Eagle Cap Wilderness

Merzy16

Newbie
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4
This will be my first year hunting in Oregon, and I'm planning an early season archery hunt in the Eagle Caps. It will be my first back country hunt as well.

Last August my buddy and I went scouting and ended up seeing a few bucks and bulls which was awesome, and I'm itching to go in there this summer to scout again and lock down some areas to hunt in the fall.

My main questions are:
We were on or near an established trail during the majority of our scouting. There were quite a few granola packing hikers until after the last big elevation gain, and then we saw zero other people over the next two days. Can I expect the same for hunting season, or should I scout a little further from the trail so I don't have to worry about other hunters? I know this is kind of vague, but any experiences or ideas are appreciated!

I'll be going hunting during the first week of the season. I primarily glass and spot and stalk, but any tips on early season calling tactics for low-pressured elk?

Also I'd love to hear any stories y'all have from the Eagle Caps!

Thanks guys
 

kjack_74

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
65
Location
Burns, Or
The Eagles get hunted pretty hard by horseback hunters so even going in deeper on an established trail will still have pressure (and quite possibly camps). My suggestion is to have plan A be your plan now and if there is no horse hunters pressure then your good but plan B would be to treat that trail like you would a road and get off it by a mile or so and then you'll find lower pressure from horse hunters and even other back pack hunters. Good luck and fill that freezer.

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Steel4sam

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
44
Also keep in mind that the Eagle caps are often snow bound into July pushing for the recreational backpackers season well into hunting seasons. They should not concern you though as they often stay on or near the trail. Also for what it's worth, attempt to befriend them. They love and appreciate the outdoors as much as we do. If we can continue to combine our conservation efforts we can do amazing things to protect public lands! Have fun the EC's are amazing.
 

mtnwrunner

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
2,209
Location
Lowman, Idaho
One of my favorite areas on earth. Spent many days there hunting in the late 80's and early 90's. We were in the middle fork of the south fork of the imnaha. Always saw lots of elk and deer and had an absolute blast. Have not been back since but one of these days........

Randy
 

damer

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
17
I used to live right on the edge of the Eagle Caps until last year. Hunted it a lot and hiked it a lot. Most of the outfitters are good friends of mine there. Don't let the trails and the hikers let you down. There really aren't many places that get away from trails. I will help you out as much as I can. What unit are you guys looking at? Do you have pack animals?
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
1,697
Location
Oregon
Keep in mind that there are undocumented horse trails in many drainages. If you scout it, document any creeks that don't have a trail. It will likely be your best chance.

I was snowed out in July on a scouting trip.
 

MuleyFever

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Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,296
Location
S. UTAH
Also for what it's worth, attempt to befriend them. They love and appreciate the outdoors as much as we do. If we can continue to combine our conservation efforts we can do amazing things to protect public lands! Have fun the EC's are amazing.

I agree. Not sure why calling them granola packing hikers is necessary. I'm a granola packing hunter/hiker. Love a good granola mix. My wife ordered me a custom bourbon granola from Bear Naked last season. It was great.
 
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Merzy16

Newbie
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4
I agree. Not sure why calling them granola packing hikers is necessary. I'm a granola packing hunter/hiker. Love a good granola mix. My wife ordered me a custom bourbon granola from Bear Naked last season. It was great.

I wasn't being offensive when I called them granola packers, that is just what my friends and I call back packers that aren't hunting.
 
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Merzy16

Newbie
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4
Keep in mind that there are undocumented horse trails in many drainages. If you scout it, document any creeks that don't have a trail. It will likely be your best chance.
.

Thanks for the tip, I will definitely keep track of that!
 

Arrowslinger

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Messages
587
Location
NorCal
One of my favorite places. This hunt we did 3 260"+ bulls in 36 hours.
[URL=http://s1073.photobucket.com/user/kirkedgerton/media/file_zpsce5ea482.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w394/kirkedgerton/file_zpsce5ea482.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
 

theleo91386

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
712
Location
Eastern Washington
What Trailhead were you using? There's a number that aren't that heavily used for various reasons and some can be more useful depending on where you want to end up. It snowed in LaGrande this past weekend and it was a heavy winter this year. I wouldn't plan on doing any trips that drop you into the Minam until at least mid July. Some trails may be down rite impassible till mid August because of avalanches. I grew up kicking around in the Eagle Caps and Wallowas and still head over there to cut trails when opportunity allows.
 

Broomd

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
2,196
Location
North Idaho
I agree. Not sure why calling them granola packing hikers is necessary. I'm a granola packing hunter/hiker. Love a good granola mix. My wife ordered me a custom bourbon granola from Bear Naked last season. It was great.



Good lord, get over it. Sick of the PC bullsh!t, especially here on the 'slide. Befriend anyone out there you can, it makes good sense; but "granola packing hikers" isn't disparaging. It's simply reality.
 
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