Oregon's Big Game Regulations for 2023 are available. Go online to www.eregulations.com/oregon/big-game-hunting/ to download a copy or call 503-947-6000 to request that a copy be mailed to you. The application deadline is May 15th with draw results available by June 20th. Since applicants do not submit tag fees, no refunds will be sent. If you draw, you will receive a notice to purchase your tag.
The only ways you can apply are online using a credit card or at a license sales agent. You can apply online at https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/login. Oregon no longer accepts faxed or mailed applications.
There is no limit to the size of the parties that may apply for deer, elk, and antelope. No party applications will be accepted for bighorn sheep or mountain goat. If your party is drawn and there aren't enough tags remaining to fill your party, then no hunter in your party will receive a tag. Party applicant points will be averaged. Oregon rounds points up from .51 and down from .50 to the next whole number. An example is that if 3.50 is the average, then the applicants will go in as having 3 points.
A maximum of 3% of tags for antelope hunts and a maximum of 5% of tags for controlled deer, controlled elk, and controlled black bear hunts can be issued to non-residents, but the guides and outfitters program gets 2.5% of these tags before the draw takes place. No less than 5% and no more than 10% of all bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat tags will be issued to non-residents.
If you draw your second through fifth choice, you will gain a point and still obtain the tag. If you draw your first choice, your points go back to zero, whether or not you decide to purchase the tag. You will retain your points until you are successful in drawing your first choice. There are no waiting periods for deer, elk, or antelope. Bighorn sheep and mountain goat tags are limited to one tag per lifetime.
There are two options for tagging game mammals - paper tags and electronic tags. Hunters must choose one option at the time of purchase. The paper tags are the same as they were in the past. The electronic tags must be immediately validated by pressing the validate button on the image of the tag in the Department's electronic licensing system mobile app. At the time of validation, a confirmation number will become visible. In addition to validating a tag electronically, the tag owner's name, date of birth, ODFW ID#, harvest date, and confirmation number must be written in ink on material of the tag owner's choice ( options include flagging tape, duct tape, or paper in a plastic bag to protect it) and attach securely in plain sight to the game mammal.
Non-residents may apply using a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. Hunting license, application, and shipping and handling fees will not be refunded.
Oregon issues their own ID number to hunters and anglers to track them in their system. All of your points and information are attached to this number. This number can be found on your previous year's Oregon hunting license listed as ODFW ID#.
Hunters 17 years old or younger need to have a hunter education certificate in their possession to hunt big game if they are not enrolled in the youth mentored program. Hunters 9-15 years old may hunt without having passed hunter education as long as they are registered for the Youth Mentored Hunter Program.
Oregon has no hunter orange clothing requirements for adults, but hunters under 18 years old must wear a fluorescent orange hat or exterior garment visible from all sides while hunting any game mammal or upland game bird, excluding turkey.
Youth hunters 12-17 years old may hunt in Oregon. Youth applicants must purchase a juvenile hunting license prior to hunting. Youth hunters can be 11 years old at the time of applying but must be 12 years old by the time of their hunt. Youth 9-11 years old may apply for points only.
Oregon has a preference point system for elk, deer, and antelope where 75% of the controlled draw permits will be issued to the applicants with the most points. The remaining 25% will be drawn randomly from a pool of all applicants. If there are three tags or less issued for a particular hunt, they will be issued to applicants with the most points. There is no point system for bighorn sheep or mountain goat. If you want to build points for elk, deer, and/or antelope and be guaranteed not to draw, you can apply for points only. If applying for points only, the hunt numbers you enter in as your first choice are 199 for buck deer, 299 for elk, and 499 for antelope. The point saver code for all 600 series deer hunts, which are mostly antlerless, youth, and spike deer hunts, is 699. For 2023, the maximum number of points a non-resident can have for deer and antelope is 30 and for elk is 29. Each year, it will increase by one point. The only way to lose your points is to draw your first choice.
Applicants can apply for points only for deer, elk, antelope, and black bear in the main draw, or they may apply for points only during an additional, separate application period from July 1st to November 30th.
The draw odds we list are the number of points it took to draw that particular hunt in 2022. Remember, for all species except bighorn sheep and mountain goat, 75% of the tags are issued to the applicants with the most points. The other 25% is awarded to the remaining applicants with no regard to points so that all remaining applicants have the same chance at drawing. In nearly every case, non-residents who applied with the most points were the only hunters who drew tags as tag numbers in quality units are low.
