Summit Treestands
Eastern Oregon OTC DIY Archery Elk
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
CarnivoreWithBow 16-Jul-20
Willieboat 16-Jul-20
TurboT 16-Jul-20
bigmartbowhunter 16-Jul-20
Elk whisperer 16-Jul-20
stringgunner 17-Jul-20
swede 17-Jul-20
Greg S 17-Jul-20
WapitiBob 17-Jul-20
swede 17-Jul-20
Greg S 18-Jul-20
stringgunner 18-Jul-20
Outdoordan 18-Jul-20
Outdoordan 18-Jul-20
kentuckbowhnter 18-Jul-20
stringgunner 18-Jul-20
WapitiBob 18-Jul-20
stringgunner 19-Jul-20
stringgunner 19-Jul-20
WapitiBob 19-Jul-20
TurboT 19-Jul-20
stringgunner 19-Jul-20
swede 19-Jul-20
WapitiBob 19-Jul-20
swede 19-Jul-20
Royboy 19-Jul-20
16-Jul-20
Hey all,

Hope everyone is doing well in these crazy times! My brother and I are headed to Oregon this year for OTC archery elk. We have only been able to e-scout/GoHunt and have not been able to go in person to scout units. Our number 1 priority in choosing a unit, is lack of heavy hunting pressure. We'd take small bulls and less people over the opposite. At the same time, we realize that any OTC unit is going to have pressure. That being said, there are still some areas out there with solid elk herds that are tougher terrain and not many roads around, cutting down on hunting pressure. We had our eyes trained on Unit 62 (Pine Creek) as where we had planned to try. But after a recent conversation with the biologist in that area, it sounds like that unit gets hit pretty hard as well and tons of people. So now I feel a bit deflated. He mentioned there being a ton of elk in unit 50 Desolation, but everything I've read online says that unit is a zoo with people. Have any of you on here had experience in either of those units (62 or 50) and if so, would you recommend either? I've also heard 46 Murderers Creek is popular? Thanks so much for the insight/advice!

From: Willieboat
16-Jul-20
Not to rain on your parade but this state is a real shit show......I live here and hunt elk elsewhere every year !

From: TurboT
16-Jul-20
I'll echo Willieboat. Unfortunately, our state manages people more than herds when it comes to archery and most modes of hunting. Most all Eastern Oregon units are unlimited archery tags so you'll be competing with roughly 2,000+ hunters per unit. You have the right idea with looking for areas that take more effort will have less pressure. You'll still have a great time and make memories with your brother but it might not be the most bugling action.

16-Jul-20
Sent you a PM.

16-Jul-20
Lots of people in 50,hunting Idaho this year hunted desolation for 20 years. You just have to get away from people. We’ve taken 11 bulls out of there!

From: stringgunner
17-Jul-20
Desolation is decent but be prepared to work hard to beat the people. Some times you need to go deep to find them, other times you can find small pockets that are over looked. Murders creek is a zoo for sure with not much roadless area. I know a few tree stand hunters in Pine creek that have decent luck but the elk in that unit move around a lot with the pressure. You will want to stay mobile. I hunt Oregon most years as a resident but like others have said, always look for opportunities in other states as the home state is not great. For guys that want to work hard to get away from the crowds, or have ample time to hunt it’s not terrible but don’t expect anything spectacular.

From: swede
17-Jul-20
I know a fellow that hunts the Dixon Unit and does well. Dixon is about 3%-4% average success, but he manages. It is more about how and exactly where you hunt.

From: Greg S
17-Jul-20
ODFW puts out the number of hunters per unit. Ive seen it. Which week you come also can influence the pressure. The first week is usually the busiest and the last week is usually the slowest.

From: WapitiBob
17-Jul-20
You can’t accurately count, nor control, unlimited otc hunters.

From: swede
17-Jul-20
I expect people lie to ODFW, but I don't see the advantage. i.e. If I hunt the Bugle Unit for 10 days and get a branched bull, but report that I hunted the Manure Unit and got nothing, How does that help in the long run? ODFW does their herd count and correlates the hunting time, number of kills, and their elk counts to determine where they think they can add and where they need to reduce tags. So if the Manure Unit still has good numbers of elk, it appears that it can handle more hunters. If the Bugle Unit is going down, they need to do more to get the elk numbers up. It might seem like a novel idea, but I just tell ODFW what I experienced and let them figure out how to manage the wildlife. Remember GIGO.

From: Greg S
18-Jul-20
ODFW puts out the number of hunters per unit. Ive seen it. Which week you come also can influence the pressure. The first week is usually the busiest and the last week is usually the slowest.

