Hunting Hours for Game Mammals

When it comes to hunting game mammals, it's essential to be aware of the designated shooting hours to ensure a safe and responsible hunting experience. In Oregon, the shooting hours for hunting game mammals follow a specific timeframe:

  • Start Time: Hunting for game mammals begins half an hour before sunrise.

  • End Time: The designated hunting hours extend until half an hour after sunset.

Regulations Regarding Aircraft, ATVs, Boats, Drones, and Vehicles in Hunting

To ensure the ethical and responsible practice of hunting, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has established specific regulations regarding the use of aircraft, ATVs, boats, drones, and vehicles. These regulations aim to maintain fair and safe hunting practices while conserving wildlife populations. Here are the key regulations you need to be aware of:

  1. Hunting from Motor-Propelled Vehicles: It is unlawful to hunt or harass any wildlife from a motor-propelled vehicle. Hunters must engage in fair chase and not use vehicles to gain an unfair advantage.

  2. Aircraft Restrictions: Hunting within eight hours of having been transported by, communicating with, or receiving information on the location of a game mammal from an aircraft is prohibited. This rule helps maintain the integrity of the hunting experience.

  3. Drones Prohibited: The use of drones for hunting, trapping, or angling is strictly prohibited. Drones cannot be used to harass, track, locate, or scout wildlife. Additionally, interfering with lawful hunting, trapping, or angling activities using drones is not allowed.

  4. Motor Vehicle Use Restrictions: Operating or being transported by a motor-propelled vehicle in violation of motor vehicle use restrictions is prohibited. This includes electric assisted bicycles and aircraft, except for designated air strips.

  5. Snowmobile and ATV Regulations: Firearms and bows must be unloaded when operating a snowmobile or ATV, with exceptions for individuals licensed to carry concealed handguns in Oregon and current or honorably retired law enforcement officers.

  6. Definition of "Unloaded": For the purpose of these regulations, "unloaded" means specific conditions for different firearm types, muzzleloaders, and bows. Ensure your firearm or bow meets these criteria when using a motor vehicle.

  7. Artificial Light Restrictions: Casting an artificial light from a motor vehicle while in possession of a weapon is prohibited. Additionally, casting artificial light upon game mammals, predatory animals, or livestock from within 500 feet of a motor vehicle while in possession of a weapon is not allowed.

  8. Shooting from Motorboats or Sailboats: Shooting game mammals from or with the help of any motorboat or sailboat is regulated. The motor must be shut off, and the sail furled, with all movement caused by the motor or sail stopped before shooting.

Cervid (Deer/Elk Family) Carcass Parts Import Restrictions

To protect Oregon's cervid (deer/elk family) populations from the spread of diseases, there are strict regulations on importing or possessing parts of cervid carcasses from other states or countries. These regulations are in place to prevent the introduction of diseases that can harm wildlife.

Prohibited Cervid Carcass Parts: Except for specific exemptions, it is unlawful to import or possess all or parts of a cervid carcass from outside Oregon. Common cervid species affected by these regulations include deer, elk, moose, and caribou.

Allowed Cervid Carcass Parts: The following cervid carcass parts are allowed for import into Oregon:

  1. Meat that is cut and wrapped commercially or privately.
  2. Meat that has been boned out.
  3. Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  4. Hides and/or capes with no head attached.
  5. Skull plates with antlers attached that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue.
  6. Entire skulls that have been processed to remove all meat and brain tissue.
  7. Antlers (including velvet antlers) with no brain tissue attached.
  8. Upper canine teeth (e.g., buglers, whistlers, ivories).
  9. Finished taxidermy heads and finished European-style skull mounts.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Awareness

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a highly significant wildlife disease in North America, particularly affecting deer, elk, and moose. It is a 100% fatal, infectious, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Fortunately, CWD has not been detected in Oregon, but it is crucial to remain vigilant and take precautions to prevent its potential spread.

Transmission and Impact: CWD is primarily spread through nose-to-nose contact between infected animals and can also be transmitted through urine, feces, and saliva, which can contaminate soils and habitats. Once in the environment, CWD can persist for an unknown number of years, continuing to infect animals that use contaminated areas.

Precautions for Hunters: While there is no documented case of CWD transmission to humans, it is essential for hunters to take precautions when pursuing or handling deer, elk, and moose that may have been exposed to CWD. Basic precautions include:

  1. Gloves: Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing animals.
  2. Meat Processing: Bone out the meat and avoid sawing through the brain or bone, especially the backbone.
  3. Minimize Handling: Reduce handling of brain and spinal tissues.
  4. Avoid Consumption: Do not consume the meat from any animal that tests positive for CWD.

