Legislative Update

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Oregon Wolves Delisted in Oregon

To all,

Oregon wolves have now been delisted in certain parts of Oregon. This does not mean there is or will be a hunting season in Oregon for wolves. Please read the details of the delisting at the following link: www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves

Craig Starr
2nd VP Bowhunting and Legislation
Oregon Bow Hunters

Delisting of Wolves in Oregon

To all,

The Oregon Fish and wildlife Commission is now scheduled to make a decision on delisting wolves at their meeting on Monday, November 9th. Most Commission meetings take place on Fridays or a Thursday and Friday so the Monday meeting is unusual and should be noted for anyone interested in testifying regarding delisting of wolves in Oregon. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the ODFW headquarters building at 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem OR 97302. Commission meetings are scheduled to start at 8 AM although it usually takes a while for them to get to the general business items. At this time, there is no meeting agenda available so it's hard to guess when they might start the delisting discussion.

At the Commission meeting this past Friday, the ODFW staff presented a status report of the latest information regarding the number of wolves and breeding packs in Oregon. The numbers of both individual wolves and breeding packs considerably exceed the minimum standards established for consideration of delisting in the Oregon Wolf Plan. Even though the recent meeting presentation by ODFW staff was billed as information only (no action to be considered), the wolf protection advocates were out in force with literally dozens of individuals attending the meeting and testifying that wolves need to be totally protected in Oregon. Since the Commission is scheduled to actually consider the delisting decision at the November meeting, I would expect even more energy from the wolf protection advocates at the Commission's November meeting. If you want to have wolves managed in a way that allows their impacts on other wildlife and livestock to be controlled, it is important that hunters match the energy level of the wolf protection advocates at the Commission's November meeting.

It would be a good thing to have a strong showing of Oregon's sportsmen and sportswomen at the Commission meeting to advocate for effective management of wolves rather than total protection. Anyone supporting management of wolves rather than outright protection and who can attend the meeting should consider testifying in support of following the Oregon Wolf Plan to delist wolves now that the number of individual wolves and established breeding packs well exceed the Plan's established criteria for such action. Testimony as short as a sentence or two is often as effective as much longer testimony and there will likely be strict time limits on the length of testimonies in any event if there is a large turnout as I would expect.

I recognize that many people can't afford to take time away from work to spend a day at a Commission meeting in order to testify on any issue, even one as important as whether or not to delist wolves in Oregon. If you can't attend the Commission meeting to testify in person, please send a letter or E-mail to the Commission reflecting your viewpoint. It would be helpful to use a subject line something like: I Support Wolf Delisting.

It helps break the ice with the Commission if you can provide a little personal background ("I've hunted in Oregon for ___ years and..." or "My family and I love Oregon's outdoors and wildlife, but it's not like it used to be when we could see...") before you state your position on delisting wolves in Oregon. Also, any specific observations you might make about seeing wolves or wolf kills might help support the credibility of your support for wolf management. Again, a very short letter or E-mail can be just as effective as or even more so than one that is long-winded. Letters should be sent to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at the address in the first paragraph of this message, E-mails should be sent to: odfw.commission@state.or.us

Please take the time in the next couple of weeks to let the Commission know your views regarding delisting of wolves in Oregon and ask your friends and hunting partners to do the same.

Craig Starr
2nd VP Bowhunting and Legislation
Oregon Bow Hunters

Lighted Knocks in Oregon

To all,

The agenda materials for the upcoming Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting are now available on the meeting page of the Commission's web site. The meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 9th at the Driftwood Shores Resort in Florence. The Commission will be dealing with ODFW staff proposals regarding establishment of four (4) cougar control areas to address predation impacts and with possible delisting of wolves from Oregon's endangered species list. Both of these issues are likely to bring out hordes of the "antis" who will claim that ODFW management (as opposed to complete protection) will decimate cougar and wolf populations contrary to all current experience. If you are concerned that the populations of large predators need to be managed in line with their prey species (both wildlife and livestock), it would be good to send the Commission an E-mail if you can't attend the meeting.

Also, in response to direction from the Commission at their June meeting, the ODFW staff is presenting a proposal to legalize use of lighted nocks for archery hunting although the ODFW staff presentation of their proposal is decidedly lukewarm (essentially not urging an affirmative Commission decision, but simply leaving a decision completely up to the Commission). The proposal would simply add language so the relevant regulations on archery equipment would read: "No electronic devices may be attached to bow or arrow except lighted arrow nocks that have no function other than to increase visibility of the arrow are allowed." Again, if you support legalizing lighted nocks, it would be good to send the Commission an E-mail if you can't attend the meeting. I will attend the meeting and urge the Commission to approve the ODFW proposal, and I expect that OHA will also be there in support of the proposal as well.

