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OUTDOOR NOTEBOOK: ODFW hunter mentor contest returns

State wildlife managers will again hold the “Take a Friend Hunting” contest this fall to urge more hunters to bring new faces to the woods or reintroduce the fields to lapsed hunters.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s second annual contest uses prizes as incentives to entice experienced hunters to encourage friends and family members to enjoy time together in the outdoors this year.

Adult hunters who mentor other new or lapsed adult hunters can qualify for a drawing, with prizes that include a statewide deer-hunting tag, trail cameras, gift cards and other donated items.

“There’s a lot of research out there that having someone to go hunting with is a reason to go hunting, and not having someone to go with is a reason not to go hunting,” ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says.

To qualify as a mentee, the person must be at least 18 years old and either never purchased an Oregon hunting license or has not bought a license since 2013. The contest is open to residents and nonresidents, and both must have valid hunting licenses to participate.

The mentor and the mentee have to register with ODFW by Dec. 31 and hunt together any time and in any season during the rest of 2018, Dennehy says. They can hunt together prior to registration, because license-buying history is what determines qualification, she says.

All regular weapons, tag and hunting requirements apply.

The prize drawing will be conducted in January, with winners announced by Jan. 31.

Last year, 1,546 people joined the contest — 773 teams of hunting mentors and mentees — and 22 people won prizes, according to ODFW.

Dennehy says the agency doesn’t have any target number of contestants, “but we hope to see more participants this year.”

The statewide deer tag, which will be valid during the 2019 special statewide season, will be purchased by the Oregon Hunters Association for the winner.

For more information and registration, see www.oregonhunter.info/.

Two-rod rule in Rogue bay

Salmon anglers in the lower Rogue River bay can buy a special validation to fish with two rods for the next month, during what is forecast to be an excellent return of fall chinook.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife expanded use of the two-rod license to the bay from Aug. 1 through Sept. 3, from the mouth of the Rogue up to the Ferry Hole boat ramp five miles upstream.

The agency also added the two-rod validation for chinook and hatchery coho salmon anglers in the open salmon waters of Coos Bay.

The validations, which cost $24.50 for both residents and nonresidents, are generally made available in Oregon for those fishing inland lakes and reservoirs, although in recent years ODFW has allowed their use in some estuaries during the fall chinook angling seasons.

The two-rod validations for the Rogue apply only for fall chinook and coho and not steelhead.

Forecasts call for a high return of fall chinook this year to the Rogue, with an estimated 130,000 chinook expected to pass Huntley Park east of Gold Beach.

Help sought in JoCo poaching case

Oregon State Police is seeking the public’s help in finding who shot and killed two black-tailed deer in the front yard of a house in the Colonial Valley area near Grants Pass.

The deer were found dead July 24, and shots were heard in the area around 11 p.m. July 22. The deer were found dead in a fenced yard about 20 feet from a house along Grouse Creek Road, according to OSP.

A reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the poacher or poachers is offered by the Oregon Hunters Association through its Turn In Poachers (TIP) program.

Informants can remain anonymous and still qualify for the rewards.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call TIP at 1-800-452-7888 or OSP dispatch at 541-776-6111.

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

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