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OK, hunters, tell no tall tales like the kind a person might read in Outdoor Life.
Harvesting a buck doesn’t end with putting the meat in the freezer. Hunters are now required to to submit a report about their hunt online or via automated telephone within 15 days of the end of the season in which they participated. - The Observer/JEFF PETERSEN
Just give the facts, however scintillating or mundane they may be.
This just-the-facts-Max approach is what the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is now mandating from hunters.
A new rule is in effect that requires all big game and turkey hunters in Oregon to report the results of their hunts. The rule requires everyone who hunts big game and turkeys to submit a report online or via automated telephone within 15 days of the end of the season in which they participated.
The 15-day period following the end of the season deadline, for 2008 hunts, takes effect June 1. Meanwhile the requirement is being phased in so that 2007 big game and turkey hunters can submit mandated information. Here is how the phase-in process stands now:
• Everyone who hunted big game or turkeys in 2007 must submit a report by June 1.
• Hunters involved in big game or turkey hunts this year will not face the 15-day reporting requirement until June 1.
Hunters have been able to submit information on 2007 hunts since April 17. About 6,200 reports have been received, said Joel Hurtado, a staff biologist with the ODFW Salem office. This does not mean 6,200 people have filed. A report must be filed for each tag filled. Thus a hunter who took a deer, an elk and a bear in 2007 will file three separate reports. About 90 percent of the reports have been filed online.
Hurtado has been encouraged by the response. He said it has been strong but not overwhelming to the point that the ODFW’s computer system has been overloaded.
Hunters who do not submit information will not be penalized. But this could change if the hunter response is not high enough. Still, penalties would be considered only after the ODFW experiments with offering incentives to participating hunters, Hurtado said.
The information the ODFW gets from hunters will be used by biologists to help with population management and in determining hunt tag allocations.
Before calling or going online to submit information, hunters should be prepared to provide:
• Their hunter/angler identification number located on ODFW licenses, tags and applications.
• The two-digit wildlife management unit number you hunted in. This will be needed if your hunt area included more than one unit.
• The number of days they hunted.
Questions hunters will be asked on the survey include: Did you hunt? How many days did you hunt? Did you kill an animal? How many antler points (deer and elk) did the side with most points have? What animal were you primarily hunting for?
More details about the information hunters need and what questions they will need is available on Page 31 of the 2008 Oregon Big Game Regulations.
Hunters do not need to submit information for big game animals such as mountain goats or bighorn sheep, which they are required to check into ODFW offices.
Until now the ODFW has relied on hunter phone surveys to estimate how many animals were harvested in certain units. The ODFW will continue conducting these phone surveys for data comparison purposes.
Hunters who have participated in the phone survey are still required to submit a report for the ODFW’s mandated reporting program, Hurtado said.
To report, hunters should go to the ODFW’s website, www.dfw.state or call 1-866-947 -6339 and use the automated phone system.