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Big-game tag deadline is extended

Oregon hunters stuck in long lines while applying for this year's big-game tags will get a reprieve this week from Friday's planned deadline.

Slowdowns this week in the automated computer-licensing system — believed to be because of high sales volumes for controlled-hunt applications — convinced Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife managers to extend the deadline to Tuesday.

The decision came Tuesday afternoon after fewer than 230,000 controlled-hunt applications had been processed. That included more than 90,000 applications in less than a week.

Last year's total was about 420,000 applications, so ODFW license managers extended the deadline in anticipation of even slower computer times and longer lines at point-of-sale license agents.

The controlled-hunt application deadline typically is May 15 for the annual random lottery that assigns limited-entry hunting tags to almost all deer and elk rifle hunts east of the Cascades, as well as pronghorn, sheep and Rocky Mountain goat hunts.

The deadline does not affect general-season hunts in which tag-sale deadlines are the eve of the hunt.

This marks the third consecutive year in which tag-sale deadlines have been extended since Tennessee-based Outdoor Central took over as Oregon's vendor for license and tag sales in early 2007.

In September 2007, the deadline for deer, bear and cougar tags was extended during Outdoor Central's inaugural run. Last year, a computer slowdown similar to this week's led to an extension in the controlled-hunt deadline.

The June 1 deadline for making any changes or corrections to controlled-hunt applications remains unchanged.

Hunters can apply for tags at license agents, local ODFW offices or online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license.