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OSP, ODFW to Increase Monitoring of Klamath County Deer Hunt
09/15/2009
Sergeant Randall G. Hand
Fish & Wildlife Division
Oregon State Police - Klamath Falls
(541) 883-5713 ext. 236

The Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will increase their presence in the Klamath County area-Keno Unit this hunting season to help improve the level of compliance among deer hunters.
 
OSP estimates that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of hunters in the Keno Unit are hunting without a valid tag.
 
"Western Oregon general season deer tag holders are hunting the Keno Unit when the hunt boundary is the Rogue Unit. We see other hunters attempting to fill tags for their friends or hunting without tags at all," said OSP Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Randall Hand. "Ultimately, this leads to additional harvest of deer, which reduces the number of tags that can be offered to lawful hunters."
 
Deer hunting east of the Cascades, including the Keno Unit, is managed through a controlled hunt system, meaning hunters need to apply for a tag each year and don't always draw it. 750 deer tags were offered in the Keno Unit for the 2009 season. Deer hunting west of the Cascades is "general season," meaning anyone can purchase a tag.
 
OSP and ODFW will be using a wide array of tactics to increase compliance in several units. These tactics may include:
  • Wildlife Enforcement Decoys (also known as "Scruffy")
  • Boundary area signs
  • Information & education campaigns
 
Hand emphasized that even with the increased information, education and enforcement efforts, it is ultimately the hunter's responsibility to know where they are and where the boundaries are for their hunt unit. Descriptions for the unit boundaries are online and listed in the 2009 Oregon Big Game Regulations found at most sporting goods stores and at ODFW offices.
 
OSP troopers contacting those hunting deer without valid tags may be cited for a class A Misdemeanor and have their weapon seized.

 
Hand pointed out the past success of similar efforts. Thanks to increased enforcement in the Interstate Unit over a four-year period, tag compliance rates increased from 68 percent to 91 percent and the deer buck to doe ratio doubled.