SALEM, Ore.—The final deadline to apply for a fall big game controlled hunt is May 15, but any hunter that applies by April 15 will be entered into a drawing to win one of 20 2011 Sports Pac (a $164.75 value). Non-resident hunters that apply by April 15 are eligible to win a Non-Resident Hunting License (a $140.50 value).
As of April 6, 63,798 hunters have applied for a big game hunt, 5,033 more than the same time last year. Substantial numbers of hunters still need to apply. “ODFW is expecting to process more than 400,000 controlled hunt applications so we have a long way to go,” notes DeAnna Erickson, license services manager.
Typically, most applications are received during the week leading up to the May 15 deadline. The high volume of sales activity in the last few days prior to the deadline has led to long lines and slowed or crashed the license sales system at times, causing ODFW to extend the deadline in both 2008 and 2009.
ODFW and the vendor that manages the license sales system have taken a number of steps to avoid a similar situation this year, including this incentive program that is giving away 100 Sports Pacs (or Non-Resident Hunting Licenses) for those that apply early. Drawings for 50 and 30 Sports Pacs were already held for hunters that applied by January 31 and March 15.
The vendor has also upgraded to faster computers that can process larger sales volumes and load-tested the system at high levels of sales activity to identify any problems in advance.
May 15 falls on a Saturday this year. ODFW will open its offices that sell licenses for regular hours that day (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) in order to accommodate customers. ODFW offices that sell licenses are located in Bend, Central Point, Charleston, Clackamas, Corvallis, Salem, Hines, La Grande, Newport, Roseburg, Portland (Sauvie Island), Springfield.
There are several ways to apply for a controlled hunt: hunters can do so online, at a license sales agent, at ODFW offices that sell licenses, or by mail or fax order using the application found here or on page 15 of the 2010 Oregon Big Game Regulations. Controlled hunt applications cost $8 and hunters need to have a 2010 Hunting License ($29.50 for residents, $140.50 for non-residents) to apply.
Mail order/fax applicants should allow 7-10 days for their applications to be processed and issued. To be eligible for the drawing, the controlled hunt application must be issued, not just received, by the drawing deadline (April 15). Controlled hunt applications can be processed and issued immediately online and at license sales agents or ODFW offices.
Some of Oregon’s big game hunts are limited entry, including almost all rifle hunting of deer and elk east of the Cascades and all pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain goat hunts. These hunts require a controlled hunt application.