Benefits for uniformed service members

November 8, 2022

From license discounts to additional controlled hunt tags, ODFW wants to make sure our uniformed service members are given the opportunity to participate in the outdoor recreation Oregon has to offer.

New for 2023: ODFW will begin accepting applications for its special active military controlled hunt tags program after draw results are released. Application for spring bear can be submitted beginning on March 1, 2023.  Applications for deer and elk hunts can be submitted beginning July 1, 2023. For hunts allowing the harvest of deer and elk with two or more antler points, the hunt must have a minimum of 100 tags to be eligible for the program.

Veteran and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunt 

EE Wilson Vets Waterfowl Hunt 2021
First annual Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Hunt in February 2021 at EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

A day of waterfowl hunting is set aside just for veterans and active military each year (Feb. 4, 2023 this season). These hunters may take ducks (including mergansers), coots and geese at the established bag limits). Veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training), are eligible to participate in this special hunt. All ODFW wildlife areas, except those with seasonal closures to protect big game (Elkhorn, Bridge Creek, etc.) are open for this hunt.

Valid proof of veterans or active duty status issued by the U.S. Department of Defense or Veteran’s Affairs is required along with all usual licenses and validations.

License prices and waived fees

Big game and game bird hunting licenses are approximately half-price ($17) for resident uniformed service members. Resident members of the uniformed services can also purchase their general season tag after the deadline without a late fee.

Nonresident uniformed service members pay resident prices for an annual hunting, angling or shellfish license.

Additional controlled hunt tags

EE Wilson Vets Waterfowl Hunt 2021
First annual Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Hunt in February 2021 at EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

Time off can be difficult for persons in the military to plan and is prone to change. Oregon’s active duty members of the Armed Forces stationed out of state have an opportunity to obtain a controlled deer, elk, or spring bear hunt tag if they return to Oregon on leave during the season so they can hunt with their family and friends.

Each ODFW Wildlife District office is authorized to issue up to 20 controlled deer tags, 20 controlled elk tags, and 20 spring bear tags to individuals who are lucky enough to be home on leave during hunting season. To qualify for these tags individuals must be from Oregon, currently stationed out of state, and maintain Oregon residency. To purchase a tag you must provide the following information to the local ODFW District office responsible for issuing the tag:

  • A copy of an active duty military ID
  • A copy of your current leave papers to document you are currently stationed outside of Oregon
  • A valid Oregon resident hunting license

Tags will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Please note, Districts can only issue tags for controlled hunts in their area. Please contact the office of the district you're interested in hunting to determine if tags are available.

Free disabled veteran license

To apply for the free combination and shellfish license please print this form, fill it out, and either mail it to ODFW or return it, in-person (attach your most recent VA letter showing your 25% rating). FORM

To qualify for the free disabled veteran license you must have at least a 25 percent disabled rating from any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States. Disabled veterans are eligible to purchase an elk tag for a reduced price of $25. 

If a veteran is determined to be at least 65 percent disabled they may also apply for an Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit.


Uniformed service members

Include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, or their reserve components; the National Guard or Oregon National Guard, commissioned corps of NOAA, and Public Health Service of the US Department of Health and Human Services detailed with the Army or Navy of the United States.

Resident member of the uniformed services

  • Are permanently assigned to active duty in this state.
  • Reside in this state while assigned to duty at any base, station, shore establishment or other facility in this state.
  • Reside in this state while serving as members of the crew of a ship that has an Oregon port or shore establishment as its home port or permanent station.

Explore Related Articles

Antelope Hunter
How to hunt big game

This example will show you how to read a point summary report.

Fishing at North Twin Lake
Buying a license or permit

The Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit is not a license or tag. Hunters must still obtain a hunting and/or...

Three female hunters with their dogs, holding pheasants in front of access sign
Where to hunt big game

Public access to lands suitable to hunt can be a challenge. That's why we have the Oregon Hunting
Access Map to help...