As of Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Hood River’s Joleen Wampler-Kendall came down out of the woods last week to shower and resupply before heading back into the Mt. Hood National Forest to continue this month’s elk bow hunting season. During the brief return to civilization, she also answered a few questions about her recent performance in the Oregon Bow Hunters Association state triple-crown contest.
“I just love the sport,” she explained. “I have a very active mind, and bow hunting is something that helps me focus and keeps me calm. To me the competitive aspect is something I do to prepare for hunting. That’s why I do it.”
Wampler-Kendall – a 2000 Hood River Valley High School graduate and local massage therapist – finished the OBA’s summer competitive season as runner-up for the Triple Crown contest, which takes the cumulative results from state indoor, field and 3-D contests to determine the best overall archers. She competed in the adult women freestyle division and finished second in the indoor contest in Bend, fourth in the outdoor contest in Eugene and second in the 3D shoot in Medford.
“I just picked it up naturally,” she said. “I like bow hunting because it’s a much more primitive form of hunting; it gives the animals more of a chance.”
Wampler-Kendall said her hunting party has seen a couple elk but haven’t tagged anything yet this season. Like many others in the area, they’re hunting in the Mt. Hood Unit.
“We’ve seen a few but haven’t gotten anything yet,” she said. “We’ve also seen a lot of bears this year; they’re everywhere.”
Wampler-Kendall is part of the Gorge-area archery club, the Hood River Appleknocker Bowmen. The club has been around since the 1950s and remains open to archers of all skill levels. Members of the club get to hone their skills on a private 40-target 3D course outside of Odell. Windy River Archery (2680 Dock Rd.) also has an indoor range. For more info on the Appleknocker Bowmen, visit Windy River Archery or see Facebook.com/hrappleknockers.
Windy River, one of two archery shops in Hood River, specializes in compound bows and shooting and hunting accessories. Raptor Archery, located at 919 11th Street is the second and specializes in primitive and traditional archery supplies, accessories, classes and seminars.
Local ODFW bowhunting forecast
Elk numbers in the White River and Hood units are near the management objective and will be found scattered in small groups throughout the units. Herd numbers have been slightly increasing annually with fair bull numbers. However, heavy cover makes harvesting a bull challenging. Most mature bulls are found at higher elevations, especially during the first season. Many hunters choose to hunt the second of the two general seasons. The second season is longer, with a greater chance of winter weather to improve hunting conditions and success. Bull elk hunting in the Maupin and West Biggs also is general season, but the animals are almost exclusively found on private lands. Gaining landowner permission in that area could result in a successful hunt. The White River Wildlife Area has fair numbers of elk and is open to public hunting; remember fire restrictions are likely in effect during archery season.