understanding, though not in writing that I can find, the numbers might be greater.  In the treaty tribal members can hunt on any federal lands, basically anytime…   In thought, I suppose they have to kill 3 deer to make one, since they are only taking the choice meat, (blackstrap & hindquarters) sort of like the tendency of the Wolf when it comes to consuming.  You have to make note that Indian Reservations are a sovereign nation within the boundaries of the United States of America. Oregon State Police have not justifications on reservation lands.

“Cultural hunting” shall mean the exercise of traditional, ceremonial and subsistence tribal hunting rights.

I would like to make a comment, if it is about cultural hunting, then why not hunt in the cultural method of the past with bow-arrow or spear, this way at least the game has a chance.   Plus in their traditional ways of the past it would have been by canoe, horse or walking, not by a red Toyota Tacoma or white T100 Tundra pickup.  When you can hunt basically year-round, when the deer, elk and other big game are in the wintering grounds with little chance for escape, I truly have a major problem with a treaty that dates back to the 1900’s.  Times change and market hunting has long since left this country.  This is the 21st Century, no longer the 19th Century with misguided or outdated privileges.  Game populations cannot withstand over hunting and with little regard to the state’s big game laws.   Hunting tags are normally regulated by the ODFW in this state from census on game during the winter months and harvest counts.

Oregon State Police Game Division find it extremely difficult to control and prosecute the tribal members guilty in game & fish violations on non-reservation lands.  Public law enforcement cannot enter Tribal lands to catch the guilty.  I found a great comment that the federal government (enforcement) has little to do what goes on with the 326 land reservations in the United States of America.  In the State of Oregon there are 9 Federally-Recognized Tribes with 100 different sub-tribes within the 9 tribes.

For the most part the crimes within the Reservations are handled by Tribal Police.  My turn on this is in relationship to non-reservation lands:   “is a crazy quilt of jurisdiction that allows the government to ignore things.” “How did things get this way in a country that’s not only on but within our borders, and what is being done to fix them?” The answer is two words that come up as often as “with impunity.” Those words are, “It’s complicated.”

I have no problem with subsistence hunting at all, but why is it in the instance that all bucks were taken?   How does in the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife set the quota’s for hunting or even fishing the following years?   Oregon State Police Game Division have their hands tied and spend a great deal of wasted time, trying to find the culprits of the violations that are Tribal members.  This is about hunting off reservation at their leisure, a luxury that non-Tribal citizens do not have.

I have talked with un-disclosed Oregon State Police Game Officers Retired and this has been going on in their lifetimes.   Within the game unit non-reservation lands, those that border Tribal lands, it extremely tough, as tribal members can enter from their roads into these hunt units and exit.  From what I understand there are only few Tribal police on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, north of Madras, Oregon.

Over the years, I guess I was just blind to what I saw in the field at times or on the river banks, such as fishing net with 100 plus rotting salmon, 100 yards downstream from a hatchery… An eyewitness sees and hears that 30 undersize sturgeons are taken on the Columbia River by a Tribal Member, remembering other American citizens cannot fish for sturgeon on the Columbia River.  When asked by the OSP Officer why, the comment back was “they taste better when smaller.”  Another recent incident that was given to me by reliable sources, 2015 2nd season Rocky Mtn. Elk hunt in the Heppner Unit, Tribal members sell three branch bull elk to white hunters for 100 bucks each, using a pickup truck with hoist to load into the hunters trucks.  2015 1st season Rocky Mtn. Elk in the Heppner unit, hunter sees a pickup with a hoist in the back and wonders, what the heck is that for… If you want to read about game violations on the Oregon State Police Game Division section on their webpage, you’ll see that there seems to be no arrests on Tribal Members.  OSP Game Officer’s seem to have there hands tied in this great astoristy of Oregon’ big game animals being dwindle by blatant poaching by a few.

There are many incidents of poaching by Tribal members that the public is un-aware of, such as the 9 Roosevelt cow elk remains, with the heads left at the sight along the upper Siletz River on the Oregon coast off-reservation National Forest lands during the late archery season. They had been taken with a rifle.

