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Controlled hunt deadline May 15

SALEM, Ore.—Hunters have until May 15 to apply for a limited-entry controlled hunt opportunity this fall in Oregon.

A total of 134,345 tags should be available for big game hunts (deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mtn goat). Apply online, at a license sales agent, or by mail or fax using this application form. Applications are $8 per hunt series (buck deer, antlerless deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mtn goat, and bighorn sheep). A 2014 annual hunting license is required to apply; it can be purchased at the same time as the application.

Overall controlled hunt tag numbers are up about 2 percent from last year. Big game surveys found good over-winter survival in many deer and elk herds thanks to mild winter conditions. One non-resident Rocky Mountain goat tag (Elkhorn #2) will be available for the first time due to rising populations and tag numbers.

See the full list of proposed tag numbers for each hunt below. Final 2014 tag numbers will be adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their meeting June 5-6 in Salem. Draw results will be available by June 20 online at My Hunter Information or by calling the automated line at 1-800-708-1782. ODFW no longer mails postcard notifications of draw results.

Hunters applying for 2014 controlled hunts who plan to hunt on Weyerhaeuser property should be aware of the company’s new access policy that takes effect Aug. 1. To access some Weyerhaeuser lands, hunters and other recreational users will be required to purchase a permit. Please see the Weyerhaeuser Oregon Recreation Access page for details. ODFW is working to determine which controlled hunts are affected by the changes and will post the information on the Hunting Resources page once it is available.

2014 Proposed Tag Numbers

Bighorn Sheep

Deer Buck

Deer Doe

Elk

Pronghorn

Rocky Mountain Goat

Spring Bear

Some of Oregon’s big game hunts are limited entry or “controlled,” including most rifle elk hunting east of the Cascades, all rifle deer hunting east of the Cascades, and all pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain goat hunts. These hunts require a controlled hunt application. Last year, ODFW received 382,406 applications. Most hunters apply in the last few days before the deadline which can create long lines at license sale agents.

2015 regulation changes

ODFW kicked off a series of public meetings last night to present tag numbers and get public input on changes to 2015 regulations. Some of the bigger changes under consideration are:

· Add days to Western Oregon deer rifle general season in some units in SW Oregon where deer numbers are good.

· Allow spike harvest in some NW Oregon units during Western Oregon general season by changing the bag limit to “One buck with a visible antler” (currently bag limit is “One buck deer having not less than a forked antler”).

· Change the bag limit for 600 series deer hunts in some or all areas from “Antlerless or Spike” to “Antlerless.”

· Expand general fall turkey hunting in eastern Oregon.

· Increase daily turkey bag limit from one to three (hunter must possess additional turkey tags).

· Extend season for quail, chukar, and Hungarian partridge in Umatilla and Morrow counties and the eastern Oregon forest grouse season through Jan. 31; these seasons currently end Dec. 31.

· Change the reservation hunter check-in system for the Sauvie Island Eastside Hunt Area from first-come, first-serve to a system that would randomly assign the blind selection order for “Blind Units” and check-in order for “Roam Units.” Under the new system, all hunters who apply for an Eastside reservation hunt would have an equal chance to get their first choice of location within their reserved unit. The change would make Sauvie similar to other reservation systems like Fern Ridge and Umatilla NWR.

· Open remainder of Columbia River Refuge to waterfowl hunting (from the railroad bridge at Celilo east to Arlington, where it is currently closed).

· Reduce bobcat limit in eastern Oregon from five to three.

ODFW is also asking for input about recommendations from the archery review public advisory committee (ARPAC). ARPAC recommendations include offering a nine-day controlled archery deer hunt in the Wenaha, Mt Emily and Walla Walla Units (where tags are currently restricted to archers who also have an elk tag) and tying antlerless archery tags to population trends, not the number of antlerless rifle tags. Review all ARPAC recommendations.

ODFW will be proposing two changes to hunts in the 2014 Big Game Regulations: expanding the area of the West Trask antlerless elk hunt to include the central portion of the Trask unit, and extending the season dates of the West Beulah archery deer hunt (165R) for this fall, 2014.

See the entire list of proposals and ideas in the DRAFT Preliminary Information for May 2014, District Meetings Focused on Tag Numbers and Concepts for Season Changes. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will review these concepts at its June 5-6 meeting in Salem. They will adopt final 2014-15 bird hunting regulations at their Aug. 1 meeting in Salem and final 2015 big game regulations Oct. 10 in Central Point.

There are several ways to provide input:

· Attend a May public meeting about regulations.

· Attend the June, August or October Commission meetings to testify about regulations.

· Email comments to odfw.comments@state.or.us.

· Mail/fax comments to ODFW Wildlife Division, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97303, fax (503) 947-6330.

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