Badgers near Burns

Well again archery season is nearly here and I have not practiced nearly as much as I should have. I have gone out a few times to check the sights, and the flight of the new arrows I bought for this year, but as always work has kept me from really doing it up right.

I did get a chance Sunday to go scout an area which is new to me. It was recomended by a customer who like me is an avid airgunner, and has, over the last year or so become a friend as well. He told me the area was home to a good sized heard of elk, and also had a good population of badgers. Well I had to check that out didn’t I?

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I got a late start as usual and drove halfway across oregon to get there, but by noon I was in the area recomended, the edge of the ochoco’s between Paulina and Burns. I had no idea where to go so I just sort of wandered about on the logging roads there.

I saw quite a few deer for that time of day, but the area was much dryer than I had hoped, and there was thick smoke in the air. I hope the fire is not too close as I would like to explore more of this area and perhaps hunt here.

As for the badgers, my friend was not lying. I saw several of them and as they are considered vermin here in oregon, I shot a couple for their hides.¬† The hides are not worth much this time of year, but come winter when the fur is thicker they bring about $20.00 each. Still I was very please to have found such a populated spot, badgers are usually sparsely populated and spread over a very large area. Here however, there are badger holes every few hundred yards, and I’ll bet things really get rolling after dark as badgers are nocturnal.

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I also spotted a cougar coming up from a small creek near Allison station, It was not a huge cougar, but a cougar none the less. I grabbed my rifle as I have a valid cougar tag and went after it to try and get a good shot. I went to where it entered the timber, but did not follow it in there. Instead I scanned the area using my scope and checked for it looking at me from some hide just inside the timberline. It may have kept going, but I doubt it. I was probably lurking just inside the cover of trees watching me. That’s the feeling I got anyway. So after scanning the hillside I went back to my truck.

As I was putting my rifle in the truck I saw movement a few yards away and guess what, another badger. This one was smaller than the last one, but really nice looking. Very clean and healthy considering the unrelenting heat we have had lately. Anyway, like I said. Jason wasn’t lying when he said there were a lot of badgers here.

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He also said there were a lot of elk, but on this trip I did not see any. All in all some beautiful and very dry county here. There is water in the form of three creeks that I found and I am sure a few springs which I did not find, and there is a good sized lake with a campground nearby.

I will definately be back much earlier in the morning next time, and hopefully I will see some of the elk that are surely there. And I will be back when the weather gets cold enough the make the badger pelts thick.