Thousands of Oregon hunters need to start planning their fall forays this weekend as Monday's deadline for controlled hunt application looms.

Fall may be months away, but it’s time to start planning your big-game hunt. Apply online, at a license sales agent or Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office that sells licenses by 11:59 p.m. Monday to get a shot at controlled-hunt tags for most big-game species.

The cost is $8 per application, and hunters need a 2017 annual hunting license to apply.

While it doesn't pay to be a latecomer to the drawing, it certainly seems to be an ingrained trait among Oregon hunters.

Last year, more than half of the 467,028 applications were submitted in the week before the deadline, including nearly 74,149 on deadline day, according to ODFW.

Many hunters wait until the last minute to apply, which can cause long lines at stores and ODFW offices, ODFW Wildlife Division spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says.

New this year, as part of efforts to simplify the regulations, final tag numbers are already printed in the 2017 Oregon Big Game Regulations.

In the past, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission did not set big-game tag numbers for the fall hunts until June.

The agency has reduced tag numbers for some Eastern Oregon big-game hunts to account for high winter mortality of deer and pronghorn in some Eastern Oregon units, the agency says.

ODFW used the controlled-hunt lottery as a way to mete out tags and distribute hunting pressure for specific hunts and species. It does not include general-season hunts such as deer and elk hunts in the south Cascades.

YOH Day set for May 20 at Denman

The Rogue Valley's younger outdoors enthusiasts will have a chance to test-drive a variety of outdoor activities, including hunting and fishing, during a free Saturday event May 20 at the Denman Wildlife Area.

Young Oregon Hunters Day will give youth ages 5 to 16 a chance to try such activities as trout fishing, tomahawk throwing, shotgun and archery shooting and laser shooting, and they'll have a chance to learn to identify animal species by their pelts.

The 16th annual event, often referred to as YOH Day, will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Denman, 1495 E. Gregory Road in White City. Parental consent and chaperones are required.

The event is sponsored annually by the Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association, along with ODFW and Black Bird Shopping Center.

Food and beverages will be available, and a free raffle drawing will occur. However, drawing participants must be present to win.

— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtfribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.