The state's Access and Habitat Program is once again partnering with the C2 Ranch to offer six adult hunters a chance to bowhunt on the ranch's high-grade habitat near Lake Creek.
Winners in an upcoming drawing will get a free, three-day, unguided hunt on the 9,500-acre ranch during the late archery season between Nov. 14 and Dec. 6.
The ranch offers these unique hunting access opportunities in exchange for the A&H Program helping to pay for seeding and buck-brush removal at the ranch. The A&H Program and the ranch have offered similar youth turkey hunting and deer hunting opportunities under similar but separate agreements.
This is the fifth year of the adult archery hunts, which have become popular among archers statewide, says Vince Oredson, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who oversees the program here.
"They think it's a neat thing to have the ranch to themselves, and they see a lot of deer," Oredson says.
Last year, only two of the six hunters to draw access shot bucks, Oredson says.
"The guys who I talked to said they were pretty choosy, that they had some opportunities but didn't take them," Oredson says. "Besides, archery hunting is hard."
Applications for the upcoming bow hunts are available online at www.dfw.state.or.us/lands/AH/hunting/. Applications can be emailed, faxed or mailed back. Directions are on the applications. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 29.
Winners must buy their own hunting license and late-season archery deer tag, and they set up hunt dates themselves with the ranch, Oredson says.
The A&H Program uses a $4 surcharge on hunting licenses and state hunting raffle-tag sales to fund hunter access or habitat-improvement projects on private lands.
Lighted nocks legal for archers in 2016
Archers will be allowed to use lighted nocks to better follow their arrows' paths, but the use of drones will be banned while hunting or fishing under new rules.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted these changes as part of a small package of changes to next year's big-game hunting rules.
Nocks are the grooved back ends of arrows that help steady the arrow on the bow. Common in other states, lighted versions increase arrow visibility and help hunters track wounded animals, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The commission banned drones while hunting, trapping or fishing as an unfair technological advantage to scope out fishing spots or scout for game animals while in the field.
The commission, which met Friday in Florence, also created a new auction tag for a Rocky Mountain goat hunt beginning next year.
The commission also created a new Premium Hunt series to offer tags with longer seasons for deer, elk and pronghorn. However, hunters' preference-point system will not apply to these hunts, so it will be a straight lottery draw.