General Hunting Provisions for Hunting Game Mammals
- Fully automatic firearms prohibited.
- Semiautomatic rifles with a magazine capacity greater than five cartridges prohibited (except for western gray squirrel).
- Military or full-metal jacket bullets in original or altered form prohibited.
- Hunters may use any muzzleloader with any ignition type, except matchlock, any legal sight, any propellant, or any bullet type during centerfire firearm seasons, provided the weapon meets caliber restriction for the species.
- Shotgun is a smooth bore firearm, designed for firing bird shot and intended to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel length of 18 inches or more and with an overall length of 26 inches or more.
- Shotguns equipped with rifled slug barrels are considered shotguns when used for hunting pronghorn antelope, bear, cougar, deer, or elk when centerfire rifles or shotguns are legal weapons.
- Broadhead blades must be fixed, unbarbed and at least 7/8” wide (except for western gray squirrel). It is illegal to hunt with or possess mechanical or moveable blade broadheads when hunting game mammals, except western gray squirrel.
- No device secured to or supported by a bow may be used to maintain the bow at full draw.
- No electronic devices may be attached to bow or arrow, except lighted arrow nocks that have no function other than to increase visibility of the arrow are allowed.
- No device that supports or guides the arrow from a point rearward of the bow string when the bow is at rest (undrawn) may be secured to or supported by a bow’s riser. Overdraws meeting this restriction are legal during archery seasons.
- Scopes (permanent and detachable), and sights that use batteries, artificial light or energy are not allowed during muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only, except for visually impaired hunters who have a visual acuity of ≤ 20/200 with lenses or visual field of ≤ 20 degrees (a permit is required. Open and peep sights made from alloys, plastic, or other materials that do not have the properties described above are legal sights. Fiber optics and fluorescent paint incorporated into or on open or iron sights are legal.
- During muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only, it is illegal to hunt with jacketed bullets, sabots, and bullets with plastic or synthetic tips or bases. Only the following projectile/bullet types are allowed: a) Round balls made of lead, lead alloy, or federally-approved nontoxic shot material, used with cloth, paper or felt patches; (b) Conical bullets made of lead, lead alloy, or federally-approved nontoxic shot material, with a length that does not exceed twice the diameter; (c) Lead free copper conical bullets with a length that does not exceed twice the diameter.
- It is illegal to hunt with centerfire primers as an ignition source during muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only.
- It is illegal to hunt with pelletized powders or propellants during muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only. Granular (loose) black powder and black powder substitutes are the only legal propellants during muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only.
- No other firearm may be used for hunting during a muzzleloader-only season.
- Muzzleloading firearms with revolving actions are prohibited during muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only.
- For muzzleloader-only seasons and 600 series hunts where there is a weapon restriction of shotgun/muzzleloader only or archery/muzzleloader only, the muzzleloader must have an open ignition.
- Game mammals may only be hunted from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
- Neither landowners nor their agents need a permit from ODFW to spotlight predatory animals (as defined in ORS 610.002) on land they own or lawfully occupy. ODA has authority to define “agent” for purposes of the predatory animal statute. Written documentation is not required. (Predatory Animals means coyotes, rabbits, rodents and feral swine which are or may be destructive to agricultural crops.)
- Except for purposes of law enforcement or wildlife management, the use of decoys with moving parts is prohibited for all big game species. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, decoys with parts that are powered by a motor, battery, human action (for example, cable or pull-string), or the wind. Flexible or adjustable parts that permit placement or adjustment of a decoy but do not otherwise move do not constitute “moving parts”. This rule is intended to ban decoys that attract wildlife via movement.
No Person Shall:
- Hunt any wildlife from a motor-propelled vehicle. Exceptions: 1) A qualified disabled hunter may obtain an “Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit” to hunt from a motor-propelled vehicle except while the vehicle is in motion or on any public Rd or Hwy, or within Cooperative Travel Management Areas. 2) Landowners and their agents can shoot predatory animals from motorized vehicles on land they own or lawfully occupy.
