Earlier this week I sat bundled up in my Sitka Traverse hoody as I enjoyed a local softball game thinking it felt more like October than July. Just four days later Mother Nature was pushing 90 in the PNW. I looked up at Mt. Hood looming large on the horizon, still white with snow, wishing I were digging in for the hunt. I suppose I should catch you up a bit . . .
A few months ago I toiled over the quarter inch think booklet that Oregon sends out for their hunting lottery and felt like a 10th grader fretting over her SATs. What series should I choose? Which units should I request and in what order? What’s the likelihood I will have a successful draw and what do I do if I don’t? These and many other questions cluttered my mind. But before I could answer any of them I had to find out exactly what it all meant.
The state of Oregon requires its hunters to not only buy a license to hunt, but to enter a lottery system for the right to hunt controlled game. If you’re successful in drawing tags for your controlled hunt, you then have to buy tags for each individual species (also referred to as series) before the first valid date of the tag. Each series is broken down into particular areas, or units, with their respective open season and bag limits.
If you’re unsuccessful in drawing tags for a controlled hunt, you can still buy tags and hunt the General Season, but only west of the Cascades. So now you see why Oregon’s Big Game Regulations booklet is so thick and why I feel I need a study session before completing my application.
Before we knew it, the May 15th deadline had arrived and I scrambled to coordinate with my boyfriend, his buddy and his father as we are applying as a party. As far as I can tell, this just means whatever our party leader draws (in this case, my boyfriend) we all draw. I think it also means he has to clean my boots when we are done (insert evil grin here).
After suffering through a few episodes of Short Attention Span Theater (and they say WOMEN are bad) we agreed on the following species and areas: 200 Series Elk with two Ochoco Units, two Grizzly Units, and one Maury Unit, 100 Series Buck in Metolius, Grizzly, Ochoco, Murderers Creek, and Upper Deschutes, skipping the once-in-a-lifetime tags this year as our pockets just weren’t that deep.
I traded the kid at the gun counter $99.00 for my hunting license and a meter’s worth of receipt paper that documented my application. Excited about suiting up for the fall season, I grabbed a handful of catalogs I collected at SHOT Show back in January and popped open some 10 Barrel IPA fresh out of Bend. Results are just around the corner, so gentlemen…it’s time to gear this girl up!