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Oregon top 10 outdoor state, shames Tex., Ill.

An on-line outdoor apparel outfit ranks Oregon as the ninth best outdoor state, giving high marks for the activity rate of its residents and good numbers of campgrounds per person here.

And if you think that rating is a bit low, just be glad you don’t live in Texas or Illinois.

Those two states rank at the very bottom in a series of measurable metrics that the site MightyGoods.com used to judge states based on how easy it is to access and take advantage of nature.

Those rankings enabled the site to rank the best to worst outdoor states.

Some of those measurables show that Oregon ranks sixth in the number of campgrounds per 10,000 residents, with 1.7. The state’s 0.33 bike shops per 10,000 people ranks ninth.

The state’s 9.3 percent of what was called “protected land” landed Oregon at eighth best, according to the site. Oregonians’ “inactivity rate” of 17.2 percent was its best showing, coming in third behind only Utah and Colorado.

Oregon’s overall outdoor participation index was 69 percent, behind leader Alaska (81) percent) but leagues ahead of the least outdoor state in the country — New Jersey (46 percent).

Texas and Illinois hit outdoor rock-bottom in part because of being dead-last in consumer spending on outdoor recreation and behind only Rhode Island for number of outdoor jobs per 10,000 people.

The researchers specifically shied away from opinion-based measurements and collected their data from places like the U.S. Geological Survey, the Outdoor Industry Association, Running in the USA and data from the State of Obesity report.

Controlled-hunt apps due Tuesday

Oregon hunters have four more days to figure out where in Eastern Oregon they want to hunt next fall.

The deadline for controlled-hunt applications is Tuesday and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be accepting online applications until 11:59 p.m. that night for big-game species not covered in general seasons or first-come, first-served tag sales.

Apply online, at a license sales agent or at ODFW offices that sells licenses.

The cost is $8 per application, and hunters need a 2018 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.

ODFW processes more than 465,000 applications annually, and Oregonians who are notorious for their procrastination in submitting tag applications are doing slightly better then last year heading into the final week.

As of Monday, 176,911 applications had been received by the ODFW, agency spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says. That’s 2.8 percent higher than the same time last year, she says.

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

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.

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