‘It’s scary’: Bend hunter worries about shared hunting and recreational lands
(Update: added video, hunter comments)
Experienced hunter concerned about overlapping recreation areas
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Deer hunting season started on Saturday and Dee Neff was out all weekend in the Deschutes National Forest hunting for money. Neff was born and raised in Bend, and says she relies on hunting to put food on the table.
While she enjoys the hunting season, she worries about people recreating themselves in the same area.
“We know we all have to play in the same sandbox, but my concern is that we are carrying guns at high speed,” Neff told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday.
Neff and his family hunt in an area known as the Upper Deschutes Unit. This area stretches for hundreds of kilometers from Sisters to Klamath County. As this area is a public domain, it overlaps with recreational areas.
“I saw how close these motorcyclists are, and how close these mountain bikers are, and it’s scary – it scares me,” Neff said.
ODFW, Forest Service, and BLM all provide maps of public lands, but none show the overlap, which Neff believes is a solution.
“We have to be able to look at our hobbies and our hunting maps and shape them, and realize where we overlap in our same areas,” she said.
There are hunting rules according to which a person cannot shoot within 150 meters of a developed recreational site. But the other areas are what scares Neff the most.
“Every hunter knows not to pull the trigger before you see the horns,” she said. “But there are ricochets, there are missed shots. They just don’t realize they’re a possible duck passing by.” Neff added.
It’s up to everyone to find out about the areas in which they hunt or play.
Jean Nelson-Dean, public information officer for Deschutes National Forest, says people should research the areas they plan to visit.
“To keep it simple, know before you go,” she said.
Nelson-Dean says people should follow travel management rules and check fire restrictions and regulations on public lands.