A State Wildlife Agency Has Imposed New Restrictions On Bow Hunting In Northeastern Oregon

Elk hunters who want to use a bow will now be subject to a controlled system based on a seasonal quota, similar to the restrictions put in place for elk hunters who use rifles. Previously, during Oregon’s elk hunting season, which started on August 27 and runs through September 25 this year, archers could be certain of acquiring a tag almost anywhere.

The department’s district wildlife biologist, Jeremy Thompson, claims that many hunters have converted from using rifles to bows, necessitating the move in order to satisfy state wildlife management objectives.

“We witnessed this transition of a lot of our hunters into archery as we started to put control mechanisms in place for rifle hunters in the ’90s with the approval of our first elk management plan,” he added.

So, by changing the rules for rifle hunters, “we kind of created the monster,” if you will.

Thompson added that there should be a minimum of 10 elk males for every 100 elk cows in order to ensure a good breeding season.

Now, wildlife officials are hoping that restricting archer hunting inside 13 units, or borders for wildlife management, will let more elk males mature into reproductive age.

Mike Slinkard, a bow hunter and local of John Day, rejects this tactic. He believes that the focus of wildlife officials should be on imposing restrictions on non-resident elk hunters who go from states like California.

A State Wildlife Agency Has Imposed New Restrictions On Bow Hunting In Northeastern Oregon
A State Wildlife Agency Has Imposed New Restrictions On Bow Hunting In Northeastern Oregon

The only thing they should have done is implemented a nonresident quota, in my opinion. And it would have resolved all of the issues in this place,” Slinkard remarked.

Slinkard also claims that rifle hunters, who have been subject to quotas for much longer than their bow-hunting counterparts, are the driving force behind the increased limits because they are “jealous.”

And I kind of get that, too. But the truth is that archery is still a crude weapon, and we have a much lower success rate than rifle hunters,” he remarked.

The new regulations don’t appear to be deterring bow hunters in Northeast Oregon at this time. According to Thompson, all 12,000 hunting licenses the state has allotted for controlled archery hunting this season has already been bought.

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