Hunters: Report your tags or face a $25 fine

Hunters: Report your tags or face a $25 fine
A hunter holds his eye to the scope of his gun while sitting in a deer stand waiting for a deer to cross his path. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon hunters have just a few days to report last year's tags to avoid a $25 fine.

Hunters are required to report on their hunts by Jan. 31, whether they were successful or not and even if they did not go hunting at all.

This is something that hunters have done for several years, but this is the first time a penalty has been put into place for those who don't report. If you don't meet the deadline, you will get hit with the $25 fee when you go to purchase your 2014 hunting tags (the penalty is one per person, even if you have several tags).

According to Michelle Dennehy with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the fee isn't something they are all that interested in collecting, but rather an incentive to get more people to report.

What's the big deal about reporting? ODFW uses the data to set tags and the better numbers they have, the more they can maximize hunting opportunities for folks.

Dennehy said only 41 percent of hunters reported on time in 2011 but this time around, with the penalty in place, she said 78 percent had reported as of Sunday, Jan. 27.

If you are one of the last remaining hunters who still need to report your tags, you can file a report online or by calling 1-866-947-6339. And if you report on time, you will be entered to win a special tag that allows for a longer hunting season and expanded area.