Deer, elk tag reductions for 2020

April 13, 2020

Tag numbers for some deer and elk hunts this fall have been reduced from the numbers shown in the 2020 Big Game Regulations.

The reduction of a total of 3,953 buck tags and 287 antlerless deer tags affects deer hunts in Desolation, Fort Rock, Hood, Metolius, Mt Emily, Northside, Paulina, Silver Lake, Sprague, Ukiah, Walla Walla, and White River Units. A total of 670 elk tags are being reduced in Imnaha, Maury and Zumwalt Prairie hunts (Sled Springs and Chesnimnus).

The deer tag reductions are due to fewer mule deer being observed during fall surveys. ODFW wildlife biologists believe ongoing disease outbreaks in central and eastern Oregon are the main cause of the decline.

A large outbreak of EHD was documented this year, which led to a die-off of white-tailed deer in the Walla Walla, Mt Emily and Ukiah Units and also impacted some mule deer. In addition to EHD, an uptick of cases of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease (AHD) has been observed throughout the state. The disease is usually fatal to deer and death can occur in three to five days from the time the deer was exposed to the virus.  AHD is transmitted primarily from “nose-to-nose” contact between infected animals and usually occurs in summer through fall, particularly during drier weather that congregates deer near water.

Tag numbers for some elk hunts are also being reduced, though not due to disease. While Rocky Mountain elk are doing well throughout eastern Oregon, antlerless elk tags are being reduced in the Imnaha and Chesnimnus units. The elk populations in these two units are now at or close to the population MOs (management objectives) so tags are being reduced to numbers intended to maintain populations near MO. Elk tags are also being reduced in the Maury unit where fewer elk were in the unit the last several hunting seasons and hunter success has been very low.  

Hunters who have already applied for one of the controlled hunts effected may change their hunt choices free of charge until June 1, 2020 if they choose. Hunters can adjust their application through their online account (under Recreational Portfolio/Controlled Hunts; see how-to online) or contact ODFW Licensing at, (503) 947-6101.

Affected hunts are listed below:

Hunt Number Hunt Name 2020 Tag Numbers
[Original]            Available
100 Series, Buck Deer
133 Sprague Unit  [660]                          495
135 Paulina Unit  [1,430]                       990
139 Metolius Unit [350]                          240
139M Metolius Unit Muzzleloader [37]                              21
139R Metolius Unit Bow [20]                              15
141A Hood-White River  [110]                            83
141B White River Unit No. 1                 [1,650]                    1,210
141M Hood-N White River  [33]                              22
142A Hood Unit No. 1 [660]                          495
147 Northside Unit [1,100]                       880
149 Ukiah Unit [1,870]                    1,485
150 Desolation Unit [990]                          770
154B W Mt Emily [495]                          385
155 Walla Walla Unit [245]                          218
173 Wagontire Unit  [212]                          138
175 Interstate Unit  [1,526]                    1,308
176 Silver Lake Unit  [1,980]                    1,540
177 Fort Rock Unit  [2,750]                    1,870
600 Series, Antlerless Deer
649A N Ukiah [75]                     No Tags
649B W Blue Mtns [120]                            60
654A Rawhide [44]                     No Tags
655A Orchards [20]                     No Tags
655B1 Walla Walla No. 1 [44]                     No Tags
655B2 Walla Walla No. 2 [44]                     No Tags
Hunt Number Hunt Name 2020 Tag Numbers
[Original]            Available
200 Series, Elk
236A Maury-Hampton Butte [40]                              10
236X Maury Unit No. 1 [55]                              28
236Y Maury Unit No. 2 [54]                              27
236R Maury Unit Bow [110]                            66
258A1 Zumwalt No. 1 [110]                            60
258A2 Zumwalt No. 2 [110]                            60
258A3 Zumwalt No. 3 [110]                            60
258A4 Zumwalt No. 4 [110]                            60
258A5 Zumwalt No. 5 [110]                            60
258A6 Zumwalt No. 6 [110]                            60
258A7 Zumwalt No. 7 [110]                            60
261 Imnaha Unit  [275]                            83