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Spotlighting in Oregon The FACTS

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by raisersedge, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. raisersedge

    raisersedge backwoods Member

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    There seems to be some misunderstandings about what is legal and illegal as far as spotlighting in Oregon. I have argued the facts with OSP officers in the past and had them tell me I was WRONG but they could not prove it. First and foremost never ask the OSP for a clarification on a law. I dont know if they dont know or just lie to you but they usually give you false information. They also will treat you like a lawbreaker for asking on a clarification. My point to them is if they are enforcing the law they should know the law. They will tell ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. How about for enforcing the law.
    What oregon law states is
    ORS 498-146
    Shining artificial light on game mammal, predatory animal or livestock while in or near motor vehicle and while in possession of weapon restricted

    (1) No person shall cast from a motor vehicle or from within 500 feet of a motor vehicle an artificial light upon any game mammal, predatory animal or livestock while there is in the possession or in the immediate physical presence of the person a weapon with which the game mammal, predatory animal or livestock could be killed.

    (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person who casts artificial light upon a game mammal, predatory animal or livestock:

    (a) From the headlights of a motor vehicle that is being operated on a road in the usual manner, if that person makes no attempt to kill the game mammal or livestock; or

    (b) When the weapon that person has in the possession or immediate physical presence of the person is disassembled or stored, or in the trunk or storage compartment of a motor vehicle; or

    (c) On land owned or lawfully occupied by that person; or

    (d) On publicly owned land when that person has an agreement with the public body to use that property.

    (3) As used in this section, "predatory animal" has the meaning for that term provided in ORS 610.002 ("Predatory animals" defined). [1973 c.542 §2; 1975 c.791 §2]

    This clearly states that if you are in possession of the land as an agent defined by the Department of Agriculture you are allowed to use a spotlight on said property private or public.

    ors 610.002¹
    "Predatory animals" defined

    As used in this chapter, "predatory animal" or "predatory animals" includes feral swine as defined by State Department of Agriculture rule, coyotes, rabbits, rodents and birds that are or may be destructive to agricultural crops, products and activities, but excluding game birds and other birds determined by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to be in need of protection. [1959 c.240 §2; 1971 c.658 §29; 1977 c.136 §4; subsection (2) of 610.002 ("Predatory animals" defined) renumbered 610.003 (Bobcat and red fox control permitted); 1979 c.399 §2; 2001 c.125 §2]

    This clearly defines what you can spotlight.

    ORS 498.012¹
    Taking wildlife causing damage, posing public health risk or that is public nuisance

    (1) Nothing in the wildlife laws is intended to prevent any person from taking any wildlife that is causing damage, is a public nuisance or poses a public health risk on land that the person owns or lawfully occupies. However, no person shall take, pursuant to this subsection, at a time or under circumstances when such taking is prohibited by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission, any game mammal or game bird, fur-bearing mammal or nongame wildlife species, unless the person first obtains a permit for such taking from the commission.

    (2)(a) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section requires a permit for the taking of cougar, bobcat, red fox or bear pursuant to that subsection. However, any person who takes a cougar, bobcat, red fox or bear must have in possession written authority therefor from the landowner or lawful occupant of the land that complies with subsection (4) of this section.

    (b) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section requires the commission to issue a permit for the taking of any wildlife species for which a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit is required pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. §§703 to 711), as amended.

    (3) Any person who takes, pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, any cougar, bobcat, red fox, bear, game mammal, game bird, fur-bearing mammal or wildlife species whose survival the commission determines is endangered shall immediately report the taking to a person authorized to enforce the wildlife laws, and shall dispose of the wildlife in such manner as the commission directs. In determining procedures for disposal of bear and cougar, the commission shall direct the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to first offer the animal to the landowner incurring the damage.

    (4) The written authority from the landowner or lawful occupant of the land required by subsection (2) of this section for the taking of cougar, bobcat, red fox or bear must set forth all of the following:

    (a) The date of issuance of the authorization;

    (b) The name, address, telephone number and signature of the person granting the authorization;

    (c) The name, address and telephone number of the person to whom the authorization is granted;

    (d) The wildlife damage control activities to be conducted, whether for bear, cougar, red fox or bobcat; and

    (e) The expiration date of the authorization, which shall be not later than one year from the date of issuance of the authorization.

    (5) Any regional office of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife ordering the disposal of an animal under subsection (3) of this section shall file a report with the State Fish and Wildlife Director within 30 days after the disposal. The report shall include but need not be limited to the loss incurred, the financial impact and the disposition of the animal. The director shall compile all reports received under this subsection on a bimonthly basis. The reports compiled by the director shall be available to the public upon request.

    (6) As used in this section:

    (a) "Damage" means loss of or harm inflicted on land, livestock or agricultural or forest crops.

    (b) "Nongame wildlife" has the meaning given that term in ORS 496.375 ("Nongame wildlife" defined).

    (c) "Public nuisance" means loss of or harm inflicted on gardens, ornamental plants, ornamental trees, pets, vehicles, boats, structures or other personal property. [1973 c.723 §75; 1977 c.136 §2; 1979 c.399 §3; 1985 c.332 §1; 1985 c.489 §1a; 1999 c.531 §1; 2003 c.248 §1]

    Here it clearly stats that nothing in the game laws is to prevent you from harvesting damage control animals. Meaning throw the regs out the window.

    Hopefully this clears up any confusion, Over spotlighting. In a previous post it was stated that the laws are contradictory. I can not find where this is true.
     
  2. sagerat-shooter

    sagerat-shooter Coquille, OR Member

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    Pretty straight forward to me.
     
  3. OEDub

    OEDub SW OR Coast Active Member

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    Game mammals may only be hunted from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. Just because a specific ORS does not prevent an individual from doing something doesn't mean that you can "throw the regs out the window" ;) Remember...ODFW has its own rules & regulations aside from what the voters & legislators create that are just as much "law" as far as game violations go. Once you purchase your license/tag & sign your name you are obligating yourself to those rules & regulations. I understand that there are exemptions (with permits), but your average Joe cannot expect to just obtain an LOP tag and think they are automatically exempt from spotlighting an elk without additional permits.

    Examples of the difference:
    Voters enacted law to ban the use of dogs for hunting bear & cougar
    ODFW restricts bull elk harvest for the Tioga Unit to 3pt+

    Breaking either of these will get you into trouble.
     
  4. TJdamon

    TJdamon Gladstone Member

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    So, say I walk into a field atleast 501ft away from my truck and spotlight coyotes, is that legal?
     
  5. Twodogs

    Twodogs portland Or Active Member

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    TJ not on public land only on private land with note from land owner.
     
  6. TJdamon

    TJdamon Gladstone Member

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    I dont see where it states not on Public land if you are past the 500 ft boundary of a vehicle.



    What oregon law states is
    ORS 498-146
    Shining artificial light on game mammal, predatory animal or livestock while in or near motor vehicle and while in possession of weapon restricted

    (1) No person shall cast from a motor vehicle or from within 500 feet of a motor vehicle an artificial light upon any game mammal, predatory animal or livestock while there is in the possession or in the immediate physical presence of the person a weapon with which the game mammal, predatory animal or livestock could be killed.

    (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person who casts artificial light upon a game mammal, predatory animal or livestock:

    (a) From the headlights of a motor vehicle that is being operated on a road in the usual manner, if that person makes no attempt to kill the game mammal or livestock; or

    (b) When the weapon that person has in the possession or immediate physical presence of the person is disassembled or stored, or in the trunk or storage compartment of a motor vehicle; or

    (c) On land owned or lawfully occupied by that person; or

    (d) On publicly owned land when that person has an agreement with the public body to use that property.