The Curry Coastal Pilot

SALEM-Fish and Wildlife Commission set 2014 fall controlled big game tag numbers and 2014-16 trapping regulations during a meeting last Thursday in Salem.

A total of 134,312 big game (deer, elk, pronghorn, Rocky Mountain goat, bighorn sheep) tags will be available in the draw, the number and type proposed by ODFW staff. Draw results will be available by June 20 online or by calling the automated line at 1-800-708-1782.

This year, for the first time, ODFW will not be mailing postcard notifications of draw results. Hunters need to check for results themselves online or by phone.

Trapping regulations were adopted as proposed by staff, except the commission declined to reduce the annual Eastern Oregon bobcat limit from five to three. The annual bobcat limit in eastern Oregon will remain at five for the 2014-16 seasons.

The commission will give final consideration to proposed concepts to change 2015 big game regulations in October. The commission approved funding for Access and Habitat projects recommended by the AandH board. These will provide hunting access or improve wildlife habitat on private land in Oregon.

It also set the number and type of 2015 auction and raffle big game tags available, which will be the same as last year. In 2014, auctions and raffles generated $630,711 for wildlife management, research and hunter access, including new records for a bighorn sheep tag ($155,000) and deer and elk raffle sales ($133,509).

The Commission reduced the price of the 2015 Habitat Conservation Stamp from $40 to $20. These are stamps people can purchase voluntarily to support the conservation of high priority native species and habitats identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy.

Finally, the Commission was briefed on the proposed 2015-17 ODFW budget. They will give it final consideration during an Aug. 1 meeting in Salem.