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MailTribune.com
  • Even empty-handed hunters who fail to report can be fined

  • I went down to Black Bird to put in for a controlled hunt tag and I was told I had to pay a $25 penalty for failing to report my lack of hunting success two years ago.
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  • I went down to Black Bird to put in for a controlled hunt tag and I was told I had to pay a $25 penalty for failing to report my lack of hunting success two years ago.
    I realized after their deadline that I didn't report about my hunt properly, but come on.
    I see the state is trying to get increases for my hunting license and tags. Is this another money-making scam for government?
    — Dave D., via email
    State biologists want information about your hunting results, not your hard-earned dollars, Dave. At least that's what they tell us.
    The Oregon Legislature enacted the $25 fine for hunters who fail to report on big-game hunts as a way to ensure Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists collect enough data from hunters to make the numbers meaningful, according to the agency.
    Without penalties, not enough hunters were reporting their hunting results, and ODFW uses that information to help them set seasons and tag limits.
    ODFW heavily promotes the mandatory-reporting program to keep hunters like you, Dave, from having to pay the penalty.
    An estimated 33,600 hunters failed to report their data, meaning they must pay the penalty before buying a 2014 hunting license.
    "People are busy and they forget," says Michelle Dennehy, ODFW's Wildlife Division spokeswoman. "But we don't want their money. We want the data on their hunts."
    In 2012, which was the first year of mandatory reporting with the penalty, 82 percent of hunters complied, Dennehy says. In 2013, the rate dropped to 80 percent, she says.
    "I haven't heard of any theories as to why," Dennehy says.
    Hunters are starting to discover their pending penalties as they buy hunting licenses and tags for this fall. The deadline for filing the applications is May 15.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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