Big-game tags will be hot items during July 1 closeout sale

More than 500 hunting tags that no one wanted earlier this month will be the hottest ticket in Oregon next Thursday during the state's annual closeout sale on leftover big-game tags.

Hunters will line up at point-of-sale licensing outlets across Oregon on July 1 to participate in the annual sale of tags not allocated during the controlled-hunt process.

Familiar hunts for buck deer, antlerless deer and various 200-series elk tags remain on the list of hunts with leftover tags available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m. next Thursday.

Tags that make it into the leftover sale historically are in less-desired hunts, usually because of access problems or because there are more tags than interested hunters.

However, all the tags usually sell out by lunchtime in the leftover sale, and this year should be no different, says Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Division.

"They're sold in a matter of minutes," Dennehy says. "What I hear is, if you get to a point-of-sale place and there are two people in line, go somewhere else," Dennehy says.

This year's crop of leftover tags include 215 100-series buck tags, 16 North Sixes Youth tags for blacktail doe and 279 200-series elk tags. For a complete breakdown of the available tags, check the ODFW website at

Hunters can buy just one leftover tag per hunt series. However, people can buy tags either for themselves or for one other person.

The leftover tags are in addition to the regular controlled or general-season tags in the same hunt series.

Hunters interested in checking their drawing successes or failures in the controlled-hunt lottery process can do so online by going to the ODFW's Web page at After clicking on the controlled-hunt success icon, enter your Hunter/Angler ID (ODFW ID) number, your last name and birthdate before clicking on "My Hunter Information."

Those not online can do the same by calling 1-800-708-1782.

A Pendleton angler is the latest to garner 15 minutes of kokanee fame after catching what — for now — likely is a new world-record for these land-locked salmon.

Ron Campbell landed a 9-pound, 10.78-ounce kokanee June 13 at Wallowa Lake, the latest in a string of record kokanee caught there this year.

If certified by the International Game Fish Association, Campbell's fish will break the all-time record for kokanee — a 9-pound, 6-ounce fish caught in 1988 in British Columbia.

Campbell caught his pending record while trolling a jig.

Campbell's catch comes a month after Bob Both of Lostine set pending state and national kokanee records when he boated an 8.85-pound, 13.6-ounce fish. That set a state record that lasted all of three months.

But Both's catch didn't even get through the IGFA process before it was broken.

Campbell's fish is the fourth state record and second national record to come out of Wallowa Lake since February.

Kokanee are land-locked sockeye salmon, and Wallowa Lake is famous for growing large ones because of the introduction in the 1960s of freshwater shrimp called mysis relicta. The large shrimp provide a bonanza for kokanee.

However, the shrimp's introduction in other lakes has been linked to the wiping out of kokanee populations, so Wallowa Lake's future as the kokanee mecca could be short-lived — much like Campbell's record could be.

Soakers headed for Umpqua Hot Springs will need to hike a longer distance while a new trail bridge is installed.

Umpqua National Forest officials closed the eastern trailhead to the popular hot springs Wednesday.

Visitors are encouraged to park at the western trailhead and be prepared for a two-mile hike to the hot springs.

To reach the trail, take Highway 138 to Forest Service Road 34. Go up that road for 2.2 miles, then go right on an unmarked Forest Service gravel road for .7 miles to the North Umpqua trail on the left just before a bridge.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail

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