One last incident of poaching by the Tribal members hunting off-reservation with the killing of 9 mule deer does out of a ranchers hay field.  This information is first hand from a rancher in the West Biggs Hunt unit when I called him last week about Tribal member poaching.  The Oregon State Police Game Officers were called in.   There was not much OSP could do to the Tribal members, other than criminal trespass on private land.  The rancher did not want to press those charges…

Most think that the Warm Springs Indian Reservation only encompasses the parcel off of Hwy 216 and Hwy 26 in Oregon.  Well this is a very large chunk of land on the east side of the John Day River that borders BLM and goes un-checked with access from tribal members.  The Warm Springs Indian Reservation has more than 1 Million Sq. Miles of land, making it the largest in the State of Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is very lenient with tags that go to the Tribal Game Commission.  In the Siletz & Grand Ronde reservation area, 25% of the allotted tags for a hunt unit within or near the reservation go to the Tribal Game Commission.

Basically all the Tribes in Oregon have the same basic Treaty from the 19th Century.  The Klamath and Modoc Tribes and Yahooskin Band of Snake Indians even have a treaty.  From my readings they can hunt any land that might have encompassed the original lands, which is approximately 2.2 million acres that they roam for more than 14000 years.   All the years I spent hunting the B.L.M., National Forest and Sycan Marsh area for Pronghorn, I rarely saw deer in a deer rich environment.  I understand that within the 21st Century these tribes just might get their heritage lands back after the Federal Government force them to be vacated with a payoff.  In this case the descendants will be the winners.

I will give a defense for the Native American, it is said that the On-Reservation resident Tribal members are poor and have little.  Food for thought comes from a recent set of photos of a Deschutes River Bighorn Sheep that was harvested by a Tribal member.   What I saw in the pictures was a bit disturbing.  I saw no meat on packs in the pictures and I did see a full-curl broomed off ram, that the head was severed at the neck joint.   In point no meat (I am sure they boned out every bit of useable meat into tiny packs), but better yet, if so poor why would you have wasted a large full shoulder cape most likely worth at least a $1200.00 and a life size cape around $3000.00 to a taxidermist.  So for about 45 minutes to 2 hours of capping, one could make some fast cash.

In my opinion non Native American Tribal citizens of Oregon, plus the non-resident big game hunters, need to stay attuned to what happens in the field. I don’t believe, unless Tribal member poaching on off-reservation public land is stopped while in the field there is little that can be changed.

Bwana Bubba

I welcome comments back!

Bwana Bubba’s Thoughts – Hunting Methods & Rates of Success

So what type of hunter are you?

The question is did you count all the points of the racks of these mule deer bucks, that you jumped, or did you react to the eye and engage?
The question is did you count all the points of the racks of these mule deer bucks, that you jumped, or did you react to the eye and engage?

We all have a purpose to our hunt and our style of hunting, which is not always the same as others. It’s a cliché: 10% of the hunters may get 90% of the game but in my opinion that is really based on the how we hunt. This article includes some examples too make you think about your mistakes and successes. It may give you an idea as to how you stand vis-a-vis others in terms of methods of hunting and rate of success.

Yelling Out! Many years ago after coming home from overseas, I took my father hunting with me.  We were hunting in western forest lands of Oregon with vine maple, underbrush, ferns and alders.   The distance between us was no more than 100 feet.  During this early morning hunt, I was jumping a number of Blacktail deer bucks at close range and would yell out “there’s one,” and Dad’s comment would be “where”?  On that hunt, I could have very easily killed a buck, yet we did not get one.  I wanted to see my Dad get a buck.   As you might suspect the deer were on alert and took evasive moves.

A buddy known as MJ once yelled at my son because he did not tell him he was shooting at a deer, as he did not get a chance to kill one of the deer.  I told MJ that I have taught my son to react to the situation.  My son had jumped the small group of bucks in the draw.   He took the shot and got his buck!  Believe it or not deer do have great hearing.  If my son had yelled, “there’s a buck”, they surely would have not gotten any of them.  On this same hunt, I spotted a dandy 4X4 and said to MJ “there’s a big buck”, he said “where”?  He did not get the buck, yet he had time if he had been paying attention.