Further Information: For hunters planning to hunt in areas where CWD may occur, more detailed information and specific precautions can be found online at CWD Recommendations for Hunters. Staying informed and following these guidelines is essential to help prevent the potential spread of CWD and ensure the safety of both wildlife and hunters.

Wildlife Law Restrictions and Responsibilities

Oregon has established specific laws and regulations to protect its wildlife and natural resources. As a responsible hunter and conservationist, it is essential to be aware of these restrictions and responsibilities:

Compliance with Licensing and Permit Requirements:

  • Hunters are required to present their hunting licenses, tags, or permits, as well as any wildlife they have taken, for inspection when requested by:
    • An employee of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
    • Any person authorized to enforce wildlife laws.
    • A landowner or their agent, if on their property.
  • Refusing inspection of these documents is unlawful.

Gear Inspection:

  • Gear used for the purpose of taking wildlife may be inspected by an ODFW employee or any person authorized to enforce wildlife laws. Refusing gear inspection is against the law.

Hunting Protected Wildlife:

  • It is illegal to hunt protected wildlife species. Ensure you are familiar with the list of protected species to avoid unintentional violations.

Respect for Trappers:

  • Do not disturb or remove traps or snares set by a licensed trapper on public lands or with landowner permission. Trappers play a role in wildlife management, and interfering with their activities is unlawful.

Preservation of Official Signs:

  • Do not disturb, damage, remove, alter, or possess any official ODFW signs. These signs are vital for providing information and ensuring compliance with wildlife laws.

Truthful Reporting:

  • Provide accurate and truthful information to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) or the Commission on any required reports. Knowingly providing false information is a violation of the law.

Aiding and Abetting Violations:

  • Do not counsel, aid, or assist in any violation of wildlife laws. Additionally, do not share in any proceeds resulting from such violations by receiving or possessing wildlife. Individuals who engage in such activities may face penalties as provided by law.

Hunter Orange Requirement for Youth Hunters

To enhance safety and visibility in the field, Oregon has established a Hunter Orange requirement for youth hunters under the age of 18 who are using firearms for hunting game mammals or upland game birds (excluding turkey). The regulation states:

Hunter Orange Garment: No person younger than 18 years of age shall hunt with any firearm for any game mammal or upland game bird unless they are wearing, in a manner visible from all directions, a hat or exterior garment of hunter orange.

This requirement aims to increase the safety of young hunters by ensuring that they are easily identifiable by others in the hunting area. Hunter orange is a highly visible color that helps prevent accidental shootings and promotes a safer hunting experience.

Regulations on Disguising Sex, Proof of Sex, and Waste

Oregon's wildlife regulations include specific provisions related to disguising the sex of wildlife, proof of sex requirements, and the prevention of waste. Here are the key points:

Disguising Sex

It is unlawful to disguise the sex or kind of any wildlife while in the field or in transit from the field. This regulation ensures that hunters accurately identify the sex and species of the wildlife they have harvested.

Proof of Sex for Deer, Elk, Pronghorn Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat

Hunters of deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat in Oregon must possess evidence of sex while in the field, forest, or in transit on any public highways or premises open to the public. The evidence of sex must be retained until the animal is processed or cut and wrapped for meat storage.

Hunters have two options for providing evidence of sex:

Option 1: For males, the evidence of sex includes the animal's head or scalp from the eyes to the ears, including the antlers or horns. This option must be used for deer and elk hunts with antler point restrictions.

Option 2: The evidence of sex can also be a reproductive organ (testicle, penis, udder, or vulva) attached to a major portion of meat. For white-tailed deer-only hunts and mule deer-only hunts, the tail must be retained for proof of species.

These requirements help ensure the accurate reporting of harvested wildlife and the enforcement of hunting regulations.

Prevention of Waste

It is prohibited to waste any game mammals or edible portions thereof, with the exception that the meat of cougars need not be salvaged. This regulation emphasizes responsible hunting practices and encourages hunters to make the most of the harvested game by utilizing the meat and other edible portions.

Additionally, all wildlife that is crippled or killed in the field must be retrieved immediately, if possible, and kept by the hunter in the field. This duty to retrieve and prevent waste does not justify any other criminal conduct, including trespassing.

Sale, Trade, or Barter of Game Mammals

Selling, trading, bartering, exchanging, or offering for sale, trade, barter, or exchange any game mammal or parts thereof is prohibited, except as identified in Oregon Administrative Rule 635, Division 200. This regulation aims to prevent the commercialization of game mammals and maintains the integrity of hunting for conservation and recreation.

