Apply for an emergency hunt

An emergency hunt is an unanticipated hunt held on short notice to address acute agricultural damage. Many damage situations are addressed by controlled hunts during annual big game seasons. ODFW expects to implement very few emergency hunts during any year. On average, about 200 tags are issued annually statewide. Emergency hunt tags are in addition to tags for general seasons, controlled hunts or leftover hunts. Emergency hunt participants are selected from a list established on a county-by-county basis. You may apply for only one county.

How to apply

Applicants can apply online or request an emergency hunt application from the headquarters office, any regional office, or some district offices. Online (electronic) applications are submitted immediately. Paper copy applications should be mailed or faxed to ODFW – License Services; 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE; Salem, Oregon 97302-1142, fax number 503-947-6113.

When to apply

Applications received between July 1 and July 31 will be randomly assigned to the list in the county selected by the applicant. After July 31, names will be placed on lists in the order received. All other applications received after July 31 will be placed on lists in the order received. Applications received prior to July 1 will only be valid on the current year’s list ending June 30 (for example, if an application was received June 29, 2012, it would be placed on a list that would expire the next day).

Who may apply

All hunters must have a valid hunting license (see Mentored Youth Hunter Program in the Big Game Regulations for exceptions). Each hunter younger than 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (21 years or older) when hunting. Youth 11 and younger may not hunt for big game. Hunters may apply singly or in parties of two. ODFW will try to keep parties together for emergency hunts wherever possible. In hunts requiring single hunters, however, party applications may be bypassed for that hunt but will retain their position on the list for other hunts.

Disqualification: Applicants submitting more than one application will be disqualified. Application forms that are incomplete or illegible will be disqualified.


Landowners are eligible to receive Landowner Preference (LOP) tags to hunt on their land within emergency hunt areas. LOP tags issued for an emergency hunt are issued on the same land ownership acreage schedule as LOP tags for controlled hunts. Emergency hunt tags are in addition to LOP tags issued for controlled hunts and leftover tags. Landowners do not have to be on the emergency hunt list, but they must be within the emergency hunt boundary. Landowners can obtain LOP tags for established emergency hunts by contacting the ODFW Controlled Hunt Section, or any ODFW office.

Notification for emergency hunts

Individuals selected to participate in an emergency hunt will be notified by telephone and given the dates of the hunt as well as instructions on when and where to obtain a tag for the hunt. Individuals unable to meet the time schedule will be bypassed, but will retain their position on the list. Individuals participating in a hunt will be removed from the list.

Emergency hunt tags

Hunters must possess a valid hunting license and Emergency Hunt Tag issued by ODFW personnel. Hunters must check in and out of the hunt area as directed by ODFW personnel. Successful hunters must:

  • Tag the harvested animal immediately;
  • Contact the ODFW office that authorized the hunt; and
  • Pay a fee equal to the regular tag fee for that species.

Reporting requirements

Upon killing a game mammal or wild turkey in an emergency hunt, the hunter must immediately notify the ODFW office that issued the tag to report the harvest and pay the appropriate fee for the tag. Unfilled emergency hunt tags must be returned to the issuing office within five business days after the closing date of the hunt printed on the tag.

Emergency hunt summaries

Header photo by Ken Gagne

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