Mule deer buck
Statewide

Premium big game hunts

ODFW’s Premium Hunts give any hunter a chance to draw an additional deer, elk or pronghorn tag with a months-long season.

What Premium Hunts offer

  • A long hunting season during the peak of the rut (Aug. 1 to Nov. 30).
  • No preference point advantage. All applicants have an equal chance to draw a tag.
  • An additional tag on top of your controlled hunt or general season tag.
  • Same price as a regular controlled hunt or general season tag.
  • Open to nonresident hunters.

What’s available

Photo by Keith Kohl

  • Premium deer hunts (L series), one tag available in every wildlife management unit. Tag is good for any species of deer that’s legal to hunt in that unit.
  • Premium elk hunts (M series), one tag in all but three units.
  • Premium pronghorn antelope (N series), one tag available in 27 areas.

See the Oregon Big Game e-Regulations for a list of hunt numbers; they will correspond with series and unit (so the Premium deer hunt in Applegate Unit is L28 and the Premium elk hunt is M28). Note that some hunts (highlighted in red in regulations) are mostly on private lands so make sure you arrange for access before applying.

Photo by Tiffany Cruickshank

Apply for more than one hunt

You can apply for tag in each series (deer, elk and pronghorn) and list a 1st – 5th choice hunt in each series, similar to regular controlled hunt applications. Usually just one hunter will draw their 1st choice in each unit, but we suggest you list at least a 2nd choice hunt in case there is a hunt cancellation or other change.

Apply every year – even if you’ve drawn before

Premium tags are not once-in-a-lifetime tags. You can apply each year, even if you’ve drawn a Premium Hunt in the past.

Photo by Larry J. Applegate

How to apply

Apply the same way you apply for controlled hunts --  online (here’s how), at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sell licenses. The application cost is $8 per series and the deadline is May 15.

Not available to

Premium Hunt tags are not available:

  • To party hunts
  • Through LOP, guide and outfitters, or active duty military programs.

Where the money goes

ODFW uses the money raised through Premium Hunt sales for special projects that help big game populations, and hunters by providing more hunting opportunity. One proposal is to use the proceeds for targeted enforcement on key mule deer winter ranges, where documented poaching and other problems are harming mule deer populations.

Read stories from 2017 Premium Hunt Winners

Read stories from 2018 Premium Hunt Winners

Facts about 2019 premium hunts

Total number of applicants by series

  • Series M elk -- 26,612
  • Series L deer -- 25,654
  • Series N pronghorn -- 13,577

Most applied for hunts in 2019

Elk:
Mt. Emily (4945 first choice applicants)
Wenaha (3601 first choice applicants)
Heppner (3057 first choice applicants)
Wenaha, bow (2797 first choice applicants)
Starkey (2397 first choice applicants)

Deer:
Murderers Creek (3236 first choice applicants)
Paulina (3238 first choice applicants)
Silvies (3512 first choice applicants)
Interstate (3651 first choice applicants)
Ochoco (3923 first choice applicants)

Pronghorn:
Chart Mt (3281 first choice applicants)
Steens Mt  (2484 first choice applicants)
Juniper (2362 first choice applicants)
Juniper (929 first choice applicants)
Warner (1774 first choice applicants)

Least applied for hunts in 2019

Elk:
S Fossil (4 first choice applicants)
E Pengra (5 first choice applicants)
Sutherlin, youth (5 first choice applicants)
Starkey Exp Forest, bow (5 first choice applicants)
North Plain (6 first choice applicants)
Flat Creek, youth (6 first choice applicants)
N Juniper (6 first choice applicants)

Deer:
Wenaha, bow (19 first choice applicants)
Warner, bow (22 first choice applicants)
N Bank Habitat, bow #2 (24 first choice applicants)
N Bank Habitat, muzzleloader (ew first choice applicants)
N Bank Habitat, bow #1 (32 first choice applicants)

Pronghorn:
E Slope, bow (9 first choice applicants)
Lookout Mt, bow (37 first choice applicants)
Fossil-Winlock (41 first choice applicants)
Paulina, bow (46 first choice applicants)
E Interstate, bow (56 first choice applicants)

Header photo by Charlotte Ganskopp

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