Over the years, while hunting with groups of hunters situations I believe we create situations in which there are too many distractions.

Sharp Eyes and Sensitive Ears. Some years ago while on a Pronghorn scouting trip in eastern Oregon with a buddy that seemed to always fall asleep even on the roughest roads,  I would catch sight of coyotes in the middle of an abandoned road or dry lake.   I would say “there’s a dog”, he too would say “where” as he was trying to gain eyesight after dozing off.  Coyotes can hear the voices within the truck.  From then on, I just kept my mouth shut.  When I saw dog (coyote), I would just push on the emergency brake (holding the release lever so it would not make noise), bail out and take the shot.  My partner, still dozing, had no clue and would wake up and say “what the heck you shooting at?” I took 5 dogs on the trip, with him dozing off all the time. We still talk about that maneuver of mine.

Stopping to Count Points. Some years ago, an old hunting buddy had been successful getting a nice Rocky Mountain Elk bull off of the B.L.M. near the John Day River hunting by himself.   MJ was pretty good about getting it done, with a partner or solo, but usually never hunting together, but taking routes in different canyons.   On this particular hunt, he had run into my Commanding Officer in the Navy.  MJ knew of Rod and had met him several times.  Rod was hunting with an old friend of his.  MJ said he would show them bulls in a basin he had spotted bulls earlier in the hunt.   MJ lived up to his offer and put both of them on eight bulls at about 150 yards out.   Well, Rod and his buddy saw the bulls and counted all the bulls’ points and finally decided (after the bulls took off running) to shoot!   Moral of the story, be in combat mode and react to what the eyes see instantly and not over think! Game moves a lot faster than you can get setup.

Combat Mode. So let’s start off with the type a hunter, the person who seems to be always successful.  He or she will have the hunt lined out the year before.  Most of the time, the hunt is totally about them and getting it done.  I like to call it the Combat mode of hunting.  The mind is focused on the end result of getting the game down.  In many cases they are solo hunting in the sense of immediate contact with other hunters.   There might be a partner or partners, but rest assured they are in the field away from others.   All of their senses are tuned into the surroundings within their space.   The person that most likely can make the 300 yard running shot, or have his arrow clear a 12” opening in a tree and hit the 50 yard distance target… you can be sure he or she is totally focused!

Knowing Your Area. There are the party hunters (hunters only) that love to hunt together and try to do it every year at a specific hunting area.   It is about the gathering, though each and every one of them wants to be successful on the hunt.  They know the area like they know their own yard.   I find that they are fairly successful in getting game, as they know the routes of the game over the years.   They all have their favorite stand they will be at on opening morning.  In this case it reminds me of the Hurley’s that once hunted the Pilot Rock area in Oregon.  They setup their camp near Foggy Knob or Four Corners up on East Birch Creek.   They always had deer or elk hanging in their camp.   I know they spent more than 25 years hunting the same spot.

Old buddies that have hunted together for many years and know the area. Third from the left is the Harry Bane, who was the Weatherby Rep.! This was a successful elk hunt in Idaho, in the Selway Unit!
Old buddies that have hunted together for many years and know the area. Third from the left is the Harry Bane, who was the Weatherby Rep.! This was a successful elk hunt in Idaho, in the Selway Unit!

Generations Matter. Now the following camp is an example of some of my first hunting experiences with family and friends.   Again we were “party hunting,” but with the spouses that either hunted or not (mostly not), but adding the young grandkids to the mix as well.  We would have three generations hunting.  I remember talking with my cousin about the good old days that his dad hunted; little did I know at the time, we just lacked the experience the old boys had.  We would see one of the old guys coming back with game, having sat around an isolated campfire during elk season to keep ourselves warm.  We could not understand how they got it done, as most old boys would smoke.  On these hunts it was all about the family and good times.  You always wanted to be the one to have the bragging rights that year on getting a deer or elk of any size.

It is the opening day of archery season, you got the jump on these bucks, have you released you arrow to the target buck, before they have reacted to finally knowing you are upon them?
It is the opening day of archery season, you got the jump on these bucks, have you released you arrow to the target buck, before they have reacted to finally knowing you are upon them?

