|Josh Schmalenberger, winner of a 2010 incentive tag, with his 4-pt buck taken in Paulina Unit.
- Photo by Josh Schmalenberger -
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January 23, 2012
SALEM, Ore.—Hunters need to report the results of most big game and turkey hunts by Jan. 31, 2012. Hunters should complete a report for each and every deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn and turkey tag purchased, even if they didn’t fill their tag or go hunting. The participation and harvest rate information is critical for setting tags and seasons.
Report online or by phone at 1-866-947-6339. To complete the report, hunters need the following information:
- Hunter/Angler ID# (ODFW ID#), which is printed on all licenses and tags
- Number of days hunted
- If they mentored a youth during the hunt
- Wildlife management unit where hunted
- Number of antler points on the side of their animal with the most points
At this time, only about 37% of 2011 tags have been reported.
The Jan. 31, 2012 reporting deadline is for hunts that end between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2011. April 15, 2012 is the deadline for reporting hunts ending between Jan.1-March 31, 2012.
Hunters that meet the appropriate Jan. 31 or April 15 deadlines for their tags will be entered into a contest to win one of three special big game tags. Winners choose the tag (deer, elk or pronghorn) and may take an either-sex animal during an extended season and expanded hunt area that allows them to hunt nearly statewide.
Reporting hunt results has been mandatory since 2008 and is meant to eventually replace phone harvest survey calls that determined hunter participation and harvest rates. Oregon was one of the last Western states to adopt mandatory hunt reporting. Reporting rates were low in other states until penalty fees were introduced.
Since 2008, reporting rates have been too low and ODFW has continued to call a percentage of hunters by phone to get the needed data. To bring hunter reporting rates up, ODFW will begin charging a penalty fee to hunters that don’t report on time. The fee will be set by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in October 2012, during the 2013 big game regulation setting process. ODFW’s proposal to the Commission is to charge a fee of up to $25 to hunters that fail to report on deer and elk tags, as these tags have some of the lowest reporting rates. The fee will take effect for 2013 tags, with hunters facing the penalty when they purchase their 2014 hunting license. (Year 2014 licenses go on sale Dec. 1, 2013.)
“We were hoping a penalty fee would not be necessary but despite all our efforts to get the word out, reporting rates are still too low to phase out phone surveys,” said Tom Thornton, ODFW game program manager. “It only takes a few minutes to report and the information is critical to setting big game seasons.”
“We do thank all the hunters that have reported on time,” Thornton added.
Since reporting became mandatory in 2008, ODFW has gotten the word out through press releases, on the front page of the regulations, postcards to hunters, advertising online, in the regulations and by offering the chance to win special big game tags. Hunter reporting rates averaged 58 percent in 2010, 37 percent in 2009 and less than 15 percent in 2008 (for 2007 tags).