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. These are in place to protect winter range and wintering big game. Elk antlers begin re-growing soon after they are shed, with most growth happening in spring and summer months. Water. Get information on healthcare and healthy living in Central and Eastern Oregon, Start your day with our top stories in your inbox. Buck deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and bull elk from late February through early April. All around Oregon, there are creeks and rivers still open to the general public for recreational gold panning. • Don’t trespass on private property. He said it was about 600 yards. It’s even tougher to do it on a consistent basis. 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. Shed hunters using motor vehicles can put wildlife on the move when these animals need to be conserving valuable energy reserves. Continued below. • Respect road and area closures. Headed down the mountain, I maintained a course that took us north by northwest. "When we stumble upon an antler, it's fascinating to know that a deer or elk was standing in that spot when it fell." We hunted one more day and our season was over. We set up at the points of a triangle and began to call, to imitate the sounds of a band of cows and calves. OSP patrols winter range closures and travel management areas by air and by vehicle. Besides a compass, bring a map and a GPS, if you have one, and spare batteries. Antlers that are shed on private land below to the landowner under Oregon statutes. 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. ... Weekly information to help you Explore Central Oregon. It happens in elk season more often than at any other time of year, hunters get turned around in the backcountry. Every winter, deer bucks and elk bulls shed their antlers. 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. The sport of shed hunting is growing across the West. After almost an hour of calling, we drifted, the three of us, like a wedge into the wind. • Don’t take vehicles off-roading. Be Truthful. When? Winter food plots with corn, beans, tall brassicas, or cereal grains offer a similar attraction. The days of the gold rush may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still test your luck gold panning! 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. This doesn't mean you'll have an easy hunt. My bum knee had been hurting for the last three miles and there were still two miles to go. “We’re going to get to here and then pick our way around these lakes. “Smell that?” It was an elk, and it was close enough we could smell it. ODFW, Oregon State Police and Oregon Shed Hunters advise shed hunters to: • Minimize any disturbance to big game. Subscriptions. Wildlife biologists have real concerns about the sport’s impact on big game, especially when it’s not practiced responsibly. If you don’t have any fields, you can also try supplemental feeders. When he hit the creek, he thought it was headed the wrong way. With the right gear, the prospect of a night in the wilderness is less daunting. You have permission to edit this article. (ORS 498.102 and 498.006) If it’s allowed, try to get to where other people haven’t searched. "From that point on, it's been like a big Easter egg hunt for adults." People often overlook food plots for shed hunting. Members of the deer family generally shed their antlers from mid-January to mid-March. Be Nice. This time of year isn’t just for Easter egg hunting. Jon circled on a high ridge of rocks, while Mendell and I eased up the hill into the elk’s bedding area. And cover. Weekly information to help you Explore Central Oregon, Receive weekly entertainment news occurring in Central Oregon. • Don’t be in the same spot every day. • Respect road and area closures. Antlers that are shed on private land below belong to the landowner under Oregon statutes. Carry the essentials in a fanny pack or a pouch belted at your waist. Many people camped out for days to be near the Use the 'Report' link on Here are seven of the best spots to (try to) strike it rich: Explore more of Central Oregon with a subscription to The Bulletin. Several ODFW wildlife areas popular with shed hunters are reopening in April after their annual winter closure to protect big game. The ground is water-logged at this time of year and off-roading in the wrong place can damage critical wildlife and fish habitat. Had he been coming to our calls? Hundreds of people swarmed the Oak Creek Wildlife Area, near Naches, Wash. May 1, 2017 to collect shed elk antlers. • Keep dogs under your control. He started walking back upstream, then consulted his compass and realized he had gotten turned around. Hunters from all over the country flock to Oregon -- one of the premiere elk hunting regions in the United States. We'll send breaking news and news alerts to you as they happen! Almost an hour and a half later, we rounded the last corner to see the glow of his headlamp. Rob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, with an elk shed. While this year’s mild winter has made conditions easier for big game, it could also mean they get disturbed more than usual. Here Are 7 Places Where You Can Still Hunt For Gold In Oregon. Tanner helped form a 7,000-member Facebook group called Oregon Shed Hunters in 2005. Elk antlers can weigh 30-40 pounds. Rob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, with an elk shed. Mendell and I dropped into a series of meadows, still green from last winter’s snowpack and spring’s rain. Access due to either snow drifts or muddy roads will be restricted through April and into May. Deer hunting is about three things: Food. that is degrading to another person. 