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A Non-Local Hunter's Frequently Asked Questions

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by 156256Hunter, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. 156256Hunter

    156256Hunter Fairview-ish Active Member

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    Okay guys, in my short 26 years of hunting in NE Oregon (where I'm originally from), I've seen a few things, including some very unfriendly idiots flying past me on fourwheelers down closed USFS roads during deer and elk season.

    So below are some FAQs I've come up with, to help some of the more legally-challenged hunters among us. (Although I would be fine with USFS and ODFW coming up with a plan to change the USFS closed road rules to permit hunters to recover a downed and tagged animal with a four wheeler.) Please note this does not constitute legal or any other kind of advice.


    FAQs

    Q: I don’t feel like walking. Should I ride my four wheeler past the USFS road closed sign that says no motorized vehicles?

    A: No. Besides, if you do, the only buck you’ll see will be a 2 point, and a four wheeler is an elk’s best friend.

    Q: But the USFS sign has large pictures of a four wheeler and snowmobile immediately under where it says, “No Motorized Vehicles Except…”

    A: I know it’s confusing, but since we’ve progressed past communicating only with caveman drawings, in really small print under those pictures is the timeframe stating when you can ride, outside of deer and elk seasons. Another big hint should be a gate across the road.

    Q: Can’t I just drive around the gate? Looks like I can make it.

    A: Physically, yes, but legally, no. In addition, the local hunters hiking on the road will hear you coming from half a mile away and won’t be happy. They may even use special hand signals to tell you you’re number one.

    Q: But there’s no gate, and I only see pieces of what might have been a road closed sign on the ground. Since the USFS hasn’t put up a new sign in what looks like 5 or 10 years (budget and manpower issues, I assume), I can drive down the road, right? I just know there’s a huge buck down there.

    A: Please don’t.

    Q: But for sake of arument, suppose I do. Where should I put my beer?

    A: No seriously, just don’t. Besides, your beer will get too fizzy and explode when you open it. Never waste beer, even if it’s Keystone Light or PBR.

    Q: Speaking of Keystone light, while road hunting with my truck in the late afternoon, what’s the safest way to throw out my empties: out the driver-side or the passenger-side window?

    A: Please don’t drink and drive. Or litter, unless you can’t read a map or road signs and are trying to mark your way back to camp.

    Q: But I have to drive my buddies around to road hunt. I can’t put the empties in my truck bed because they’re back there with their loaded rifles. They need room to maneuver quietly if they see a big one while I’m driving. That’s okay, right?

    A: No.

    Q: Okay, so now I’m trying to walk down a closed USFS road or well-worn hunting trail, but really have to do some serious paperwork. Should I do it right in the middle of the road?

    A: No, step off the road or trail and drop it behind a tree, then bury.

    Q: But I want to claim this hunting territory and don’t want others following me. How will the other hunters know not to come down this road or trail if I don’t leave them a present right in the middle of it?

    A: Can’t argue with that logic. Of course, you’re candy wrappers and empty beanie weenie cans will also be a dead giveaway you’ve been down the road.

    Q: Say it’s still really dark out and there’s already a truck full of hunters parked at a closed USFS road. Is it okay if me and my buddies get out first, turn on all our halogen headlamps, unload our fourwheelers and drive around the gate before the other hunters get out and start hiking? Survival of the fittest, I always say.

    A: Are you serious?

    Q: Okay, so you’re saying that after we unload the fourwheelers but before we drive around the gate, we should go over to their truck and say howdy?

    A: No, those hunters officially hate you.

    Q: But they don’t know me. I’m a great guy even when I’m hungover and haven't brushed my teeth in 3 days. Plus I'm wearing $900 worth of brand new fashionable Sitka-brand camo.

    A: Congrats on the camo, that's good stuff.

    Q: So you’re not saying me and my hunting buddies should wear all orange, just to let the locals know we’re not from around there?

