News Briefs, Outdoors

Hunting season on the Willamette National Forest

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Media Contact: Leslie Garcia

(458) 209 -7288

[email protected]

Springfield, Ore., Sept. 1, 2022— Archery season has opened for deer and elk hunting in western Oregon. This season, hunters using the Willamette National Forest need to familiarize themselves with the many fire closures in place and use extreme caution and follow all fire restrictions while in the field. The Willamette National Forest currently has a campfire ban in effect in most areas due to high fire danger and several fire closures are in effect for public and firefighter safety.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning to hunt on public lands:

·       Know before you go if there are fire restrictions in effect.

·       Do not idle, drive or park on dry grass as vehicle exhaust and undercarriage could potentially ignite the grass or brush.

·       Do not flick a cigarette out a vehicle window because it can start a wildfire. Extinguish smoking materials in the vehicle ashtray.

·       Check any chain you may be using on a trailer. Dragging metal on the roadbed can cause sparks that could ignite dry vegetation causing a wildfire.

If hunters are traveling through recently burned areas, it is important to always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and practice the “Four Steps for Safety” to improve your awareness of natural hazards: Look Up, Look Down, Look Around, Look Below. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a wildfire may be unstable, especially in high winds, and watch out for uneven or unstable ground full of holes from burned root systems. Check the weather forecast and assess the weather conditions before travel. Let someone know your planned route, destination, and expected return time.

Hunters are responsible for knowing what areas are open and closed to hunting and what restrictions are in place. Please check the status of the area you plan to hunt before you head to the woods. All hunting is managed and regulated by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Please hunt safely and be sure of your target. Remember, you are sharing the woods with other people working and recreating in close proximity.

More information is available on the following websites:

·       Public use restrictions (campfires, generators, smoking):

·       Maps and descriptions of fire closures:

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