Roosevelt elk at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Photo by Jim Yuskavitch.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that public tours for the 2020-2021 elk feeding season at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"Given current Covid-19 restrictions and the inability to practice social distancing on the wagons used on the tour, ODFW determined it cannot conduct a quality elk feeding tour while maintaining the safety of participants, staff, and volunteer hosts this season," the state agency said in a press release on Monday, November 9.

For some, the tours have been a holiday tradition beginning on December 1 through the end of February, with participants piling on wagons at the 1,114-acre reserve located in the coast range outside of the Jewell community to feed the Roosevelt elk that find food and shelter there.

ODF&W staff will still provide supplemental feed to the elk in areas where the public can view the elk, with feeding done closer to public viewing areas on weekends.

"Visitors should be prepared to maintain social distancing, wear face coverings and take all usual precautions against the virus," ODF&W said.

All buildings at the reserve are closed to the public as well.

Call (503) 755-2264 for more information, or use the online Visitors' Guide at https://myodfw.com/jewell-meadows-wildlife-area-visitors-guide.