Hunters will learn by Thursday whether they drew the big-game hunting tags they coveted and sought during this year's controlled-hunt draw.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife processed 274,022 applications for the 131,954 big-game tags adopted June 7 by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, ODFW Wildlife Division Spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said.
This year's tag numbers are nearly identical to the 2012 season, when the agency received 365,975 applications.
The overall numbers of tags adopted for 2013 that were recommended by state biologists and adopted by the commission for limited-entry hunts represent less than a 1 percent change from last year.
The biggest change among deer and elk tag numbers are an 8-percent increase in bow and muzzleloader tags, as well as a 6-percent increase in youth elk tags, which were upped this year to 1,115 statewide.
Overall buck deer tag numbers are slightly less then 1-percent lower than last year.
The commission on June 7 not only set tag numbers, they also adopted hunt changes for 2014.
Hunters who sought to take part in limited-entry hunts in Jackson and Josephine counties will notice the only change for 2014 will come in the 230R antlerless elk hunt, a 50-tag bow hunt in the West Rogue Area designed to thin Roosevelt elk causing winter damage on low-elevation agricultural lands.
Mark Vargas, ODFW's Rogue District wildlife biologist, didn't propose changing that hunt's tag numbers, but he got the commission to extend that hunt from throughout January to Jan. 1 through Feb. 28 to give tag-holders a better change at killing an elk.
Along with setting 2013 tag numbers and making 2014 hunt changes, the commission did some housekeeping work by correcting errors printed in the archery portion of the 2013 Big Game Regulations.
On page 51, the "Traditional Archery Equipment Only" restriction is lifted for the Columbia Basin, Biggs, Hood and Maupin units. That restriction is for the Canyon Creek Area only. Also, on page 79, the Chesnimnus hunt bag limit of "one bull elk" in hunt No. 258R was corrected to "one elk."
Heceta Head Lighthouse is open
The Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence has been reopened after a two-year restoration effort.
Supporters of the restoration effort celebrated June 8 with a ceremony that included unveiling of the original and refurbished Fresnel lens and a relighting of the 1,000-watt bulb, which flashes once every 10 seconds.
The lighthouse is operated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the restoration effort earned the lighthouse the 2013 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award from the Oregon Heritage Commission.
The nearly $1.6 million restoration project included a rebuilding of the lighthouse's exterior, damaged by decades of cold, wet weather. It now looks similar to how it did when it opened in 1894, according to state parks officials.
The project was funded primarily through a $1.27 million Federal Highway Administration grant.
Heceta Head is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the U.S. and has the brightest light on the Oregon Coast, according to parks officials. It also has the only active British-made lens of its size in the country.
Heceta Head State Scenic Viewpoint is off Highway 101, 12 miles north of Florence. It is open for tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with a $5 day-use parking permit required.
For more information, see www.oregonstateparks.org.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.