In a follow-up phone call, Soliday told us, "This is great hunting country, with open rolling hills. My hunt involved waiting in a ground blind, watching a well-used travel area. It only lasted two hours. In retrospect, I probably should have waited." His partner also took a good buck, but it took him four days and a lot of walking. "Bring good hiking boots," he says. While Soliday's deer was taken on private land, his partner's came from public land. "We didn't see many other hunters, though, just one or two a long way off."
In addition to his buck, Soliday also took a 300-pound black bear with the hide in good condition. "They told us they'd been seeing bears in the area, so we purchased a bear tag over the counter before we started hunting. We just happened to see a good bear, and I was able to take it. I'm going back to hunt whitetails with John this fall."
Postscript: Both of these outfitters have access to guaranteed tags, and the application deadline for Oregon deer is May 15. So, you may still have time to apply for a tag if you hurry. We were unable to reach Fins and Feathers Guide Service at press time, but we did speak with John McCollum of Eden Ridge Outfitters about openings for 2013. At this writing, he still has slots available for rifle and archery deer and archery elk for this fall. You need between four and six preference points to draw a rifle elk tag. When asked about black bears, he told us that most are taken as add-ons to a rifle deer hunt. He charges a $2,500 kill fee if you take a bear. "We took........(continued)