    A: Well, your out of state plates will probably give you away, but wear what you want. Just be friendly and try to follow the laws to the best of your ability.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    When in doubt, scope it out! oof
     
  3. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    There are a lot of us that didn't grow up with or know any hunters but are interested and looking for good info.

    While I appreciate the humor in your thread, some FAQs for non-morons would be nice also.

    I've asked here an elsewhere about hunting and learning to hunt and I've received very little advice or offers to help out.

    I'm starting to get the impression hunting is like shooting spots; most only share with friends and family.
     
    nwwoodsman, OLDNEWBIE and Quacky88 like this.
  4. balline36m3

    balline36m3 Yakima WA Active Member

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    I have taken quite a few first time hunters out and will never do it again. Most end up being jackasses and ruin the hunt/area. And I was VERY selective of who I took by making sure they had completed a hunter safety course and who I thought were upstanding citizens. One for example, I took to a buddies property and told him that he could only hunt there with me because the landowner didn't know him. I told him if he got to know the land owner that he could most likely hunt there next season as long as he respected the land owners wishes and left no garbage or a mess when he left. We saw three elk that day and a herd of about 70 on a parcel of private land about a half mile from where we were hunting. I told him I would meet him there the next morning and we would hike in before light and try to catch the elk crossing. I get up there the next morning and he has 6 other hunters with him and one of the jackasses drove through the fence instead of opening the gate. Needless to say the landowner was pissed and kicked all if us off his land. Now the guy I took on this trip was a 45 year old business owner who I thought would be very responsible. This was the worst one, others I have taken just seem to lose common sense when seeing a deer or elk or just plain want to go into the hills and do nothing but drink. I hint alone now mostly or with my family because if it
     
  5. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I could understand what after an incident like thato_O

    It's just too bad that people like that ruin it for everyone one else that comes after them.

    Kudos too you for having spent time and energy helping those that you did though.:)
     
  6. balline36m3

    balline36m3 Yakima WA Active Member

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    I tried. I don't know if it is my judgement in people or just them turning into jackassess but they seemed normal before:confused:
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  7. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Like Joe 13 I too was interested in hunting for the first time a few years back. The guy/hunter that suggested he'd take me out was mostly O.K. 95% of the time in my dealings with him but I had my reservations.

    His sad sack, mooching, non working doper bro in law that wasn't legal to hold a firearm was attached to his hip most days and part of any proposed hunt!

    Glad I avoided the situation, Rumor has it later he decided to handle a shotgun and had a N. D. with luckily no injuries.

    So for me it ain't worth it anymore. After Fees/tags, restrictions, limits etc., you still have to deal with armed jackasses in your party or somewhere around you. I'll limit my outdoor shooting to targets for now.
     
  8. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    A couple of bad hunter clips!
     
    156256Hunter likes this.
  9. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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  10. Beefcake

    Beefcake Portland Active Member

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    I'm sorry that you aren't getting the help that you want. The hard part about hunting and fishing is that we work really hard for good spots and local knowledge, and very few people that we show our "secrets" to can keep them secret. I'm happy to tell people how I do things, but never where. I used to post "open seats" on a fishing website, and I've had guys whip out their GPS and mark my fishing holes then come back the next day in their own boat. I guess that's fine if you ask first, but sorta' crappy if you don't.

    I moved last year and had to find new hunting areas closer to my new home due to fuel costs, travel time, and new family commitments. I went to the closest ranger station and got maps of the county roads, then I went to the USFS office and bought a map showing land ownership (which properties are owned by which logging company, and which are public). I went to one of the local logging companies and asked permission to hunt their properties, and they gave me permission to hunt a few that they weren't actively cutting (they will tow any rigs on their property that don't have signed permission to be there). I only got to scout one day before deer season last year, so I used the first couple of weeks of the season as scouting / random hunting, then honed in on the prime areas for the last half of the season. This was a lot of work, but it resulted in 2 deer coming home (mine and my ex-stepson's). A friend from the church we attend in another county helped me process my deer, and I mentioned to him approximately where I got it. The next week at church, his friend's son came up and started grilling me on specifics of which road I was off and which timber company's land. I can practically hit a golf ball from his dad's house to some pretty amazing hunting, but apparently they'd rather drive an hour and a half to my new, hard-earned spot. They're friends, so if I see them there this year, I'm sure I'll laugh and say hi and maybe even hunt with them for the day before moving on to one of my other spots; but imagine my frustration if it was some stranger from the internet that I had taken there to show them the ropes....

