Oregon Hits 34,000 Hunters with $25 Fine

Nearly 34,000 hunters that pursued deer or elk in Oregon in 2012 but failed to complete a state-required report card will have to pay a $25 penalty before they can buy another hunting license in the state.

A story from the Mail Tribune says of the 298,000 Oregon deer and elk tags sold, the holders of 29,000 deer tags and 17,000 elk tags didn't file a report for the 2012 season. Though some of the 33,600 non-complying hunters purchased both deer and elk tags, the state won't require them to pay more than $25, and in a perfect world, the state would amass $840,000 in fines if each penalized hunter pays the fee.

Oregon began requesting hunter report cards in 2007 to give state biologists better insight on wildlife harvest rates to determine future quotas, but participation hovered around 40%. When the state began to require hunter participation and applied a $25 penalty to anyone failing to complete a report, participation jumped to 85%.

The money collected is added to the state's general licensing dollars which pays for wildlife surveys, big-game programs, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff salaries.