Youth Hunting Opportunities in Oregon

Description: Oregon provides a range of youth hunting opportunities designed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for young hunters while increasing their chances of success. The state offers reduced license prices for youth, making it more accessible for families to introduce kids to the world of hunting.

Resident Youth License Fees

  • Combination License (12 - 17 years old): This includes angling, hunting, shellfish, and the Columbia River Basin Endorsement for a fee of $10.00.

  • Youth Sports Pac: The Youth Sports Pac is a comprehensive package that covers a variety of hunting and angling activities. It includes a Combination Hunting, Angling, and Shellfish License, Combined Angling Harvest Tag, Upland Game Bird and Waterfowl Validations, as well as tags for General or Controlled Deer, General or Controlled Elk, Cougar, General or Controlled Bear, and Spring or Fall Turkey. The Youth Sports Pac also includes the Columbia River Basin Endorsement and is available for a fee of $55.00.

Nonresident Youth License Fees

  • Nonresident youth do not have a specific Youth Sports Pac option available.

Licensing Requirements for Youth Hunters in Oregon

Age Categories:

  • Youth 12 to 17 years old
  • Youth 11 years and under
  • Youth 9 to 11 years old and older

Youth 12 to 17 Years Old:

  • Youth in this age group must purchase either a Combination License or a Youth Sports Pac to:
    • Hunt
    • Participate in the big game controlled hunt drawing
    • Purchase preference points

Youth 11 Years and Under:

  • Youth who are 11 years old and younger do not require a license to:
    • Hunt game birds
    • Hunt small game
    • Hunt unprotected wildlife

Youth 9 to 11 Years Old and Older:

  • Youth aged 9 to 11 and older have the option to apply for preference point savers through the controlled hunt drawing, but only if they purchase a Combination License or a Youth Sports Pac.
  • The free Youth Game Bird Hunting License does not allow youth to participate in the controlled hunt drawing or apply for preference points.

Dual Licenses for Youth Between 9 and 12 Years Old:

  • Youth between the ages of 9 and 12 can possess both a free Youth Game Bird Hunting License and either a Combination License or a Youth Sports Pac.

License Validity for Youth Hunters Aged 17:

  • If a youth hunter who is 17 years old purchases a Combination License or Youth Sports Pac, it will be valid for the entire calendar year, even if the youth turns 18 before the year's end.
  • However, once youth hunters turn 18 years old, they may not use youth hunt tags.

Hunter Education Requirements for Youth Hunters in Oregon

Before hunting, youth 17 years of age or younger must adhere to the following hunter education requirements:

  1. Complete a Hunter Education Course:

    • Youth must complete a Hunter Education Course that is recognized in any U.S. state, Canada, or Mexico.
  2. Possess a Hunter Education Certificate or Department Issued Document:

    • Youth hunters must have in their possession either:
      • A Hunter Education Certificate
      • A Department-issued document that includes their Hunter Education Certificate number
    • This requirement applies to hunting anywhere except on land owned by their parent or legal guardian.

Exceptions under the Mentored Youth Hunter Program may apply.

Hunter Education can be completed through either of the following methods:

  • Conventional Classroom Course: Youth can attend a traditional classroom-based Hunter Education Course.

  • Independent Study with a Hands-On Field Day: Youth may choose to complete a Hunter Education Course through independent study, followed by participation in a hands-on field day.

For more detailed information on Hunter Education and available courses, please visit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife - Take a Hunter Education Course

Hunter Orange Requirements for Youth Hunters in Oregon

Hunter orange requirements for youth hunters in Oregon are as follows:

  • No person younger than 18 years of age is allowed to hunt with any firearm for any game mammal or upland game bird (excluding turkey) unless they are wearing hunter orange.
  • The hunter orange garment must be worn in a manner that is visible from all directions.

Youth-Specific Hunting Regulations in Oregon

In Oregon, there are specific regulations that apply to youth hunters to ensure their safety and responsible hunting practices:

  1. Big Game Hunting Age Limit:

    • No youth 11 years of age or younger is allowed to hunt for big game, with the exception of youth participating in the Mentored Youth Hunter Program.
  2. Youth Hunting Accompaniment:

    • Any youth 13 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older while hunting on property other than land owned by their parent or legal guardian.