- Hunt within eight hours of communicating with or receiving information on the location of game mammals from a manned aircraft.
- Use drones for the following purposes related to the pursuit of wildlife:
- Hunting, trapping, or angling.
- Aiding hunting, trapping, or angling through the use of drones to harass, track, locate or scout wildlife.
- Interfering in the acts of a person who is lawfully hunting, trapping or angling.
- Hunt within 8 hours after having been transported by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to any point other than an established airport adequate for fixed-wing aircraft.
- Shoot at pronghorn antelope from a point within 50 yards of a motor-propelled vehicle, including aircraft.
Exception: A qualified disabled hunter may obtain an “Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit” to hunt from a motor vehicle except while the vehicle is in motion or on any public Rd or Hwy, or within Cooperative Travel Management Areas.
- Hunt or harass animals from snowmobile, ATV, or passenger vehicles.
- (1) Operate a snowmobile or ATV while carrying a firearm or a bow unless the firearm is unloaded, or with a bow, unless all arrows are in a quiver. (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person who is licensed under ORD 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun. (3) As used in this section, “unloaded” means: (a) If the firearm is a revolver, that there is no live cartridge in the chamber that is aligned with the hammer of the revolver; (b) if the firearm is a muzzle-loading firearm, that the firearm is not capped or primed; or (c) If the firearm is other than a revolver or a muzzle-loading firearm, that there is no live cartridge in the chamber.(Violation of ORS 821.240 is a Class B traffic violation).
- Cast an artificial light from a motor vehicle while in possession of a weapon; or cast an artificial light upon a game mammal, predatory animal, or livestock from within 500 feet of a motor vehicle while in possession of a weapon. Exception: Landowners or their agents hunting predatory animals on land they own or lawfully occupy.
Disguising Sex, Waste, Sale
No Person Shall:
- Disguise the sex or kind of any wildlife while in the field or in transit from the field.
- Possess the meat or carcass of any deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, or Rocky Mtn goat without evidence of sex while in the field, forest, or in transit on any of the hwys or premises open to the public in Oregon, except processed or cut and wrapped meat.
- Evidence of sex for deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, or Rocky Mountain goat is:
Option 1- Either the animal’s scalp which shall include the attached eyes and ears if animal is female; or ears, antlers or horns, and eyes if the animal is male; or
Option 2 – reproductive organs (testicles, scrotum, or penis, if male; vulva or udder (mammary), if female) naturally attached to one quarter of the carcass or to another major portion of meat.
Applies to option 2 only:
* For Hunts with Antler or Horn Restrictions: if the head is not attached to the carcass, in addition to leaving the testicles, scrotum, or penis naturally attached to one quarter of the carcass or to another major portion of meat, the head or skull plate with both antlers or horns naturally attached shall accompany the carcass or major portions of meat.
* For White-tailed Deer Only Hunts and for Mule Deer Only Hunts: in addition to evidence of sex, (testicles, scrotum, penis, vulva, udder, mammary), either the head or tail shall remain naturally attached to one quarter of the carcass or to another major portion of meat as evidence of the species taken.
- Waste any game mammals or edible portions thereof, except that meat of cougar need not be salvaged. See definition on page 95.
- Sell, trade, barter, exchange, or offer for sale, trade, barter, or exchange, any game mammal or parts thereof except as identified in Oregon Administrative Rule 635, Division 200. If you have questions relative to the sale of wildlife parts, or would like a copy of Division 200 please call your local ODFW office.
No Person Shall:
- Shoot from or across a public Rd, Rd right-of-way or railroad right-of-way, except that persons legally hunting on closed Rds within Cooperative Travel Management Areas are not violating current prohibitions on shooting from or across a public Rd. The same is true for other Rds closed to use of motor vehicles by the public.
