This is really setting up to be a very enjoyable deer rifle season. That is, if you enjoy harvesting deer.

Speaking of harvesting, we have entered what may be referred to roadkill season, and I will take time here to remind you of the proper way to pick up roadkill.

According to the Farmers Almanac, this is supposed to be a long, cold winter. We are getting some signs of that being true. This spring-like weather of rain mixed with sunny days is making the grass and other forage grow like crazy. Some people see it as a pain to have to start mowing their yards again but, for hunters and farmers, the growth is exciting.

This year, I have also noticed more acorns falling off oak trees then I have ever seen before. Deer thrive on acorns in addition to the other grasses and forage. This should lead to some fat and healthy deer to harvest. It should also mean quieter hunting conditions.

These all lead up to a potentially exciting hunting season. Please remember to keep it fun by following the rules. We are all human though and make mistakes. If you do make a mistake, call us and we can help.

During these exciting hunting conditions, it is important to be cautious. Every year, we end up catching someone who harvests the wrong animal in the wrong area and tells us they didn’t know what to do. Let me tell you now, if you call and report yourself when you make a mistake, it works out much better for you, enforcement wise, then if you are reported by someone else or caught by Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers. We would prefer to work with you to get the mistake taken care of.

One of the bigger mistakes I can think of, not directly related to hunting, is hitting a deer with your vehicle. Sometimes the deer even hit you.

If this happens this year, you can try to make the best of a bad situation and take the deer to salvage it, if it is salvageable. You are the one who decides if it is salvageable or not, no one else will come out to inspect it for you.

If you decide it is salvageable, you must take the entire deer with you. Do not remove and leave the entrails alongside the roadway. After you take the deer you have 24 hours to fill out an online permit on the ODFW website. You then have five days to take the head, including antlers if a buck, to ODFW.

If the animal has to be shot after being struck, the only person who can take it is the driver of the vehicle who struck the deer. If these rules are not followed, someone could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Intentionally hitting an animal with a vehicle to harvest it is illegal also.

The salvage information listed above is good in Douglas County for all deer and elk.

This deer season is going to be a good one as long as everyone works together and stays within the guidelines. As we progress into the end of the month as bucks continue to go into rut, we will unfortunately be coming across more roadkill animals. Hopefully they can all be avoided, but that probably won’t happen.

I hope to run across you and hear your successful hunting story soon.

Aaron Baimbridge is a senior trooper in the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Oregon State Police office in Roseburg.

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CitizenJoe

Useful article! Thank you.

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