The Youth Mentored Hunter Program allows youth ages 9-15 to hunt without passing a hunter education class or purchasing a license or tags. The youth must hunt with a supervisor who is at least 21 years of age. This is a great program where the youth is allowed to fill the supervisor's tags. For example, a husband and wife both buy over-the-counter deer tags in Oregon. They hunt with their 9-year-old son who kills his first buck and puts his mother's tag on it, and then he kills another buck and puts his dad's tag on it. Under the Youth Mentored Hunter Program, a youth can fill as many tags as the supervisors are willing to donate.
New in 2022, muzzleloaders no longer needed to have an open ignition system. Muzzleloader restrictions include no scopes (unless you are visually impaired, so see regulations for more information), pelletized powders, sabots, jacketed bullets, or centerfire primers. Only the following bullet types are allowed: round balls made of lead, lead alloy, or federally-approved nontoxic shot material. Cloth, felt, and paper patches are legal. Archers may not have electronic devices attached to the bow or arrow or a draw-lock device. Broadheads can be either fixed or mechanical. They must be unbarbed and at least 7/8" wide. Archers must have a draw weight of at least 40 lbs.
Oregon is issuing one premium hunt per unit for elk, deer, and antelope that allows hunt winners to hunt with any weapon and have extended season dates. A separate application is required to apply for these premium hunts. There isn't a non-resident quota associated with these tags. You can apply for these premium hunts in addition to the regular controlled hunts. Applicants are allowed to submit one application per species and the standard $8 application fee as well as the standard species-specific tag fee. There are no preference points associated with these permits. Elk, deer, and antelope season dates will be August 1-November 30, 2023. Our top five trophy picks are shown in the section for each species. If you are interested in the entire list of available hunts, refer to pages 65-66 in the 2022 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations booklet.
Each year, Oregon raffles and auctions off a variety of big game tags for most species. For more information, check out pages 67-68 of the Big Game Hunting Regulations booklet or visit https://myodfw.com/articles/big-gameraffle-and-auction-hunts.
Leftover licenses for hunts with fewer applicants than there are tags will only be sold online beginning at 10 a.m. on March 15th for black bear and July 1st at 10 a.m. for all other big game tags. Tags awarded through the controlled hunt drawing but not claimed or purchased will not be available for sale.
Oregon has a landowner tag system for elk and deer, which requires the landowner to submit an application and then the hunter applies with the landowner through the draw process. You must hunt on that landowner's property within the unit where you applied. Landowner antelope tags are only available to landowners and their family members, and they have to go through the same draw process as listed above. See page 22 of the regulations for more information on the landowner tag program.
The Oregon guides and outfitters program provides guides and outfitters with the opportunity to market non-resident tags. A number of tags equal to one-half of the non-resident deer and elk tags drawn in the previous year are available through this program. In units with only one non-resident tag, that tag will alternate year to year between being issued through the draw or to an outfitter. Guides certified by the Oregon State Marine Board submit applications and compete for the right to market these tags. Tags not sold by April 15th will be available in the big game drawing. For more information contact the Oregon State Marine Board at 503-378-2633.
If you made an error or want to change your application, you can do so in your online account through June 1st• Hunters have the option of deciding whether or not they want to purchase the tag for the hunt choice drawn. For all controlled hunts, hunters have until the day before the earliest hunt period opens to purchase their tag. After you have purchased your tag, Oregon does not offer tag refunds except for special circumstances. Contact the License Department for more information.
You can report your harvest by calling 503-947-6101 or by going online to https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/login. Those who failed to report on 2021 deer and elk tags by the deadline will be penalized a $25 fee when they go to purchase a 2023 hunting license. See page 4 of the 2022 regulations for further information.
ODFW big game hunting maps can be found online at https://myodfw.com/big-game-hunting/areas.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's access and habitat program was created in 1993 to improve wildlife habitat and public hunting access on private lands throughout the state. The program's funding base comes primarily from a surcharge on hunting licenses and the annual auction and raffle of special deer and elk tags. Landowners participating in the program provide a wide range of public hunting opportunities, ranging from open access areas where no permission is required to hunt to areas where landowner permission is required.
The wolf population is estimated at 173, which is a 10% increase over last year. The state has 22 confirmed packs. The actual number of wolves in Oregon is likely much greater than this minimum estimate. Gray wolves are currently protected statewide, so hunting is not allowed.