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Old 09-30-2003, 09:49 AM   #1
Salmo
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Default Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Deer hunters,
I moved here from Montana a few years back. I grew up elk and deer hunting. I've never hunted for big game in Oregon and have a few questions regarding hunting success. I'm planning on purchasing a general back tag to put some meat in the freezer. The regs lead me to believe that there is alot land available west of Hood in the Santiam unit.. Has anyone had success in this unit for general buck rifle? Would I be better off heading south to the mckenzie unit? I love to hike and bike. Do they open most of the closed roads for the hunting season? I would like to avoid road hunters at all cost. Fork in horn or better doesn't sound difficult to accomplish.. I'm not asking for secret spots... just general input. I appreciate any help.
Thanks all

[ 09-30-2003, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: Salmo ]

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Old 09-30-2003, 10:51 AM   #2
SCUTZ ZA
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Good luck, You will hear a lot of negative things about how thick the wood can be. The trick is to be still and glass any clearing or cuts. Blacktail is one of the most elusive animals. You can be only yards and never see these animals. Have fun try to get away from the main roads and setting up a tree stand can be very beneficial. No matter where you go there are deer. Ive seen big bucks in Salem City limits. You just need to be persistant and have a little luck. Good luck
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Old 09-30-2003, 11:01 PM   #3
willametteriveroutlaw
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

I hunt deer almost exclusively in the santiam unit and have done well, (only have hunted it 2 seasons) before that I hunted in southWestern washington. I like to key in on 2-4 year old clearcuts and I also hunt big patchy cuts when it is raining. The keys to success IMHO for blacktail hunting is to get the hell away from the open roads. I saw several forks and spikes last year near the road, but nothing worth taking a shot at.. Getting back in on closed roads is the way to go. Also key in on the weather, when it gets good and nasty towards the end of the season be out every day.. The big boys will be starting to rut and you can actually get into the woods and still hunt without sounding like the russian army. Get the weyhouser info line number and make sure the status of the closed roads (fire danger most of them won't get vehicle acess) and then search from there.. Most of all good luck.
No one killed the buck I was chasing last year hopefully this will be the year I'll stick his head on the wall and his ass in the freezer.
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Old 10-01-2003, 06:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Yeah, what he said! :grin:
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:58 PM   #5
Salmo
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Thank for the info! I appreciate your input and look forward to putting in some time on the mountain.. Seems as Blacktails spend alot of time in a very small area.. Do you guys find this to be true? I'm sure the mountain bucks move more than the city bucks I've been watching..
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:05 PM   #6
willametteriveroutlaw
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Salmo,
Yes and no.. The particular buck I have been chasing I have seen him in about 3 different clear cuts in a 3 or 4 square mile area.. After season closed last year. Generally though if you see a buck in a clear cut he will be in that general area all season.. If you get really desperate, line up a few buddies and push islands of timber in the middle of clear cuts. You'll push out deer, but the big boys you practically have to step on to get moving. Also watch behind the pushers for bucks sneaking out the back.. Blacktails are one of the hardest species of deer to hunt IMHO, espically the big ones.
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

We will leave one guy behind a good ways to get the ones that circle around. Blacktail and whitetail are simmilar in that respect, both like to circle back. The blacktail usually make a bigger one. Have your tailgunner come in about half an hour after the group pushes thru.
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Old 10-02-2003, 09:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

I have hunted the units for 15 years now and we have had good sucess with a few trophy animals. If you a call the timber companys in the area you can find open areas that can be very productive. Keep in mind though that there are alot of people that hunt in these areas and it may not be what you are looking for. Its a tough hunt in my opinion but with the the right strategies like the previous guys have suggested you just might find one. I spend alot of time glassing areas in steep country and have found bucks bedded down in the open thats my favorite way to get them. Good Luck.
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Old 10-03-2003, 01:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Salmo...I've family at Gov. Camp and we hunt the eastern fringe of the Santiam where it hooks into the white river unit. Nice white tails in some places. Best of luck and I'll see ya up there soon.
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Old 10-04-2003, 09:54 AM   #10
Ryan Pultz
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Last year was my first deer hunt in Oregon and I hunted the Clear cuts and meadows around Trillium lake and I was a few scrapes later in the season and lots of deer sight(droppings and prints) saw three doe and I was hunting a meadow you have to hike back into the last week of the season after the rain and snow had started to make it Rut time after calling with a grunt call a few times and taking a branch to the bush next to me I was sitting real quite and all of a sudden I hear a Snort not ten feet behind me and then the lovely sound of a deer running away from me. I was right on the edge of the meadow and if you have never hunter up there before you can not see anything through them trees it is one think jungle up there needless to say no deer meat for me last year rp
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Old 10-07-2003, 08:49 AM   #11
Salmo
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Default Re: Deer Hunting (Santiam vs Mckenzie Units)

Thanks for all the great info! I'll let you know how it goes this season. No one seems to be posting their successful hunts.. Maybe its been a slow start.. I'll be checking back for any good info on these units.
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