Oregon Hunting Overview
Oregon is a hunting paradise, with over 30 million acres of public land available for hunters to explore. Oregon hunting offers an abundance of big game, including deer and elk with general season hunts, as well as controlled hunts for antelope, bear, cougar, elk, and deer. Bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats are also available through a draw process. Managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, hunters must purchase a hunting license in order to apply for controlled hunts. While the cost for residents is a reasonable $34.50, nonresident licenses come in steeply at $172, and nonresident big game tag allocations are capped at 5%, making it less popular with out-of-state hunters.
The over-the-counter and controlled tag opportunities in Oregon allow hunters many different opportunities to hunt the state, with some units being highly managed to grow trophy-size horns or antlers for species such as mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Unsuccessful controlled tag draw applicants earn preference points to improve their chances in future lotteries. Some big game tags are allocated to outfitters or youth hunters exclusively. Oregon’s vast, diverse landscapes and a variety of big game species makes it an incredible destination for hunting enthusiasts.
Big Game Species
Oregon offers a diverse range of big game species for hunters, including deer, elk, bear, cougar, antelope, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain goats. Specific hunting opportunities for each species depend on the management unit, with some units managed for trophy hunting while others provide more opportunities for meat hunting or hunting with family and friends. Hunters for some species, like bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats, must acquire tags through a lottery system, while tags for other species, like deer and elk, can be obtained over-the-counter. Annually, Oregon sees around 240,000 big game hunters, with around 84% of these being residents and 16% coming from out of state.
Draw and OTC Sales and Dates
|Oregon Spring Black Bear Draw||Black Bear||December 1, 2022||February 10, 2023|
|Oregon Big Game Draw||Mule Deer, Columbian Blacktail Deer, Columbian Whitetail Deer, Elk, Roosevelt Elk, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat||December 1, 2022||May 15, 2023|
|Oregon Points-Only Purchase||All species||July 1, 2023||November 30, 2023|
Oregon Hunting Point System
Oregon operates a preference point system for their controlled hunts for elk, deer, and antelope. This system operates like a place in line, where applicants with the most preference points are drawn first. Unsuccessful applicants for their first choice hunt receive an additional point for future drawings. Applicants may apply for points only during the primary application window or in a separate application window from July 1st. Preference points are considered only for your first choice and only expire if you draw your first choice for a species. There is no point system for bighorn sheep or mountain goat. If a hunter wants to build points to increase their odds in future drawings without wanting to hunt, they can apply for points only. Preference points are a guaranteed way of not drawing. Hunters who do not draw tags but applied receive preference points for every year they apply for their first-choice hunt. All applicants must purchase a non-refundable hunting license to apply for tags.
Oregon Point Types
|Deer - Antlerless||Preference Point||Both|
|Deer - Buck||Preference Point||Both|
|Spring Bear||Preference Point||Both|
How to build points
There are two methods to acquire points in Oregon.
- Hunters are awarded a point if they apply in the big game draw and are not awarded their first choice hunt.
- Hunters may purchase a point during the point only purchase period.
Points are not used in the secondary draw, nor can be acquired at that time. A valid hunting license is required to acquire points, as detailed in the license section of this article.
Tags, Licenses, and Pricing
A valid hunting license is required to apply for the Oregon big game draw, including for purchasing points during the point only purchase period. An controlled hunt application fee is applied per species applied for, including for points purchases.
|Item||Resident Price||Non-Resident Price|
|Annual Hunting license||$34.50||$172.00|
|Controlled Hunt Application Fee||$8.00||$8.00|
|Item||Resident Price||Non-Resident Price|
|Pronghorn Antelop Tag||$51.50||$395.50|
|Rocky Mountain Goat Tag||$142.00||$1,513.50|
|Bighorn Sheep Tag||$142.00||$1,513.50|
|Black Bear Tag||$16.50||$16.50|
Oregon Hunting Regulations
- Hunters Education is required for individuals 17 years of age and younger, unless enrolled in the Youth Mentored Hunter Program.
- Hunters must be 12 years of age, however they can begin building points at age 9.
- Mechanical broadheads and lighted nocks are allowed.
- Draw weights must be 40 pounds or greater and not use a draw-lock device.
- No electronic devices are permitted to be attached to bows.
Oregon allows for group applications for elk, deer, and antelope hunts with no size limit on the number of individuals in the party. There are no group applications available for bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, or premium hunts. If the party is drawn and there are enough unissued tags for the entire party, then everyone in the party will draw a tag. If there are not enough tags for the whole party, then no one in the party will receive a tag. The preference points for all members of the party are combined and then averaged, rounded up from .51 and rounded down from .50 to the closest whole number. It’s important to note that the maximum number of nonresidents allowed in any hunt must be considered when party applications are submitted, with parties composed exclusively or partially of nonresidents not eligible to receive tags in hunts after nonresident maximum is reached. Party leader applications must be submitted before party member(s), and party members must include the party leader’s ODFW ID# on their application, with the party leader’s selections applying to the entire group.
Oregon Hunting FAQ
Landowner Tag Options
Return / Transfer Tags