Young guns can register this month for a chance at a black-tailed deer hunt of a lifetime at the C2 Cattle Company ranch off Highway 140 during the Christmas holidays.
Sixteen youth hunters younger than 18 will be chosen in a drawing for these hunts, which have been offered since 2006 at the 9,500-acre ranch as part of the state Access and Habitat Program.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will take applications for the hunts through Nov. 30, and the winners will be drawn the following day.
The youth hunters will be able to hunt the ranch during the 630T Rogue Unit Youth Deer Hunt, which runs Dec. 15 through Jan. 5. Hunters need to have drawn and purchased their tag by the Dec. 14 deadline.
The youth hunts will be one-day affairs for either a buck or doe deer, and the ranch will provide a guide. A parent or other family member can attend.
Under the program, the ranch receives about $12,000 a year in herbicides, buckbrush and blackberry cutting. Of that, the A&H Program pays $9,000, ODFW pays $2,000 toward fertilizer, and the Oregon Hunters Association kicks in $1,000 for buckbrush cutting.Along with the habitat work, C2 hosts the youth deer hunt, a youth turkey hunt in the spring and an adult archery hunt in the fall. Last year, three of the 16 youth hunters bagged a buck during their guided day, says Vince Oredson, the ODFW habitat biologist who oversees the program here.
In exchange, the ranch provides these unique hunting opportunities in prime Southern Oregon blacktail land, Oredson says.
"Under this program, we're getting a lot of good deer habitat and (hunting) access. "It supports a lot of deer."
Young hunters who put in the C2 hunt application have two ways to qualify to take part in the hunt should their name be drawn.
Those who already have drawn a 630T tag can apply, Oredson says. Those who applied for a 600-series tag last spring and didn't get it can apply and receive one of those tags if they have not used their first-time deer tag draw for youth hunts, Oredson says.
Young hunters who draw the C2 pass Dec. 1 can, therefore, then apply for their first-time deer tag and get that 630T tag if they had previously not used that exception. If that's the case, they must do so by the Dec. 14 tag-purchase deadline.
Applications are online at www.dfw.state.or.us/lands/AH/, then go to "Hot Topics" and click on "Hunting Opportunities." Or, kids can apply by calling Oredson at 541-826-8774, ext. 232, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or email@example.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.