If you take a camera in the field with you, we’d love to see photos of your hunt. When you submit your photos to ODFW they could appear on our website or signs, or in social or brochures. What a great way to share your experience with others!
Hunting and fire danger
Dry conditions and the associated fire danger can have a large impact on your hunting opportunity. It pays to in advance to see if there are any access restrictions in the unit(s) you plan to hunt.
Hunting on private land
Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt before accessing private lands.
In addition, industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters.
Field care of harvested wildlife
The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criterion to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass clean by placing it into a cloth game bag. Warm weather conditions (greater than 50°F) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.
Be prepared for emergencies
Hunters need to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle gets stuck or breaks down.
OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, GENERAL WESTERN DEER, COAST ELK 2ND SEASON (opens Nov. 16)
NORTH AND MID-COAST (Saddle Mt., Wilson, western Trask, western Stott Mt., western Alsea, north Siuslaw wildlife management units)
General Coast Elk Rifle: bull escapement from last year’s hunting seasons was good to excellent in the Wilson and Trask units, so there should be good numbers of bulls available. Elk numbers continue to recover to near or at management goal levels too. Success will largely be determined by weather during the seasons.
Cougar: The most productive way to hunt cougar on the north coast is to use a predator call. Hunters are reminded if they harvest a cougar, they must have it checked in to an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. See the 2019 Oregon Big Game Regulations for details.
Bear: Mid Coast bears are very active right now hitting apple trees and any remaining berries (blackberries and huckleberries) so focus efforts on these areas. On the north coast, look for bears early in the morning and late in the evening in clearcuts and natural openings in the forest. Bears will be most actively feeding during those times. During the middle of the day, try predator calling. It can be very effective if you do it aggressively and persistently, and with a hunting partner. If you harvest a bear, you must have it checked in to an ODFW office within 10 days. more information.
WILLAMETTE UNITS (Scappoose, eastern Trask, Willamette, Santiam, McKenzie, N. Indigo wildlife management units)
The Coast Elk 2nd season begins on Nov. 16 and runs through Nov. 22. Hunters should refer to the 2019 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations on pages 38-39 for elk regulations and the included units.
Be sure to start your scouting sooner rather than later to locate a herd of elk before the season starts and increase your odds of harvesting this year. While scouting try to arrive at clear-cuts before first litght with your binoculars and spotting scope ready to scan the fringe habitat for elk feeding into and out of the surrounding wood lines.
General Deer Archery season: Some units have an additional late season from Nov. 16 – Dec. 8. Hunters should refer to the for the included units and the respective bag limits. Deer regulations are located on pages 26-27.
Hunters who were successful in drawing a 100M tag, but failed to pick up a tag before the Sept. 28 deadline can still pick up their tags if they stop in their local ODFW office, for a late fee of $25.50 in addition to the price of the tag. Hunters should refer to the 2019 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations on page 33 for applicable units and bag limits.
A number of Youth Deer and Youth Elk hunts are happening throughout the area. Information on the various youth only controlled 600 series hunts can be found on page 36 of the 2019 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations. Many Youth Elk hunts run thru Dec. 31, and Youth elk tag holders should check their 2019 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations on pages 51-52 for specific information
Cool, rainy fall weather has set the stage for a good season this year. Leaf drop has been late over the last few years, but has already started in some locations. Deer can be found in early seral habitat, such as clearcuts, meadows and some riparian zones.
Biologist have observed a few bucks showing some rutting behaviors. This is a good sign that the bucks will be in rut hard prior to the close of the muzzleloader season. If you find a doe or a group of does, be patient and watch them for a good amount of time. Odds are there could be a buck nearby and he will present himself eventually.
The cold clear weather will make it harder to find deer moving in the middle of the day unless you are willing to go find them in the thicker brush. Private timber company lands can be productive places to hunt if the landowner is allowing hunting access.
Deer can be found early in the morning and late in the afternoon feeding along mid-elevation clear-cuts or thinned areas that have varied densities of young shrubs and trees, which provide forage and hiding cover. During the day, deer may take to older timber patches or thick stands of young trees.
Hunters that are unsure about the new paper or electronic tagging requirements should call or stop in at your local ODFW office prior to going to the field. We want you to have a safe, enjoyable, and legal hunting season.
Were you lucky enough to draw a Premium Deer or Elk hunt? Your hunting season runs from Aug. 1 thru Nov. 30. Please check the 2019 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations pages 64-66 for specific information. Make sure to remember your bear and cougar tags.
The 2019 cougar season opened on Jan. 1 and will close on Dec. 31 or until the zone quota is met. Remember to purchase a 2019 Hunting License and 2019 Cougar Tag if you are planning to hunt for cougar this year. Winter snow provides good tracking conditions. A productive hunting technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed prey species. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised.
Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues. Please call ahead to your local ODFW office and schedule a check-in appointment to ensure a Wildlife Biologist is available prior to bringing the harvested cougar. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide.
Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. Please review the 2019 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements. See pages 62-63 of the 2019 Big Game Regulations for more information.
Fall black bear: The fall black bear season will be open through Dec. 31 in western Oregon. Hunters should target areas supporting seasonal forage. Food sources will change as the season progresses. Early in the season raspberries, cascara berries, trailing blackberries and insects are important sources of food. Later in the season, bears will shift foraging efforts to include Armenian (Himalayan) blackberries, manzanita, arctostaphylos species, huckleberries, madrone berries and other fruits.
Remember that there is a mandatory check in of your bear skull at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest, and the skull must be unfrozen. Please call the ODFW office to schedule an appointment to check in your bear skull. These check ins provide valuable information used in managing bear populations and supporting bear hunting in Oregon. Additionally, hunters are requested but not required to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear harvested.
For certain seasons, it is unlawful to hunt bears using a centerfire rifle without a used or unused deer or elk tag valid. These seasons are listed on page 16 of the Big Game Regulations.
Please report observations of 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.
Successful Elk Hunters:
In cooperation with Oregon State University, ODFW is asking for hunter’s assistance on an elk DNA project. Successful elk hunters are asked to take a small tissue sample (a piece of meat about the size of a nickel), put it in a Ziploc bag with records of the harvest date, location, WMU, and gender and then place it in the freezer. Samples can be dropped off at local ODFW offices at the hunter’s earliest convenience to be included in the study.