Yet it’s so difficult to get up close to and kill deer — especially mature deer. Oregon Deer Population: About 486,000 deer in 2019, down from 510,000 in 2018. This means that there are a lot of shed hunters obtaining the antlers illegally, causing stress among elk and deer, according to WUNC.org. But the peak of shed hunting season in late winter/early spring also coincides with tougher weather and less forage availability for big game, making it a vulnerable time for wildlife. Mendell Gosnell, right, of Salem, and Jon Ditgen, of Odell Lake Lodge, stand at a dry creek crossing on an elk hunt in the Diamond Peak Wilderness. Keep it Clean. When? Rob Tanner of Redmond also shares a passion for shed hunting. racist or sexually-oriented language. These regulations reduce the incentive for someone to kill animals on winter range or out of season, hide the skull, and go back months later and “find it”. “The mild winter had made access easy this year, so shed hunters can go into more remote places,” says Mark Kirsch, Umatilla District wildlife biologist. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. OSP patrols winter range closures and travel management areas by air and by vehicle. For more information, call (503) 947-6022, Local News and Key Updates Important to Northeast Oregon, Attractions, Activities and Events Throughout Northeast Oregon, Local and Regional Sports and Scholastic Athletics Are Here, Photographs, Photo Galleries and Slideshow Collections, Don’t Miss: Featured and Exclusive Topics. These are in place to protect winter range and wintering big game. Don't Threaten. Antlers on deer can grow at a rate up to seven times that of skeletal growth. Get an email notification whenever someone contributes to the discussion. Deer hunting is about three things: Food. on a big game tag or after receiving permission from OSP or ODFW to remove skull and antlers from the wild in the first place.). ... Weekly information to help you Explore Central Oregon. If you don’t have any fields, you can also try supplemental feeders. … places that hold a lot of deer.” 2. “It’s no longer just hardcore hunters; nowadays it’s more of a family event with mom, dad, kids and even pets out shed hunting.”. We had heard Jon shoot his rifle at last light, a signal shot, not a lucky shot at a bull in a meadow. In the dim light, we saw the trail and turned into it. It is every hunter's responsibility to know the land ownership and regulations of the area he or she intends to hunt… If it’s allowed, try to get to where other people haven’t searched. Jon Ditgen spread a well-used map on the table and pointed at a remote lake in the Diamond Peak Wilderness. Some ODFW wildlife areas are entirely closed to public access during late winter; other areas have road and travel restrictions. A growing number of people take to the woods during winter, looking for the antlers that have been shed by Oregon’s deer and elk. This kind of ties back into the public vs. private land scenario. If you got a honey hole of your own that you bring your buddies to shed hunt later in the season because you’re a nice friend, I see nothing wrong with sneaking in there early for first dibs on the “easy” ones. Deer and elk energy reserves are low at this time of year. Before attempting to shed hunt public land, be sure to check the regulations to make sure it’s legal. Meanwhile, Jon Ditgen had reached the trailhead, where he had plenty of time to fret about our safety and eat potato chips. Rob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, with an elk shed. State law prohibits dogs (and people) from harassing wildlife. Don’t approach animals or follow the same ones on a daily basis. Shed hunters using motor vehicles can put wildlife on the move when these animals need to be conserving valuable energy reserves. OSH will host its 10th annual Group Shed Hunt the weekend of March 14, 2015 near Fort Rock.PHOTO COURTESY OF ROB TANNERRob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, believes more people are enjoying the sport of shed hunting. person will not be tolerated. ODFW, Oregon State Police and Oregon Shed Hunters advise shed hunters to: • Minimize any disturbance to big game. Great Locations to Hunt Deer and Find Shed Antlers Within. The Base Image topo map/aerial photo book was laid out beside Jon’s map. Don’t doubt your compass. Scouting Sweet Spots for Mule Deer. SHED HUNTING AND COVID-19. Be Proactive. SALEM, Ore.