Nearly 50 percent of hunters and anglers in Oregon are using e-tagging. Instead of carrying a paper tag, they can tag fish and wildlife on their phone using the MyODFW app.
Major fall hunting seasons are about to begin in Oregon and fall salmon seasons are also underway. Oregon State Police and ODFW are seeing some issues with e-taggers and share the following reminders:
Download the MyODFW app. This is what lets you tag when out of cell reception.
Login to the app before fishing or hunting (when you have good internet service) and be sure your licenses and tags are in your portfolio. The app keeps you logged in when in the field.
Buy your big game tag or redeem your SportsPac voucher by the deadline (the day before the season begins). OSP regularly encounters hunters who have failed to ever pick up their tag, which results in them forfeiting their meat and can lead to a citation.
If you are in an area with poor cell service, toggle your MyODFW app to offline mode (under Settings). Using the app's offline mode also helps when using peripherals like GPS, fish finders or cameras that use your WiFi connection. You can also put your phone in Airplane mode to make e-tagging easier.
Immediately tag your fish or animal after harvest (by pressing "Validate" on your big game tag or "Add Harvest" on a combined angling tag) and enter required information properly. OSP regularly sees hunters and anglers who fail to immediately tag. There is no excuse because the MyODFW app lets you tag when offline.
Keep your phone charged. It's your responsibility to be able to show your license and tag to OSP. So carry a portable charger, put your phone in airplane mode, or do what you need to do to conserve battery life.
If tagging a fish – be sure to use the right location code. Don't tag an ocean harvested salmon in a coastal river system, for example.
"It's important to remind hunters they are required to have in possession a big game tag, either electronic or paper, for the dates, area and species being hunted," says Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Captain Casey Thomas. "To avoid any issues in the field and the possibility of enforcement action, make sure your application is downloaded, and all necessary documents are in your portfolio.
"If you have any questions, please reach out to us or ODFW before your hunt, so we can help ensure you have what is required before you hit the field or leave cell phone connectivity," Captain Thomas added. See the e-tagging tips page for more information.