Hunting in Oregon is a cherished outdoor activity that allows enthusiasts to experience the state’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty. However, to protect the delicate ecological balance and conserve the diverse fauna, Oregon has established a comprehensive set of hunting regulations that all hunters must adhere to. Violations of these regulations can lead to serious consequences, including legal prosecution and loss of hunting privileges.
Use of Lead Projectiles to Take Wildlife
The Oregon Fish and Game Commission strictly prohibits the use of lead projectiles or ammunition containing lead for hunting games and wildlife within the state. This regulation aims to prevent lead contamination in the environment and protect wildlife from potential poisoning.
According to this regulation, a projectile is defined as shots, pellets, bullets, slugs, or any other device propelled with force from a firearm. Non-lead ammunition, including centerfire, muzzleloading, or shotgun ammunition that contains non-lead projectiles, is allowed. However, non-lead projectiles must not weigh more than a certain percentage of lead to comply with the regulation.
Shooting Time Regulations
The hunting periods set by the Oregon Game and Fish Commission for specific games are location-specific. This means that sunrise and sunset references depend on the hunter’s geographical location within the state. Hunters must be aware of their local shooting times and refrain from hunting outside these designated periods.
Pursuing Games and Wildlife with Vehicles
Chasing, herding, or pursuing games and wildlife with motorized vehicles, including land vehicles, motorboats, aircraft, or snowmobiles, is strictly prohibited. This law also prohibits the use of motorized vehicles, aircraft, or similar flying devices to locate or assist in locating games and wildlife within 48 hours before and after hunting big game in an area.
However, exceptions are made for specific situations, such as using an airboat, sailboat, or motorboat turned off and propelled with a paddle, or when the vehicle is used by the owner of private property to prevent wildlife damage. Hunters can also be exempted from this law by obtaining a license from the Oregon Fish and Game Commission.
Harassment of Animals
Hunting activities should not involve harassing or intentionally altering the behavior of games and wildlife, such as their eating, breeding, or housing activities. This regulation aims to ensure that hunting practices do not disrupt the natural behavior of wildlife. However, an exception is made for landowners or tenants of private property pursuing wildlife to prevent property damage.
Feeding Big Animals
Feeding big game or mammals in Oregon is strictly prohibited, except for hunters with permits from the Oregon Fish and Game Commission. Feeding wildlife can lead to unnatural habits and dependency on human sources for food, which can be harmful to their health and survival.
Possession of Big Games, Mammals, and Furbearers
The possession of migratory birds beyond the hunting season period provided by the game commission is prohibited. Hunters are also not allowed to exceed the hunting limit provided for taking these games.
For mountain lions, possession is only permitted under the regulations of a permit issued by the commission for taking such a game. All big game, mammals, and bird games captured through hunting or trapping must be immediately killed and calculated as part of the bag limit for that hunting season.
Possession of Bird Games
Hunters are prohibited from possessing a bird exceeding the bag limit defined for bird games. However, exceptions are made for storage, transportation, shipping, and cleaning services, allowing individuals to carry and possess birds lawfully taken by other hunters in the state.
In such situations, the birds must have tags with details of the hunter and are required to have their heads and feathered wings intact, except for doves, which can have their wings removed for storage or preparation for consumption.
Using Remote Computers to Hunt
The use of remote computerized devices for hunting in Oregon is strictly prohibited. This includes any device or computer controlled remotely, as well as hunting equipment such as archeries, firearms, and other weapons that can kill games and wildlife remotely. This regulation aims to ensure fair and ethical hunting practices.
Taking Games and Wildlife with Baits
Hunting resident game birds and mammals in Oregon with bait is prohibited within 400 yards of any baited area. A baited area refers to any location where salts, grains, wheat, or other types of feed have been placed, scattered, or distributed. Hunters must ensure that the baited area is completely cleared for at least 10 days before hunting in the vicinity.
Night Hunting in Oregon
In some counties of Oregon, hunting within one and a half hours post-sunset and prior to sunrise is unlawful. This regulation aims to protect the safety of hunters and wildlife during nighttime hours.
Hunting with Light
Hunting fur-bearing game with the use of lights is allowed in Oregon. However, during the general season for deer hunting, using light at night is prohibited. This regulation ensures fair and ethical hunting practices while minimizing disturbances to wildlife.