From: stringgunner
18-Jul-20
I generally hunt the manure unit and hope for luck and a lone elk passing through to the bugle unit.

From: Outdoordan
18-Jul-20

Outdoordan's Link
This is great video on the reasons that the archery elk seasons will be changed soon. You will probably see the eastern side turn to controlled hunts.

From: Outdoordan
18-Jul-20

Outdoordan's Link
Sorry this one is better.

18-Jul-20
I watched the video and I do not understand how a 5% reduction in archery hunters will have an impact on how the herd is dispersed.

From: stringgunner
18-Jul-20
Eastern OR draw is a terrible idea. It’s all about the $. There are other ways to accomplish their goals without going to a draw system for archery.

From: WapitiBob
18-Jul-20
Hopefully it’ll pass. All the info is on their page:

https://myodfw.com/articles/big-game-review

"all about the money"

16,000 additional resident controlled hunt Elk apps at $8 each (+128,000) vs losing 450 nr Elk license and tags at $700 each (-315,000).

From: stringgunner
19-Jul-20
Wapitibob, why do you hope it will pass? Wouldn’t a choose your weapon requirement accomplish the same goal? Curious your thoughts why you think this is a good thing for OR archery hunters?

From: stringgunner
19-Jul-20
Wapitibob, why do you hope it will pass? Wouldn’t a choose your weapon requirement accomplish the same goal? Curious your thoughts why you think this is a good thing for OR archery hunters?

From: WapitiBob
19-Jul-20
Two main goals of their proposals:

They want to remove the "inequities" between rifle and bow hunters; rifle has to draw, archery is otc. To fix that they want to make it all controlled hunts.

They want to have the ability to manage hunter numbers on a per unit basis; they can only do that with controlled hunts or caps.

"Choose your weapon" doesn't fix either of those. If a rifle hunter doesn’t draw he doesn’t hunt, a bow hunter still hunts under that scenario if otc hunting is still allowed.

In my opinion, you can't manage the resource when you have unlimited OTC hunting. Currently, there could be 500 archery hunters in Starkey or 10,000 and they have A) no way to know how many there actually are and B) no way to limit them. I would be in favor of per unit caps but controlled hunts is their only option so far.

Unfortunately, ODFW is continuing their "opportunity" management style even with the new proposals; total Deer tags proposed for 2021 are up 20% and total Elk tags are up 23%. I think that's a mistake, I'd like to see drastic cuts to tags along with controlling hunter numbers. I'd also like to see a nr allotment of 15% per species. The push back has been strong enough that they're holding some other meetings to maybe change some stuff up but I have little faith in my fellow OR hunters. They'll fight for the opportunity to shoot the last dink then bitch about ODFW letting hunters shoot the last dink.

From: TurboT
19-Jul-20
Im with you Bob. I just don't see any way around going to a draw for Archery. This should also greatly reduce point creep. Its easy to blame predators for our poor herds, but we are part of the predator problem. Certainly less than cats, bears and dogs, but between cars and hunting we kill a lot of animals.

From: stringgunner
19-Jul-20
Thanks wapitbob. That’s a helpful perspective and I can understand and agree with what you are saying.

I wonder what it will do as you mention TurboT about point creep. Many of us are sitting in no mans land waiting for the big three which likely will not happen for many of us. I’m trying to decide what do with mine before this draw goes into place. Should we burn them or hope to draw a second choice while still building points.

From: swede
19-Jul-20
I disagree that the rifle hunter can't hunt if he/she doesn't draw. There are numerous units and elk hunts in the State open to rifle hunters who do not draw. No one is required to hunt with a rifle. Many choose to pick up their bow if they do not draw their preferred unit. As a rifle hunter I can hunt my chosen unit when I draw, and go to an open unit when I don't, and still on average do as well as the average bow hunter over a long period of time.

From: WapitiBob
19-Jul-20
There are a grand total of zero General branch bull hunts on the east side.

From: swede
19-Jul-20
It is all about choices. Because a person cannot hunt their favorite unit with a rifle is no reason to limit bow hunters. The State does not exclude anyone, that wants to hunt with a bow, from hunting every year every year, or they can go to a unit that is open. You can even put in for an east side unit and be drawn quite regularly. I like stringgunner's idea of "choose your weapon". That is fine with me. I just have no sympathy for the guy complaining that the bow hunters have it too good, and should be further restricted because that can't hunt Ukiah with their rifle, every year.

From: Royboy
19-Jul-20
So then if the archery guys don’t draw they join everyone else inUkiah or Heppner to chase spikes. Major overcrowding then and not many spikes surviving. Complicated for sure.

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