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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2017: Oregon Deer and Elk

 

Mule deer buck with data
Photo credit: Getty Images

Oregon's deer and elk application overview

Jump to: New for 2017 State Information Draw System Mule Deer Breakdown Columbian Blacktail Deer Breakdown Other Deer Breakdown Rocky Elk Breakdown Roosevelt Elk Breakdown

Oregon is one of the unique western states where both blacktail deer and roosevelt elk exist and can be hunted with over-the-counter tags. In additional to blacktail and roosevelt, mule deer, the northwest whitetail deer, Columbian whitetail deer, and rocky mountain elk can all be hunted in Oregon. There are many over-the-counter opportunities as well as a large number of controlled hunts.

The controlled hunt drawing gives 75% of tags to applicants with the most preference points and 25% are drawn randomly from a pool of all applicants. This drawing system gives all applicants a chance regardless of the number of preference points acquired. The problem... the few number of tags that are allocated to nonresidents and the price to apply. This isn't a nonresident friendly state for the draw hunts. Oregon issues a maximum of 3% of the tags for antelope and 5% of the controlled deer and elk tags to nonresidents. On top of that, the guide program will snatch up half of those before the draw even takes place.

Note: The application deadline for all species in Oregon is May 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PT and the application is entirely online.



Why Oregon for deer and elk

  • Even if unsuccessful in the controlled hunt drawing, applicants can still buy over-the-counter tags for elk and deer.
  • Opportunity to hunt two subspecies of elk and four subspecies of deer.
  • There’s always a chance to draw.
    • Draw odds for deer and elk can be difficult. Yet, with Oregon’s draw system, every single applicant has at least some chance.
  • In 2016 a new Premium hunt series opened up for deer and elk. This series provides an equal opportunity to draw for all applicants. These hunts have extended season dates, provide either sex opportunity and hunters can use any legal weapon.
    • One permit drawn for each unit
    • Hunters can only submit one hunt choice per Premium Hunt


New for 2017

  • The edible portions of game meat has been changed to include all quarters, the loins and tenderloins. For elk, the meat of the neck is also included.
  • There are a number of changes to Wildlife Areas including winter range closures beginning in the fall of 2017.
  • A 25-50% reduction in deer tags for Baker, northern Malheur, and Union County due to extreme weather conditions resulting in a high winter mortality.


State information

View important information and an overview of Oregon’s rules/regulations, the draw system, draw odds, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map on our State Profile. You can also view the Oregon species profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you locate trophy units. Note: point creep can and will happen. Keep that in mind when you are planning your future hunts in Oregon. If a hunt is listed at 100% odds at a certain point level and you are five points behind, it could take a lot longer than five years to pull that tag due to the amount of people applying with more points than you.

Oregon State Profile Mule Deer Profile Columbian Blacktail Deer Profile Columbian Whitetail Deer Profile Whitetail Deer Profile Rocky Mtn Elk Profile Roosevelt Elk Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • You can apply online here.
  • The deadline to apply is May 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PST for online applications.
  • Results will be made available on or before June 20, 2017.
  • Tags must be purchased (or picked up as part of a SportsPac) no later than the day before the hunt begins.
  • Apply for points only under the "Points Saver" program that is species specific. Below are the codes used:
    • 199 = buck deer point saver
    • 299 = elk point saver
    • 499 = antelope point saver
    • 699 = antlerless deer point saver
    • 799 = spring bear
  • Points only can be purchased from December 1 through May 15 and again from July 1 through November 30 if you didn't apply in the controlled hunt drawing.
  • Tags awarded to outfitters, but not sold by April 15 of the application year are available in that years' drawing.
  • Emergency tag cuts for 2017

2017 Oregon emergency tag reductions

Hunt Number Hunt name % tag
reduction
# of tags
now available
100 Series Buck Deer
151 Sumpter -50% 825
152A Starkey -35% 537
153 Catherine Cr -35% 273
154A E. Mt. Emily -35% 137
162 Pine Creek -50% 193
163 Keating -50% 270
164 Lookout Mtn -50% 159
165 Beulah -40% 1,188
165A SE Beulah -40% 297
166 Malheur River -35% 1,210
167 Owyhee -25% 327
167A NE Owyhee -25% 103
600 Series Antlerless Deer
651T Baker No. 1 Youth -50% 17
651A Sumpter-Unity Ag -100% No tags
663A Keating Ag -100% No tags
400 Series Antelope
451b South Sumpter -52% 13
463 Keating -50% 6
464 Lookout Mtn -53% 8
464R Lookout Mtn Bow -50% 11
465 Beulah -40% 54
467 Owyhee -25% 61
467R Owyhee Bow -25% 54

In addition to the above reductions, all landowner preference tags will also be decreased to allow wildlife to recover.

If you have already applied for one of the impacted controlled hunts, ODFW is allowing you to change your hunt choice free of charge until June 1, 2017 using the Controlled Hunt Application Change Request form. 