Open Carry While Hunting in Oregon
Oregon does not prohibit the open carry of firearms while hunting. However, during bow hunting, hunters may only carry a firearm without using it, as archery equipment is the primary method of taking games in such situations.
Oregon Harassment Laws
Any individual who disturbs a legal hunting activity or unlawfully prevents the taking of wildlife in Oregon is guilty of an offense and may face legal prosecution. This law protects hunters and their right to engage in legal hunting activities.
Oregon Hunting License Permits and Tags
To legally hunt in Oregon, hunters must obtain the appropriate licenses, permits, and tags issued by the state. Some of the essential licenses and tags include:
- Resident Hunting License: Valid for residents aged 16 years and older, allowing the taking of mammals and bird games at a cost of $52.66.
- Non-Residents Hunting License: Available for nonresident hunters aged 16 years and older, permitting the taking of birds and mammals in Oregon at a cost of $183.60.
- Junior Hunting License: Available for residents and non-residents aged 16 years, allowing the taking of mammals and birds at a cost of $14.04.
- One Day Non-Resident Hunting License: Valid for one day for taking migratory game birds in Oregon at a cost of $25.10.
- Two Day Non-Resident Hunting License: Valid for two consecutive days for taking migratory game birds and small game in Oregon, costing $52.66.
Additionally, reduced fee hunting licenses are available for disabled veterans and recovering service members, as well as free licenses for low-income Americans and individuals with disabilities.
Oregon Fishing License Permits and Tags
For individuals interested in fishing in Oregon, various licenses, permits, and tags are available:
- Resident Sport Fishing License: For residents aged 16 years and older, allowing sport fishing at a cost of $52.66.
- Non-Resident Sport Fishing License: For non-residents aged 16 years and older, permitting sport fishing at a cost of $142.02.
- Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License for Disabled Veterans: Available for both residents and non-residents who are honorably discharged veterans with a 50% service-connected disability, costing $7.98 from game commission offices or $8.38 from licensed agents.
- Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License for Recovering Service Member: For recovering service members of the US armed forces or national guard, in the process of recovering from treatment or illness acquired while on duty, costing $7.98 from game commission offices or $8.38 from licensed agents.
- Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License for Low-Income Earners: For Oregon residents aged 65 and older with specific income requirements, costing $7.98.
- Free Sport Fishing License for Low-Income Americans: Available for native US citizens and Oregon residents who cannot afford a state sport fishing license, free of charge.
- Free Sport Fishing License for Disabled: For individuals with mobility impairments, blindness, or disabilities, issued free of charge.
- One-day, Two-day, and Ten-day Sport Fishing Licenses: Valid for one, two, and ten consecutive days, respectively, costing $17.02, $26.49, and $52.66.
Oregon Hunting Season 2022/2023
The hunting season in Oregon offers an abundance of game and wildlife, making it an exciting destination for hunting enthusiasts. The hunting seasons for various wildlife in Oregon for 2020/2021 include:
- Oregon Deer Hunting Season:
- General Season: August 10th to November 10th
- Archery Season: July 11th to September 27th
- Oregon Cougar Hunting Season:
- General Season: January 1st to December 31st
- Oregon Bear Hunting Season:
- Archery Season: August 15th to September 6th
- Oregon Pronghorn Hunting Season:
- General Season: August 8th to September 13th
- Apprentice Hunts Season: August 22nd to August 30th
- Oregon Elk Season:
- General Season: July 25th to November 1st
- Oregon Bighorn Sheep Hunting Season:
- General Season: August 15th to September 27th and December 5th to February 7th
- Oregon Small Games Hunting Season:
- Squirrel Hunting Seasons:
- Archery Season: August 1st to September 11th
- General Season: September 12th to January 31st
- Rabbits and Hares Hunting Seasons:
- General Season: July 1st to January 31st
- Falconry Season: February 1st to March 21st
- Jackrabbit: Open Season
- Squirrel Hunting Seasons:
It is essential for hunters to note that specific regions and zones within the state may have different start and end dates for each hunting season. Additionally, bag limits and regulations may vary based on the game species and hunting method.
Oregon Wildlife Game and Fish
Oregon offers a diverse range of wildlife and games for hunting enthusiasts. Some of the notable species include:
- Oregon Mountain Lions:
- Commonly found in deserts and humid forested areas of the state.
- Oregon Cougar:
- More than 6,000 cougars are present in Oregon.