    I would love to have had a mentor teach me to fish and hunt. After years of trying on my own, I can honestly say that I'm the worst duck hunter you'll ever meet. However, I take great pride in the skills I've learned for fishing and deer hunting. I've taken fishing clinics, read books, and spent hundreds of hours on the internet, but most of my success came through trial and error and time on the water. Deer hunting was the same. I used to spend hours wandering the woods aimlessly and only see one animal per season (usually a doe or elk, never anything legal). When I got tired of hiking aimlessly, I'd drive to a clear-cut and stare at it for a while, then decide there were no deer there and move to the next one. A few years ago I learned to slow down in both styles of hunting (hiking and glassing). Instead of hiking for miles, I learned to "still-hunt" (walk 3 steps slowly and quietly, stop and look at everything around you with binoculars for at least a minute, rinse-repeat). And, after seeing two deer stand up about 40 yards in front of me after staring at a clearcut for 2 hours, I learned to "glass" more effectively. For me, the 3 keys to both styles of hunting are 1) good binoculars that I can look through all day without a headache, 2) patience, and 3) trusting that there are animals there.

    #3 above may seem obvious, but it is the hardest part of deer hunting for most people to understand. If you have either scouted an area prior to hunting season or paid attention while hunting and noticed "sign" (tracks, scat, bedding areas, scrapes, or evidence of feeding), you should be confident that there are deer in the area. I don't mean a deer may happen through once a week; areas with good "sign" hold more deer than most people imagine. I read a study from the '80's about an area that I hunt (the last time odfw did a population study there). It said that the area had an average of 75 blacktail deer per square mile. Now, all the old-timers say that our populations are in the toilet - maybe half of what they were 30 years ago - so let's use that figure as an example. If there are 37.5 deer per square mile, and if 1/5 of them are legal bucks, that means there are 7.5 legal bucks per square mile. Once you figure out where deer like to be (food, water, safety, sunlight), you will no longer have to hike 20 miles per day. Granted, they are sneaky until the rut, but we saw 4 legal bucks within 300 yards of each other in about an hour on the last day of last season.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is to just get out there and start exploring. You can become and expert at dressing your prize in about 2 hours on YouTube, so you just need to find animals. Set 2 goals for each day: 1) to learn something new (either a new area or a behavioral pattern), and 2) to see something cool. I don't judge my success for a day of hunting based on filling a tag; I'm happy just to see a big-game animal in its own environment each day. This took years; at first I'd see one per season, but now it is rare not to at least spot a doe or a cow elk, and there are the really fun days when I get to watch a bear play or draw a bead on a branch bull just for practice.

    One final thought, deer aren't dumb. You'll see 10 times as many animals 100 yards behind a locked gate than you'll ever see from the road. Even in walk-in only areas, I find way more sign behind ridges that are hidden from view of the common hunter access points.
     
  11. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Quads are tools which can be used for fun. That said, if it says "closed to motor vehicles" it means just that. I detest slobs that believe that it doesn't mean that it applies to them.
     
    ocarolan and 156256Hunter like this.
  12. WashCoDad

    WashCoDad Beanerton Active Member

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    Regular safety vests with reflective stripes are not the same thing as a hunting vest.

    Having 10 guys banging sticks and 1 with a gun to herd them into is not cool.
     
    156256Hunter likes this.