NEW 2020 OREGON BIG GAME REGULATIONS – The new regulations have been released by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Several of the new regulations will impact big game hunting across the state.
The changes include, but are not limited to, the following:
New Hunting Opportunities
The ODFW is adding 3 late-season mule deer hunts. Those hunts will take place in Fossil, Heppner, and John Day Canyon. They are also adding a traditional archery elk hunt. This hunt will be in the North Fork John Day Wilderness.
These changes are specifically to the Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep and Mountain Goats. The season dates for these two hunts have been expanded. Allowing hunters for more days in the field pursuing these animals.
Commercial deer and elk urine scent attractants will now be illegal to possess. The reason behind this new legislature is directly related to the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. The prions of this disease are spread through an animal’s body fluids. Although this hasn’t been proven to have impacted animals in Oregon, it has happened in neighboring states.
Historically, if you obtained a tag for a specific species, you could still purchase a left-over tag for that same species. That will no longer be the case. The tags will still go on sale July 1st at 10am. However, if you already had/have a tag for that specific species, you won’t be able to purchase another one. The purpose of this change is to evenly and fairly distribute tags throughout the state.
Additional Fall Bear Tag
In South West Oregon, they offer a spring and a fall season bear tag. With the overall growth in bear population in the state, the fall bear hunt will be state-wide.
Any Legal Weapon
This may be confusing, but this is just a change in the language used by the ODFW. Historically this hunt has been called “Centerfire” seasons. Those seasons will now be called “Any Legal Weapon”. This is similar to other states.
There has been confusion that the state of Oregon is adding an additional hunt. That is not the case. Again, this is just a change in language.
In the past, it has been illegal to harvest a spike deer. The new change will allow hunters to harvest “any deer with visible antlers”. Although this will increase the harvest rates across the state, the ODFW feel the deer population supports this change.
There are many other changes introduced by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. For a full list of changes, please visit the ODFW website.
Do you feel these changes will improve hunting in Oregon?