Oregon has four different species of deer available to hunt - mule deer, Columbian whitetail deer, Eastern whitetail deer, and blacktail deer. Blacktail deer inhabit the coastal mountains along the western third of the state. Columbian whitetail deer are only found in small pockets in western Oregon. Mule deer can be found throughout the central and eastern parts of the state. The Eastern whitetail are found in the northeast portion of the state in and along the Washington and Idaho borders.
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Three giant 23011+ non-typical mule deer were harvested in Oregon in 2021. All three of the bucks were taken on Governor type tags. Two of the bucks came off private land with the other being harvested on public land. Oregon is typically more of an opportunity state than a trophy state when it comes to mule deer. There are very few draw units that will give you a chance at a 18011 buck. Most of these units are going to take almost two decades of points. The other option at a 18011 buck is a guided private land hunt where the outfitters have been managing for quality. Some of the better draw rifle areas are the Trout Creek Mtns and Warner units.
We don't recommend building a lot of points in Oregon for mule deer as there is no reason to wait 20 years for a decent tag. We recommend hunting there more often. We list several mule deer hunts that take 4-11 points to draw. The southeast area of the state is where you should focus.
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In 2021, Oregon did away with all overthe-counter tags for archery mule deer in the eastern portion of the state. Most of those units went under subscribed in the draw and there were resident tags leftover. Unfortunately, Oregon held the non-residents to 5% of those tags. It is a sad day when the state would rather not issue all of their tags than give one to a non-resident.
Columbian whitetail deer are small with mature bucks typically scoring 90-12511 If a Columbian whitetail deer is on your bucket list, you have two options. One is to try to draw a tag, and the second is to pick up a landowner tag. There are only two units in Oregon that allow hunting for these deer - Umpqua and North Bank Habitat. Umpqua is hands down the best unit. The North Bank Habitat unit is still struggling. There are outfitters available that have guaranteed tags for the Umpqua unit. If you are interested in a Columbian whitetail deer hunt with an outfitter, give us a call.
There is some decent whitetail hunting in the northeast corner of the state. Two of the better hunts for whitetail are the muzzleloader hunts in the Sled Springs and Baker units. The Sled Springs hunt (157M) will have season dates of November 28-December 11. The Baker hunt (151M) will have better rut dates of November 14-27. Both are going to be tough hunts, but there are a couple of good bucks available.
If you are sitting on 24+ points, the White River has the best rifle blacktail hunt, but they are not considered true blacktails by the Boone and Crockett Club. If you are after a blacktail that the Boone and Crockett Club recognizes, the best hunt in the state is the muzzleloader hunt in the Applegate unit, which takes 13+ points to draw. Most of the units for blacktail deer have over-the-counter tags for archery and rifle. They offer a handful of later archery rut type hunts. The blacktail on the western side of the state are doing really well with increasing populations. If you are looking for a guided hunt, give us a call as we work with some of the best outfitters in Oregon.
Oregon does a great job of giving youth hunters opportunities at hunting deer during the rut and post-rut with a rifle. Unfortunately, the best youth mule deer hunt is the Interstate unit and it had the dates changed from a November rut hunt to a September 26-October 12 hunt. The November season is what made that hunt great. Kids will now be lucky to turn up a 160" buck if they are lucky. The Warner rifle hunt also changed to the same season dates as the Interstate hunt. Youth get to be the first rifle hunters on the unit. If your youth hunter wants a blacktail, they have opportunities in the Applegate, Evans Creek, and Rogue units. These units have some great blacktail bucks available.
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The Western Oregon general (over-the-counter) buck deer, any legal weapon season, was extended two days for youth 12-17 years of age. You can refer to our August issue for more information on Oregon general deer opportunities.
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The Oregon big game application deadline is May 15, 2022.
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|Adult Hunting License||$172|
|Juvenile Hunting License (9-17 years old)||$10|
|Application Fee per Species||$8|
|Post Draw Fees (if successful)|
|Elk ( controlled or general)||$588|
|Deer ( controlled or general)||$443.50|
Oregon Deer Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine