By completing the mandatory hunter report, you are providing key pieces of information that biologists will use in their game management actions. Your report supports the agency’s goal of optimizing recreational opportunities for all hunters.
A $25 penalty will be assessed for any hunter who fails to report deer and elk tags by the reporting deadline (Jan. 31 for most tags). The penalty is paid with the purchase of a hunting license two years hence. Only a single penalty is assessed, regardless of the number of tags you did not report.
A worksheet is available for use in report preparation: Preparation Worksheet (pdf)
Jan. 31: All turkey and big game hunts with seasons ending between April 1 and Dec. 31 of previous year
April 15: All hunts ending between Jan. 1 and March 31 of that year
The $25 penalty was put in place by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in October 2012 because although reporting has been “mandatory” since 2007, just 41 percent of tags were reported by the deadline in 2011. At this low rate, the data provided was not statistically sound.
After the penalty was announced, reporting rates went from about 40 percent to an average of 80-85 percent for deer and elk tags.
All hunters who report on time are entered to win a special big game tag with hunting privileges similar to auction and raffle tags. ODFW draws three winners each year. Winners can choose to hunt deer, elk or pronghorn in an expanded hunt area and for an extended season. The drawing takes place in June and winners are notified in June.
No, the $25 penalty does not go away and must be paid before you can purchase another hunting license, even if you choose to skip a year or more of hunting.
ODFW biologists look at harvest, hunting pressure, and the number of people who got a tag but didn’t hunt when they set regulations. Hunters have been more likely to report when they are successful. So at low reporting rates, harvest was being over-estimated, which could lead to an unnecessary reduction in hunting tags and opportunities.
ODFW used to get this information through phone surveys, but these have gotten much more difficult and expensive. The new reporting system allows ODFW to phase out survey calls, saving license dollars.
If you have an email or confirmation number from reporting on your tags but are still being asked to pay the penalty, please contact our licensing division at 503-947-6101.
Hunters that don’t report would need to pay the $25 penalty before they can purchase another license and tag.
No, though reporting is also required for any of these tags that are purchased. ODFW believes most of these hunts will be reported when hunters report deer and elk tags. But in the future, there could be a penalty for not reporting these other tags.
The funds are not being dedicated specifically in the ODFW budget because the department hopes that in the future, all hunters will report and no penalty fees will be collected. But currently the funds are being used to increase Oregon State Police patrol and enforcement of winter range closures in Oregon. These closures help deer, elk and other wildlife survive the winter by limiting disturbances from people.
In the past, ODFW did continue its phone surveys for big game hunts because not enough hunters were reporting for the data to be useable. Since 2014, ODFW no longer conducts phone surveys for big game hunts where reporting is required.
Yes, hunt statistics are online. They show pressure, harvest, and antler points of animals harvested for most of our deer and elk hunts.
Header photo by Kelly Kusak
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