It may be a little ahead of schedule, but spring is here. Now that I have said that, we will probably be in the middle of a blizzard when this article is published since it is being written a few days in advance. Either way, I would like to point out a few things spring is going to bring us.

The first is babies. This spring you should start to see our local wildlife out and about with their babies. One thing to remember is if you see the babies without the mom, it doesn’t mean they have been abandoned. It is a common practice for deer and elk to leave their babies while they go feed.

Typically the baby is left in a place that the mom thinks they are hidden for safety. Sometimes those hiding spots are not so good in our opinion and sometimes the babies move on their own. Animal babies, like human babies, don’t always behave. The vast majority of the time the mom will find the baby though, unless we interfere.

If humans go in and grab or touch the baby, the mom may smell that human interaction and not come back to the baby out of fear for their life. If you see an animal baby out, remember, not only is it illegal to touch them, it is also damaging to their chances of survival.

I will quickly mention here another animal baby: bears. Remember as spring bear hunt, which is a draw tag now, begins, it is illegal to kill a mother bear that has cubs with her under 1-year-old. Before you harvest a bear, check around to see if there are cubs in the area or following close behind.

Now a reminder for a spring adult animal. A swimming animal. A spring Chinook. It is strange to think of them as animals but it makes this article tie in better. I just want to remind everyone that this year the harvest of wild (non-fin clipped) spring chinook in the Main Umpqua river is prohibited. You are still allowed to retain 10 wild (non-fin clipped) spring chinook in the North Umpqua River.

From what I hear, the return of hatchery spring chinook should be stronger this year as there was a full release five years ago and we should see those returns this year.

Spring is my favorite time of year. Maybe that is just because of my farming background but all the newness is exciting to me. I hope you remember the information I reminded you about here and are able to get out and about in this great county we live in. It is always more enjoyable when you know you aren’t doing anything wrong that could ruin your day.

  • I look forward to seeing you out there enjoying the sunshine. Until next time, let me know if you have any questions or clarifications. You can reach your local Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Trooper by dialing 677 on your cellular phone or emailing me at aaron.baimbridge@osp.oregon.gov

Aaron Baimbridge is a senior trooper in the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Oregon State Police office in Roseburg.

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