- Hunt for or kill any wildlife for another person. Exceptions: a) a visually impaired hunter may obtain an “Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit” which allows a sighted person to assist the permit holder. The accompanying person must have a valid Oregon hunting license and can assist the permit holder by: selecting a game mammal or game bird, aiming the firearm, advising the hunter when to shoot, or shooting a game mammal or game bird on behalf of the hunter. b) an able-bodied companion may accompany any person with an “Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit” and kill any animal wounded by the permit holder. The wounded animal must be killed using a legal weapon for the season and species designated on the tag. That companion must immediately attach the permit holder’s tag to the carcass of the animal. A companion dispatching a wounded animal is not required to possess a hunting license or tag. c) See odfw.com/education/mentored_youth for Mentored Youth Hunter Program exceptions.
- Hunt any game mammal with dogs, Except western gray squirrel.
- Use an artificial light for hunting any wildlife, except raccoon, bobcat and opossum provided the light is not cast from or attached to a motor vehicle. This includes laser sights or any other sights which project a beam to the target. This does not include battery operated sights which only light the reticle.
- Hunt any wildlife with infrared or any other night vision sight.
- Take game mammals with trap or snare.
- Use any poisoning, immobilizing, or tranquilizing drug or chemical to hunt or kill any game mammal.
No Person Shall:
- Hunt on cultivated or enclosed land of another without permission. Enclosed land may be bounded by a fence, ditch, water, or any other line indicating separation from surrounding territory. In addition, be aware that under ORS 105.700 you can be liable to the landowner for civil restitution if you trespass on land that has been posted. Refer to the above statute for options landowners may use to post their land.
No Person Shall:
- Hunt with a centerfire or muzzleloading rifle without a valid used or unused deer or elk tag for that time period and area on your person (see exceptions) during: standard Eastern Oregon controlled buck deer centerfire firearm season (Sept. 30 – Oct. 11), Cascade bull elk centerfire firearm season (Oct. 14 –Oct. 20), Coast bull elk 1st and 2nd centerfire firearm seasons, Rocky Mt bull elk or either sex centerfire firearm seasons, or the standard Rocky Mt antlerless elk centerfire firearm seasons (Nov. 18 – Nov. 26). This does not include the controlled W High Cascade (119A) or Hood White Rvr (141A) buck hunts.
Exceptions: (1) Hunters who have a tag for one of the hunts listed above, or a valid tag for another game mammal controlled hunt that includes all or a portion of the time period and area of the above hunts, may hunt as authorized by that tag and may continue to hunt bear and/or cougar within the time period and area for which their tag is valid (used or unused) provided they have a valid, unused bear and/or cougar tag; used tags must be on the tagged animal and not on the hunters person. (2) Hunters are not required to have an elk tag to hunt bear or cougar in the Applegate WMU during elk seasons. (3)Landowners, or their agent, hunting predators on lands they own or lease may use centerfire or muzzleloading firearms to hunt on such lands; (4) Hunters may use .22 caliber or smaller centerfire firearms for hunting coyotes in Juniper, Beatys Butte, Whitehorse and Owyhee Units, in Wagontire Unit south of Lk Co Rd 5-14 and those portions of the Beulah Unit in Malheur and Baker Cos. during Rocky Mt bull or either-sex elk centerfire firearm seasons. Legal .22 caliber centerfire firearms include common cartridges such as .222, .223, .22-250, .220 Swift and others less than .23 caliber.
- Hunt on any refuge closed by state or federal government.
- Hunt within corporate limits of any city or town; public park or cemetery; or on any campus or grounds of a public school, college, or university or from a public Rd, Rd right-of-way, or railroad right-of-way.
- Hunt game mammals outside any area designated by a controlled hunt tag when such tag is required for that season.
- Take or attempt to take any game mammals or any protected wildlife species of any size or sex or amount, by any method or weapon, during a time or in any area not prescribed in these rules.
No Person Shall:
- Hunt in any Safety Zones created and posted by ODFW.
- Take or hold in captivity any game mammal.
