Commission Approves Changes for Disabled Hunter Program

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The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved several changes to the state program that governs hunting by permanently disabled Oregonians.

The number of hunters using the Permanent Disability Permit Program rose dramatically – from approximately 600 hunters in 1999 to more than 17,500 hunters in 2004. The Commission last October called for a special committee to study the program and offer recommendations.

The commission approved several changes today in an effort to clarify rules pertaining to the permit process, better define portions of the PDP qualifications and provide law enforcement with clearer rules.

The changes include development of a more comprehensive application form to be completed by the applicant’s physician and a requirement to renew the permit every two years. Additionally rules were changed to better define “brace” and change the name of the program to “Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit,” which allows permit holders to discharge firearms from an off-road vehicle.

“Everyone agrees that it is important to provide opportunities for disabled hunters,” said Commission Chair Marla Rae. “The Commission and ODFW remain committed to encouraging people with disabilities to participate in big game hunting, fishing and other ODFW-sponsored activities with their family and friends.”

The Commission is the policy making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The next regular meeting of the Commission is Jan. 6 in Salem.