Wolves in Oregon
 

Oregon wolf use map December 2016
Oregon wolf use map December 2016. Source: ODFW

Wolves in Oregon are still protected. The above map shows areas of known wolf activity as of December 2016. The graphic below shows the increasing wolf totals. There are currently 19 packs of wolves. The South Snake Pack and Imnaha Pack reported zero wolves at the end of 2016.

Late last year, wolves were delisted from the state Endangered Species List. Wolves remain protected under the state’s Wolf Management Plan and no take is allowed, except in defense of human life or by livestock producers in certain situations in the eastern third of Oregon. Wolves also remain on the federal ESA west of Hwys 395-78-95.



The Oregon draw system

Understanding the draw

Oregon's draw system is pretty straight forward. You have five hunt choices. All applicants first choice are considered before anyone's second through fifth choices. Any tags remaining after looking over everyone's first choice will be available as second through fifth choices or until all tags have been drawn. Note: preference points are not impacted if you draw your second through fifth choice. If you draw a tag as your first choice, your points will revert back to zero, even if you don't purchase your tag.



Unlocking Oregon's system

Controlled tags are issued to winners of an annual computerized tag lottery. Each applicant or party of applicants is assigned a random number and may apply for five hunt choices. Party size for application purposes is restricted to 18 for deer and elk and 2 for antelope. No party applications are accepted for mountain goat or bighorn sheep. Unsuccessful applicants receive a preference point per species every year when they apply for a first-choice hunt but do not draw a tag. All applicants must buy a nonrefundable hunting license to apply for tags.

  • Preference points are considered only for first choice hunts
  • In each hunt choice 75% of tags are issued to applicants who have preference points
  • Applicants who have more preference points than others are drawn first
  • 25% of tags for each hunt choice are issued by random
  • Leftover tags after the preference point drawing are added to the 25% of random tags
  • Tags issued to outfitters’ clients are part of the nonresident quota
  • A maximum of 5% of deer and elk tags and 3% of antelope tags are issued to nonresidents
  • There is no minimum quota of deer, elk or antelope tags drawn by nonresidents
  • Hunters may apply for just a preference point rather than a tag if they do not want to hunt in a given year
  • Hunters should not apply for any tag they do not want. Select your first hunt choice wisely because all accumulated preference points are forfeited if you draw your first choice tag.


Oregon's 2017 mule deer breakdown
 

Griffin Webb with his 2016 Oregon mule deer
INSIDER member Griffin Webb with his 2016 Oregon mule deer.

Current deer herd condition

Mule deer are found all across eastern Oregon and all the way to the eastern edge of the Cascade mountain range. Mule deer populations topped out around 300,000 in the early 1980s. Voter passage of Measure 18 in 1994, followed by a bill enacted by the Legislature three years later to clarify the law, abolished the hunting of mountain lions and bears with hounds, resulting in a dramatic upsurge in predator numbers and that lead to a decline in mule deer in some areas. Back in 2009, ODFW made the commitment to try and do something about Oregon’s declining mule deer populations through the Oregon mule deer initiative program.

OREGON MULE DEER POPULATION SIZE

Oregon statewide mule deer hunters and harvest - 2017 app strategy

OREGON STATEWIDE MULE DEER HARVEST - BUCKS & DOES (1952-2011)



How to uncover hidden gem deer units

The majority of the hidden gem opportunities will come from the general OTC archery hunts. You can see that list here. This provides the hunter a great chance to hunt in Oregon, without waiting a long time for some of the rifle or muzzleloader hunts.

Top hit list units to consider for 180" or better mule deer
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Buck:doe
ratio
%4pt or
better
General* Controlled
36 - Maury 180"+ 26:100 30%   X
37 - Ochoco 180"+ 16:100 21% X X
39 - Metolius 180"+ 27:100 32% X X
64 - Lookout Mt 180"+ 14:100 35% X X
65 - Beulah 180"+ 14:100 23% X X
66 - Malheur River 180"+ 13:100 27% X X
67 - Owyhee 180"+ 12:100 32% X X
68 - Whitehorse 180"+ 22:100 47% X X
69 - Steens Mt 180"+ 28:100 55% X X
70 - Beatys Butte 180"+ 9:100 39% X X
71 - Juniper 180"+ 50:100 35% X X
72 - Silvies 180"+ 11:100 30% X X
74 - Warner 180"+ 22:100 27%   X

* Note: The majority of these general offerings are archery hunts. See Filtering 2.0 for more details.
 

Top units for mule deer buck:doe ratios

Unit Buck:doe
ratio
Trophy
potential
General Controlled
71 - Juniper 50:100 180"+ X X
42 - Hood 36:100 160"+ X X
40 - Maupin 28:100 170"+ X X
69 - Steens Mt 28:100 180"+ X X
39 - Metolius 27:100 180"+ X X
34 - Upper Deschutes 26:100 170"+ X X
41 - White River 26:100 160"+ X X
36 - Maury 26:100 180"+   X
77 - Fort Rock 25:100 170"+ X X
35 - Paulina 24:100 170"+ X X
38 - Grizzly 24:100 170"+ X X

B&C entry trends for Oregon mule deer
 

2016 mule deer buck taken with Aims High Hunting
2016 mule deer buck taken with Aims High Hunting — A goHUNT Business Member

Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are considered if any part of the unit is found within any part of the county.

