Deadline waived for hunters

Oregon hunters who miss their pre-hunt deadline for buying a tag now can still buy their tag and go hunting under a new program.

Despite objections from Oregon State Police troopers worried about abuses by poachers, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday morning in Grants Pass adopted the new rule effective immediately.

For decades, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission sold deer and elk tags through the eve of the hunt's start, and no tags would be sold during the hunt.

Beginning Friday, hunters who pay a $6.50 extra fee and sign an affidavit stating they have not yet hunted during the season will be allowed to purchase a tag.

It would first apply to archery hunters whose deadline for buying deer and elk tags originally ended Aug. 28.(The change was made to accommodate people who, for unforeseen reasons, miss the tag-sale deadline, who accidentally buy the wrong tag for a hunt or buy the tag via the all-in-one SportsPac but fail to pick it up on time, says Larry Cooper, deputy administrator of the ODFW's Wildlife Division.

But Lt. David Gifford of the OSP's Fish and Wildlife Division fears the lack of a deadline will lead some people to shoot an animal, hide it and then buy a tag to validate their kill.

Police have seen such abuses during bear and cougar seasons, when tags are available after the hunts begin.

Hunters wishing to buy a tag after the deadline must contact ODFW's Licensing Services in Salem at (503) 947-6100 or a local ODFW field office.

It likely will take one to three days before hunters receive their tag, according to the agency.

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