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Locals snag chance to hunt at C2 Ranch

Why is it that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife arranges for archery hunts on a private ranch near Lake Creek and invites everybody across the state to apply? Local access to hunting opportunities should be a local thing, so why should Portlanders get to come down here and take away our hunting opportunities?

— Jay, email submission

While it sure seems on the surface that the ODFW's arrangement for six adult archers to hunt on C2 Ranch sounds like a local thing, it's not really.

But, ironically, it's working out that way this year.

The free, unguided hunts on the ranch near Lake Creek are offered through the ODFW's Acess and Habitat Program. The ranch supplies the six three-day hunts on its 9,500 acres between Nov. 14 and Dec. 6 in exchange for seeding and brush-removal on its property.

The program arrangement has gone on the past five years, and it is popular among archers, with applicants coming from across the state, says Vince Oredson, the ODFW wildlife biologist who oversees the hunts here.

The hunts are open to everyone because everyone who buys a hunting license pays a $4 surcharge directly to the A&H Program, Oredson says.

"Since everybody in the state contributes to A&H, everybody should have an equal opportunity to do it," Oredson says.

But, as luck would have it, this statewide opportunity this year has turned into a local hunt.

The 31 Rogue Valley applicants were outnumbered by the 37 applicants from elsewhere, but all of this year's winners are from Southern Oregon, Oredson says.

Two from Central Point, three from Medford and one from Klamath Falls were drawn during the random drawing held Friday at the ODFW office in White City, Oredson says.

"Random's random," he says.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.