SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted 2009 Big Game Regulations spelling out next year’s season dates, bag limits, open areas, youth hunting opportunities and other regulations for big game (deer, elk, bear, cougar, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat) and western gray squirrel).
General season dates for 2009 are scheduled as follows:
- Coast buck deer season: Oct. 3-Nov. 6
- Cascade buck: Oct. 3-16; Oct. 24-Nov. 6
- Coast elk: first season Nov. 14-17; second season Nov. 21-27
- Cascade elk: Oct. 17-23
- Rocky Mountain elk: first season Oct. 28-Nov. 1, second season Nov. 7-15
- Columbia Basin elk: Oct. 28-Dec. 4
- Archery: Aug. 29-Sept. 27, plus other late season opportunities
- Cougar: Jan. 1-May 31 and Aug. 1-Dec. 31, see regulations for extended season area
- Black bear: Aug. 1-Nov. 30 in eastern Oregon and through Dec. 31 in western Oregon
ODFW adopted a new requirement that bear skulls and cougar skulls and hides be unfrozen when presented for mandatory check-in. ODFW staff cannot take measurements or pull teeth from frozen skulls. The data collected is used with information from research to monitor populations.
- Two new Rocky Mountain goat hunts: Elkhorn Mountains #2 and West Hurricane Creek
- Two new youth elk hunts: Flat Creek (near Dayville) and Sixes, deleting the Lake Creek Youth Hunt
- Muzzleloader: New hunt (Elkhorn Ag) and a second period for the Union Ag hunt
- The SW Oregon Spring Bear Hunt (#722A) was changed from a controlled hunt to a “Limited,” first-come first-served season with a limit on the number of tags that will be authorized for sale. This hunt has been undersubscribed in the past; with the change hunters will be able to purchase tags without going through the controlled hunt application process.
- McKenzie Unit (619) antlerless deer hunt will be replaced by W. McKenzie hunt focused on private lands.
- North Warner Youth Hunt (674T) and Interstate Unit (675T) change from 600 series (antlerless deer hunts) to 100 series (buck hunts) in 2010. Preference points accrued while applying for these hunts as 600 series hunts will remain 600 series points.
- The Starkey Any Bull hunt (252A1) will remain a first period hunt (Oct. 28-Nov. 1) rather than moving it to second period (Nov. 7-15) as proposed at the June 2008 Commission meeting. Comments on the move were mixed; ODFW will poll hunters this season to help decide on whether to move the hunt period for 2010.
- Heppner (648A) will become a private lands only hunt.
- The Malheur-Baker youth antlerless deer hunt will include the Keating Unit, to help address wildlife damage and increase youth hunting opportunity.
- Metolius muzzleloader hunt will include entire unit, adding about 110 square miles to hunt area.
- Change boundary of Murderers Creek private lands hunt to include part of Beulah unit, a move supported by landowners experiencing elk damage.
- Change boundary of NE Owyhee antlerless hunt, adding 16 square miles and enabling agricultural landowners to use LOP tags to address damage.
- Michigan will be added to the list of states where it is illegal to import certain parts of cervid carcasses. The change is due to CWD being detected in captive deer in the state.
- Eliminate tag sale deadline for bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat hunts. These once-in-a-lifetime hunts are closely monitored by ODFW and the OSP.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The next meeting is Nov. 14 in Salem, where the Commission will consider disease-testing requirements at deer and elk ranches and adoption of the Black-Tailed Deer Management Plan. A copy of the agenda and background material about the agenda items will be available at least one week before the meeting at the following website: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/