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Leftover deer and elk tags go up for sale Sunday morning

- Dick Mason

The Observer

An intense statewide race for elk and deer tags begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Hunters will vie for the chance to purchase some of the state's leftover deer and elk tags. The 654 tags go on sale at 10 a.m. They must be purchased via computer from Point Of Sale (POS) vendors contracted with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The tags will go fast — very fast.

"They are sometimes sold out in four minutes,'' said Kim Sines, an office specialist with the ODFW's La Grande office.

No ODFW offices will be open for Sunday's leftover tag sale. Hunters must go to stores that sell tags as POS agents.

La Grande outdoorsman Phil Gillette advises hunters to go somewhere where they will be first in line. He stresses there are no guarantees.

"I've known hunters who were first in line and still didn't get a tag,'' said Gillette, the owner of Phil's Outdoor Surplus & More.

The leftover tags hunters will be seeking are those nobody applied for. The tags were probably not sought for reasons like the need for landowner permission to hunt, difficult access or low deer and elk numbers.

The leftover tags do not provide ideal opportunities, but outdoorsmen who get them may end up with a better hunt, Gillette said.

Why?

A person who did not draw a deer or elk tag has limited options — he or she can bow hunt or take part in a crowded general rifle hunt.

A "leftover'' tag can be a plus for such sportsmen because it provides them an opportunity to take part in a less crowded hunt, Gillette said.

Hunters are reminded by the ODFW that private land hunts are completely or almost entirely on private land. Those obtaining tags for these hunts are not guaranteed a place to hunt. Individuals should not purchase a private land hunt tag unless they know they will have access to a place to hunt.

The ODFW has been conducing its leftover tag sale each July since 2001. Prior to that the ODFW dispersed its leftover tags via a second-chance drawing.

People can attempt to purchase leftover tags Sunday in Union County at Bi-Mart

(La Grande), Wal-Mart (Island City), O&M Gas Grocery (Elgin), Elgin Chevron, and Boulder Market and Cafe (Union).

Wallowa County businesses where tags can be purchased Sunday are Our Little Store (Enterprise), Joseph True Value Hardware, the Joseph Fly Shoppe, Wallowa Lake Marina, the Sports Corral (Joseph) and Shell Mercantile (Wallowa).

Leftover tags can be purchased Sunday in Baker County at Bi-Mart (Baker City), Thatchers Ace Hardware (Baker City), York's Park Grocery (Baker City), Scottys Hells Canyon Outdoor Supply (Halfway), Sell-Rite General Store (Haines), Old Pine Grocery (Halfway), Hells Canyon Store (Halfway) and the Gold Post (Sumpter).

The leftover tags hunters will be racing for Sunday are for hunts in areas ranging from Baker and Umatilla counties to Western Oregon's Lane County.

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HUNTS WITH LEFTOVER TAGS

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Buck deer

Hood Unit, hunt #142, 186 tags available.

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Anterless deer

Wilson Unit YOUTH, hunt #612T, 10 tags available.

N. Siuslaw YOUTH, hunt #620T, 22 tags available

N. Sixes YOUTH, hunt #625T, 4 tags available

Malheur-Baker YOUTH, hunt #651kT, 2 tags available

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Elk

Klamath Falls No. 1, hunt #232X, 36 tags available

Klamath Falls No. 2, hunt #232Y, 7 tags available

Sprague Unit No. 1, hunt #233X, 148 tags available

N. Grizzly Private, hunt #238B, 17 tags available

Grizzly Private Lands No. 1, hunt #238CI, 55 tags available

Grizzly Private Lands No. 2, hunt #238C2, 48 tags available

Walla Walla No. 1, hunt #255X, 61 tags available

Warner Unit No. 1, hunt #274X, 1 tag available

Interstate Unit No. 1, hunt #275X, 57 tags available

 
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