Fossil Unit

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So, our first pick didn't go through and ended up drawing Fossil for deer as part of a party tag. Only 2 people in the party have ever hunted the unit, and one of them isn't going and the other one hasn't hunted there since the 70s. The one that isn't going, he's the one that had the bright idea to apply for the hunt in the first place.

So....anyone know about this unit or if there are still deer in it? It's my son's first big game hunt and I'd love him to see some deer. It's also my twin nephew's first mule deer hunt as well. I'm not looking to ruin anyone's sacred hunting land, but if there's a possibility of private land access or if you have specifics, go ahead and PM me.

Otherwise, I would love to hear some collective experience or wisdom about the unit.
 
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Go in on Forrest rd 25south of Heppner.mostly public on both sides of road.still quite a few deer,but nowhere near what it used to be.find a good stand in the mornings.the deer run south into the private lands.walk the brush in afternoons.take a stand in the evening.get a map of public and private lands.landowners are very unforgiving of mistakes.you can hunt some private lands if your willing to pay.be careful,there will be a lot of people there.most of the people with tags for the area will be in the small patch of public land.good luck
 
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Lol
Thanks !
Fossil Deer is hard to hunt.
The area around 25 road and the burn is a traffic jamb opening morning.
What’s there gets shot or pushed into private or somewhere thick.
Rest of the weeks is ok. I’d also look at the BLM area south west of the unit.
 
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OP
Grizzly_A
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Thank you for the information. I have heard that it's busy and concentrated opening morning. Is it even worth trying for forest service land opening morning, or focus on something different?
It's difficult when I've never hunted that unit, so I have no idea what to expect. If the forest hadn't burnt, we'd be hunting general season.
 
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I’d go hunt the opposite side and up against private border by Rugs ranch property.
Saw multiple bucks there last year just chilling almost every morning.
I’d just Go and have fun with the kiddos
Take them fishing at bull prairie and learn new area
 
OP
Grizzly_A
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We were on the west side of the unit in BLM land. Don't go there. It was hard to find even coyotes. Found Chuckar, snakes, rabbits. Saw a few deer out in brush, and lots of deer on private ground. Our exploration was mainly focused on the west side of 207 up to the Grizzly unit border. We had planned to camp in a different location, but some travel missteps with my brother-in-law resulted in what I would call a "non-optimal" hunt-from-camp location.

I would echo the advice presented above and stay focused on the NF areas, find a few areas that will focus animals and stay near the private ground borders. Wait for the animals to make their way into private ground. (Or go make friends with landowners prior to hunting private ground)
 
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Elk in Fossil is about same as deer. My avatar is fossil elk.

There are Few and far in between animals. I think most pass through, non resident if they makes any sense.

Last year I got on elk twice before opening morning. Then it was a ghost town. Got back on them last hour of last day, watched them working off of private and sat and waited. Until some jack off drove by and pushed them back in. They eventually came off private and I was surrounded by elk. But I couldn’t see them as I ran out if day light....About 5 minutes too late.
 

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