Tagging Regulations for Game Mammals in Oregon

Oregon's regulations for tagging game mammals include guidelines for both paper tags and electronic tags, ensuring that hunters properly document their harvest. Here are the key points:

Paper Tags:

  1. Validation: The owner of a game mammal tag that kills a game mammal for which a paper tag is issued must immediately validate the tag. This validation is done by writing on the tag, in ink, the following information:

    • Date and time of harvest
    • Wildlife Management Unit where the harvest occurred
  2. Attachment: The paper tag must be securely attached in plain sight to the game mammal. To keep the tag legible, hunters have the option to place it in a plastic bag to protect it.

  3. Signing: Paper tags must be signed upon purchase or before use in the field. It is unlawful to possess an unsigned tag and/or reproduction/photocopied/resized tags. Resized tags refer to changes in dimensions, either electronically or physically, from the original size as printed on 8.5" x 11" (letter) paper. Trimming to the border of the document itself after printing to the original size is allowed.

Electronic Tags:

  1. Validation: When the owner of any game mammal tag kills a game mammal for which an electronic tag is issued, they must immediately validate the tag electronically. This is done by pressing the "Validate" button on the image of the tag in the MyODFW mobile application. Hunters must follow the prompts and complete the tag validation process by clicking "Save." After validation, a confirmation number will become visible.

  2. Additional Information: In addition to validating the tag electronically, the tag owner's name, date of birth, ODFW ID number, harvest date, and confirmation number must be written in ink on a material of the tag owner's choice. Options include flagging tape, duct tape, and paper in a plastic bag to protect it.

General Requirements for All Tags:

  • The required information, whether on electronic tag validation or paper game mammal tags, must be maintained in legible condition at all times.

  • The electronic tag validation information or paper tag must be kept attached to the carcass or remain with any parts as long as any parts are preserved.

Mandatory Reporting for Hunters in Oregon

Hunters in Oregon are required to report specific information for various game species, even if they did not hunt. This reporting is done through the Electronic Licensing System (ELS) and applies to the following game species: deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, cougar, and turkey. Here are the key details:

Reporting Deadlines:

  1. January 31, 2024: This deadline applies to hunts ending between April 1 and December 31, 2023.

  2. April 15, 2024: This deadline applies to hunts ending between January 1 and March 31, 2024.

Consequences of Non-Reporting:

Failure to report deer and elk tags by the specified deadline will result in a $25 penalty when purchasing a 2025 hunting license. It is essential for hunters to adhere to these reporting requirements to avoid penalties and comply with Oregon's hunting regulations.

Possession and Transportation of Game Mammals in Oregon

When handling the possession and transportation of game mammals or their parts in Oregon, hunters must adhere to specific regulations and procedures to ensure compliance with state wildlife laws. Here are the key rules and guidelines:

Transfer of Game Mammals:

  1. When transferring a game mammal or its parts to another person, including a meat processor or taxidermist, a written record must accompany the transfer. This written record should include the following information:

    • Description of the game mammal or part being transferred.
    • Name, address, date of birth, and ODFW ID number of the person who originally tagged the animal.
    • Issued date and time of a paper tag or the confirmation number of an electronic tag.
    • Date and time of harvest.
  2. The written record must remain with the game mammal or part as long as it is preserved. The original tag should also stay with the portion retained by the hunter.

Tagging Requirements:

  1. All game mammals in possession in the field, forest, or in transit for more than 48 hours after the close of the open season must be tagged by either ODFW or Oregon State Police.

Vehicle Inspection:

  1. The operator of a vehicle transporting wildlife or wildlife parts may be subject to administrative inspection when arriving at a wildlife inspection station with signage reading "Wildlife Inspection Station" or "CWD Check Station."

  2. Failing to stop for inspection may result in a citation for a Class A violation.

  3. Vehicles not transporting wildlife or wildlife parts are not required to stop for inspection.

Possession of Illegally Obtained Game:

  1. It is unlawful to possess or transport any game mammal or part thereof that was illegally killed, found, or killed for humane reasons unless permission has been obtained from personnel of the Oregon State Police or ODFW prior to transporting.

Bighorn Sheep and Rocky Mtn Goat Horns:

  1. The possession of horns from bighorn sheep or Rocky Mtn goats that were not legally taken during an authorized season is prohibited.

