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MailTribune.com
  • Black bear hunting tags in high demand

  • Spring black bear tags for southwest Oregon are selling fast, and state wildlife officials are warning would-be hunters to buy their tags quickly before they sell out.
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  • Spring black bear tags for southwest Oregon are selling fast, and state wildlife officials are warning would-be hunters to buy their tags quickly before they sell out.
    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offers 4,000 tags for the spring hunt that covers most of southwest Oregon, and 3,493 of them had been sold as of late Wednesday morning, according to Michelle Dennehy, ODFW's wildlife division spokeswoman.
    Hunters who applied for a spring bear tag in the upcoming controlled-hunt drawing were not eligible to buy a tag for the southwest Oregon hunt, Dennehy says. But hunters who fail to draw a controlled-hunt tag in another spring bear hunt can turn around and buy a tag for the southwest Oregon hunt, she says.
    The lottery results were posted Feb. 20 last year, and the southwest Oregon tags sold out that day, Dennehy says.
    Lottery results are scheduled to be posted Feb. 20 this year, and another sell-out of tags that day is likely, Dennehy says.
    The southwest Oregon black bear season runs Friday, April 1, through May 31.
    Tags are available at point-of-sale license agents, ODFW offices or online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license.
    Last year, the agency sold 3,750 spring black bear tags in southwest Oregon, which is the only first-come, first-served spring hunt. Of those, 2,234 tag-holders reported hunting a total of 13,692 days and killing 213 bears for a 10 percent success rate, according to ODFW statistics.
    Tickets remain for the Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association's annual fundraising auction and banquet Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Red Lion Hotel in Medford.
    Doors open at 4:30 p.m., dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and special drawings start at 7:30 p.m. at the hotel, 200 N. Riverside Ave., Medford.
    The annual banquet is the main fundraiser for the chapter and is held each winter.
    Funds raised at the banquet are used for various local wildlife habitat projects that the chapter conducts each year. Typical projects include planting forage for big game, fencing springs and aspen groves and creating new water sources for upland game birds.
    Ticket packages start at $125 and include one dinner, one door prize, one special raffle ticket and 100 regular raffle tickets and a year's worth of dues in the association. That package is valued at $190 value.
    The $275 Benefactor Package includes one dinner, one benefactor raffle drawing, four door prizes and four special raffle tickets, four drink tickets and $400 in raffle tickets, for a $660 value.
    To buy tickets, call Shirley Pritchett at 541-773-1587.
    The OHA is the state's largest pro-hunting organization, with more than 10,000 members and 25 chapters statewide.
    How to fly-fish Southern Oregon's Elk and Sixes rivers will be the highlight for those attending Wednesday's meeting of the Rogue Flyfishers Association.
    Veteran river guide Gary Lewis will present the main program on the whens, wheres and hows of catching winter steelhead and fall chinook using flies on those coastal rivers.
    He will also offer techniques for catching two of these rivers' lesser-targeted species — coho salmon and sea-run cutthroat.
    The Elk and Sixes rivers flow on opposite sides of Cape Blanco north of Port Orford. They are popular destinations for chinook and winter steelhead anglers.
    The association's monthly meeting begins at 6 p.m. with the no-host "Wet Fly" social hour, followed by dinner and the raffle at 7 p.m.
    Lewis is scheduled to speak after the raffle and club business is handled.
    The meeting is at the Red Lion Hotel, 200 N. Riverside Ave., Medford.
    For more information on the Rogue Flyfishers, visit the club's website at www.rogueflyfishers.org.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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