Big Game Hunting

Seasons

August, September and October are the months when most big game hunters will be in the woods or on the grasslands. Many have long-standing traditions of deer or elk camp spent with family and friends.

Visit e-regulations

Check the regulations for 2019 seasons

2020 big game seasons

There are two ways to hunt big game in Oregon – during a general season or in a controlled hunt.

Julie Woodman bags a blacktail deer
Julie Woodman of North Bend bagged this blacktail deer in the Evans Creek Unit. Photo by Steve Woodman

General season dates

General season tags are unlimited, can be purchased any time before the season begins and are available for hunts in western Oregon.

Black bear

Statewide: Aug. 1 - Dec. 31
Tag Required: General Black Bear

SW Additional: Aug. 1 – Dec. 31
Tag Required: SW Additional

Cougar

General Statewide: Jan. 1 – Dec. 31
Tag Required: General Cougar

Additional: Jan. 1 – Dec. 31
Tag Required: Additional Cougar

Deer, western Oregon Any Legal Weapon*

Cascade Buck Area:
First Season: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16
Second Season: Oct. 24 - Nov. 6
Tag Required: Western Oregon Deer

Coast Buck Area: Oct. 3– Nov. 6
Tag Required: Western Oregon Deer

*hunts formerly known as Centerfire 

Deer, eastern Archery

Season: Aug. 29 – Sept. 27
Tag Required: Deer Bow

Deer, western Archery

Season: Aug. 29 – Sept. 27*
Tag Required: Deer Bow
*See page 29 of Big Game Regulations for late season hunts.

Elk, West Cascade Any Legal Weapon*

Season: Oct. 17 - 23
Tag Required: West Cascade Elk

*hunts formerly known as Centerfire 

Successful hunter with a Cascade elk
Successful hunter with a Cascade elk. Photo by Brian Ferry

Elk, Rocky Mountain Any Legal Weapon*

Second Season: Nov. 7 – Nov. 15
Tag Required: Rocky Mt. Elk 2nd Season

*hunts formerly known as Centerfire

Elk, Coast Bull Elk Any Legal Weapon*

First Season: Nov. 14 - Nov. 17
Tag Required: Coast Elk 1st Season

Second Season: Nov. 21 – Nov. 27
Tag Required: Coast Elk 2nd Season

*hunts formerly known as Centerfire

Elk, western/eastern Archery

Season: Aug. 29 – Sept. 27
Tag Required: Elk Bow

Western gray squirrel

Open Season: Sept. 1 – Nov. 15
Open Area: All units west of the eastern boundary of the Santiam, McKenzie, Indigo, Sprague and Interstate units. Exceptions: No bag limit of closed season in that part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and South Fork Rogue River and north of Hwy 140.

Open Season: Sept. 15 – Oct. 31
Open Area: White River, Hood, Paulina, Metolius and Upper Deschutes units

Controlled hunts

Controlled hunt tags are limited and are available only through a drawing or lottery. They must be applied for in advance through the control hunt process and are usually required for hunts in eastern Oregon. The deadline to apply for controlled hunt tags is May 15 each year, except for spring bear hunts where the application deadline is Feb. 10.

Specific controlled hunts, and their seasons, are listed in the current Oregon Big Game Regulations.

Additional Resources

Sign up to take a hunter education course -- find online options, order a workbook or register for a traditional class.

Finding a place to hunt can be a challenge -- even in a state that's 50 percent public land. This map will help you find access for your next hunt.

Check preference points, application results and report hunts.