If you are still looking for one more affordable Western hunt to feed your habit this fall, correspondent Gary Kramer says you should consider the state of Oregon, where you can still hunt elk on your own this year. He writes: "Elk fanatics looking for one more chance to go afield this fall, should take a look at Oregon. Many units in eastern Oregon, where Rocky Mountain elk are found, offer only controlled hunts that require early application (May 15) and a drawing. Over in northeastern Oregon, however, there are still some over-the-counter tags available for the November 6 to 14 General Rocky Mountain Elk Rifle, 2nd Season. Bull elk with at least one antler longer than the ears are legal in Hood, Maupin, White River and a portion of the Biggs unit. Just be aware that access is tough in these areas and that your best chance of scoring is in units that allow the harvest of spike bulls only. There are 12 of these units in all in northeastern Oregon. Statistics indicate the most productive in 1998 were Heppner (340 bulls/12 percent hunter success), Starkey (252 bulls/9 percent success) and Ukiah (202 bulls/7 percent success). Most of these units lie west of Highway 84 between Pendleton and LaGrande on the 1.4 million-acre Umatilla National Forest and the 2.4 million-acre Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. There are plenty of campgrounds in these forests, and you are well advised to take advantage of them, as the name of the game here is to get away from the crowds.
In addition to Rocky Mountain elk, Oregon also has good populations of Roosevelt's elk. Again, you can still get in an own-your-own hunt for these animals this year, as bull tags for the Coast Bull Elk Rifle Season are sold over the counter. The Mid Coast-Valley Season runs November 13 to 16 while the Coast-Valley Season picks up after that and runs from November 20 to 26. In both cases, the Alsea, Applegate, Melrose, Scappoose, Siuslaw, Stott Mountain and Willamette units, located west of Interstate 5, are open to hunting, and the limit is one bull elk with at........(continued)