- Hold in captivity any wildlife of this state for which a permit is required without first securing a permit.
- Release without a permit any wildlife brought from another state or country, or raised in captivity in this state.
- Resist game enforcement officers.
- Refuse inspection of any license, tag, or permit by an employee of ODFW, any person authorized to enforce wildlife laws, or a landowner or agent of the landowner on their land.
- Refuse inspection of any gear used for the purpose of taking wildlife by an employee of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, or any person authorized to enforce wildlife laws.
- Hunt protected wildlife.
- Operate or be transported in a motor-propelled vehicle including aircraft not landing on designated air strips in violation of Cooperative Travel Management Area restrictions.
- Disturb or remove traps or snares of any licensed trapper while that person is trapping on public lands or on other land by landowner’s permission.
- Take furbearers, except in compliance with furbearing mammal regulations.
- Disturb, damage, remove, alter, or possess any official ODFW signs.
- Possess the horns of bighorn sheep that were not taken legally during an authorized season.
- Sell, lend, or borrow any big game tags.
- Knowingly provide false information to the Department or Commission on any report required by law.
Tagging, Possession and Transportation
- The owner of a game mammal tag that kills a game mammal for which a tag is issued, shall immediately remove in its entirety only the month and day of kill and attach the tag in plain sight securely to the game mammal. The tag shall be kept attached to such carcass or remain with any parts thereof so long as the same are preserved.
- No person shall have in possession any game mammal tag from which all or part of any date has been removed or mutilated except when the tag is legally validated and attached to a game mammal.
- When a game mammal or part thereof is transferred to the possession of another person, including a meat processor or taxidermist, a written record describing the game mammal or part being transferred and name and address of the person whose tag was originally attached to the carcass and the number of that tag shall accompany such transfer and shall remain with such game mammal or part so long as the same is preserved (see Wildlife Transfer Record Form form on page 84). The original tag should remain with the portion of the animal retained by the hunter.
- All game mammals in possession in the field or forest or in transit more than 48 hours after the close of the open season for such mammal must be tagged by ODFW or Oregon State Police.
- All game mammals or portions thereof shipped by commercial carrier must be tagged by ODFW or Oregon State Police.
- No person shall receive or have in possession any game mammal or part thereof which: (1) is not properly tagged; (2) was taken in violation of any wildlife laws or regulations; or (3) was taken by any person who is or may be exempt from jurisdiction of such laws or regulations.
- No person shall possess or transport any game mammal or part thereof, which has been illegally killed, found or killed for humane reasons, except shed antlers, unless they have notified and received permission from personnel of the Oregon State Police or ODFW prior to transporting.
- Any person who counsels, aids or assists in any violation of the wildlife laws, or shares in any of the proceeds of such violation by receiving or possessing any wildlife, shall incur the penalties provided for the person guilty of such violation.
Except for the following parts, no person shall import a cervid carcass or parts of a cervid carcass if the cervid was killed in a state or province with a documented case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):
- Meat that is cut and wrapped commercially or privately;
- Meat that has been boned out;
- Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
- Hides and/or capes with no head attached;
- Skull plates with antlers attached that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue (velvet antlers are allowed);
- Antlers with no tissue attached (velvet antlers are allowed);
- Upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers, ivories);
- Finished taxidermy heads.
- States or provinces with a documented case of CWD are Alberta, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Utah, Virginia, and Saskatchewan.
The department shall add by temporary rule any additional states or provinces when any new cases of CWD arise.
- Illegal parts of a cervid carcass brought into Oregon will be confiscated.
- Persons may be subject to paying for appropriate disposal of the illegal parts.
No person younger than 18 years of age shall hunt with any firearm for any game mammal or upland game bird (excluding turkey) unless the person is wearing in a manner visible from all directions a hat or exterior garment of hunter orange. “Exterior garment” means a shirt, jacket, coat, vest, or sweater. Hunter orange camouflage patterns are acceptable. “Hat” means any head covering.