SALEM, Ore. - Maybe it’s a work friend who has never been hunting but is curious about the sport — or your spouse, who wants to experience your weekends during the fall hunting season. Or it’s an old friend who hasn’t made time to hunt in years, because they don’t have anyone to go with.
For veteran hunters who want to pass on their passion for the outdoors, this is the year to take that friend hunting—and enter to win a prize for your efforts.
ODFW is hosting the new “Take a Friend Hunting” Contest to encourage friends and family members to enjoy time together in the outdoors this year.
Adult hunters who mentor other new or lapsed adult hunters can enter to win prizes, including a 2018 statewide deer tag (pending Fish and Wildlife Commission approval), a Leupold rifle scope valued at $690, an Eberlestock M5 Team Elk Pack valued at $329, and more.
To be eligible for the contest, both the experienced hunter (mentor) and the new or lapsed hunter (mentee) must have a valid 2017 Oregon hunting license and be age 18 or older. New or returning hunters are those who have never purchased an Oregon hunting license, purchased for the first time in 2016, or have not purchased since 2012.
"Learning to hunt can be challenging for adults who didn’t grow up hunting,” said Chris Willard, ODFW recruitment and retention coordinator. “Mentoring by a friend or relative is a great way for those interested in hunting to get started.
“This year step up and take a friend hunting. Or, if you've never hunted and would like to learn how, ask a friend who hunts to take you along,” Willard added. “Either way, take advantage of Oregon's tremendous hunting opportunities and the chance to enjoy the outdoors with friends.”
Unlike the ODFW Youth Mentor Program, the Take a Friend Hunting contest is for adults only, and each person must hunt on their own license and tag. All types of hunting (big game, waterfowl, upland bird, predator) qualify, as long as they are legal, ethical and safe.
Mentees who want to go big game hunting but did not draw a controlled hunt tag are welcome to join the mentor’s hunt (or vice versa). But the person without a tag may not carry a rifle or bow or take a shot at the big game animal with their friend’s weapon.
Participants need to register for the contest at www.oregonhunter.info/ no later than Dec. 31, 2017. Both mentor and mentee will be provided with safety guidelines to review, and must commit to having already mentored or plan to in 2017. For the full eligibility and contest rules, visit the contest page at http://www.oregonhunter.info/take-a-friend/.
While both parties need to register and provide a Hunter/Angler ID#, the mentor will win the prize. Winners will be notified in January 2018. The list of partner prizes is growing as organizations and manufacturers jump on board with these efforts encouraging new hunters. See the list of prizes at http://www.oregonhunter.info/prizes/.
The Take a Friend Hunting Contest is part of ODFW efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of hunting among Oregonians and encourage more participation in the sport. Through their purchase of hunting licenses and equipment, hunters fund wildlife management, research, habitat restoration and other work that benefits both game species and wildlife species that aren’t hunted. Visit www.oregonhuntiner.info to learn more.