Some Oregon deer, elk hunters face reporting penalty

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MEDFORD, Ore. (AP)— Nearly 34,000 Oregon hunters face a $25 penalty for failing to tell the state how they did in their 2012 deer and elk hunts.

The state has been trying since 2007 to get the hunter reports to build better statistics on hunting success and harvest rates, which are used to set the numbers of deer and elk tags, the Medford Mail Tribune reported.

Fewer than 40 percent of hunters reported results when there were no penalties or when incentives were offered. That's not enough for sound data.

In October 2012, the state adopted the $25 penalty, and the reporting rate skyrocketed to 85 percent.

That still leaves a lot of hunters facing the extra charge when they buy their 2014 licenses at point-of-sale outlets or online.

The holders of about 29,000 deer tags and 17,000 elk tags didn't report, out of 298,000 deer and elk tags sold. The requirement applies to hunters whether they were successful or not, or even if they never actually hunted.

Some hunters bought both kinds of tags and failed to report. The Department of Fish and Wildlife is estimating about 33,600 individuals face the penalty.

If each paid up, that would generate $840,000.

"But I wish we didn't get a dime," says Ron Anglin, administrator of the Wildlife Division. "I wish people just reported."

Hunters are also required to report results for pronghorn, cougar, bear and turkey tags, but the penalty applies only to those who fail to report on deer and elk tags.