It pays to be a conscientious hunter.
Canbys Matt Bauder can attest to that. He was awarded a brand new Savage .17 HMR rifle for completing a permit designed to help the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife better manage private hunting lands.
Bauders name was drawn from a pool of hunters who filled out daily use permits last year at ODFWs Access and Habitat program areas.
The rifle was purchased by the Oregon Hunters Association Redmond Chapter and offered as an incentive for hunters to complete the permits when they hunt on private A&H program lands.
Access and habitat areas are private lands open to hunting through an agreement between ODFW and the landowners.
Daily use permits are a good tool for helping us decide where to invest in access, said Matt Keenan, ODFWs access and habitat program coordinator.
The ODFW now places self-serve permit stations at the entrances to private lands enrolled in the access and habitat program to estimate hunter use and satisfaction.
Bauder hunted at the Lost Valley Ranch near Fossil and filled out one of the A&H permits when he and his buddies were hunting.
Bauder gave the area high marks, even though he didnt bag an elk.
The A&H program was established in 1993 by the Oregon Legislature and is funded primarily by a $4 surcharge on all hunting licenses and the sale of deer and elk auction and raffle tags.
It currently operates on an annual budget of about $1.25 million, which is used to maintain public access to approximately 5 million acres of private land each year.
For more information about the Access and Habitat Program and hunter access to private lands, visit the program website at www.AccessAndHabitatHunts.com.