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. I traced the trail with a finger, page to page. accounts, the history behind an article. Many Oregonians are in the outdoors looking for another seasonal treat– shed antlers. Older bulls and northern herds tend to shed sooner than younger bulls and southern herds. ODFW, Oregon State Police and Oregon Shed Hunters advise shed hunters to: • Minimize any disturbance to big game. A mild 2017-18 winter resulted in good survival, but drought in the summer has reduced herds in Central and Eastern Oregon. Notifications from this discussion will be disabled. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism Monitoring winter range closures and travel restrictions are a priority for Oregon State Police at this time of year. We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Before attempting to shed hunt public land, be sure to check the regulations to make sure it’s legal. Some ODFW wildlife areas are entirely closed to public access during late winter; other areas have road and travel restrictions. SALEM, Ore.—The fall hunting season is over but another one is in full swing: Shed hunting. Oregon’s male deer and elk naturally shed their antlers at this time of year (only to regrow them in spring and summer). Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, People who collect shed antlers are allowed to sell or exchange them, but certain rules apply. White-tailed deer antlers differ from mule and black-tailed deer in that there is one main beam with points coming off. 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.”. The Cascade elk season is over, but elk hunts continue in parts of Oregon. Deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and elk from late February through early April. Hunting for shed antlers in Central Oregon Finding deer and elk antlers on the winter range. OSH will host its 10th annual Group Shed Hunt the weekend of March 14, 2015 near Fort Rock. We split up to work a finger of timber on the west bank of a dry creek. Skulls that are split have less value and are not eligible for record books. At daybreak, we laced our boots, slung our packs and stoked our rifles. Official 2021 Oregon Hunting rules & regulations. 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. 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. If you’re planning to shed hunt or visit an area, please remember: Overnight camping at ODFW wildlife areas is now prohibited. But that bull outfoxed us and bailed off the top of the ridge, further back into the mountains. The Base Image topo map/aerial photo book was laid out beside Jon’s map. 5 talking about this. We turned back north, a mile away, and called again on a ridgetop with a view down into the trees. Great Locations to Hunt Deer and Find Shed Antlers Within. The general elk hunting season begins in October and the rugged terrain is home to two types of elk, Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt. Jon stopped and touched the tip of his nose. Leave instructions to send a rescue party if you’re not back by an appointed day. 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. Central and Southeast Oregon. 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. Winter Browse Area Gathering these trophies from the ground is known as "shed hunting." “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.”. Meanwhile, Jon Ditgen had reached the trailhead, where he had plenty of time to fret about our safety and eat potato chips. State law prohibits dogs (and people) from harassing wildlife. Because when you go scouting, you're more likely to educate the deer than if you stay home. You always need permission to be on private land. Deer and Elk season info. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. Let us know what's going on! Antlers on deer can grow at a rate up to seven times that of skeletal growth. “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. According to the GPS, we had covered 11 miles. At that point, he started back west to the trail out. Success! SHED HUNT RESPONSIBLY. Only naturally shed antlers, antlers detached from the skull, or a skull split apart can be sold or exchanged. Don't knowingly lie about anyone Find the food, find the sheds. 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.). I could answer that one, compass in hand. Explore more of Central Oregon with a subscription to The Bulletin. More information on specific closures below or see the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations. We offer top quality in the used shed market for all of Central Florida. each comment to let us know of abusive posts. SHED HUNT RESPONSIBLY. There’s a lot of marsh and big rocks and lots of little places where we have seen elk. 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. This means that there are a lot of shed hunters obtaining the antlers illegally, causing stress among elk and deer, according to WUNC.org. “Which way is north?” he asked. Hunting in Central Oregon Elk hunt in Diamond Peak Wilderness ... we stopped to shed a layer and replace the fluid we had sweated out. 