Big Game Tags:

  1. No person shall sell, lend, or borrow any big game tags.

Prohibited Methods for Hunting and Wildlife Handling in Oregon

To ensure the ethical and responsible hunting and handling of wildlife in Oregon, certain methods and practices are strictly prohibited by law. Hunters and individuals involved in wildlife management must adhere to these regulations. Here are the prohibited methods:

1. Use of Commercial Cervid Attractants:

  • It is unlawful to possess or use a commercial cervid attractant that contains or is derived from cervid urine.

2. Hunting or Shooting from Roadways and Railroads:

  • Hunting or shooting from or across a public road, road right-of-way, or railroad right-of-way is prohibited, except for persons legally hunting on roads closed to motor vehicle use by the public.

3. Hunting for Another Person:

  • It is unlawful to hunt for or kill any wildlife for another person.

4. Hunting with Dogs (Exception for Western Gray Squirrel):

  • Hunting any game mammal with dogs is prohibited, except for the western gray squirrel.

5. Use of Infrared or Night Vision Equipment:

  • Hunting, locating, or scouting for the purpose of hunting any wildlife with infrared or other night vision sight or equipment is prohibited, except for the use of trail cameras.

6. Use of Artificial Light for Hunting:

  • The use of an artificial light for hunting any wildlife is generally prohibited, with exceptions for raccoon, bobcat, and opossum. However, the light must not be cast from or attached to a motor vehicle. This prohibition also includes laser sights and scopes with electronic rangefinders that project a beam to the target. Battery-operated sights that only light the reticle are not included in this prohibition.

7. Trapping and Snaring Game Mammals:

  • Taking game mammals with traps or snares is prohibited.

8. Use of Poisoning, Immobilizing, or Tranquilizing Substances:

  • It is unlawful to use any poisoning, immobilizing, or tranquilizing drug or chemical to hunt or kill any game mammal.

Trespass Laws for Hunting in Oregon

Trespassing while hunting is a serious offense in Oregon and can lead to legal consequences. Here are the key trespassing laws related to hunting in the state:

1. Hunting on Private Property Without Permission:

  • It is unlawful to hunt on private property without obtaining explicit permission from the landowner. This rule is in accordance with ORS (Oregon Revised Statutes) 105.700 and 498.120.

2. Respect the Rights of Landowners:

  • Hunters must respect the property rights of landowners and obtain proper authorization before entering private land for hunting purposes. Failure to do so is a violation of the law.

3. The Duty to Retrieve and Avoid Waste:

  • While it's important for hunters to retrieve wounded or killed game to avoid waste and suffering, this duty does not justify any otherwise criminal conduct, including trespassing. Hunters must always follow the law and seek proper permission to access private land.

Centerfire Rifle Restrictions for Deer and Elk Hunting

Hunters in Oregon must adhere to specific centerfire rifle restrictions during deer and elk hunting seasons. These restrictions apply to various Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) and are designed to ensure responsible and safe hunting practices. Here are the key details:

Season and WMUs:

  1. Eastern Buck Deer Season (Oct. 7 - Oct. 18):

    • WMUs 31-77
  2. West Cascade Bull Elk Season (Nov. 11 - Nov. 17):

    • WMUs 16, 19, 21, 22, 29, 30
  3. Rocky Mtn Bull Elk 1st Season (Nov. 1 - Nov. 15):

    • WMUs 31-39, 41, 42, 45-64, 66, 69, 72, 74-77
  4. Rocky Mtn Bull Elk 2nd Season (Nov. 11 - Nov. 19):

    • WMUs 32, 35-38, 41, 45-64, 66, 69, 72, 74-76, portions of 33 and 77 E of Hwy 97
  5. Coast Bull Elk 1st Season (Nov. 18 - Nov. 21):

    • WMUs 10-15, 17, 18, 20, 23
  6. Coast Bull Elk 2nd Season (Nov. 25 - Dec. 1):

    • WMUs 10-15, 17, 18, 20, 23
  7. S. Coast Controlled Bull Elk (Nov. 18 - Nov. 22) and (Nov. 25 - Dec. 3):

    • WMUs 24-27

Rifle Restrictions:

  • It is unlawful to hunt with a centerfire rifle during the specified deer and elk seasons and dates in the listed WMUs without a valid tag for the game mammal being hunted. The tag must be valid for both the dates and area being hunted.

  • Party hunting is illegal, meaning each hunter must have their own unused tag to hunt a game mammal for which a tag is required.

Additional Notes:

  • It is important for hunters to be aware of these centerfire rifle restrictions and ensure they have the appropriate tags and permissions for their hunting activities. Violating these regulations can result in legal consequences and the loss of hunting privileges. Always hunt responsibly and in compliance with wildlife laws.

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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.