Salem, OR -(Ammoland.com)- It pays to be a conscientious hunter. Matt Bauder can attest to that. He was awarded a brand new Savage .17 HMR rifle for completing a permit designed to help ODFW better manage private hunting lands.
Bauder’s name was drawn from a pool of hunters who filled out daily use permits last year at ODFW’s Access and Habitat 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 and H program lands.
Access and Habitat areas are private lands open to hunting through an agreement between ODFW and the landowners. The A and H Program is interested in knowing which properties hunters use and like the most. A and H pays landowners for hunter access, either in cash or by providing wildlife habitat improvements on site. The program also funds law enforcement projects on industrial timberlands open to public hunting.
“Daily use permits are a good tool for helping us decide where to invest in access,” said Matt Keenan, ODFW’s Access and Habitat Program Coordinator.
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 and H permits when he and his buddies were hunting. Bauder gave the area high marks, even though he didn’t bag an elk.
The A and 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 Access & Habitat Hunts.
About the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Our mission is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations.