Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area Visitors' Guide

Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area provides winter range for mule deer populations and year-round habitat for a variety of wildlife including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Elk, deer, and bighorn sheep viewing is often good during winter and early spring. Bird watching is excellent all year. Native habitats include sagebrush shrubland, riparian, ponderosa pine forest, western juniper woodland and mixed conifer which support a diversity of fish and wildlife. The riparian areas along the mainstem John Day River, South Fork John Day River and Murderers Creek provide excellent habitat for many birds. Upland areas provide important habitat for passerines and game species.

A parking permit is required at Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area. Permits can be purchased at ODFW License Agents (pdf), at ODFW offices that sell licenses and online.

Best time to visit: Bird viewing is good all year. The highest concentrations of deer and elk are in the winter and early spring. Open to public access and hunting April 15 through Jan. 31. Motorized vehicle travel restricted to open roads. Some roads closed seasonally from Dec. 1 through April 14. The wildlife area is closed Feb. 1 through Apr. 14; entry is by permit only, including BLM land within the exterior boundaries of the Wildlife Area.

Visiting hours: Open April 15 – January 31
Camping is permitted April 15 – Jan. 31, campers may not exceed 14 days per stay. Motor vehicle access is allowed only on open roads, or up to 300 feet off open roads for the purpose of camping. Passenger vehicles are cautioned on seasonal roads.

What to see and do: The wildlife area offers excellent year-round bird viewing. Deer and elk hunting occurs during fall, and bighorn sheep viewing is possible during winter and early spring.

  • Wildlife: red-tailed hawk, bald eagle, sharp-shinned hawk, mountain lion, coyotes, mid-Columbia steelhead, redband trout, beavers, river otter, mule deer, antelope, California bighorn sheep, western rattlesnake, horned lark, savannah sparrow, Lazuli bunting, mountain quail, chucker, mallards, Canada geese. For an extensive wildlife species list see Appendix C in the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area Management Plan.
  • Facilities: fishing, hunting, trails
  • Nearby: Archaeological and geological points of interest are located along the South Fork of the John Day Wild and Scenic River and Fossil Beds National Monument. Visitors can find access to Black Canyon Wilderness, excellent fishing along John Day River and a hike-in fishery at Aldrich Pond.
  • Murderer's Creek Restoration
  • Wildlife Area Administrative Rules

Directions: Dayville, or 30 miles west of John Day.

Address and Phone:
Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area
45403 Hwy 26, PO Box 93
Dayville, OR. 97825
Office 541-987-2171
Fax 541-987-2172