Oregon hunters who purchased 2012 deer and elk tags need to report their hunt results on time or they will be penalized $25 when they purchase a 2014 hunting license.
Hunters are required to report on each deer, elk, cougar, bear, pronghorn and turkey tag purchased – even when they were not successful or did not hunt. The number of unsuccessful hunters is used to determine hunting pressure and success rates, which is important information for wildlife biologists during the tag-setting process.
The penalty will initially be implemented for not reporting on deer and elk tags as these are some of the most under-reported tags and provide critical information due to the large number of deer and elk hunts in Oregon.
Outdoor writer Henry Miller of the Statesman-Journal reported Jan. 11 that with less than three weeks to go before the deadline, only about 50 percent of the deer and elk tags have been reported despite the mandatory requirement, according to Michelle Dennehy, the hunting communications coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Reporting deadlines are:
Jan. 31, 2013 for all 2012 big game and turkey hunts that end by Dec. 31, 2012
April 15, 2013 for all 2012 hunts that end between Jan. 1-March 31, 2013
The penalty does not take effect until the purchase of 2014 licenses because 2013 licenses go on sale before reporting deadlines.
The penalty fee is $25 per hunter per year, regardless of the number of unreported tags.
Hunters have two ways to report:
Online via www.dfw.state.or.us or reportmyhunt.com either at home or at ODFW offices that have computers available for Hunter Reporting (ODFW field or regional offices in Adair Village/Corvallis, Bend, Clackamas, La Grande, Portland-Sauvie Island, Roseburg, Salem Headquarters, Springfield, Tillamook.)
By telephone: Call 1-866-947-6339 to talk to a customer service representative. Hours: 6 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific seven days a week.
Hunters need the following pieces of information to report:
Hunter/Angler ID number (located on ODFW licenses, tags and applications)
The two digit Wildlife Management Unit number of the Unit you hunted in most often (see pages 94-95 of Big Game Regulations).
The total number of days hunted-including mentoring youth-and the number of days hunted in the WMU hunted most often.
Hunters who report on time are entered into a drawing to win a special big game tag. ODFW selects three names each year and the winners chosen can get a deer, elk or pronghorn tag that allows them to hunt an expanded hunt area and extended season, similar to auction and raffle tags.
Information hunters provide is critical for wildlife biologists to estimate populations, and set seasons and tag numbers. ODFW is still conducting random telephone hunter surveys to validate data, so hunters may still receive a call through the traditional phone survey. Hunters that receive a call are still required to report their hunt results online or by phone.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the penalty fee in October 2012 because even though reporting has been “mandatory” since 2008, current reporting rates are too low to use the data. Just 41 percent of 2011 tags were reported on time. Several sportsman group representatives testified in favor of the $25 fee during the October Commission meeting.