On October 16, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) formally announced the parameters for the state’s popular Northwest Permit Zone goose hunt. This announcement follows an August 7 decision by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to follow the Department’s recommendation and continue the hunt while eliminating certain barriers to participation.
Opened decades ago, the Northwest Permit Zone goose hunt has allowed hunters to pursue regular Canada geese in the Northwestern portion of the state, while taking measures to strongly limit the incidental take of the darker subspecies, known as the “dusky” Canada goose. The hunt has proved popular among both hunters and the agriculture community, as regulated hunting in the area has significantly reduced crop depredation by geese.
The new regulations eliminate the requirement that hunters check in at ODFW check stations after each day of goose hunting in the area. Previously, many hunters had to drive nearly an hour out of their way to the nearest check station. The new regulations will also allow hunting seven days a week during the season, which was not included in the previous regulatory framework. Additionally, the new regulations eliminate the previously allowed once per-year incidental take of dusky Canada geese, and keeps in place the requirement that hunters pass a dusky goose identification test prior to receiving their permit.
On August 5, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Ducks Unlimited and Oregon Hunters Association submitted a joint letter to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission urging the Commission to adopt proposed regulations from the ODFW that would uphold Oregon’s popular Northwest Permit Zone goose hunt.
“By adopting the newly proposed regulations from the ODFW, the Commission is ensuring that both hunters and farmers will continue to benefit from the goose hunting season in northwestern Oregon. Hunters will also enjoy a less burdensome and confusing set of regulations with the elimination of the check stand requirement and allowing hunting to occur seven days a week during the season,” noted CSF Western States Coordinator Zach Widner after the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission decision in August.
Oregon’s Northwest Permit Zone goose hunt takes place October 24 to November 1, November 21 to January 12, and February 6 to March 10.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?