Free forage seed available for wildlife grass plots

Landowners who would like to attract more wildlife to their property can do so under a free grass-seed giveaway now under way.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has teamed with the Medford-based Oregon Hunters Association to provide 1.5 tons of a mix of grass seeds to create forage opportunities for everything from big-game animals to non-game birds.

Each interested landowner can get a 25-pound bag to be planted this fall, which is enough seed to turn about 2 acres into a veritable wildlife magnet.

"All kinds of critters like this," says Vince Oredson, an ODFW habitat biologist in White City. "Deer, elk and turkeys, of course, but also quail and some smaller seed-eating birds."

The mix includes subterranean clover, timothy, plantain, Persian clover and orchard grass, Oredson says.

They are all non-native grasses chosen because they compete well with starthistle and other non-native weeds, Oredson says.

The seed can be picked up at the ODFW office at the Denman Wildlife Area, 1495 E. Gregory Road.

The seed is best used when planted in the fall so it sprouts with fall rains, Oredson says. It does not require irrigation, he says.

The giveaway began Oct. 1 and runs until the seed is gone, Oredson says. So far, about a ton of the seed has been meted out, he says.

Those who miss out this year can mark Oct. 1 on their calendars and come in early next year.

The seed costs $2.82 per pound, with 1 ton purchased through an ODFW habitat fund and the remaining bought by the OHA, Oredson says.

 

Women's-only pheasant workshop planned

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is holding a one-day workshop Nov. 7 in White City for women interested in becoming upland game-bird hunters.

The workshop planned for the Denman Wildlife Area is billed as a way to teach beginning hunters how to safely and effectively hunt pheasants.

This workshop is for women 18 and older and is focused on beginners who either have never hunted or need a refresher course to re-enter the sport.

Small groups of hunters will be paired with a volunteer guide and a dog to hunt at the wildlife area at 1495 E. Gregory Road.

The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is limited to 24 people. Space remains. For more information and registration, contact Darlene Sprecher at 503-947-6025 or email her at Darlene.m.sprecher@state.or.us.

The workshop's $52 fee covers use of equipment, program materials, guides, dog use and lunch.

Participants must have and carry a valid Oregon hunting license as well upland game bird validation and the free upland game bird HIP validation in order to hunt pheasant in this workshop. License and validation tags will not be available at the workshop so they must be obtained before Nov. 7.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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