Oregon Mule Deer season dates//Behavior

If you were to rank Oct. 1-25 on "easiest" times to find bucks. As the month goes on..


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Joined
Jun 5, 2023
Messages
32
This year The controlled rifle season in Oregon has landed one week later in October. As far as I know this is the latest the season has ran In quite a few years 10/7-10/18. I have been racking this situation in my mind for months because well.. its fun to think about Mule Deer. Any input or personal experience on my current thoughts are appreciated.

A) Locating deer will be easier because it is CLOSER to the rut.

Although weather forecasts looks fairly mild for Oct.. I would imagine a timely cold snap and some snow would be an advantage to a slightly later season.

B) Locating deer will be harder because they are one more week removed from September/summer habits.

Deer are less likely to be caught out on a hillside in the daylight. Bucks are more likely to be running solo vs in bach groups like I have seen in early Oct.
 

CC11

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
148
Lots of factors can go into this. I partied with a good buddy that is moving to Idaho to help carry me on points so we could draw the unit I've hunted the past 20 years with the idea of the season running later might have a better opportunity of weather bringing the biggers bucks out. I still think it won't be late enough to really see any rutting behavior but you never know. But, my plan now is to hunt the opening weekend then be back down for the last 6 or 7 days and keep my fingers crossed for some good cold weather, maybe even snow.
 

kota

FNG
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
91
I think we are 2-3 weeks late for summer patterns and 10-14 days too early for the buck activity to increase. In other words, right smack in the middle of the most difficult time to find a nice buck…

Best hope is for weather, whether that be cooler temps, moisture to quiet things down, or snow for tracking and to start migrations.
 

Diced

WKR
Joined
Dec 10, 2022
Messages
379
I'm thinking it will help overall because it's just more likely to be cold during the season. A hot deer hunt in early October is a tough task. I think the conditions should be pretty good this year in alot of the state as far as moisture. I'll be in the trout creek unit this year so it should be a good time with how much feed they have this year.
 

Tmac

WKR
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
848
Location
South of Portland
Later is usually better, more leaves off the trees if nothing else. I have seen bucks out roaming late morning full bright sunlight with swollen necks in OR in mid-Oct. Now I know the biology and daylight time rut trigger info. But this buck and at least 3 others in that area were swollen necked and acting like it was early rut. The local taxidermist and two other very experienced hunters noted the same thing.

This guy let me and my nephew just line out straight at him in the wide open, close to 200 yards and kill him. Mature 25” 4x4 with good mass and 168” of bone. Quite a nice first buck and healthy as they come by all appearances. Never seen that before or since. So you just never know.
 
OP
outheretryin
Joined
Jun 5, 2023
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Man! you guys confirmed some of my thoughts and added some other things to consider. Thanks a lot!
 
Joined
May 17, 2015
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817
No experience in Oregon, but once velvet is off in early September bucks tend to ditch their summer patterns and bachelor groups. I think if the hunt falls in October I would usually prefer later dates vs earlier as chances for slightly cooler weather and bucks getting itchy for the does tends to increase activity slightly toward mid-late October


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Joined
Jan 25, 2018
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Location
Wyoming
I'm excited to hear what everyone finds in Oregon during this hunt. I've found on low country October 15 mule deer seasons in Wyoming that many of the bucks are still in bachelor groups and in the same general vicinity as the summer. If you're up outside of Cody, WY, however, the migration has started. So probably place dependent on all these factors.
 
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
83
Depending on how much they got screwed with by archery hunters, October 1st I see younger bucks in summer range spots or nearby & older bucks somewhere a little more hidden but nearby. I chose parabolic curve in the event that you catch a little rutty action towards Halloween. That said, the new season dates aren’t doing me any favors, for the way I hunt.
 
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