—The fall hunting season is over but another one is in full swing: Shed hunting. You always need permission to be on private land. For 2016, I predict elk to shed earlier in March based on an early rut in 2015, combined with drought like conditions in many western states last year. It’s even tougher to do it on a consistent basis. (ORS 498.102 and 498.006) "When we stumble upon an antler, it's fascinating to know that a deer or elk was standing in that spot when it fell." Deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and elk from late February through early April. "From that point on, it's been like a big Easter egg hunt for adults." • Respect road and area closures. After almost an hour of calling, we drifted, the three of us, like a wedge into the wind. We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. We angled north by northwest over deadfall and under branches hung heavy with moss. We offer top quality in the used shed market for all of Central Florida. The antlers are covered by “velvet” throughout this growth period, before hardening to bone in late July-early August for elk and late August-early September for deer. Season dates, license info, bag limits and more. The Cascade elk season is over, but elk hunts continue in parts of Oregon. Deer and elk energy reserves are low at this time of year. In the survival pack, carry a flashlight, matches or a lighter and tinder, as well as a space blanket and a candy bar or two. The days of the gold rush may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still test your luck gold panning! “Shed hunters and their dogs can pressure, stress and exclude deer from the very ground that was set aside to help them survive the winter,” said Chase Brown, assistant district wildlife biologist in The Dalles. I calculated my chances at an optimistic 6 percent. My bum knee had been hurting for the last three miles and there were still two miles to go. Had he been coming to our calls? Subscriptions. With all the deer gathering in these fields, you have a much better chance of finding a shed. With the right gear, the prospect of a night in the wilderness is less daunting. The sport of shed hunting is growing across the West. I traced the trail with a finger, page to page. OSH will host its 10th annual Group Shed Hunt the weekend of March 14, 2015 near Fort Rock. According to the GPS, we had covered 11 miles. Hunters from all over the country flock to Oregon -- one of the premiere elk hunting regions in the United States. After the second mile, we stopped to shed a layer and replace the fluid we had sweated out. Get information on healthcare and healthy living in Central and Eastern Oregon, Start your day with our top stories in your inbox. The Impact of Human Pressure: First and foremost, timing of your shed hunting is important because of the impacts of human pressure. Only naturally shed antlers, antlers detached from the skull, or a skull split apart can be sold or exchanged. each comment to let us know of abusive posts. GO! You have permission to edit this article. He said it was about 600 yards. Antlers that are shed on private land below belong to the landowner under Oregon statutes. Error! ODFW, Oregon State Police and Oregon Shed Hunters advise shed hunters to: • Minimize any disturbance to big game. Jon stopped and touched the tip of his nose. Many Oregonians are in the outdoors looking for another seasonal treat– shed antlers. We'll send breaking news and news alerts to you as they happen! • Don’t take vehicles off-roading. Let us know what's going on! Deer and Elk season info. It happens in elk season more often than at any other time of year, hunters get turned around in the backcountry. 15th Annual Oregon Shed Hunters Group Shed Hunt! Pets and people on foot or horseback can also disturb big game. Mendell and I dropped into a series of meadows, still green from last winter’s snowpack and spring’s rain. The ground is water-logged at this time of year and off-roading in the wrong place can damage critical wildlife and fish habitat. “Which way is north?” he asked. Antlers are the fastest-growing bone that isn’t cancerous or prenatal. There’s a sign on the wall at Odell Lake Lodge that says, “If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains — you’re lucky enough.”. At that point, he started back west to the trail out. Many people camped out for days to be near the If you’re planning to shed hunt or visit an area, please remember: Overnight camping at ODFW wildlife areas is now prohibited. An estimate from the state of about 540,000 deer in 2015 through 2017. You might bump a buck. “Smell that?” It was an elk, and it was close enough we could smell it. This event will take place in the Central Oregon vicinity with the primary event taking place Saturday, April 4th. Don't knowingly lie about anyone Carry the essentials in a fanny pack or a pouch belted at your waist. Tracks laced the bogs and outlined elk meanderings from grassy openings to dark timber where they nibbled mushrooms. Here Are 7 Places Where You Can Still Hunt For Gold In Oregon. We hunted one more day and our season was over. Due to the dynamic nature of the data, the Oregon Deparment of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) does not warrant or make any representations as to the accuracy of the content on this map. The weekend of April 4th, 2020. Access is allowed from 4 a.m.