"When I remember Hawaii, I see long lines of goats filing through lava flows and wild boar on the grassy slopes of a volcano. And I think of Pat Fisher, the guide who introduced me to hunting on the Big Island. Many Hunting Report subscribers have the same fond memories. Imagine my surprise when Fisher called me last year to let me know he was expanding his operations, bringing his Hawaii-bred approach to the pursuit of Columbian whitetail and blacktail deer and Roosevelt elk on the oak-studded foothills of southwest Oregon.
"Operating here as Fisher Outfitters, Fisher has access to two ranches: one encompassing 2,000 acres near Roseburg and another of 3,000 acres near Sutherlin, plus two smaller properties of 800 and 400 acres respectively. With a full season of Beaver State hunting behind him now, I called Fisher to find out how his hunters did last year and to get a forecast for the coming season. He said his clients saw 40 to 60 blacktail bucks on an average day. On cooler days after an early afternoon rain, he says they saw upwards of 60 to 70 bucks. `It was crazy,' he told me. `Some afternoons we'd see 150 deer, if the weather conditions were right.' He claims the buck-to-doe ratio on his properties is about 2½ to one.
"Statements like that need corroboration, so I called Tod Lum, District Biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). He confirmed that the Roseburg ranch Fisher is hunting is `infested' with blacktail deer. What are they doing to attract so many deer? Fisher believes that prescribed burns are the key. He says they burn about a third of the ranch every year. After a burn, the rancher re-seeds and fertilizes by air, which contributes to a quick green-up. Besides holding deer, the short grass is also very attractive to elk........(continued)