Eastern OR Muledeer???

HellsCanyon

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What opportunities for killing big muleys exist in eastern Oregon? There's an interesting opportunity to move down to John Day. I know a bit about the town as I worked there for a summer in college... never got out to find any animals though. I know their seasons are pretty limited and I will hunt whatever methods needed to take advantage of whatever opportunities exist...

Got a few months to see how things play out but if anybody has some first hand experience that'd be great!

Mike
 

Beastmode

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There are definitly big bucks in the john day area. I went elk hunting there a few years ago and saw some bruisers. You will have to put in a lot of time scouting due to the season's being very limited. I love that area and would move there in a heartbeat if an opportunity presented itself.
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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We would have horses and I don't think getting into the back country would be too hard.... put you're right the seasons are tough. And i believe you have to choose your weapon? I'd likely only hunt deer and keep going to Idaho for elk. Though I'm contemplating focusing solely on a big muley for however many seasons it takes before I start chasing elk again....

I can always head out of state for other hunting opportunities.

How is the health of the herds in that area does anyone know?

Mike
 

huffmad

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Oregon Mule deer are hurting right know. Our elk herds are doing okay. If you move to oregon i hope you bought your life time licence from Idaho cause then you can still put in with the res of idaho and the 10% cap does not effect you. I live and hunt oregon every year but I always put in for the area you had your deer tag in idaho and then hunt general season.
 

robby denning

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You'd be close enough to Idaho to have plenty of hunting for big mule deer in both states.

With Idaho's lifetime license, you'd be better off living in Oregon, then you'd have the best draw odds in both states. The way I understand it, you'd recapture the cost as you could buy non-res licenses at the resident prices.

Oregon and Idaho are both tough states for mule deer but as you know, both still continue to produce big deer. If you worked your tail off, you'd find some.

I know one hunter in Oregon who recently killed a 200" buck in one of the Eastern Oregon units that is easy to get a tag in. He'd scouted the buck and just hunted him till he got him. Wouldn't have mattered if that buck were in Colorado or Nevada (great mule deer states), what mattered is that he found him and focused on him. You could do the same.
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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Robby,
Unfortunately no lifetime license was purchased for me (and you still have to buy the TAGS at nonres prices, but forego the $160 or so big game license fee every year).

Long story short, I wasn't able to get back down to Lewiston for a few weeks after leaving my ID residence to purchase my lifetime license... turns out I had waited a week too long and wasn't able to get my lifetime (yeah I know... no need to say how dumb that really was!).

I don't expect it to be easy in either state to find big deer, but at least in ID I know without a doubt of some areas that are producing a few 180"+ bucks every year... And I know the same is true in the high country that surrounds my current hometown here in WA... not so in OR and someone has stated to me they doubt that 10-15 180"+ bucks are killed every year in OR on public land statewide. Not sure how informed that person is or not, as I hear a lot of people say how the hunting has died in ID when there are still some big bucks to be had...

Thanks for the encouragement Robby! I appreciate the input... it's a big decision going to OR and I'm not sure how happy I'd be there. One of the big factors is the opportunities for my GF and I once she graduates from WSU this spring and that is probably the biggest reason I'm considering it. Lot of stuff to ponder and pray on thats for sure!

Mike
 

robby denning

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If you were moving to Oregon and only able to hunt there, I'd say not good, but you would still be able access units with potential here, so not a bad idea.

I see about the nonr-res license fee being reduced to resident if you hold the lifetime. Lifetime is $386.75 for hunting, so only about 3-4 years to pay for itself.

God bless your decision.

Oh yea, you said
Though I'm contemplating focusing solely on a big muley for however many seasons it takes before I start chasing elk again....

That is how you kill big deer IMO
 
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