So far it has been a slow hunting season with limited results. After spending the month of September archery elk hunting I switched gears to rifle deer and then some early season waterfowling. Harvest numbers throughout the state are well below average for deer and elk this year. The only days I've brought something home for the freezer has been with shotgun. Even the waterfowl hunting has been one of the poorest years to date so far.
Typically the Klamath basin in southern Oregon is brimming over with waterfowl, but not this year. There is a lull during the migration in mid November historically, yet this year we haven't even had decent early season numbers of migrating birds. The local breeding ducks we had are long gone or in a freezer now. With few northern storms pushing birds south it may be a very poor harvest for waterfowlers overall. Another important factor is the Columbia Basin grain fields and open water year round. Since the mid 70's when farming practices changed to include more grain crops the waterfowl numbers migrating south of the Columbia has dropped significantly. I can't blame the birds for not flying further. If I had food and water I'd probably stay there too for the winter. Certainly a matter of survival and they know the odds it seems and play them to their advantage. There is a saying that goes something like this: There is a time to try and a time to fly and a smart bird knows why.
I am preparing for the second season elk archery cow only hunt, which starts this Saturday and goes thru December 13, '09 on the west side of the Cascade Mt's. in a few select units. I am going scouting on Friday and with some luck maybe even bed down the elk. Sure would be a nice way to start the hunt, especially due to the fact that it will be in very thick timber and underbrush. It will be a wet hunt even if it doesn't snow or rain. We have had good snow in the mountains recently which will be helpful in pushing the elk to lower elevations. Fortunately the cows and calf's move down lower before the tough old bulls do. I will be getting up at o dark hundred, driving for an hour before getting to where I'll be hunting, then get out and commence to find tracks. If the weather gets nasty I'll spend time driving trying to cut fresh tracks before getting out on foot. Just have to take it a day at a time and be prepared for anything, including success.
This week has been sunny and mild temps reaching into the mid 50's and upper teens at night. Snow is in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, so I am once again optimistic about my upcoming hunt. Jet will be keeping the home fires stoked while I am away on my cow quest. Actually on our last duck hunt a week ago she was in rare form and quite enthusiastic about retrieving. Was refreshing after our previous weeks adventure. More on last weeks duck hunt later.
Jet and I want to thank you all for visiting the pages of Women's Hunting Journal and we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Will catch up with you all next week. Cheers!
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