The Rogue Valley chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association will host a special Access and Habitat Program tag auction during its annual fundraising banquet Feb. 28 in Medford, a coup that will add cash to its coffers and more interest in its banquet.
The A&H Program's statewide elk tag will go to the highest bidder either in person, by proxy or via telephone for the tag, which allows its buyer to hunt for one elk for up to 90 days anywhere in Oregon that is open to some form of elk hunting.
Not only does the tag draw interest from across the state, the chapter receives 10 percent of the auction price for its access or habitat projects. The remainder goes for elk habitat and management for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"That's pretty neat for our local chapter," says Duane Dungannon, secretary of the Medford-based OHA.
The last time the chapter hosted an A&H Program auction tag was 2004, when the statewide deer tag sold for $22,500, Dungannon says.
Last year's four statewide elk tags sold for an average of $30,000.
The tag fell into the chapter's lap last week after it was set to be auctioned Jan. 31 at a Ducks Unlimited banquet in Forest Grove, says Roblyn Brown, the program's acting coordinator.
But that banquet was shut down on its eve because of lead contamination inside an armory where the banquet was to take place, Brown says.
The banquet was rescheduled for May 16, but that is the same day as the OHA statewide banquet, during which the statewide deer and elk combination tag is set for auction, Brown says. A&H Program policy is to not offer similar tags for auction on the same day, she says.
So the irony of too much lead at a duck banquet meant the tag fell to an already chosen alternate, and that happened to be the Rogue Valley's OHA chapter.
Dungannon says he does not believe auctioning the tag will suck money away from bids on the chapter's auction items, which range from guns and hunting trips in Oregon to a African safari.
"As for the folks who are going to bid on the A&H tag, it's not like they're going to buy $25,000 worth of raffle tickets if they don't get the tag," he says.
Medford will host a second statewide elk auction for the A&H Program March 28 during the fundraising banquet for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Medford chapter.
Anyone interested in bidding for the tag by telephone should call 541-643-5327.
The chapter banquet will be at the Ramada Convention Center, 2250 Biddle Road, Medford. Ticket packages vary in price. For reservations, call 541-773-1587. No tickets will be sold at the door.
Rogue Flyfishers talking flies
Members of the Medford-based Rogue Flyfishers Association will have their collective eyes on their flies when they meet Wednesday in Medford.
This month's program will feature the fly-tying abilities of the Southern Oregon Fly Tyers, which is made of up of tyers from Medford, Grants Pass, Northern California and Roseburg.
All skill levels will be present and tying flies meant to fool salmon, steelhead, trout and warmwater fish.
The meeting will be at the Rogue Regency, 2300 Biddle Road. A wet fly social hour begins at 6 p.m., with the dinner and club business at 7 p.m. SOFT tyers will be present throughout the event.
The meeting is open to the public.
For more information, see www.rogueflyfishers.org.