My brother and I went hunting for roosevelt elk in Oregon's Tioga unit in November of 2010.
It was our first time hunting the unit, so we weren't sure exactly what we were getting ourselves into, but we had heard good things about it.
My brother knows some folks from work that have hunted the Tioga unit successfully, so we hoped to glean from them any info they were willing to give up about the habits and habitat of the elk in the area.
One of my brother's buddies actually got up early to guide us on the first day, even though he did not have a tag for the area. We were very appreciative of this, and learned a lot from this accomplished hunter - Thanks Gary!
We mainly hunted the Northeastern corner of the Tioga Unit. This territory is characterized by forests of douglas firs and western hemlock that shoot up into the fog, finding root on steep slopes.
There is a thick layer of undergrowth. Some of the common plants in the undergrowth are sword ferns, vine maple, and salal.
At first, we only saw a few old elk tracks here and there. As we continued to hunt the area, we were able to find fresher and fresher elk tracks.
Finally, on the last evening of the hunt, about 15 minutes before dark, we spotted some elk that had come over the top of a big ridge about 400 yards away.
My heart was pounding so hard, I couldn't hold my binoculars still enough to see.
We glassed as best as we could in the fading light, and didn't see any horns before the elk went out of view.
So, we didn't get an elk, but we had a great time. I really enjoyed the time I spent with my brother. Oregon's coastal mountains are beautiful and mysterious.
We covered lots of ground, saw many blacktail bucks and does rutting. I wish we would have taken some pictures of that. Doh!
We also found some interesting rock formations.
I believe this is sandstone. It has a little cave at the base. When we got a little closer to it we saw a wild animal inside, well camouflaged in it's natural environment. We snapped a quick photo in hopes you might be able to help us identify the creature.
On our way back to the cabin on several occasions, we saw wild turkeys out in the fields next to the roads. Here is a line-up for you.
Happy Hunting & Tight Lines!