Oregon Wants Your Input
On Deer and Elk Management
State wildlife officials will host 12 public meetings around the state in August to obtain public input that will be used to update existing mule deer and elk plans, and to develop management strategies for black-tailed deer. The final plans will guide deer and elk management for the next 10 years in Oregon.

The draft plans identify concerns and strategies to address:
· Loss of deer and elk habitat;
· Relations with private landowners;
· Access to hunting lands;
· Damage to agricultural crops;
· Population size in some areas (too big or too small);
· Predation and competition;
· Hunting methods (e.g., bow, rifle) and hunter crowding;
· Off-road vehicle use;
· Disease;
· Cervid ranching operations;
· Scientific methods to inventory populations;
· Enforcement; and
· Hunter management and ethics.

Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife worked for the past several months with three working groups composed of wildlife conservation organizations, tribes, land management agencies and other constituents to update current population data and identify concerns with management of mule deer, black-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk and Roosevelt elk.

Throughout the state, elk population numbers have largely stabilized since 1995 with local population expansions or declines due to environmental conditions. Biologists estimate about 50,000 Rocky Mountain elk and 65,000 Roosevelt elk live in Oregon. Mule deer populations in eastern Oregon have grown about 11 percent in 10 years to 283,000, but still remain below the management objective of 317,000 animals. Black-tailed deer populations in western Oregon appear to be declining, probably due to habitat changes.

The working groups identified initial concerns and then developed recommendations to address each of the concerns. Some of the elk plan recommendations are to: continue cooperative efforts with landowners and land managers, streamline the process to issue tags to landowners, review population management objectives in future years, establish population objectives for predators, work with public land managers to limit off-road vehicle use to established roads and trails, increase penalties for game violations, and revise game ranching rules to protect wild herds from disease.

The mule deer plan includes recommendations to: identify the capacity of the land to support mule deer herds, standardize herd data collection methods, limit off-road vehicle use in wildlife ranges, and monitor disease prevalence. For black-tailed deer, the recommendations to deal with declining populations include improving data collection through hunter reports and reducing opportunity to harvest more than one black-tailed deer a year.

Copies of each plan may be found on the ODFW Web site at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/InfoCntrWild/draft_deer_elk.html . Draft plans also may be obtained by calling (503) 872-5260.

ODFW will provide a summary of each plan and take public comments at each meeting. The black-tailed draft strategies will not be presented at the Burns, La Grande or Pendleton meetings. Meetings are scheduled for:

Burns: Aug. 5, 7-9 p.m. at the Senior Citizen Center, 17 South Alder;

Tillamook: Aug. 6, 3-7 p.m. Open House, Department of Human Resources, Wilson River Building, 4670 Third Street;

Medford: Aug. 6, 7-9 p.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse, Auditorium, Oakdale Street between 8th and Main Street;

Redmond: Aug. 7, 7-9 p.m. at the Redmond High School, Large Auditorium, 675 SW Rimrock Drive;

LaGrande: Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m. at the ODOT Office, Large Conference Room, 3012 Island Avenue;

Roseburg: Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m. at the SW Regional Office, 4192 N Umpqua Hwy;

North Bend: Aug. 13, 7-9 p.m. at the North Bend Community Center, 2222 Broadway;

Newport: Aug. 14, 7-9 p.m. at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Auditorium, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive;

Pendleton: Aug. 15, 7-9 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention Center, 1601 Westgate;

Klamath Falls: Aug. 20, 7-9 p.m. at the OSU Extension Office, 3328 Vandenberg Road;

Corvallis: Aug. 21, 7-9 p.m. at the ODFW Corvallis Office, 7118 NE Vandenberg Avenue (Adair Village);

Portland: Aug. 22, 7-9 p.m. at the ODFW Commission Room, 2501 SW First Avenue.

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