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Oregon Eliminates Many Burdensome Regulations for 2010

October 8, 2009.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted 2010 big game hunting regulations on October 2.

The 2010 Big Game Regulations will be available later this year with changes in blue text.

Many unnecessarily burdensome regulations were eliminated, including the incredibly annoying ban on fiber optic sights on muzzleloaders. Some highlights of the changes adopted today follow:

  • Deer and elk hunters may hunt bear or cougar after filling their deer or elk tag. (Previously, hunters could not hunt bear or cougar during deer and elk season after filling their deer or elk tag in many units.)
  • Muzzleloaders with fiber optic sights will be allowed during muzzleloader seasons, as this is standard in new muzzleloaders and does not increase effective range or reliability for these traditional weapons.
  • Adults with the proper license and tag will be allowed to hunt during youth hunts, which should benefit families where the adult has a tag for the same area as the youth or during long-duration hunts.

Other changes included:

  • The portion of Ladd Marsh Wildlife area west of Foothill Road will be closed to all entry (except by permit) from Jan. 1 to April 10. This area provides wintering range for elk and the closure will help keep elk on the wildlife area and off adjacent private agricultural land.
  • 46 new youth elk hunts.
  • Archery deer hunts in Maury, Steens Mountain N. and S. Warner units will be controlled, not general season, and require an application by May 15, 2010. (The units are part of the Mule Deer Initiative and the change is for the purposes of better tracking effort and harvest. Bowhunters successful in drawing a controlled hunt tag will receive one tag valid for a controlled hunt and the general season in other units.)
  • The Heppner Regulated Hunt Area will be open to archery hunting.
  • No tag sale deadline to purchase SW Additional Bear Tag or Additional Cougar Tag but Fall General Bear or General Cougar Tag must be purchased by tag sale deadline to be eligible to purchase additional tag.
  • Cougar season will run year-round statewide. Hunters may still not harvest spotted kittens or females with spotted kittens.

Mandatory reporting

Reporting the hunt results for each and every big game and turkey tag purchased has been mandatory since last year, but compliance among hunters has been low (averaging 17 percent).

As an incentive to encourage hunters to report, hunters that complete mandatory reporting will be entered into a drawing to win one of three tags available (deer, elk or pronghorn—hunter chooses species) beginning in 2010. The tag will entitle the hunter to hunt for a long season anywhere in the state, similar to tags auctioned and raffled each year. (The winning hunters will still need to purchase the tag as ODFW does not have the authority to give away these tags.)

ODFW staff are considering penalties if necessary in the future to increase mandatory reporting, including restricting hunters from getting a new tag until the previous year’s reporting is complete or imposing a penalty fee. No penalties would take effect until 2011 at the earliest.

The reporting schedule is as follows:

Jan. 31, 2010 – deadline for reporting all hunts ending by Dec. 31, 2009

April 15, 2010 – deadline for reporting all hunts ending January 1-March 31, 210

June 30, 2010 – deadline for reporting 2010 spring bear and spring turkey hunts

New regulations adopted also make it unlawful to knowingly provide false information when reporting the results of a hunt.

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