General Hunting Regulations
Game mammals may only be hunted from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
The use of decoys with moving parts is prohibited for 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”.
It is unlawful to:
- Hunt or harass any wildlife from a motor-propelled vehicle.
- 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:
- 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.
- Operate or be transported in a motor-propelled vehicle in violation of a Cooperative Travel Management Area restriction. This includes aircraft, except for those landing on a designated air strip.
- Operate a snowmobile or ATV while carrying a firearm or bow. Firearms and bows must be unloaded except for the following circumstances:
- A person who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Oregon
- A current or honorably retired law enforcement officer
For this regulation “unloaded” means:
- Revolver – no live cartridge in the chamber that is aligned with the hammer
- Muzzleloader – not capped or primed
- Bow – all arrows in the quiver
- All Other Firearms – no live cartridge in the chamber
See ORS 821.240 for complete statute language.
- 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.
It is unlawful to:
- Hunt or shoot from or across a public Rd, Rd right-of-way or railroad right-of-way, except persons legally hunting on Rds closed to use of motor vehicles by the public.
- Hunt for or kill any wildlife for another person.
- Hunt any game mammal with dogs, except western gray squirrel.
- Hunt any wildlife with infrared or any other night vision sights.
- 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.
- Take game mammals with trap or snare.
- Use any poisoning, immobilizing, or tranquilizing drug or chemical to hunt or kill any game mammal.
It is unlawful to hunt on private property without permission from the landowner. See ORS 105.700 and 498.120.
The duty to retrieve and to not waste does not justify otherwise criminal conduct including but not limited to trespass.
It is unlawful to:
- 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. 29 – Oct. 10), Cascade bull elk centerfire firearm season (Oct. 13 –Oct. 19), 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. 17 – Nov. 25). 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 predatory animals 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.
- Hunt game mammals outside any area designated by a controlled hunt tag when such tag is required for that season.
It is unlawful to:
- Refuse inspection of any license, tag, or permit, and any wildlife taken, 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.
- 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.
- Disturb, damage, remove, alter, or possess any official ODFW signs.
- Knowingly provide false information to the Department or Commission on any report required by law.
- Counsel, aid or assist in any violation of the wildlife laws, or share in any of the proceeds of such violation by receiving or possessing any wildlife. Any person who violates this rule shall incur the penalties provided for the person guilty of such violation.
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.
Disguising Sex, Waste, Sale
It is unlawful to:
- 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. The duty to retrieve and to not waste does not justify otherwise criminal conduct including but not limited to trespass.
- 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.
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. 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.
- No person shall possess the horns of bighorn sheep that were not taken legally during an authorized season.
- No person shall sell, lend, or borrow any big game tags.
No person shall import all or parts of a cervid (deer/elk family) carcass if the cervid was killed in one of the states or provinces shown below with a documented case of Chronic Wasting Disease. Common cervid species include deer, elk, moose, and caribou.
The following parts are allowed:
- 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;
- Antlers (including velvet antlers) with no tissue attached;
- Upper canine teeth (i.e. buglers, whistlers, ivories);
- Finished Taxidermy heads.
Illegal parts brought into Oregon will be confiscated and persons may be liable for disposal expenses.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
The most important wildlife disease in North America, CWD, is a 100% fatal, infectious, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of deer, elk, and moose. The disease has not been detected in Oregon. In areas where this neurological disease occurs, it is spread by nose to nose contact between animals and through urine, feces and saliva infecting soils and habitats. CWD remains in the soil for an unknown number of years, continuing to infect animals that use infected sites.
If you plan on hunting outside of Oregon in areas with a documented case of CWD the importation of a cervid carcass or parts of a cervid carcass with brain or spinal column tissue is prohibited. “Parts Ban” regulations including a list of states and provinces where CWD has been found are shown on the map below.
Although CWD has not been documented in humans, public health and wildlife officials advise hunters to take precautions when pursuing or handling deer, elk, and moose that may have been exposed to CWD. Basic precautions include:
- Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing animals
- Bone out the meat, do not saw through the brain or bone, especially the backbone
- Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues
- Avoid consuming the meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.
If you will be hunting in an area where CWD may occur, more detailed information regarding precautions to take when handling animals that may have been exposed can be found online at https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/CommonSense.pdf.