Craig Starr
2nd VP Bowhunting and Legislation
Oregon Bow Hunters

Lighted Knocks in Oregon

To all,

At the June meeting of the Fish and Wildlife Commission several people urged the Commission to legalize lighted nocks and it appears they were listening. I've received information from the ODFW staff that a specific language proposal for legalizing lighted nocks will be prepared and presented to the Commission at the October 9th meeting in Florence. From the Commission's discussions at their June meeting, it appears there is a good chance that they will act to legalize lighted nocks at their October meeting. Although things look favorable if you support legalization of lighted nocks in Oregon, this is not the time to take the peddle from the metal. If you have been gathering signatures on the petition to legalize lighted nocks, please remember to return the signatures you've gathered to John Stone at The Archery Hut, 190 Crowfoot Road, Lebanon OR 97355 no later than October 1st. John needs time to put them all together for presentation to the Commission.

Thanks to any and all of you who have gathered signatures to show bow hunters' interest in having lighted nocks legalized in Oregon.

Craig Starr
2nd VP Bowhunting and Legislation
Oregon Bow Hunters

OBH Rejects Crossbow Proposal

The Oregon Bow Hunters (OBH) soundly rejected a proposal that would have allowed for consideration of an alternative for legalization of crossbow use by severely disabled hunters outside of archery season at their recent Convention in Bend. As a result of the nearly unanimous vote at the OBH Field Governors' meeting, the standing position of OBH opposing crossbow use in archery season remains in effect.

Twice in recent years – 2010 and 2013/14 – the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has considered allowing severely disabled individuals to use crossbows in Oregon’s archery seasons. In both instances, heavy pressure from OBH, other hunting organizations and individual bow hunters resulted in the considerations being tabled by the Commission.

It is unlikely that the past inactions by the Commission are the end of the story with respect to crossbows in Oregon! As the “last state standing” without crossbows allowed for hunting in one season or another, Oregon is sure to garner the full attention of the crossbow industry and other crossbow advocates. Left to their own devices and without any established alternative, the crossbow industry and other crossbow advocates will always push to allow crossbow use in archery season!!

OBH remains committed to fighting the good fight to keep crossbows out of Oregon's archery seasons even without the ability to relieve the continuing pressure by considering other alternatives!

Craig Starr
2nd VP Bowhunting and Legislation
Oregon Bow Hunters

Thanks to ODFW

Sometimes over the last few years it has seemed as though OBH was just butting our heads against a solid rock wall when we tried to influence changes in archery hunting regulations. It too often seemed that no one at ODFW cared what Oregon’s bow hunters thought was important or equitable.

Things were much different in 2014!! Although the annual regulation process started out a little rocky with the proposals made to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their June meeting, the final proposals ODFW presented to the Commission for adoption at their meeting in October were much improved. Thanks go to the ODFW staff and Commission for the following regulatory changes to go into effect for 2015:

  • Eliminating the requirement to have a controlled archery elk tag in order to hunt deer in the Wenaha, Walla Walla and Mt. Emily units, and establishing 30-day controlled archery deer hunts in the units instead of the 9-day hunts suggested by the recent Archery Review Public Advisory Committee (ARPAC) process.
  • Establishing a late controlled archery hunt for Whitetail deer in the Wenaha unit.
  • Eliminating the requirement to have a controlled archery elk tag in order to hunt deer in the Sled Springs and Chesnimnus units.
  • Eliminating control of archery deer hunting in the Steens Mountain unit.
  • Eliminating the earlier proposal to make the controlled "one elk" tags in the Sled Springs, Chesnimnus, Heppner, Ukiah and Snake River units a bow hunter's only elk hunting opportunity.

Except for the longer season in the first item above, all of the listed changes were consistent with ARPAC recommendations.

Bow hunter Events Day

Elsewhere in this edition of our magazine you will see a full-page flyer for our 2015 Bow hunter Events Day presentations. The presentations are open to the public and are free of charge to anyone who wants to attend! I hope you will invite your family, friends and other bow hunters to the presentations whether they are OBH members or not. Let’s fill the presentation room with bow hunters this year and maybe recruit a few new members to OBH while we’re at it!!

We have some great presentations on the Bow hunter Events Day agenda this year! As usual, we will have presentations by representatives of the Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The OSP presentation will focus on enforcement issues in northeast Oregon, including some of Oregon’s premier elk country, and will be spearheaded by Sgt. Tim Brown of the OSP Pendleton office. The ODFW presentation will be made by Interim ODFW Director Curt Melcher and will focus on legislative issues since the 2015 Legislature will be in session when we meet.

