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I just got back from 4 days in the North Grizzly unit. What a disappointment. I knew there was little public ground, but after map work we decided to hunt the pockets of BLM and US Forest Service land available. We tried every road we could find on a map and several that weren't. Every one was closed " to repair" or closed to all motor vehicle traffic, private ranchers gates and the best one "a locked gate in Prineville subdivision, for the use of owners only." This is public roads and public land. The only people who can use it for elk seem to be the pay ranches like Haycreek, or some local homeowners. This is not a huge amount of land, but elk are where you find them. I was wondering if somebody can explain this? If there is a simple answer I would be interested. Maybe we missed a way in, but like I said 4 days is a lot of searching and really isn't the point of my question. We drew that unit because we thought we had ranch access. (things change) Thanks
 
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I just got back from 4 days in the North Grizzly unit. What a disappointment. I knew there was little public ground, but after map work we decided to hunt the pockets of BLM and US Forest Service land available. We tried every road we could find on a map and several that weren't. Every one was closed " to repair" or closed to all motor vehicle traffic, private ranchers gates and the best one "a locked gate in Prineville subdivision, for the use of owners only." This is public roads and public land. The only people who can use it for elk seem to be the pay ranches like Haycreek, or some local homeowners. This is not a huge amount of land, but elk are where you find them. I was wondering if somebody can explain this? If there is a simple answer I would be interested. Maybe we missed a way in, but like I said 4 days is a lot of searching and really isn't the point of my question. We drew that unit because we thought we had ranch access. (things change) Thanks
many of the ranches that have the ownership and or leases, are the very ones that voted to stop the use of dogs for bear and cats, (ooohhhh did i say that) woops, most of that unit is closed period, also most all of maupin. and if you look close enough, it's in fine print, the game book outlines closed units and hunts in red, do not apply for those red hunts without written permission from land owner, sorry it's a hard way to learn the ropes and tricks of the states backroom deals with land owners.
 

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prkrgrp, thanks for the response. That is pretty much the answer I got from one of the guys who controls one of the gates. It still is a disappointment when I realize how obvious they are and nobody at the state level has enough honor to review and correct the situation. thanks again
 
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I hunted the Grizzly unit 10 years ago and it was just beginning to turn into what you encountered so I gave up on that area. Yesterday I returned from the Ochoco unit after a few days of hunting and I ran into the same crap, locked gates and lots of posted leased hunting property. The other problem I see the ODFW and other departments ignoring is the cattle ranchers ruining the hunting by over grazing the cows on BLM and National Forest and not their own land which drives some of the game animals onto private property. They then lock their gates and charge fees for access. I am all for letting them graze their livestock but they need to get them out before the hunting seasons begin.
 
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I hunt a variety of units and the cattle population seems to vary from year to year. Some years we see few, others, like this year, they are legion. Not sure what the deal is with that.
The gate issue is a growing problem, but if you are a proponent of private land ownership it is a tough call. I want land owners to have control of their property and if they want to charge to hunt it well I guess thats a good use of ones assets. On the other hand I wish it were easier to hunt some areas and that land owners would make provisions for easier access. Its a rock and a hard place kinda thing.
 
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