Tags: Gun Control | Oregon | hunting | landowners

Hunting in Oregon: 6 Things for Landowners to Know About Hunting on Private Property

By    |   Wednesday, 03 June 2015 11:33 PM

A sizeable swath of Oregon’s 61 million acres is private land teeming with the deer, elk, fish, and game birds prized by hunters and anglers. According to state surveys, 42 percent of the Oregon’s land base is privately owned.

That large representation of prime hunting land prompted state lawmakers in 1993 to create the Access and Habitat (AH) program, which operates under the motto, “Landowners and Hunters together for Wildlife.” Run by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the program recognizes private landowners as stewards of wildlife habitat and partners in the state’s vital hunting economy.

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Here are some facts about the program’s benefits and requirements for hunting on private land in Oregon.

1. AH pays landowners to open their lands to public hunting based on a complex formula using number of acres, species and the type of access allowed. Landowners who enroll in an open-door policy called “Welcome to Hunt” usually receive higher payments as long as they take measures to mitigate damage to wildlife habitat.

2. Landowners also can opt to restrict public access by requiring reservations and permits. This policy, called “By Permission,” is coordinated through the AH program. Hunters accessing these lands must obtain permits that are placed in self-serve permit boxes at the entrance of private lands.

3. AH is funded through hunting license fees and federal grants, including money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2008 Farm Bill. The AH surcharge on a hunting license is currently $4. Money also comes from yearly raffles and auctions of elk and deer tags that allow hunting in premier private areas.

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4. Unlike many regulatory agencies, AH uses a carrot approach. The agency offers grants to landowners for wildlife conservation programs. Approved projects include meadow fertilization, wetland restoration and forage seeding. Proposed projects are reviewed and approved by regional councils comprised of landowners, hunters and AH staff.

5. To date, the program has funded 399 landowner projects that encompass 8.2 million acres. More than 1.5 million acres of wildlife habitat have been improved, AH reported to the state legislature.

6. Participating landowners also receive liability protection funded by the state against potential lawsuits arising from public access. In addition, state police are paid with AH funds to enforce trespass laws and road closures for landowners who open their properties for hunting.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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A sizeable swath of Oregon's 61 million acres is private land teeming with the deer, elk, fish, and game birds prized by hunters and anglers. According to state surveys, 42 percent of the Oregon's land base is privately owned.
Oregon, hunting, landowners
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 11:33 PM
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