Locked out of OIL hunt due to forest fire???

Joe Hulburt

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Things are not looking good for my Wenaha archery elk hunt that begins one week from tomorrow. The entire wilderness is closed to entry as well as many access roads around the perimeter. It may burn into October so the quality of my OIL tag just took a dump. Unfortunately the local bio increased tag numbers substantially this year too so if any of the unit is still open it will be crowded!

Should the ODFW give people the option to turn tag in to get preference points back? I know a lot of states would but Oregon never has. Any opinions? Has anyone ever had a OIL hunt ruined by fire?

Praying for rain! Not just for my hunt but for the folks being evacuated from their homes more than anything.
 

Reeltime

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Why are you refering to this as a OIL tag?
That really sucks that you drew on a heavy fire year. The big picture, people in the areas of the fire are being affected in a much more severe way....
 

Joe Hulburt

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Why are you refering to this as a OIL tag?
That really sucks that you drew on a heavy fire year. The big picture, people in the areas of the fire are being affected in a much more severe way....

It took 17 points to draw and that number is going up every year. I could get lucky and draw it again in random pool but most likely will never get another chance.

The question is should ODFW let hunters save their points not who is suffering the most.
 

Reeltime

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More than half the unit is still open.

And that will answer the question about getting points back. No. If half the unit is still open when the season opens I'm sure you'll be SOL. If the vast majority of the unit is is closed, hopefully they will.
Can you turn in your tag before the season and get your points back?
If so, I'd be all over that option. If you don't live near the smoke, fires, etc., it's terrible. I'm packing up my family and driving 600 miles southwest on Sunday. Can't see 300 yards out the window, havent seen the mountains around us for awhile. It's nasty.
 

WapitiBob

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They close the Wilderness because they can't use most of their resources there and they let it burn. They can't keep track of the people either. They did the same over in the Strawberries.
 

LopeHunter

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Sorry this jam has developed. I get the lure of the Blue Mountains. I hunted the WA side a few years ago. Great, majestic region. My mantra is hunt often rather than wait decades for one shot, though, since in the last decade I have seen several threads with a bummed tag holder where has been a Fed shut down, fires, winter kill, antler limiting drought, family member ill or job loss, etc, that impacted what potentially could have been a wonderful hunt. During a great year, is the harvest rate around 10% for that tag? Are there usually 100s of spike hunters in there just before or during the hunt?
 

Joe Hulburt

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EDIT:

I just got a call from ODFW and they are going to allow people with the WENAHA ONLY tag to turn it back in and retain points.

Hmmmm. What to do....
 
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Joe Hulburt

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Sorry this jam has developed. I get the lure of the Blue Mountains. I hunted the WA side a few years ago. Great, majestic region. My mantra is hunt often rather than wait decades for one shot, though, since in the last decade I have seen several threads with a bummed tag holder where has been a Fed shut down, fires, winter kill, antler limiting drought, family member ill or job loss, etc, that impacted what potentially could have been a wonderful hunt. During a great year, is the harvest rate around 10% for that tag? Are there usually 100s of spike hunters in there just before or during the hunt?

Believe me, I hunt every year! :) This is just a chance to hunt a wilderness with limited amount of pressure which is something I have never experienced.

The hunt is usually at around 50% success and almost all of those are 6 point bulls. Many people are too picky and go home empty as a result.
 

dan.kirkpatrick

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joe,,if they will allow you to turn in your tag and reinstate your points,i would think very hard about it.ive hunted it for bears 3 times and have seen bulls to the south towards elgin,but your right,,this is pretty much a oi.l.. type of tag,alot of the high elevation stuff may burn,,thats where the big boys hang during this hot weather.if you do decide to hunt,I can give ya some info on the southern section.from spring sightings.
 

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