- 10 p.m. only. Antlers that are shed on private land below to the landowner under Oregon statutes. Deer and elk might need to be in that spot for food or cover, and your presence will keep them from it. I had two days to join friends Jon Ditgen and Mendell Gosnell for the last of the general Cascade elk season. There was an error processing your request. At daybreak, we laced our boots, slung our packs and stoked our rifles. Wildlife biologists have real concerns about the sport’s impact on big game, especially when it’s not practiced responsibly. Threats of harming another The general elk hunting season begins in October and the rugged terrain is home to two types of elk, Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt. ShedMovers of Brevard County, FL is here to help. Water. I could answer that one, compass in hand. While this year’s mild winter has made conditions easier for big game, it could also mean they get disturbed more than usual. It’s that simple. Save money on your next shed. White-tailed deer antlers differ from mule and black-tailed deer in that there is one main beam with points coming off. Where legal and with permission, I like to shed-hunt parks, public areas, nature reserves, etc. Assuming you’d like to find piles of shed antlers this year, the timing of when you shed hunt is important for three reasons: 1. Shed hunting offers outdoorsmen a winter or spring opportunity to take to the field. • Don’t be in the same spot every day. Oregon Big Game Regulations (page 22) state that “No person shall possess or transport any game mammal or part thereof which has been illegally killed, found or killed for humane reasons, except shed antlers, unless they have notified and received permission from personnel of the Oregon State Police or ODFW prior to transporting.” So people may pick up naturally shed antlers in the outdoors, but may not pick up skulls with antlers attached without permission. Notifications from this discussion will be disabled. He started walking back upstream, then consulted his compass and realized he had gotten turned around. Skulls that are split have less value and are not eligible for record books. ODFW, Oregon State Police and Oregon Shed Hunters advise shed hunters to: • Minimize any disturbance to big game. Maybe. Hunting in Central Oregon Elk hunt in Diamond Peak Wilderness ... we stopped to shed a layer and replace the fluid we had sweated out. If you have an elk hunt planned for later this year, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back. or anything. But that bull outfoxed us and bailed off the top of the ridge, further back into the mountains. Each square represented a mile and there were at least five squares and a crooked route on the way in, five miles into our hunt area. Deer and elk energy reserves are low at this time of year. Winter food plots with corn, beans, tall brassicas, or cereal grains offer a similar attraction. That was the last time we saw Jon until after dark. Organizations like Oregon Shed Hunters and Eyes In The Woods (EITW) are attempting to monitor the conduct of those who shed hunt and promote the ethics behind the tradition. Shed hunters can take the following steps to protect big game while still enjoying their sport: • Don’t disturb big game animals: Don’t approach animals or follow the same ones on a daily basis. “We are noticing more people getting out, but the clientele has changed a bit,” he says. Almost an hour and a half later, we rounded the last corner to see the glow of his headlamp. • Keep dogs under your control. Access due to either snow drifts or muddy roads will be restricted through April and into May. As the shadows lengthened, it became apparent how easy it would be to get lost or twist an ankle. We were lucky enough. JENNIFER MOODY For The E Dec 23, 2020 Dec 23, 2020 Updated Dec 30, 2020 All right, movie-loving folks, time to pick your favorite children, and none of … No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism Older bulls and northern herds tend to shed sooner than younger bulls and southern herds. Members of the deer family generally shed their antlers from mid-January to mid-March. Be Truthful. Central and Southeast Oregon. Continued below. Start looking for sheds at preferred food sources early in the year. Features: The most distinguishing feature of white-tailed deer is the tail.Whitetails have long, wide tails that can easily be seen, especially when they are startled and raise their tails. Don't go scouting for mule deer this year if scouting, to you, means walking all the trails, and sky-lining yourself on every hilltop to watch for deer.Better to stay home and mow the lawn, wash the car, or take the kids to the lake. that is degrading to another person. Buck deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and bull elk from late February through early April. We turned back north, a mile away, and called again on a ridgetop with a view down into the trees. Here are seven of the best spots to (try to) strike it rich: Past poaching problems led to the regulations. Official 2021 Oregon Hunting rules & regulations. With shed hunting is growing in popularity throughout the U.S., many states have rolled out regulations and laws specific to when, where and how you can shed hunt. All around Oregon, there are creeks and rivers still open to the general public for recreational gold panning. SHED HUNT RESPONSIBLY. Oregon’s male deer and elk naturally shed their antlers at this time of year (only to regrow them in spring and summer). Hunting for shed antlers in Central Oregon Finding deer and elk antlers on the winter range. Rob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, with