Oregon Department of Fish and Widife
I am an avid birdhunter. Ducks are mypassion, with pheasantsa close second.However, this year Idecided to branch outand for the first time inmany years I went deer hunting. I was luckyand shot a nice forkedhorn mule deer. I hada great time and amalready making plansfor next year.The excitement of opening day, the stories totell and the sharing with family and friends allmake for lasting memories. While for many,hunting is no longer necessary for survival, itdoes remain strongly embedded as a way oflife.The fact that we have wildlife to hunt is atestament to many good early conservationists.One in particular who really stands out for me (Ieven have a picture of him hanging above mydesk) is Teddy Roosevelt.He was an avid outdoorsman and hunter— famous for pursuing bighorn sheep in veryrugged country and declining to shoot a tied-up bear because he found it unsportsmanlike.The outlook for wildlife was grim in his days asunregulated market hunting had devastatedmany species.Seeing the problem, Roosevelt founded theBoone and Crockett Club in 1887. This groupof influential hunters advocated for fair chase,the end of market hunting, wildlife reserves andhunting regulations to conserve wildlife.The approach worked. Wildlife populations haverebounded and millions of acres of land havebeen set aside as wildlife refuges and reserves inNorth America since Roosevelt’s time—much ofit thanks to hunter dollars.Take Oregon’s 16 major wildlife areas. Whilethey are enjoyed by tens of thousands ofnon-hunting Oregonians every year, hunter dollars (through the purchase of licenses, tagsand hunting equipment) funded their originalpurchase, and now support their upkeep.This year, some wildlife areas (EE Wilson,Denman, Ladd Marsh and Summer Lake)will have a new source of funding. We areexpanding the parking permit program alreadyin place at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area to includethese four additional areas. Non-hunters willneed to purchase a $7 daily or $22 annualparking permit to use the areas. The funds willbe used for facilities upkeep and to developwildlife viewing opportunities, an activitygrowing in popularity. Hunters will receive a freeparking permit when they purchase an annualhunting license, combination fishing and huntinglicense or Sports Pac as their dollars already goto support wildlife areas.In the coming years, ODFW will be looking for new ways to help support wildlife conservationand management. Many Oregonians don’thunt, yet benefit from the investments made byhunters.Hunters themselves have different opinions andstyles of hunting. When setting regulations, our wildlife professionals (who hunt, too) evaluatetrends among game animals, success rates,number of participants and other factors. Our goal is to optimize hunting opportunities whilestill conserving the resource.Whether you hunt with a rifle, bow,muzzleloader, pistol or shotgun, never forgetthat as hunters we are first and foremostconservationists. As conservationists, we need torespect each other and our different goals andobjectives.Nor can we forget our roots as hunters or sitback and expect others to do our work for us.Fortunately we haven’t. Local and nationalorganizations are constantly advocating for sustaining huntable populations of wildlife. Theyare always on-guard to protect and preserveour hunting heritage and are stepping up withdollars and sweat equity to build for the future.I hope whatever your hunting style, you’ll work with us to find the right balance betweenhunting opportunities and wildlife needsby hunting ethically and supporting wildlifeconservation efforts. The challenges we facetoday are as great as what Roosevelt faced inhis day. Oregon is going to have more peopleand more demands on its natural resources. Allwill continue to benefit from the contributionshunters make to wildlife with their purchaseof hunting licenses and tags and huntingequipment.As Director and an avid hunter myself, I amcommitted to working with you to promoteconservation and ensure a lasting huntingculture worthy of Roosevelt’s legacy.
Roy Elicker Director