More than 1,000 controlled elk tags that went unclaimed in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's controlled-hunt draw last month sold out in less than 15 minutes Tuesday during the agency's first-come, first-served sale of these so-called "leftover tags."
The tags went on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday at point-of-sale outlets and ODFW offices throughout Oregon, and the vast majority of them were gobbled up before 10:10, says Michelle Dennehy, the ODFW's Wildlife Division spokeswoman.
The last tag sold at 10:14 a.m., Dennehy says.
The leftover sale is the agency's way of dispensing tags that went unallocated in the lottery system. The program has become popular, and every leftover tag is sold each year.
The tags essentially allow hunters a chance to double-dip in controlled deer or elk hunting in a single season. These tags are legal in addition to any deer or elk tag a hunter drew this year in the lottery, which allows just one tag per hunt series per hunter.
"It's another hunting opportunity," Dennehy says. "You can get a leftover tag in addition to your controlled-hunt tag or general-season tag."
These tags also represent a fall-back opportunity for hunters who applied for controlled-hunt tags but did not draw any of their choices in the mid-June draw, Dennehy says. That is particularly true among Eastern Oregon hunters who do not enjoy the general deer and elk seasons afforded Western Oregon hunters.
The closest local hunts in the leftover sale were in the Tioga Unit, where 16 percent of the lands are owned by Weyerhauser Co., which now charges fees to hunters wanting access to their lands. This year's leftover Tioga tags included normally tough-to-get muzzleloader tags.
OHA won't meet in July
The Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association will not meet in July. The chapter typically meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Eagles Club in Medford, but the chapter no longer meets in July because of family vacations, chapter President Ron Sherva says.
The next chapter meeting is set for Aug. 14 in Medford.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or email@example.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.