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. Error! Keep it Clean. SHED HUNT RESPONSIBLY. Start looking for sheds at preferred food sources early in the year. He found a fresh bull track and began to follow it east. Yet it’s so difficult to get up close to and kill deer — especially mature deer. There was an error processing your request. 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”. 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. SHED HUNTING AND COVID-19. “How far are we from the trail?” He had his GPS out, but the signal was weak in the tall timber. 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. Deer and elk energy reserves are low at this time of year. In the dim light, we saw the trail and turned into it. More about antlers I calculated my chances at an optimistic 6 percent. Save money on your next shed. However, early drops mean you should scout earlier than most years and hunt a little later. Heavy snowfall in 2019 and a late winter have reduced fawn numbers in many regions. We angled north by northwest over deadfall and under branches hung heavy with moss. Don’t let dogs approach or follow wildlife. Share with Us. “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. Jon Ditgen spread a well-used map on the table and pointed at a remote lake in the Diamond Peak Wilderness. You might bump a buck. 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. Deer and elk energy reserves are low at this time of year. “We are noticing more people getting out, but the clientele has changed a bit,” he says. This event will take place in the Central Oregon vicinity with the primary event taking place Saturday, April 4th. Threats of harming another It was noon when we settled into a high basin, 1,800 feet higher in elevation than we had started. 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. An estimate from the state of about 540,000 deer in 2015 through 2017. With all the deer gathering in these fields, you have a much better chance of finding a shed. or anything. ODFW, Oregon State Police and Oregon Shed Hunters advise shed hunters to: • Minimize any disturbance to big game. Shed hunting offers outdoorsmen a winter or spring opportunity to take to the field. Fifteen minutes before dark, I turned to Mendell. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. 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. If you have an elk hunt planned for later this year, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back. Deer and elk energy reserves are low at this time of year. person will not be tolerated. I had two days to join friends Jon Ditgen and Mendell Gosnell for the last of the general Cascade elk season. Rob Tanner of Redmond also shares a passion for shed hunting. Knowing the animal. 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 … GO! Pets and people on foot or horseback can also disturb big game. More details coming soon but make sure to put the date on the calendar. Deer and elk might need to be in that spot for food or cover, and your presence will keep them from it. Where legal and with permission, I like to shed-hunt parks, public areas, nature reserves, etc. 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. We'd love to hear eyewitness Many national forests, state parks, and forest preserves do not allow people to shed hunt and normally administer pretty steep fines. Scouting Sweet Spots for Mule Deer. Be Proactive. Antlers are the fastest-growing bone that isn’t cancerous or prenatal. By Gary Lewis. The weekend of April 4th, 2020. racist or sexually-oriented language. That was the last time we saw Jon until after dark. 15th Annual Oregon Shed Hunters Group Shed Hunt! Past poaching problems led to the regulations. Oregon Deer Population: About 486,000 deer in 2019, down from 510,000 in 2018. 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 Impact of Human Pressure: First and foremost, timing of your shed hunting is important because of the impacts of human pressure. As the shadows lengthened, it became apparent how easy it would be to get lost or twist an ankle. … places that hold a lot of deer.” 2. An independent source of exclusive news and insight about state government delivered conveniently by email each Friday to subscribers. We were lucky enough. On this hunt, they’re traipsing around one of their favorite spots in Central Oregon. Tracks laced the bogs and outlined elk meanderings from grassy openings to dark timber where they nibbled mushrooms. ShedMovers of Brevard County, FL is here to help. This kind of ties back into the public vs. private land scenario. For antlers detached from the skull or skulls split apart, the seller must have legally taken the game part (e.g. If anything went wrong, one or both of us would have to tough it out on the mountain. It’s that simple. Don’t doubt your compass. It is every hunter's responsibility to know the land ownership and regulations of the area he or she intends to hunt… Don't Threaten. A Hide/Antler Dealer permit ($17) is needed to purchase antlers for use in the manufacture of handcrafted items. Maybe. After the second mile, we stopped to shed a layer and replace the fluid we had sweated out. 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.