LAST EDITED ON Jan-25-17 AT 02:46 PM (MST)
I would say a lot of it revolves around money. They can't drop tag numbers because of money, they can't feed because of money, the can't do a lot of practical habitat/water/invasive species/law enforcement work because of money. Cougars are a great example of how this has played out, before dogs were banned, people would buy cougar tags and would hunt cougars very successfully and keep the population under control, benefiting the deer and elk herds and allowing ODFW to put a lot more money to other things. Now, the cougars have knocked down deer populations lowering the tags that can be sold,(though it's not as low as it should be) and requiring that ODFW pay tens of thousands of dollars to trappers to kill off cougars in focus units like the Steens. So less income from deer tags and higher expenses for cougar control is like a cut both ways, like you took and 50% pay cut at work and your rent doubled in the same week.
Solution? Raise prices for some of the lowest quality tags in the West. Result? More residents and non-residents giving up on Oregon, dropping revenue even more.
I think the reality is that the majority of ODFW's funding needs to come from outside of tag sales (taxes, etc.) However, how do you think this pitch would fly in the Oregon legislature: We need more money so that we can improve deer and elk herd health so more people can have better hunting opportunities.
I wish there was something we could do, but we're stuck! It feels like shooting a few coyotes, buying a cougar tag and cutting a few juniper is not really enough to make a difference.