- Hunting females and kittens is prohibited.
- Oregon Coyote:
- Found in almost every part of the state, except major cosmopolitan regions.
- Oregon Fox:
- Red fox is the common species found in Oregon.
- Well-dispersed across the state.
- Oregon Wolves:
- Once extinct, wolves have returned to Oregon through dispersal from other states.
- Gray wolves are the most common species.
- Oregon Black Bears:
- Two species are found in Oregon, and some national parks offer access for hunting bears.
- Oregon Deer:
- Mule deer are indigenous to the Northern part of America, including Oregon.
- Oregon Elk:
- One of the largest deer species found in North America.
- Hunted primarily between August and November.
- Oregon Bighorn Sheep:
- Two main species are found in Oregon: desert bighorn and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
- Inhabiting snowy heights and arid regions of the state.
- Oregon Waterfowl:
- Hunting waterfowls requires permits issued through random drawings.
- Oregon Wild Pig:
- Licenses and tags required to hunt wild pigs.
- No bag or possession limits defined for wild pig hunting.
- Oregon Rabbit:
- Rabbits and hares are popular small game species in Oregon.
- Bag limit of 5 animals and possession limit of 10 animals.
Oregon Shooting Ranges
Oregon offers numerous shooting ranges for hunters to practice and improve their shooting skills. Some of the notable shooting ranges include:
- Albany Gun Club
- Bill Schultes Sportsman Park
- Albany Rifle and Pistol Club
- Warner Mountain Gun Club
- Siuslaw Rod & Gun Club
- Rainier Rod and Gun Club
- Redmond Rod & Gun Club
- Portland Gun Club
- Newberg Rifle & Pistol Club in Gibbs Community Center
- Josephine County Sportsman’s Association
- Hillsboro Trap & Skeet Club
Oregon Hunting Land for Sale and Lease
Hunting lands for sale and lease are available in Oregon, providing ample opportunities for hunting enthusiasts. Some of the properties include:
- Record Class: Bull Elk, Bass, Bucks, Bluegills, Pronghorns, Black Angus & Blue Cats! Quemado, New Mexico (Catron County) 18,807 acres.
- Gumz Hunting Club, a 550-acre private hunting club located in Henderson County.
- Hampshire, Tennessee (Lewis County) 281.59 acres.
- Quality deer, quality turkey, and exceptional fishing conveniently located in Danville, Illinois (Vermilion County) 105 acres.
- Isolated, deer, and turkey hotspot, Farmersburg, Indiana (Sullivan County), 87.5 acres.
- Pheasant Ridge Farm, an exquisite ranch situated in Baker County’s peaceful Eagle Valley, 200 acres.
Hunting lands for lease include properties like “2 ponds, clubhouse, LOP ELK and Deer tag lease in Baker County, 400 acres.”
Oregon’s forested areas, diverse wildlife, and well-regulated hunting regulations make it a prime destination for hunting enthusiasts. Hunters must abide by the state’s laws and regulations to ensure the preservation of wildlife and to have a safe and enjoyable hunting experience. With the availability of licenses, permits, and tags for residents and non-residents alike, individuals can explore the vast wilderness of Oregon and partake in various hunting seasons for deer, elk, bear, cougar, and other small game species. Oregon’s commitment to conservation and sustainable hunting practices ensures that future generations will also have the opportunity to appreciate the state’s natural beauty and abundance of wildlife.
Q1: Can non-residents hunt in Oregon?
Yes, non-residents can hunt in Oregon. They are required to obtain a Non-Residents Hunting License, which allows them to take birds and mammals in the state.
Q2: Are there any special hunting regulations for disabled veterans in Oregon?
Yes, there are reduced fee hunting licenses available for both residents and non-residents who are honorably discharged veterans with a service-connected disability of 50%.
Q3: What are the hunting seasons for elk in Oregon?
The general elk hunting season in Oregon is from July 25th to November 1st. However, the specific dates may vary based on the region and zone.
Q4: Are there any restrictions on hunting females and kittens of cougars in Oregon?
Yes, hunting females and kittens of cougars in Oregon is prohibited.
Q5: Can individuals fish in Oregon without purchasing a license?
No, fishing in Oregon requires a fishing license. There are reduced fee and free fishing licenses available for certain groups, such as disabled veterans and low-income earners.