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General Hunting Regulations
Game mammals may only be hunted from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
It is unlawful to:
- Hunt or harass any wildlife from a motor-propelled vehicle.
- Hunt within eight hours of having been transported by, communicating with, or having received information on the location of a game mammal from an 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.
- Operate or be transported by a motor-propelled vehicle in violation of a motor vehicle use restriction. This includes electric assisted bicycles, and aircraft, except for those landing on a designated air strip.
- Operate a snowmobile or ATV, unless firearms and bows are 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.
- Shoot game mammals from or with the help of any motorboat or sailboat unless the motor has been shut off and/or sail furled and movement caused by any motor or sail has stopped.
Except for the following parts, no person shall import or possess all or parts of a cervid (deer/elk family) carcass into Oregon from another state or country. 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;
- Entire skulls that have been processed to remove all meat and brain tissue.
- Antlers (including velvet antlers) with no brain tissue attached;
- Upper canine teeth (i.e. buglers, whistlers, ivories);
- Finished taxidermy heads and finished European style skull mounts.
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.
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 http://cwd-info.org/recommendations-for-hunters-simple-precautions/.
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 ODFW, 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.
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. Hunters must choose one of two options for proving sex for deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat:
- Option 1: The animals head or scalp from the eyes to the ears including the antlers or horns for males.
- Option 2: A reproductive organ (testicle, penis, udder or vulva) attached to a major portion of meat. For white-tailed deer only hunts and mule deer only hunts, the tail must be retained for proof of species.
Note: Option 1 must be used for deer and elk hunts with antler point restrictions.
- Waste any game mammals or edible portions thereof, except that meat of cougar need not be salvaged. See definition on Definitions. All wildlife crippled or killed in the field must be retrieved immediately, if possible, and kept by the hunter in the field. 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.
There are two options for tagging game mammals for which a tag is issued, paper tags and electronic tags. Hunters must choose one option at the time of purchase.
- The owner of a game mammal tag that kills a game mammal for which a paper tag is issued, shall immediately validate the tag by writing on the tag, in ink, the date and time of harvest, and the Wildlife Management Unit where harvest occurred; and attach the tag in plain sight securely to the game mammal.
- To keep the tag legible, one option is to place it in a plastic bag to protect it.
- Paper tags must be signed upon purchase or prior to use in the field.
- It is unlawful to have in possession an unsigned tag and/or reproduction/photocopied/resized tag(s).
- Resized: In relation to permits and tags, resized means to change the dimensions of a permit or tag, either electronically or physically, from the original size as printed on 8.5" x 11" (letter) paper; trimming to the border of the document itself after printing to original size is allowed.
- When the owner of any game mammal tag kills a game mammal for which an electronic tag is issued the owner shall immediately validate the tag by pressing the “Validate” button on the image of the tag in the MyODFW mobile application. Follow the prompts and complete the tag validation process by clicking “Save”. After validation a confirmation number will become visible.
- In addition to validating a tag electronically, the tag owner’s name, date of birth, ODFW ID number, harvest date, and confirmation number must be written in ink on material of the tag owner’s choice (options include flagging tape, duct tape, and paper in a plastic bag to protect it), and attached in plain sight securely to the game mammal.
- The required information, or paper game mammal tag, must be maintained in legible condition at all times.
- The electronic tag validation information, or paper tag must be kept attached to the carcass or remain with any parts as long as any parts are preserved.
- Hunters are required to report, whether you hunt or not, through ELS for all deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, cougar and turkey tags. Reporting deadlines are:
- January 31, 2024 for hunts ending between April 1 and December 31, 2023
- April 15, 2024 for hunts ending between January 1 and March 31, 2024
- Failure to report deer and elk tags by the deadline will result in a $25 penalty with the purchase of a 2025 license.
Possession and Transportation
- When a game mammal or part thereof is transferred to the possession of another person, including a meat processor or taxidermist, a written record shall accompany such transfer, (see Wildlife Transfer Record Form on Wildlife Transfer Record Form) including:
- A description of the game mammal or part being transferred;
- The name, address, date of birth, and ODFW ID number of the person who originally tagged the animal;
- The issued date and time of a paper tag or the confirmation number of an electronic tag; and
- The date and time of harvest.
- The written record 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.
- The operator of a vehicle transporting wildlife or parts of wildlife is subject to administrative inspection of the wildlife or wildlife parts when arriving at a wildlife inspection station with a sign reading “Wildlife Inspection Station” or “CWD Check Station”.
- The operator of a vehicle transporting wildlife or wildlife parts that fails to stop for inspection may be issued a citation for a Class A violation.
- Vehicles not transporting wildlife or wildlife parts are not required to stop for inspection.
- 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 lawfully obtained 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 or Rocky Mtn goat that were not taken legally during an authorized season.
- No person shall sell, lend, or borrow any big game tags.
It is unlawful to:
- To possess or use a commercial cervid attractant (definition pg 90) that contains or is derived from cervid urine.
- 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, locate, or scout for the purpose of hunting any wildlife with infrared or other night vision sight or equipment except trail cameras.
- 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, including scopes with electronic rangefinders and scopes that receive information from a rangefinder or any electronic device. 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 rifle during the deer and elk seasons and dates in the Wildlife Management Units listed in the Centerfire Rifle Restrictions table without a used or unused deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, or Rocky Mountain goat tag valid for the dates and area being hunted.
Remember, party hunting is illegal. A hunter must have an unused tag to hunt a game mammal for which a tag is required.
- 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.
Centerfire Rifle Restrictions
Season (2023 Dates)
Eastern Buck Deer (Oct. 7 - Oct. 18)
West Cascade Bull Elk
16, 19, 21, 22, 29, 30
Rocky Mtn Bull Elk (controlled) 1st Season
31-39, 41, 42, 45-64, 66, 69, 72, 74-77
Rocky Mtn Bull Elk
32, 35-38, 41, 45-64, 66, 69, 72, 74-76, portions of 33 and 77 E of Hwy 97
Coast Bull Elk 1st Season
10-15, 17, 18, 20, 23
Coast Bull Elk 2nd Season
10-15, 17, 18, 20, 23
S. Coast Controlled Bull Elk