Getting A Handle On Oregon's Game Busters


Published: March - 2005

Last March I told you about the deer hunting on offer through Southern Oregon Game Busters, operated by Doug and Janet Gattis. (See Article ID 1269.) You'll remember, I reported that their hunts had proved quite successful in producing trophy blacktails and that they were going to run their first Coues deer hunts in Mexico that season. Well, I spent some time hunting with them this past year and can now report first hand on their entire operation. Let's begin with a review of their blacktail hunts.

Oregon offers the potential for killing exceptional Columbia blacktail bucks, especially in Jackson, Douglas and Josephine counties. Although California claims the majority of the entries in the record books, Oregon is well represented at the top. The problem for nonresidents has been that there were no viable deer outfitters in the Medford area after operator Perry Allen quit the business in the 90s. I can say without hesitation that Game Busters has filled the void.

I followed this outfit closely for years before reporting on it. Because it is only a half-day drive from my home, I took three trips to southern Oregon this last fall to check them out myself. I made my first trip simply to look over their operation and do a bit of scouting before hunting season. I found their lodge, outside the small town of Talent, within easy driving distance of the local airport, and quite comfortable. It is designed to accommodate up to five hunters. An on-site, walk-in cooler is a nice addition because the weather can get hot in this part of Oregon during the fall hunts, especially early in the season.

It is worth noting that the Game Busters' lodge is located in the middle of the best hunting in the state. Anderson Butte, for example, which is well known to avid hunters in the area, is just a short drive from their home. This proximity to good hunting makes it easy for the Gattises to do a lot of scouting. Many outfitters claim to spend time scouting, but it........(continued)

 
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