Turkey hunt by reservation program returns for second year

Photo Credit: Courtesy of ODFW

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

SALEM, Ore.—A program launched last year to help turkey hunters reserve a hunt on private land in western Oregon (Willamette Valley and Roseburg) is back up and running for the 2021 season.

Visit ODFW’s website to learn more: https://myodfw.com/articles/hunt-reservation-program.

“Our program was extremely popular with hunters last year,” said Brandon Dyches, ODFW’s Hunt By Reservation Program Coordinator. “All available hunt slots were reserved in the first 24 hours, so we are changing things up and releasing hunts weekly this year.” (More details below.)

There is no cost to reserve a hunt, but hunters must purchase a 2021 hunting license and turkey tag prior to their hunt and follow all hunting regulations and program rules. Up to three hunters can hunt per reservation (individual hunters can reserve a hunt and then assign up to two additional hunters to their reservation).

Turkeys are abundant in both the Willamette Valley and Roseburg area, but are often found on private land where hunting access is not allowed. The Hunt by Reservation Program first launched last year as an effort to connect landowners with hunters.

ODFW has teamed up with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to provide a new full-time program coordinator to manage and grow the Hunt by Reservation Program. The program benefits hunters by providing quality hunting opportunities on private land – and landowners by coordinating hunt logistics and managing for healthy wildlife populations in their area.

"PF an QF are extremely excited to partner with ODFW,” says Al Eiden, a Western Regional Director for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “This is an innovative program that will open new areas of private land for hunting. We have a great opportunity to build connections between landowners and hunters who demonstrate the highest level of respect and hunter ethics."

For 2021, hunt dates will be available in weekly “releases” to spread interest out over the season. Reservations will open at 10 a.m. on each of the following dates. Each hunter will be limited to two active reservations at a time (active means hunt is happening that day or in the future).

Release date: For hunts available through:April 8May 2April 15May 9April 22May 16April 29May 23May 6May 31

Dyches stressed that hunters who participate must follow all hunting regulations and hunt responsibly. “For this program to succeed, hunters and landowners must cooperate with utmost trust and respect,” he said. “If a landowner reports any hunter misbehavior such as showing disrespect, unsafe shots, property damage, breaking program rules or wildlife laws, we will exclude that hunter and the rest of their party from the program.”

ODFW hopes to expand this program in the future, including opportunities for turkey hunting in central Oregon and uplands birds and geese in other parts of the state. Interested landowners should contact Brandon at (971) 707-0098 or odfw.huntbyreservation@state.or.us.

For more about what to expect this spring turkey season, vist the hunting forecast https://myodfw.com/articles/2021-spring-turkey-hunting-forecast The general spring season runs April 15-May 31 statewide.

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OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, April 8th

Ben Irving Reservoir: Fishing Should Be Good
Cooper Creek Reservoir: Trout & Bass Fishing Should Be Good
Diamond Lake: Ice Fishing Derby on April 15
Emigrant Reservoir: Low But on The Rise
Garrison Lake: Recently Stocked
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Ice is Breaking Up
Kilchis River: Low and Clear
Nehalem River: Nehalem River Report
Nestucca River: Nestucca River Report
Trask River: Trask is Low and Clear
Wilson River: Wilson River Report
Grande Ronde River: Recent high flows have encouraged steelhead to move upstream
Umatilla River: Water Levels Have Come Up
Wallowa River: Steelhead are moving upstream from winter holding areas