Controlled Hunts for Youth in Oregon

Oregon offers controlled hunts as an opportunity for youth hunters to participate in specific hunting experiences. Here are the regulations and requirements for youth participating in controlled hunts:

  1. License Requirement:

    • A youth must have a Combination License or Youth Sports Pac to participate in the controlled hunt drawing.
  2. Age Requirement:

    • Youth hunters who are 11 years of age may apply in the controlled hunt drawing, provided they are 12 years of age or older by the time they participate in the hunt.
  3. Point Saver Applications:

    • Youth aged 9 to 11 years can purchase point saver applications in the controlled hunt drawing, but they must possess a valid Combination License or Youth Sports Pac.
  4. Youth Controlled Hunts:

    • Only youth aged 12 to 17 years at the time of the hunt are eligible to participate in Youth Controlled Hunts specifically designed for them.
  5. Additional Options:

    • Youth hunters are not limited to applying for Youth Controlled Hunts and may choose to apply for other controlled hunts as well.

Youth First Time Hunt Program in Oregon

The Youth First Time Hunt Program in Oregon is designed to provide resident youth aged 12 to 17 years (with exceptions for 11-year-olds) the opportunity to participate in specific controlled hunts, even if they have not been successful in the controlled hunt drawing for certain series. Here are the key details of the program:

Who May Apply:

  • Resident youth aged 12 to 17 years are eligible.
  • Youth who are 11 years old may apply if they will be 12 years old by the time they hunt.
  • Youth cannot use "First Time" tags once they turn 18 years old.

Eligible Hunts:

  • The program applies to controlled hunts with a minimum tag allocation:
    • Buck Deer (100 series): At least 201 tags
    • Elk (200 series) antlerless only: At least 51 tags
    • Antlerless deer (600 series): At least 51 tags

How to Apply:

  • Youth meeting the criteria can submit an online application to request a tag from the authorized list of hunts.
  • No additional fee is required for this application.
  • The application period begins on July 1st and must be completed before the hunt begins.
  • Youth will be assigned a tag and can purchase it after their application is processed.
  • Tag sale deadlines apply.

Important Considerations:

  • Youth must have completed a Hunter Education Course before participating in the hunt.
  • Eligibility for a "First Time" tag is lost if the youth has been successful for any hunt choice in that series, except for leftover tags.
  • Preference points are not used in the "First Time" program.
  • Youth applying for Point Savers in the respective hunt series for the current year are not eligible for a guaranteed "First Time" tag.
  • Youth must obtain the controlled hunt tag before the hunt begins.
  • Adults who apply with a youth in the controlled hunt drawing and are unsuccessful will not receive tags if the youth requests a "First Time" tag.
  • Youth can use their "First Time" options in any combination (all in one year, one per year, or skipping years between tags).
  • Elk (200 series) hunts allowing the harvest of an antlered animal are not eligible for the Youth "First Time" Program.
  • "First Time" tags are not additional tags, but they provide an opportunity for youth to participate in controlled hunts even if they were unsuccessful in the drawing.
  • Other hunters with appropriate tags may hunt with youth.

Mentored Youth Hunter Program in Oregon

The Mentored Youth Hunter Program in Oregon provides youth aged 9 to 15 with an opportunity to receive one-on-one field training in hunting, focusing on ethics, safety, responsibility, and enjoyment. Here are the key details of the program:

Youth Participation:

  • Resident and nonresident youth aged 9 to 15 may participate in the program without first passing an approved Hunter Education Program.
  • At age 16, youth are no longer eligible and must pass an approved hunter education program, possess a Youth License, and appropriate tags.
  • Youth must hunt while accompanied by a supervising hunter who is 21 years of age or older and holds a valid license and tags for the hunt.
  • Youth must complete free annual registration and possess verification of program registration while hunting.
  • All hunting regulations must be followed.
  • Youth must remain under the immediate control of the supervising hunter while in possession of any legal weapon for the hunt.
  • Hunter orange clothing (vest, coat, jacket, sweater, or hat) must be worn when hunting with a firearm for game mammals or upland birds, ensuring hunter orange is visible from all directions (360 degrees).

Supervising Hunter:

  • The supervising hunter must have a valid hunting license and tags for the hunt.
  • They must maintain immediate control of the mentored youth hunter at all times.
  • Ensure compliance with all hunting regulations.
  • Be responsible and accountable for all actions of the mentored youth hunter.
  • Supervise only one mentored youth hunter at a time during hunting.
  • Review safe hunting practices information.

Seasons and Bag Limits:

  • Wildlife harvested by the mentored youth hunter counts towards the supervising hunter's bag limit.
  • The program does not apply to designated youth-only seasons and hunts because the mentored youth can only take an animal that the supervising hunter could legally harvest.

Mentored Youth Preference Points:

  • Youth participating in the program receive one mentored youth preference point for each year of registration.
  • These points are "banked" and have no expiration date.
  • To redeem banked points, refer to the program's website for more information.
  • Redeemed points are converted to the Preference Point System and are subject to Oregon Administrative Rules governing preference points.
  • Redeemed points must be used in one go and cannot be split among controlled hunt series.

For more detailed information, please visit the Mentored Youth Hunter Program page on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

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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.