an elk shed. However, early drops mean you should scout earlier than most years and hunt a little later. Leave instructions to send a rescue party if you’re not back by an appointed day. An independent source of exclusive news and insight about state government delivered conveniently by email each Friday to subscribers. Shed hunting is a great opportunity to get outdoors, work your legs, test your new gear and spend time with family and friends of any hunting skill level. Weekly information to help you Explore Central Oregon, Receive weekly entertainment news occurring in Central Oregon. “How far are we from the trail?” He had his GPS out, but the signal was weak in the tall timber. Because when you go scouting, you're more likely to educate the deer than if you stay home. This makes antlers ready in time for breeding season (in September for elk and November for deer), when male deer or elk will fight for dominance using their antlers. This time of year isn’t just for Easter egg hunting. We'd love to hear eyewitness “We’re going to get to here and then pick our way around these lakes. By Gary Lewis. It was noon when we settled into a high basin, 1,800 feet higher in elevation than we had started. South Central (Hunt 731A, season April 15 – May 31) As of early April there was still a significant snow pack at all areas above 5500 feet elevation. Winter Browse Area 5 talking about this. Travel by foot or horseback instead. Find the food, find the sheds. Several ODFW wildlife areas popular with shed hunters are reopening in April after their annual winter closure to protect big game. SHED HUNT RESPONSIBLY. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, More about antlers Buck deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and bull elk from late February through early April. When he hit the creek, he thought it was headed the wrong way. • Don’t trespass on private property. Monitoring winter range closures and travel restrictions are a priority for Oregon State Police at this time of year. Every winter, deer bucks and elk bulls shed their antlers. We set up at the points of a triangle and began to call, to imitate the sounds of a band of cows and calves. Elk antlers can weigh 30-40 pounds. Jon circled on a high ridge of rocks, while Mendell and I eased up the hill into the elk’s bedding area. On this hunt, they’re traipsing around one of their favorite spots in Central Oregon. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. Kirsch cites resource damage (from vehicles using unimproved roads or going cross country), gates left open, trespassing and movement of animals to private agricultural land where they cause damage as some common problems seen from unethical shed hunting. Be Nice. Explore more of Central Oregon with a subscription to The Bulletin. People often overlook food plots for shed hunting. Hundreds of people swarmed the Oak Creek Wildlife Area, near Naches, Wash. May 1, 2017 to collect shed elk antlers. More details coming soon but make sure to put the date on the calendar. Many national forests, state parks, and forest preserves do not allow people to shed hunt and normally administer pretty steep fines. Share with Us. A mild 2017-18 winter resulted in good survival, but drought in the summer has reduced herds in Central and Eastern Oregon. Elk antlers begin re-growing soon after they are shed, with most growth happening in spring and summer months. Heavy snowfall in 2019 and a late winter have reduced fawn numbers in many regions. He found a fresh bull track and began to follow it east. More information on specific closures below or see the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations. A Hide/Antler Dealer permit ($17) is needed to purchase antlers for use in the manufacture of handcrafted items. Don’t let dogs approach or follow wildlife. accounts, the history behind an article. This doesn't mean you'll have an easy hunt. And cover. Applicants for big game controlled hunt tags in Oregon who get their bids in by Tuesday evening will have their names entered in a drawing for one of 50 Sports Pacs for 2013. Knowing the animal. Tanner helped form a 7,000-member Facebook group called Oregon Shed Hunters in 2005. People who collect shed antlers are allowed to sell or exchange them, but certain rules apply. Headed down the mountain, I maintained a course that took us north by northwest. SHED HUNT RESPONSIBLY. Use the 'Report' link on • Respect road and area closures. There’s a lot of marsh and big rocks and lots of little places where we have seen elk. Explore more of Central Oregon with a subscription to The Bulletin. Besides a compass, bring a map and a GPS, if you have one, and spare batteries. Success! For antlers detached from the skull or skulls split apart, the seller must have legally taken the game part (e.g. We split up to work a finger of timber on the west bank of a dry creek. Gathering these trophies from the ground is known as "shed hunting." If anything went wrong, one or both of us would have to tough it out on the mountain. Fifteen minutes before dark, I turned to Mendell. 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