Archery hunters beware of fire danger; take note of closures and restrictions

EASTERN OREGON – As archery hunters head into the field, hunters are reminded to check for access before they go and follow fire restrictions. Go to https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html to access an interactive fire restrictions map. The most common restrictions are:

  • Campfires are either prohibited or restricted to certain areas.
  • Smoking and off -road driving is also prohibited in most areas, which includes motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
  • Vehicles must have either a gallon of water or a fully charged and operational 2½-pound fire extinguisher and shovel (except when travelling on state highways or county roads).
  • ATVs must have a charged and operational 2½-pound fire extinguisher.
  • Roads and areas may be closed while firefighters are actively fighting a fire.

Below are some helpful links for checking on access and fire restrictions:

Private timberland: For a list of corporate closures on private timberland, visit http://www.ofic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2020-OFIC-Closure-Form.pdf The chart also contains phone numbers to get the latest information from timberland owners.

Federal land: Check the U.S. Forest Service or BLM website or call them.

For the White River Wildlife Area, the fire has closed the Smock Prairie area to public access and there are evacuation warnings for the Smock Prairie and Pine Grove portions of the wildlife area. For the latest on the fire visit the InciWeb fire page at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7013/

Firefighters throughout the state have been busy following numerous lightning events this month. But human-caused fires have been a factor for firefighters as well.

“The end of fire season is not yet in sight. Vegetation remains dry, extreme fire danger persists, and firefighting resources have been stretched thin throughout the region due to the amount of wildfires currently burning on the landscape. The chance of any spark or abandoned campfire turning into a harmful blaze is real,” says Kristin Babbs, Executive Director of Keep Oregon Green, which works to increase awareness of wildlife fire risk and how to prevent human-caused wildfires. “Our plea to hunters, other outdoor recreationalists and the general public is to be vigilant and have fire prevention front and center in their minds.”

Regulations changes for 2020

Archery hunters are also reminded of some hunting regulation changes for this year:

Commercial cervid attractants (deer and elk urine) banned: Hunters may not possess or use a commercial cervid attractant that contains or is derived from cervid urine, a regulation that was passed by the 2019 Oregon State Legislature to protect Oregon’s deer, elk and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease. More info

Cameras allowed on bows: For the 2020 season, archery hunters may attach a camera to their bow, provided the camera has no other function (e.g. no range finders are allowed). This change does not appear in the printed regulations but is in the online E-regulations.

Note there is a printing error on page 28 in the archery deer section of the printed regulations. The Biggs Unit is not closed; it is open to archery deer hunting.