Weapon Provisions for Hunting Game Mammals in Oregon

Hunting game mammals in Oregon comes with specific regulations regarding the types of firearms and archery equipment that can be used. These regulations are in place to ensure safe and ethical hunting practices. Here are the key provisions for hunting game mammals:

Centerfire Firearm (Rifles, Handguns, and Shotguns)


  1. .22 caliber rimfire rifles are generally prohibited for hunting game mammals, except for western gray squirrel.
  2. Fully automatic firearms are not allowed.
  3. Semiautomatic rifles with a magazine capacity greater than five cartridges are not permitted, except for western gray squirrel.
  4. The use of tracer or full-metal jacket bullets is prohibited.
  5. Infrared, night vision, laser, or any other sight that projects a beam to the target is not allowed. This includes scopes with electronic rangefinders and scopes that receive information from electronic devices.


Shotguns with rifled barrels are considered shotguns when used for hunting game mammals when centerfire rifles or shotguns are legal weapons.


Bows may be used for seasons designated as archery or bow. Here are some additional details:

  • Only a long bow or recurve bow may be used for seasons designated as traditional bow only.
  • Recurve, long, or compound bows are legal for hunting game mammals.
  • Broadheads must be unbarbed and at least 7/8" wide. Broadheads with moveable blades that fold/collapse when withdrawn are not considered barbed. Western gray squirrel may be hunted with small game arrow points/heads.
  • It is unlawful to hunt with bows having a draw weight of less than 40 pounds, except there is no minimum draw weight for western gray squirrel.
  • Any electronic device attached to the bow or arrow is not allowed except for lighted arrow nocks that have no function other than to increase the visibility of the arrow, and cameras that have no other function (such as range finding) than recording images are allowed.


During muzzleloader only seasons and 600 series hunts with specific weapon restrictions:


  • The use of scopes (permanent or detachable) is not allowed.
  • Sights that use batteries, artificial light, or energy are prohibited, except for visually impaired hunters with a permit.
  • Hunting with sabots or bullets with plastic or synthetic parts is not allowed. Cloth, paper, or felt patches are allowed.
  • Centerfire primers or matchlock as an ignition source are not permitted.
  • Pelletized powders or propellants are not allowed. Granular (loose) black powder and black powder substitutes are the only legal propellants.
  • Revolving action muzzleloaders are not allowed during specific seasons.

During Any Legal Weapon and Western Gray Squirrel seasons, hunters may use muzzleloaders with any ignition type (except matchlock), any legal sight, any propellant, or any bullet type provided the weapon meets caliber restrictions for the species.

Species-Specific Weapon Restrictions

Deer, Pronghorn, Black Bear, Cougar:

  • Minimum Centerfire Caliber (Rifles and Handguns): .22 caliber
  • Minimum Muzzleloader Caliber: .40 caliber for round ball or legal bullet. #1 or larger buckshot allowed for deer, bear, and cougar.
  • Shotgun: #1 or larger buckshot or slugs.
  • Archery - Long, Recurve, Compound Bow: 40-pound minimum draw weight

Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goat:

  • Minimum Centerfire Caliber (Rifles and Handguns): .24 caliber
  • Minimum Muzzleloader Caliber: .50 caliber for round ball or legal bullet.
  • Shotgun: Elk, slugs only. Shotguns not legal for Bighorn Sheep or Rocky Mtn Goat.
  • Archery - Long, Recurve, Compound Bow: 40-pound minimum draw weight

Western Gray Squirrel:

  • Any rifle, handgun, shotgun, non-matchlock muzzleloader, long, recurve, or compound bow is allowed.

Hunters must carefully review and adhere to these weapon provisions based on the species they intend to hunt and the specific hunting season. Compliance with these regulations is essential for responsible hunting in Oregon.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.