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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Opens Waterfowl Hunting 
at Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Siletz Bay Wildlife Refuge USFW opening it to hunting waterfowl.

Siletz Bay Wildlife Refuge
USFW opening it to hunting waterfowl.

From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
USFW sent out a corrected set of dates

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is providing an opportunity for hunters to harvest waterfowl on a portion of Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). “Waterfowl hunting has been not been offered on any part of Siletz Bay Refuge since it was established in 1991, but now we are opening 199 acres to this wildlife-dependent opportunity which helps fulfill refuge objectives developed as part of the Siletz Bay Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan,” stated Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Specifically, the Service will begin allowing hunting of ducks, geese and coots October seven days per week on refuge-owned lands that are west of Highway 101. These lands consist of 80 acres of salt marsh where the Siletz River empties into the bay. All waterfowl hunting will follow state seasons, with duck and coot season beginning October 11 and goose hunting on October 18. A previous version of the news release stated an incorrect opening date for waterfowl hunting seasons. Waterfowl hunting has occurred on the state-owned tidelands of Siletz Bay west of U.S Highway 101 for many decades. The tidelands are managed by the Oregon Division of State Lands and are legally open to hunting so long as the hunter remains 200 yards or more from the shoreline/road. The Service has established a 100-yard safety zone to prohibit hunting on refuge property that extends westward from the refuge property line on the west side of the housing development of Siletz Keys.

The Service will allow the hunting of waterfowl three days per week on 119 acres of refuge lands that are east of Highway 101 and south of Millport Slough. Specifically, hunters will be allowed to hunt ducks, geese, and coots on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Hunters accessing lands east of U.S. Highway 101 and south of Millport Slough will access the site by using a small parking area and trail located on South Millport Slough Road or by boat. In the future, the existing parking area and trail will be improved by the Service to support waterfowl hunting. To minimize potential conflict between refuge users and reduce associated safety issues, lands south of Millport Slough that are open to waterfowl hunting will remain closed to wildlife observation, photography, and interpretation. Hunters accessing lands west of U.S. Highway 101 via foot will be directed to use caution since no parking or official access point will be provided by the Refuge.

State hunting license requirements apply to waterfowl and coot hunting on the Refuge. Refuge regulations prohibit the construction of permanent blinds on any portion of the Refuge; however, hunters may use portable blinds or build temporary blinds from on-site dead vegetation or driftwood. Temporary blinds and decoys must be removed from the Refuge following each day’s hunt, and only federally approved non-toxic shot may be transported and used on the Refuge. Hunters can access refuge lands two hours before sunrise and up to one hour after sunset. The 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations can be reviewed at www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl. For more information or to view a map of the areas open to hunting visit the Siletz Bay Refuge website (www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/siletzbay/index.htm) or call the Refuge Manager at (541) 867-4550.

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