Pete Heley Outdoors 1/22/2014

As we get farther into the new year – and the number of 2014 fishing and hunting licenses continues to grow, many of the license-buying public continue to make the same mistakes.

Here are a few ways to make these transactions smoother.

(1) – Use your computer-generated previous year’s license to purchase this year’s license. Make sure the barcode is in good enough condition to be scanned – and don’t waste time searching for the exact previous year’s match to the license you are purchasing as any of your ODFW computer-generated license or tag with a scannable barcode will suffice.

(2) – Women need to quit thinking  that the ODFW  is keeping track of their marriages and subsequent name changes. They’re not and the only way to successively look up a would-be license purchaser is to enter information that exactly matches the information in the ODFW licensing system.

(3) – Be aware that in order to purchase a yearly ODFW-generated license, one’s social security number must be in the system.The SSN is not required to purchase short term licenses. Youngsters under 14 years of age are exempt from needing to enter their SSN to purchase yearly licenses – but considerable grief occurs each year as young people reach 14 years of age and cannot remember their social security numbers.

(4) – Stop thinking that because you have property in more than one state that you are a resident of each state. That thinking is from the distant past. If you want to pay resident rates for an Oregon ODFW-generated license or tag – show me a current Oregon drivers license.I am amazed by how many people tell me they are an Oregon resident and then flop down a driver’s license from another state. If I helped perpetuate this deceitful practice, I am putting myself at financial risk and the last person I heard was ticketed because their drivers license and resident fishing license did not match, received a ticket for more than $400.

(5) – If you have a “free” combination license, such as a pioneer license or a disability-based license, please remember that in order to purchase any fishing or hunting tags, such licenses need to be updated. A good strategy is to place any permanent card you receive in a safe place and then forget about it. If someone wants to see your license, show them your yearly update. It’s actually what they want to look at anyway.

(6) – If you are thinking of purchasing an Oregon fishing or hunting license for the first time, make sure that the name that you enter is the same as the name on your drivers license or ID card. While nicknames can sound “cool”, they can cause considerable grief when a license vendor tries to look you up to purchase  other ODFW licenses and tags.

And please remember that while you may be in the “system”, I still need something – preferably an old license or tag with a good barcode or a drivers license to look you up.

As for fishing in our area, the Umpqua River contnues to offer the best steelhead fishing with two important caveats – (1) you really need a boat and (2) almost every steelhead you catch will be a non fincliiped fish that must be promptly released. While most area streams are only one good rain away from offering much improved steelhead fishing, the South Fork Coquille offered some good fishing last week.

Other fishing options for our area include fishing the South Jetty/Triangle area with sand shrimp for bottomfish, area beaches for pinkfin perch in the surf or Tenmile Lakes with nightcrawlers or meal worms for mostly smaller yellow perch.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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