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General Hunting Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Oregon Hunting

Shooting Hours

  • 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.)

Decoys

  • 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.

Aircraft, ATVS, Boats, Drones, Vehicles

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 parts thereof, except that meat of cougar need not be salvaged.
  • 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.

Prohibited Methods

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. See Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit Information.  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.

Trespass

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.

Hunting Prohibited

No Person Shall:

  • Hunt with a centerfire or muzzleloading rifle without a valid unused deer or elk tag for that time period and area on their person (see exceptions) during: standard Eastern Oregon controlled buck deer centerfire firearm season (Oct.1-Oct.12), Cascade bull elk centerfire firearm season, Coast bull elk 1st and 2nd centerfire firearm seasons both General and Controlled, or Rocky Mt bull or either-sex elk centerfire firearm seasons or standard Rocky Mt antlerless elk centerfire firearm seasons (Nov. 19 – Nov. 27).This does not include 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 or 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.

Other Restrictions

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. Co­op­era­tive Travel Man­age­ment Areas are listed on Cooperative Travel Management Areas.
  • 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 (Definitions) 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 Instructions for a Wildlife Transfer Record). 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.

Parts Ban

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, 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.

Hunter Orange

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.

General Bear Regulations

  • Person may harvest one black bear during specified seasons with a general season black bear tag, one black bear with a SW Additional bear tag, one black bear with a controlled or SW limited spring bear tag and one black bear with a leftover controlled spring bear tag (see Licenses, Controlled Hunt Application and Tags), if available.
  • It is unlawful to hunt with a centerfire or muzzleloading rifle without a valid 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 (Oct. 1 -Oct. 12), Cascade bull elk centerfire firearm season, Coast bull elk 1st and 2nd centerfire firearm seasons both General and Controlled or Rocky Mt bull elk or either sex centerfire firearm seasons or standard Rocky Mt antlerless elk centerfire firearm seasons (Nov. 19 – Nov. 27). 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.
  • The number of limited, con­trolled hunt, and general season tags issued to nonresident black bear hunters is limited to no more than 3% of all tags.
  • Using bait to attract black bear and using dogs to locate and tree black bear is prohibited. Applying a scent or attractant to one’s body or clothing while worn is not baiting.

Mandatory Check for All Bears

The skull of any bear taken must be presented to an ODFW office or designated collection site; the person who took the animal is responsible to have it presented, within 10 days of the kill to be checked and marked. The skull is required to be checked in for the purpose of inspection, data gathering, tagging and removal of a pre-molar tooth for aging. Skull must be unfrozen when presented for check-in. Check-in at ODFW offices must occur during normal business hours (Mon.-Fri., 8-5) by appointment. Remember to call ahead to make arrangements. When the bear skull is presented at check-in, information that must be provided includes: 1) date of harvest and location of harvest including Wildlife Management Unit, and 2) complete hunter information including tag number as found on the bear tag. Hunter information is on the bear tag; the bear tag, a copy of the tag, or a completed “Wildlife Transfer Record Form” (Instructions for a Wildlife Transfer Record) are alternatives for providing information. Hunters must still complete mandatory reporting via the internet (www.odfw.com/resources/hunting/reporting) or call toll free at 1-866-947-ODFW(6339).

By counting rings on sectioned and stained teeth, biologists can estimate the age of each bear, and determine if the bear has been ‘marked’ as part of ODFW’s tetracycline study. This information can then be used to estimate black bear populations.

This information is important for black bear management in Oregon. Hunters providing teeth will be notified of the age of their bear once laboratory analyses are complete in about a year. Removing this small tooth will not affect any taxidermy work you plan to have done with your trophy.

Please collect the reproductive tract from any female bear harvested. Reproductive tracts help the department estimate reproductive rates and litter size of bear in Oregon. Reproductive tracts are easiest to collect when field dressing your bear (see illustration on Black Bear). Carry a clean sandwich bag and keep the sample cooled or frozen to maintain the quality of this important sample for the department. Reproductive tracts may be delivered to any ODFW field office when you check in your bear.

General Hunting Regulations

Research designed to evaluate the response of elk and mule deer to ATV activity during the hunting season will continue in the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range enclosure in 2016. Successful applicants for hunts 152B, 252D and 252R must agree to participate in the research by having a GPS unit (~1.0 lb) on their person during each 5-day hunting season and 5-day pre-hunt period when inside the Starkey enclosure. Hunters should be aware that only green dot roads will be open to ATV use, and road 2120 will be closed to all motorized access beyond Rock Spring in the north half of Starkey. The new changes in ATV and motorized access will be in effect five days before each hunt and through each hunt period. Hunters should also be aware of camping restrictions, which limit camps to within 300 feet of open (green dot) roads. For further details of the ATV project and other related research or to view a map of roads open during the hunts, please visit the following websites (www.dfw.state.or.us or www.fs.fed.us/pnw/exforests/starkey), or contact Scott Findholt at 541-962-6538 or Brian Dick at 541-962-6539. We thank you for your cooperation.