Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Anne Pressentin Young (503) 872-5264 x5356
Fax: (503) 872-5700
For Immediate Release Friday, May 02, 2003
ODFW Seeks Input on Big Game Tag Numbers for 2003
and Hunting Seasons for 2004
PORTLAND - Hunters could see an increase in the number of bighorn sheep and pronghorn tags available for this fall's controlled hunts, but a decrease in the number of controlled tags for most deer and elk hunts under proposals to be considered for adoption June 6.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will explain the hunt proposals and take public input at a series of 20 informal meetings scheduled statewide between Saturday, May 3, and Thursday, May 22. Proposals are available by contacting an ODFW office, calling the ODFW Wildlife Division at (503) 872-5260, or accessing the ODFW Web site at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/...ame2001_2.html
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, the rule-making body for ODFW, will set the number of tags available for the 2003 controlled big game hunts at its June 6 meeting in Pendleton. Commissioners will receive a summary of all the public input before the meeting.
ODFW biologists are recommending that more than 165,000 controlled hunt tags be authorized, compared to 172,510 authorized for 2002. The recommended changes are based on changes in wildlife populations, population recruitment, habitat changes, disease, and/or agricultural or property damage complaints. State biologists recommend:
∑ Deer tags decline by 4 percent with drops in antlerless tags because of last year's drought conditions, effects of deer hair loss syndrome and low fawn recruitment;
∑ Elk tags decline by 5 percent with an 8 percent drop in Rocky Mountain elk tags and a 3 percent increase in Roosevelt elk tags;
∑ Bighorn sheep tags increase by 15 percent due to increasing populations;
∑ Mountain goat tags remain steady with 4 tags; and
∑ Pronghorn tags increase by 5 percent to 2,706 due to improved fawn and buck ratios.
Many hunts in Oregon are "controlled" by limiting the number of hunters who can participate in a particular hunt. Hunters must apply for most big game controlled hunts by May 15. A lottery is held to award the tags to applicants. General season tags are not limited in number. Both general and controlled tags must be purchased by the day before the hunt begins.
Also under consideration is a permanent rule change related to the import of deer and elk parts that could go into effect this fall. The proposal is aimed at protecting Oregon's native deer and elk from chronic wasting disease, which has affected herds in several other states and provinces. The rule would be similar to one adopted in October 2002 to place restrictions on the importation of deer and elk parts from states or provinces known to have CWD.
Proposals for 2004 include a clarification in the rule language that requires hunters to retain evidence of the sex of harvested deer and elk when transporting them. A new proposed bag limit for 2004 would be "one doe/fawn pronghorn" for eight hunts currently with a "horns shorter than the ears" bag limit. The change is proposed to decrease the number of bucks harvested. In addition, biologists propose to add three new bighorn hunts, one new Rocky Mountain goat hunt and one new pronghorn hunt; and to change the general season archery bag limit in the Maupin, Silver Lake, Hood and Biggs wildlife management units from a buck to either sex. Other changes proposed for 2004 include an increase in the cougar harvest quota and a 500-tag increase for spring bear hunts in southwest Oregon.
The following public meetings are scheduled:
Enterprise: Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., ODFW, 65495 Alder Slope Road;
Newport: Tuesday, May 6, 3 -7 p.m., Hatfield Marine Science Center, Room 30;
Baker City: Wednesday, May 7, 2 - 6 p.m., ODFW, 2995 Hughes Lane;
Burns: Wednesday, May 7, 7 - 9 p.m., Museum Clubroom, 18 West 'D' Street;
Canyon City (John Day): Wednesday, May 7, 4 - 7 p.m., ODFW, 305 N. Canyon Blvd.;
North Bend: Wednesday, May 7, 7 p.m., North Bend Library, 1800 Sherman Ave.;
Redmond: Wednesday, May 7, 7 p.m., Redmond High School, 675 S.W. Rimrock;
Springfield: Wednesday, May 7, 7 - 9 p.m., ODFW, 3150 East Main St.;
Clackamas: Thursday, May 8, 6:30 - 9 p.m., ODFW, 17330 SE Evelyn St., Bldg 16;
Klamath Falls: Thursday, May 8, 7 -9 p.m., Shasta View Hall, 5831 Shasta Way;
Medford: Thursday, May 8, 7 -9 p.m., JJ North's Restaurant, 1016 N Riverside Ave.;
Ontario: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m., Malheur County Extension Office, 710 SW 7th Ave.;
The Dalles: Thursday, May 8, 7 - 9 p.m., ODFW Screen Shop, 3561 Klindt Drive;
LaGrande: Friday, May 9, 2 - 7 p.m., ODFW, 107 20th Street;
Salem: Monday, May 12, 7 - 9 p.m., Chemeketa Community College, 4701 Winema Place NE, Bldg 50, Room 111;
Tillamook: Monday, May 12, 7 - 9 p.m., ODFW, 4907 Third Street;
Lakeview: Tuesday, May 13, 3 - 7 p.m., ODFW, 101 North 'D' Street;
Pendleton: Tuesday, May 13, 3 - 7 p.m., Pendleton Convention Center, 1601 Westgate;
Roseburg: Tuesday, May 13, 7 p.m., ODFW, 4192 N. Umpqua Highway.
Heppner: Wednesday, May 14, 4 -7 p.m., ODFW, 54173 U.S. Highway 74; and
Grants Pass: Thursday, May 22, 7 - 9 p.m., Wild River Pub and Pizza, 533 NE 'F' Street.
Hunters also may testify at two upcoming Commission meetings. They are scheduled for Friday, May 9, at ODFW headquarters in Portland, 2501 S.W. First Avenue, and Friday, June 6, in Pendleton. Written comments also are welcomed. They may be sent to ODFW Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 59, Portland, OR 97207 or e-mailed to [email protected]
Anne Pressentin Young
Public Information Officer
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
(503) 872-5264 ext 5356