State gives hunters more time to buy tags

Oregon deer, bear and cougar hunters will have until Monday night to buy their license and tags, instead of tonight's traditional deadline, to ease the transition of a new computer license-sale system, officials said.

Gaps in data transferred from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's old point of sale system to a Tennessee vendor running the new system has slowed some license and tag sales to a crawl at many of the 500 license outlets, ODFW officials said.

Something as simple as a hunter's missing birthdate requires vendors to call the ODFW for help in filling in those gaps, said Ron Anglin, the ODFW's Wildlife Division administrator.

That can cause a transaction to take 20 minutes, leaving last-minute tag-buyers in long lines.

Extending tonight's tag-sale deadline to Monday night ensures Oregon's crop of 11th-hour hunters won't get left in the lurch, Anglin said.

"We're just being ultra-cautious," Anglin said. "We don't want the new system get in the way of people getting their tags."

The extension applies to general-season blacktail buck deer hunters in western Oregon and controlled buck deer hunters in eastern Oregon. Those seasons begin Saturday.

The fall bear and cougar tag-sale deadline was extended because their sales historically end in conjunction with the deer-tag deadline.

Hunters are still required to have a valid tag in their possession before hunting.

— Mark Freeman

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