All  ODFW offices remain closed to visitors. ODFW staff will be available by phone and email.

Hatcheries have partially reopened during normal visiting hours (8-5 in most cases). Most indoor areas, visitor centers and restrooms remain closed so please plan accordingly. 

Recreation Report

Columbia Area

HuntingMap_v2
Recreation Report

Gurley Canyon Region, White River Wildlife Area
Jake O'Reilly hunting in the Gurley Canyon Region, White River Wildlife Area

If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen

Submit your hunting photo  to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.

Big game reports updated monthly

Reports are updated the first week of each month.

Sign up for email notification

 

OPEN SEASONS 

Cougar (Check current harvest numbers.), coyote, black bear

ANNOUNCEMENTS – fire closures, new regs to note

Bear and cougar check-in

The modified check-in procedures adopted in 2019 will continue for the 2021 season.

Hunting and fire season: Know before you go

Early season hunts often take place during the peak of the wildfire season. Experienced hunters know to check for fire closures before their hunt. Bookmark this page – it has links to the most current fire closures and restrictions.

Hunting out of state? Don’t bring CWD home with you

Chronic Wasting Disease has not been found in Oregon yet and we’d like to keep in that way. If you’re hunting big game in a state that has CWD, please follow these precautions.

Please report elk with hoof disease

If you see elk showing signs of elk hoof disease, including lame or limping elk or elk with damaged, injured, missing or deformed hooves, please report it using this online form.

Coyote and wolf ID

Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Test your ID skills.

Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

TIPS FOR THE SEASON

2021 big game hunting forecast

ODFW wildlife biologists offer a look at the habitat conditions and hunting outlook for the upcoming season.

Tips for tagging game and fish

The ODFW electronic licensing system makes it easy to tag your deer, elk and turkey, as well as your salmon, steelhead and halibut, on your phone. Here are some tips for making it go smoothly.

Hunter’s checklist

Be ready for your hunt. Use this hunter’s checklist to start planning early, and to remember what you need to carry in the field.

DISTRICT UPDATES

HOOD RIVER, WASCO, SHERMAN COUNTIES (Hood, White River, Maupin, West Biggs Units)

Archery deer: In the White River unit, most deer are migratory and spend the summer months at higher elevation within the unit. Finding game trails near water and setting up a tree stand may be a good way to harvest a deer in both the Hood and White River units.

High elevation meadows in the Mt Hood Wilderness can also be good areas to target if you’re looking to get away from other hunters in the unit.

Archery elk: Elk are fairly low density and scattered throughout all of these units. This can be a good experience to hunt if you are willing to do some scouting and cover a lot of ground in areas where you find elk sign.

In the White River and Hood units, heavy cover can make harvesting a bull difficult, but this also creates a less crowded experience for hunters than other areas around the state. Although most of the elk in the West Biggs and Maupin units are found on private lands, there are opportunities on public lands within the Deschutes River canyon and on BLM lands where hunting pressure is fairly low. 

Fall bear: Bear densities in White River and Hood units are high and early season hunting can be productive as bears are still active as they fatten up for winter hibernation. Focus on areas with ripening berries, clear cuts, and accessible areas near the boundaries of orchards to locate bears. Bears will be most active in the early morning and late evening hours and generally will rest during the heat of the day.

For the White River unit, focus on the west side to find higher bear densities. Bear densities are very low in Maupin and West Biggs units.

Cougar: Most cougars are harvested by hunters targeting other species. Remember to purchase a cougar tag before heading out for other hunts. Cougars can be found in the same areas as deer and elk as they follow them through their migration routes. Also, try using predator calls to draw them in and be patient for them to make their appearance. The season is open all year, unless the zone quota is met in the area you are hunting.

Coyotes: Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. The best areas to find them will be near farm grounds on the eastern boundary. Look for them in early morning or evening and pay close attention to wind direction.

White River Wildlife Area

White River Wildlife Area is open for hunting. Please call the White River Wildlife Area Headquarters with any questions 541-544-2126

Archery deer: Deer can be found throughout the wildlife area. Focus on the west end of the wildlife area in higher elevations where most of the deer spend the summer months.  Remember, eastern Oregon archery deer is now a controlled hunt. You must have a Hood- White River archery deer tag to hunt in the wildlife area. Bag limit is one buck with visible antler. 

Archery elk:  Elk can be found throughout the wildlife area. Focus on the west end of the wildlife area in higher elevations where most of the elk spend the summer months. Bag limit is one elk.      

Fall bear: This time of year, with the heat we are experiencing, bears are generally at higher elevations so it may be challenging to find bears in the wildlife area. If you do hunt in the wildlife area focus on the water sources and canyons where temperatures are a little cooler. Also, you can now harvest two bears in the fall, statewide, with an additional bear tag. Deadline to purchase your bear tag is Oct. 1.

Coyotes: There are no seasons or bag limits on coyotes. Populations are good throughout the wildlife area. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing/tags and season limitations exist for these species.

Cougar: Try using predator calls to increase your odds of success. Here are 10 ways to be a better cougar hunter. Check to make sure the zone you are hunting in hasn’t reached the harvest quota before you hunt by clicking here Cougar quota. White River Wildlife Area is in Zone A. Cougar season is open in the White River Wildlife Area, Jan. 1 – Dec 31 unless the harvest quota has been met. You can purchase an additional cougar tag and harvest two cougars per year. Deadline to purchase your cougar tag is Oct. 1.

Current road and weather conditions:  The roads on the wildlife area are dry and dusty and travel is allowed only on open roads designated by the green dot. Look for maps with road information at entrances to the wildlife area or click here WRWA Map. The weather forecast is warm and dry with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s and lows in the 40s and 50s.  

Reminder: Display your required parking permit when visiting the wildlife area. Camping in the wildlife area is only allowed in designated camping areas. Please pack out your trash. Fire restrictions are in effect within the wildlife area. NO campfires. Only street legal vehicles are allowed in the wildlife area, no ATV’s or snowmobiles.   

Please continue to follow the state guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic. More COVID19 information can be found at the entrances to the wildlife area