SALEM, Ore.—A temporary rule that waived in-person check in requirements for certain wildlife species during the pandemic expires March 18.
Beginning Saturday, March 19, anyone who salvages a roadkilled deer or elk or harvests a bear or cougar during hunting season will be required to call their nearest ODFW district office and make an appointment to check in their animal per the usual regulations. (ODFW and all state offices remain closed to in-person visitors and are not scheduled to open until at least May 1, so check-in appointments must be arranged prior to showing up at an office.)
For the roadkill salvage rules for deer and elk, see this webpage https://myodfw.com/articles/roadkill-salvage-permits Note that antlers and head of all salvaged animals need to be surrendered to an ODFW office within 5 business days of taking possession of the carcass. Call ahead to your nearest office to make an appointment.
Tissue samples from the head of roadkilled deer and elk are tested as part of Oregon’s Chronic Wasting Disease monitoring efforts. This disease has not been detected in Oregon yet but was found within 30 miles of the Snake River in Idaho last year. Early detection could help limit spread of the disease.
For many years, successful bear and cougar hunters have been required to check in certain parts of their animal within 10 days of harvest. For cougars, hunters are required to check in the hide with skull and proof of sex attached and if the cougar was a female, the reproductive tract (how-to). Bear hunters are required to check in the skull only (though the reproductive tract is requested too; see how-to in Big Game Regs).
Again, an appointment is required; please see the list of field offices and call your nearest office to make an appointment https://myodfw.com/contact-us
Skulls must be unfrozen when presented for check-in and hunters should prop open the mouth to improve access to the teeth. Inserting a stick or dowel between the molars prior to freezing/ drying out will help keep the jaw open.
During check-in, ODFW takes a tooth which is used to determine age of the animal. This information goes into population modelling efforts for the state’s cougar and bear populations.
Hunters should be ready to present their license and tag and report the unit where their cougar or bear was harvested during check-in.