Ochoco Unit

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gallogiro, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    Ok, So I just found out I drew a tag for Ochoco buck. And I have never been there before. I have not done extensive research on the unit yet. I know of the ochoco national forest and stuff. Going to bi-mart to buy some maps and what not.

    Any good tips you can offer? I'm not asking to know where your "spot" is at, just a general idea of where I can go hunt. I heard Mitchell is a place to start, is that true?

    I thought about going down just to scope out the area, do they give access to the public before hunting starts? I now I will probably camp out there, are there areas where hunters usually set up to camp or just anywhere?

    Sorry for the million questions, I went into this blind. I just wanted to try something different than the abiqua basin, which is where I normally hunt.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. 284guy

    284guy Member

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    I drew Ochoco as well, if you'd like to get together and do some scouting let me know
  3. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    That sounds like a great idea. Are you familiar with the area?
  4. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    Is 284guy the only one who hunts ochoco? I guess everyone is pretty tight lip about their hunting areas, thanks.

    So I got my Big Sky Map from Bi-Mart, that looks pretty cool. I got a bunch of info of the forestry website. Time to order some forestry maps as well.

    Anyone know what type of weather to expect around October? Will it be snowing?
  5. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Anyone know what type of weather to expect around October? Will it be snowing?[/QUOTE]

    hunted there 4 or 5 years only 1 year got snow and that was in the higher elevations at night and not enough to worry about (nov on the other hand is a different story)

    hot during the day
    cold at night

    cold mornings you'll bundle up but as soon as your start heading back to camp after the mourning hunt you'll be sweating. but still moderate compared to other eastern units unless your up high.

    you'll need to find out what elevation the bucks are in depending on weather conditions sometimes up high sometimes down low

    just because you might see a lot of does does not mean you'll find bucks

    my experiance with that unit it the bucks are in higher elevations in the more rugged areas where only hard core hunters dare take a gps and or compass

    not many off the road like some other units

    although having other hunters in the area is good to get them moving try to find areas where there are too many one year we picked a area for opening day hunt and we thought we were the only ones that high and as soon as the sun came up saw 7 other orange hats watching the same draw

    lots of elk so know what your shooting at

    main thing i have found out about that unit is get off the road, lots of hunters driving through driving them deep.
  6. orduckhunter

    orduckhunter Member

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    I've never hunted it for deer - but I know some good elk areas!
  7. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    eldbillbo, great tips. Thanks!
  8. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    I've been thinking of getting a spotting scope. Do you guys think it is needed for this type of hunt? Or should I get a high powered scope for my 7mm mag. I have a Nikon 3-9x40 w/ BDC reticle on it now, I was thinking of getting something with more magnification.

    Which do you think is a better investment? Or should I do both?

    Thanks, I appreciate your input on this.
  9. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    i've never needed any thing more than a 3x9 using a 30.06. Anything that a 9 power can't put antlers on is probably too far to shoot at. But thats just me. I do carry a set a binoculers for glassing
  10. 284guy

    284guy Member

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    I'd invest in good binoculars. A spotting scope is good for breaks and open areas, binos are good everywhere, especially in wooded areas. Your scope and rifle are more than good enough. As a matter of fact you might consider lightening up on the magnums. Sometimes, with some shots you waste a lot of meat. A 270 or something comprable just might be the ticket. My .02
  11. treemanx

    treemanx Active Member

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    Watch out for antelope. Ive seen them all over the Ochoco's, even in places where you wouldnt think theyd like. You guys must have saved up your preference points for that draw, it's not an easy unit.

    As far as the weather in October, it will still be warm during the day and cold at night, as eldbillbo stated. You should hope for snow during your hunt there, but you wont likely see any. Ive hunted over East for years, most all my life actually. My mom lives over there in Spray, and she and I were just talking about that the other day. It seems like the Fall is stretching further into the winter months over east every year. Winter seems like its starting later and later, but you never really know for sure.

    As far as starting at Mitchell goes, be mindful of private property boundries, but yeah, the Mitchell side of the Ochoco's is pretty good. I'll say you have a very good chance of tagging out there, if your a halfway experienced hunter. Plenty of game, but like I said, if your not used to hunting around areas with antelope, be sure you always check your targets. I know they look quite different than a muley, but just wanted to make you guys aware. I have seen more of them on the Mitchell side, but have seen them over the top and on the Prineville side as well.

    Good luck, Im jealous! (I didnt draw any deer tags this year, so it'll be general for me on the west side!)
  12. bt97006

    bt97006 Member

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    I did some rat shooting out that way a couple months back and saw quite a few deer and a few antelope. I wish I could have got a tag there. Good luck guys.
  13. Rugerbub

    Rugerbub Member

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    If u have never hunted that area before stop buy the forest service office or oddly enough the Crook County Fire Station. All those guys hunt that unit know it like that backs of the hands
  14. treemanx

    treemanx Active Member

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    Yeah! Im sure they be willing to "send you off in the right direction" to find the big Boone and Crocketts!:paranoid:

    Kidding--Most people in Eastern Oregon arent anywhere near as rude as they are west of the Cascades.
  15. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    Have I mentioned how much I love this site?

    No seriously, Thank you guys for all your help. This place is by far the most helpful to assist me gear up for my hunt. Everyone has great tips and ideas, I'll defenitely stop by the forest service office.

    Hey treemanx, this is actually the first year I have applied east of the cascades. I must have gotten lucky. To be honest, I really wanted an antelope hunt and I knew the buck tag would come first. So I figured I would hunt deer to get aquainted with the area to get me ready for pronghorn.

    I have found campgrounds, they are primitive but have bathrooms. Does anyone know if you can only camp in those designated spots or if you happen to find a nice spot elsewhere do they let you set up?
  16. gallogiro

    gallogiro Active Member

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    I guess I wasn't as lucky as this guy, though. I took this quote from another thread.

    If your jealous of someone, it should be that guy, lol.
  17. treemanx

    treemanx Active Member

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    Gallogiro--

    Get ready to spend a few years point saving to draw that pronghorn tag......I know people who have been applying for years for Oregon pronghorn hunts and get nothing but points for the next year. Not saying it doesnt happen, but if you look in the hunting synopsis you'll find how many tags were given out for previous years, and how many people had each hunt for first choice. The synopsis tells you how to do the math to figure out how many points it takes to draw each tag(if you already know this sorry) and most ALL rifle antelope hunts take ALOT of points, like around 10 and even more. If you put in for that tag for ten years, you'll end up with enough points to score the tag. There are a few bow hunts for antelope in Oregon that dont require a ton of points, but youd better be a pretty skilled bow hunter to stalk a pronghorn. You should have plenty of years to perfect your hunt game over East before you ever see a pronghorn tag in Oregon. You could go out of state and pay a load of cash and be guarenteed the hunt, but thats really expensive. I'll look more in my synopsis tomorrow and give you more detailed info. No problem on the help, thats one of the things I love about this site too.
  18. CastleFox

    CastleFox Banned

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    Shhhhhh....I'm hunting wabbits!
  19. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Dont forget we'll want to see photos if you get something

    if its BLM land and some other public land you can usually camp right on it we never used the the campgrounds
  20. MountainBear

    MountainBear Well-Known Member

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    I got shut out. No Ochoco buck tag, and no Desolation unit elk tag. But be damned sure they'll be some out of state hunters with those tags. Always figured they ought to make sure state residents had tags before offering them up to the Californians. No offense to the Californians, I blame ODFW.