Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Updates

Oregon DFW, Bear Hunting Magazine

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission recently approved slightly more than 134,000 tags for big-game hunts this fall.

New this year is mandatory reporting by hunters. There is a worksheet on Page 31 of the "2008 Oregon Big Game Regulations" that can be filled out in preparation. Reporting can be done either via voice-prompt recorded phone survey  toll-free at (866) 947-6339  or online in the Hunter Resource Section at the department Web site.

At the October commission meeting in Salem, commission members may approve a requested rule change on mandatory reporting of cougar and bear kills. The new rule would require hunters to turn in unfrozen carcasses for sampling.

The rule, if approved, would go into effect for the 2009 seasons. Biologists testified at the meeting that it is virtually impossible to collect the needed samples from frozen carcasses, and that the wait times to thaw are difficult for hunters to deal with.

In an effort to assist hunters, additional check-in sites, such as taxidermists, are being explored.

In an interesting sidelight, commissioners were informed by Tom Thornton, the Big-Game Program manager, that officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that scopes had to be allowed on muzzleloader firearms for visually impaired hunters as a federal requirement.

But then those officials approved Oregon's accommodation: That the same legal requirements for Oregon Disabilities Hunting Permits apply to those who qualify to use scopes. Those with a visual acuity less than or equal to 20/200 vision, or a visual field of view of less than 20 degrees.

Also for 2009, the commission members approved a change in spring bear hunting season No. 722A in southwestern Oregon, changing it from a drawing hunt to first-come, first-served tag sales with a total of 4,125 tags available.

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