Giving Others the Shot. One of the best hunts is the father or mother that shows their children how to hunt and give them the chance to harvest an animal.   This could also go for a mentor that shares all their knowledge with youth or another hunter.   In this case, it would be the time we had spotted a monster bull on the B.L.M., I asked my buddy who was also glassing and spotted the bull, if he wanted to go after him.  Knowing how to get to the area that was about a mile off, with my son and his non-hunting buddy following along we got into the spot that was close to the last appearances of the bull.   I had checked up wind and the area was clear, coming back to the boys, I said he has to be close.  I let my son quietly lead into the juniper and sagebrush.  JR, jumped the bedded bull at 50 feet and made the shot.  The bull was bedded under a Juniper tree.  What was great he reacted without hesitation and took his first bull with a gross score of 340.  If there had been any hesitation that bull would have made it out of there.   JR got to have the bragging rights of the biggest bull taken on a very successful hunt for all.

Just recently on a bow hunt, being in a tree stand I could see the bucks coming into the draw, JR was in a ground blind in the draw.  I sat there in a daze watching all un-folding, I had the shot, but something told me it was JR’s hunt and not mine.  He could have taken the big buck at 15 yards, but in his mind he knew I was after this buck.  He made movement in the blind and the all the deer, but one scattered in the opposite direction.  The one buck that caused the others to react, just stood his ground.  JR took the 8 yard shot on that buck.   Each person on this hunt was thinking about the other person and did not react to the situation.  I told him he should have arrowed the big buck!  “Dad, he was yours to take”

Pay to Play. So many times we see these days with the social media great pictures of truly great animals taken by hunters.   When digging a bit, they are hunting on private enclosed hunting lands.  In many cases large sums of money have changed hands to make the success of the hunt happen.   This is about how much money one has to be successful.  There is little more to be said on this style of hunter.  Some years back I got a picture sent to me of a 430” Rocky Mountain bull taken in Idaho.  What a great bull that was taken at 100 yards while in his bed.   It took a while to get to the bottom of the story, but the bull was harvested on an enclosed 8-foot fenced ranch that sells the bulls by the inch.

Guides Help. There are many that want to only hunt on private lands (non-enclosure) with guides.   In conclusion many times the hunter makes great shots on the game and I would say their success rate is around 50% to 100%.   Again money is involved in the hunt and the success of the hunter.  Most hunters would love to be able to have one or more of these hunts.   To have a chance to hunt on a ranch that has big game and is managed for hunting would be quite exciting, I believe sometimes.  On these ranches the only fences are the 5 strand barbwire cattle fencing…

Just Ask! Lastly, though the good old boys (ranchers) are slowing riding into the sunset, there still are some ranches and farms a hunter can just ask to hunt and be surprised that they might just get a Yes!   They are normally working ranches or farms, with livestock, crops, orchards, vineyards or all of the above.  Over the years I have just done the asking and got permission to hunt.  In time I found that I wanted to return the favor and would give gestures of my thanks for getting to hunt these places.  There is never the guarantee of harvesting game.

This Blacktail buck was on private property that I took the time to ask for permission to hunt.
This Blacktail buck was on private property that I took the time to ask for permission to hunt.

A funny and very true ending to the last paragraph was about 10 years ago.  I knew a rancher in the Steen’s Mountains of Oregon that would allow hunters to hunt Pronghorns.  So I helped out one of my vendors and lined up the permission.  I knew that the rancher drank soda pop and I told my vendor to get a couple of cases of pop and a new folding knife for the rancher.  “Ryan asked me, “why the knife” and I told him you’ll know when the timing is correct.   So Ryan gets to the ranch, met and talk with the rancher, the rancher was very busy and told him to go down the road a couple of miles and look for a cattle guard.  Ryan was a bit lost, and then he remembered what I said.  Quickly producing the knife to the rancher, he was then escorted to the place to hunt with ideas of how to hunt the area.  Ryan was successful in getting a trophy Pronghorn.   Ranchers and Farmers are not managing wildlife, yet they have a great influence on the survival of wildlife.

Bwana Bubba