HEPPNER, Ore. — A $319,780 grant from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Access and Habitat Program will keep the 42,304-acre Heppner Regulated Hunt Area open to public hunting access on an ‘welcome to hunt basis’ for the next five years.
The Heppner Regulated Hunt Area is located about two miles southeast of Heppner and is comprised of a block of private lands that are open to year-round public access for a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities including hunting, fishing and camping. In return, the landowners receive a per-acre payment provided by the Access and Habitat Program grant. In addition, the Oregon State Police patrols the area daily during hunting seasons.
In existence since 1968, the Heppner Regulated Hunt Area is extremely popular with the public. In 2006, more than 2,000 hunters used the area for a total of 7,253 hunter days. Hunting opportunities include mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, pronghorn, pheasant, Hungarian partridge, chukar, California quail, blue and ruffed grouse, wild turkey and mourning dove.
ODFW also works with the six participating landowners to manage motor vehicle use of the area and assist with wildlife habitat improvement projects.
The A&H Program is funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses. Funds raised by the program are distributed through grants to individual and corporate landowners, conservation organizations and others for cooperative wildlife habitat improvement and hunter access projects throughout the state.
For information on the A&H Program call program coordinator Matt Keenan at 503-947-6087 or visit the website at www.dfw.state.or.us/AH/