Elk hunting in Oregon


September 21, 2010, 09:50 PM
I am getting tags for the Oregon Cascade and coast bull elk seasons this year. I've never hunted elk before. Does anyone have any good input as far as where to go? Most of what I've read is just getting away from the roads is the most important thing. I am in good shape and am willing to walk a long ways.

I don't have horses, and it will probably just be me and one or maybe two other people, so getting a carcass out in time could potentially be an issue.


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September 22, 2010, 05:52 PM
The further away you walk from your truck the better looking those little spikes begin to look.

Don't worry too much about it. You shoot a big enough bull and you won't mind carrying the several hundred pounds of meat out.

September 23, 2010, 01:11 AM
Have a good backpack. Know how to bone one out. Make sure it's downhill to the truck.
Only hunt where you can pack it out, that is your #1 consideration. It's easy to go too far. Good Luck

September 23, 2010, 02:11 AM
I hunted DEER in the Trask unit last year and all I saw was elk tracks. Cant honestly say I saw an elk but did see pleanty of sign. However the trask unit is pretty steep so if you shoot an elk down in one of those gullies you better have some friends to get it back up.

Old Granddad
October 2, 2010, 11:21 PM
For hunting the coast range: Brush and replanted trees are now so thick that it's almost impossible to penetrate on foot. I suggest a stand on the downwind side of a clearcut that has had some chance for the browse to recover.

For the Cascades, depends on which side of the divide. West side is brushy and thick. Fertile ground for, say, the .35 Rem. Here again, if you can find a clearcut and take a stand on the downwind side, go for it. East side is more open, pine woods. Still hard to see for any distance. There are, however, many meadows, some marshy, in this area. Am I sounding like a broken record? Downwind side of the meadow, take a stand, don't move a muscle except exceedingly slowly. The best kills are when the beast never saw you before the shot, and only saw stars afterward.

Oh, and clearcuts have another advantage: they almost all have roads through them. The less you have to haul that meat around on your back, the less you'll resent it when it goes into the freezer.

I once told my dad that I'd go elk hunting with him (North Fork of the John Day) only if we had horses or mules and slaves to get the dang thing cut up and hauled out. Deer are so much easier. But I grew to love elk, roasts in particular, and hate venison, probably because we ate so dang much venison when I was a kid. A good elk rump roast though . . . . (slurp, smack!)

October 6, 2010, 05:51 PM
The little spike my dad shot a couple years back was great. Makes me want to live somewhere that elk are plentiful. The roasts were great - put them in a crock pot with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a couple chopped onions and potatoes. It's the wrong time of day for me to be thinking about food.

October 6, 2010, 05:57 PM
Definitely walk a long ways away from where everyone else is. That's how I find 'em. I don't know how those hunters tag 'em, when they spend the day driving up and down the road on a quad, but if they are at all as successful as me, I'm working too hard.

Once the spikes in Colorado get longer than 5", there is no tag you can buy that will let you kill that bull until he's a 4x4. :banghead:

October 6, 2010, 11:52 PM
I also hunted in the Trask unit last year, and had a group of about 9 elk in my vision when the scene was interrupted by a pair of trespassing hunters. They elk were gone and I didn't see them again. There's lots of logging roads that make access easy in many places. I use a .30-06, and have a .30-30 as a backup or for going down into the steep gulleys with. Good luck!

October 7, 2010, 12:10 AM
I would also second the advice not to get into territory that you're not willing to pack an animal out of. You might make that decision based on distance, or terrain, or vegetation, or whatever.

After the above mentioned incident, which happened on a gorgeous opening morning, the weather turned awful. The rest of the four day season was driving rain interspersed with 85 mph winds. Wretched weather! I was out in it, diving down into the canyons where there's some bigger timber than I had been hunting in (a reforested tract of private land), but I made the decision not to go up into the adjacent BLM land, where I'm sure the elk were sitting out the storms under good sized second growth, because I knew that I might very well end up in an awful position for retrieval, should I get an animal. The land I hunt on is about 200 acres, and there's a logging road within 200 yards of essentially anywhere on it. An old guy who used to hunt the property would only shoot an elk if it literally was standing in the road, because he wasn't physically able to retrieve it if it was anywhere else.

Again, good luck!

October 13, 2010, 11:39 PM
Copy that "don't go too far" comment. Elk are heavy when dead.

October 13, 2010, 11:56 PM
I'm a first time hunter myself. I'm going to check Soapstone lake near the north for of the Nehalem river off of highway 53. It has the elk so I'll be going there for the first 4 days of opening day.. This lakes is a is a 45 minutes to an hour hike in, I'm planning to camp at the trail head though near my truck because I'll be by my self. The area is inundated with meadows and streams so I hope it has a bunch elk. I want to go bac over the next fews weeks since I haven't been for a couple weeks.

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