Young guns can register this month for a chance at a black-tailed deer hunt at the C2 Cattle Company ranch off Highway 140 during the Christmas holidays.

Sixteen hunters younger than 18 will be chosen in a drawing for the hunts, which have been offered since 2006 at the 9,500-acre ranch as part of the state Access and Habitat Program.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will take applications for the hunts through Nov. 30, and the winners will be drawn and notified in early December.

Winners will get a guided day on the ranch during the 630T Rogue Unit Youth Deer Hunt, which runs Dec. 15 through Jan. 5. Hunters need to have drawn and purchased their tag by the Dec. 14 deadline.

The youth hunts will be one-day affairs for either a buck or doe, and the ranch will provide a guide. A parent or other family member can attend.

"It's a really good opportunity to hunt a pretty awesome piece of land that most people don't have access to," says Steve Niemela, an ODFW Rogue District wildlife biologist who is overseeing the draw.

Under the program, the ranch receives habitat work such as herbicide application and brush-clearing programs paid for by the state's Access and Habitat Program, which is funded through surcharges on license sales. In turn, the ranch hosts the annual youth deer hunt, a youth turkey hunt in the spring and an adult archery hunt in the fall.

About half of the youth hunters typically fill their tag.

Young hunters who put in the C2 hunt application have two ways to qualify to take part in the hunt should their name be drawn. Those who already have drawn a 630T tag can apply. Those who applied for a 600-series tag last spring and didn't get it can apply and receive one of those tags if they have not used their first-time deer tag draw for youth hunt.

The drawing, however, is designed for those youth hunters who already landed a 630T tag in the controlled-hunt drawing. In either case, hunters must buy their 630T tag by the Dec. 15 deadline.

All that's needed to apply is a name and a telephone number. Do so by calling Niemela at 541-826-8774, ext. 239, or email him at Steve.A.Niemela@state.or.us.

Winter boat-inspections hours slated

The Jackson County Sheriff's Marine Program is offering Saturday morning opportunities for Rogue Valley boat owners to get free boat inspections this winter.

Marine deputies will be available from 9 to 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month for boat inspections at the Marine Patrol office, 620 Antelope Road, White City.

Marine officers will be on hand to do a hull identification number inspection, or conduct a safety-equipment check to ensure boaters have the necessary equipment on board.

For more information, see www.oregon.gov/OSMB/boater-info/Pages/Required-Equipment.aspx or call the Marine Patrol at 541-864-8830.

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