The first presentation in the afternoon session will be conducted by OBH Secretary Krissy Knox and her brother, Ryan Hay. Krissy and Ryan are pro staffers for BOWTECH bows and Mossy Oak camo, and are often featured in our magazine. They will be making a presentation on back-country elk hunting. The final presentation will focus on traditional archery and equipment, and will be presented by Rich Thompson, former President of Traditional Archers of Oregon (TAO).

Again this year, we will draw tickets for a couple of archery-related door prizes at the end of each presentation. Everyone attending a presentation will receive a free ticket for a chance to win one of the prizes for that presentation. New this year is a Grand Door Prize drawing for a BOWTECH Fuel bow!! The BOWTECH Fuel is one of the new generation of ultra-adjustable bows that a young person can start and grow with or that an adult will find completely suitable. The drawing for the bow will be at the conclusion of the final presentation of the day. The tickets from all four (4) of the presentations will be used for the Grand Door Prize drawing. The more presentations you attend the better your chance of winning the bow! You must be present to win at each of the door prize drawings, including the Grand Door Prize drawing, so don’t leave early!!

Hosting at E.E. Wilson Archery Range

ODFW has offered OBH an opportunity to serve as guest hosts at the new archery range at the E.E. Wilson wildlife area located north of Corvallis on one Saturday per month. The hope is that we may be able to help people using the site if they would like archery advice or have minor equipment issues, and be able to interact with both youths and adults who may have little or no experience with archery but who are interested in trying it. We might even get a few new OBH members as a result of being involved at the range! At our October 18th meeting, the OBH E-board voted unanimously to pursue the opportunity offered by ODFW to be involved one Saturday per month at the E.E. Wilson archery range.

OBH is now tentatively scheduled to have representatives at the E.E. Wilson archery range on the third Saturday of the month from March through November 2015. The first date will be Saturday, March 21, 2015. We will schedule our time at the site to be from 9 AM to 4 PM. We are interested in trying to have people at the range until 7 PM in June, July and August when there will likely be more folks out using the range in preparation for hunting season and there will be lots of daylight in the evening. If it works out, we would schedule two (2) shifts for those three (3) Saturdays so our folks covering those dates don't have days that are too long.

Any OBH member who might be willing to help OBH host at the E.E. Wilson archery range should please contact Craig Starr at (541) 258-3582 or craig1945@centurylink.netfor more information.

OBH Wolf Survey

It seems likely that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider delisting wolves in 2015 as the wolf population in Oregon meets or exceeds goals established in the 2010 Oregon Wolf Plan. And, whether delisting occurs or not, the Wolf Plan is scheduled to be updated in 2015.

Craig Starr
2nd VP Bowhunting and Legislation
Oregon Bow Hunters

ODF&W Adopts Changes for 2015

All of you that have an interest in bow hunting should give your thanks to our VP of Legislation, Craig Starr who spends many personal hours and expense to attend the ODF&W meetings, testifying on our behalf. Another great advocate and also attends those meeting is Wayne Wayne Endicott, owner of the Bow Rack in Springfield. As a result ODF&W announced positive changes for archery.

MEDFORD, Ore. - The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations, which includes increasing the statewide cougar quota. Major changes include several modifications to archery season regulations as a result of the recent Archery Review Public Advisory Committee process, including:

  • Adding three controlled archery deer hunts in Walla Walla, Mount Emily and Wenaha units, and removal of the requirement to have a controlled elk archery tag to deer hunt. The tag will also be valid during the general archery season.
  • Adding a new November controlled archery white-tailed deer hunt in the Wenaha unit (estimate 30 tags, will be the hunters only archery deer opportunity).
  • Severing the link between archery deer and elk tags in Sled Springs, Chesnimnus, Maury, and Warner units, meaning an archery elk tag will no longer be required to hunt deer.
  • Adding new Maury and Warner unit controlled archery elk hunts. Tags will also be valid during the general archery season.
  • Returning Sled Springs, Chesnimnus, and Steens Mountain units to the general archery deer season.

Other changes include:

  • Increasing the statewide cougar quota from 777 to 970 to reflect increasing cougar populations, more damage and public safety issues from cougar in some areas, and deer and elk populations that are below objectives in many areas.
  • Adding one week to the Saddle Mountain unit late archery deer hunt and ending a long-standing closure for deer hunting in the unit north of the Burlington Northern tracks. The area was closed years ago to protect Columbian White-Tailed deer. The deer population has expanded, making the closure unnecessary.
  • Added the Keating unit and removed the Stott Mountain unit from areas where archery hunters and hunters with a disability permit may take an antlerless elk during bull seasons.

Additional information and details can be found at this link... http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2014/october/101014.asp

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