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for typical mule deer

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Malheur 2 51, 65, 66, 67, 68
Baker 1 51, 52, 53, 62, 63, 64, 65
Harney 1 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Wheeler 1 37, 38, 43, 45, 48

 

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for nontypical mule deer

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Lake 1 35, 36, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77
Malheur 1 51, 65, 66, 67, 68
 

 

Managing points and expectations

Oregon buck deer preference point totals
Oregon buck deer point saver totals

Note: For another view of the preference point breakdown using tables, visit the Oregon Mule Deer Species Profile. The table view will allow for an easier readout of the higher point totals.

Find your draw odds

I have 0 deer preference points. What can I expect?

With zero points, you have a few options. You can apply for points only, apply for dream tags, or apply to try to hunt sooner than later by applying for easier to draw controlled hunts and/or sticking to general season hunts.

Residents

Of the 87 controlled hunt options, at zero points a resident has 100% draw odds for 14 hunts. You can see this list here. There's also four units that you can draw 100% on a second choice tag and still build points. Those units are Unit 68 - Whitehorse traditional archery only, and archery for Unit 54 - Mt Emily, Unit 55 - Walla Walla and Unit 56 - Wenaha. You can go here to see that list.

Nonresidents

For the most part, drawing a tag in the more popular units will take a lot more years. Similar to residents, of the 87 controlled hunt options, at zero points a nonresident has 100% draw odds for 14 hunts. You can see this list here. There's only one hunt that a nonresident could draw with 100% odds as a second choice. That is Unit 68 - Whitehorse traditional archery only.

What can I expect with 5 to 6 deer preference points?

Residents

At six points, you're getting closer to pulling some of the top unit choices. If you're an archery hunter, you can now draw most of the archery units. Some of the more popular units like Unit 39 - Metolius, Unit 44 Columbia Basin, Unit 65 - Beulah, and Units 70 - Beatys Butte, 71 - Juniper (early and late) are still out of reach.

Your next best bet at this point level is going to be picking up a muzzleloader. You can pull most of the units at six points except for Unit 39 - Metolius, Unit 44 - Columbia Basin, Unit 68 - Whitehorse, Units 70 - Beatys Butte/71 - Juniper and 71 - Juniper.

If you're holding out for a rifle hunt, you have a ton of options to choose from. Of the 60 available controlled rifle hunts, you have 100% draw odds on 54 units. You can see the list of 100% draw odd rifle mule deer hunts here.

Nonresidents

If you're holding out for a top tier tag... you're still going to be in for a long wait. Archery and muzzleloader hunts are going to be your best bet in this point range if you want to burn your points. 50% of the controlled archery hunts can be drawn at 6 points. You can see the list of archery controlled hunts at 6 points here

For muzzleloader, you'd be able to draw 5 out of the 13 hunts at 6 points. You can see that list here. Once again, keep in mind, even though you can pull some of those units... you've been building up points for 6 years now, so it might be best to keep waiting if you're looking to draw a certain unit. But, keep in mind that your pursuit at a dream unit could take you upwards of 15 plus years to draw.

What can I expect with 10 plus deer preference points?

Residents

At 10 points, you're not that much further ahead than people in the 6 point range. You can draw pretty much every archery hunt except for Unit 39 - Metolius, Unit 44 - Columbia Basin, Unit 68 - Whitehorse, Unit 65 - Beulah, and Units 70 - Beatys Butte/71 - Juniper and 71 - Juniper. The only exception is 71 - Juniper (early and late) are now within reach.

If you're waiting for a muzzleloader tag, you can pull any tag in the state except Units 70 - Beatys Butte/71 - Juniper and Unit 71 Juniper will still be a long shot.

For rifle hunts, you're roughly seven years out from pulling the Unit 41 - White River and you're three years out for Unit 42 - Hood. Also, Unit 54 - Mt Emily is going to take another seven years. Luck will still need to be on your side if you want to pull any of these hunts. 

It would be a great plan to review Filtering 2.0, Draw Odds and the hit list units listed in a table above to find a hunt that might meet your criteria. Should you continue to build points and hope to someday draw those tags? Or burn your points now and hunt another unit?

Nonresidents

Of the 14 archery only hunts, at 10 points you could pull 8 of them. See your options here. It's a very common theme, the big hitters like Unit 39 - Metolius, Unit 44 - Columbia Basin, Unit 68 - WhitehorseUnit 65 - Beulah, and Units 70 - Beatys Butte/71 - Juniper are going to need another six years worth of points. If you're looking for a muzzleloader hunt, you can draw 6 out of the 13 hunts. You can see that list here.



Oregon's 2017 Columbian blacktail deer breakdown
 

Oregon Columbian blacktail deer taken with Oregon Hunts LLC
2016 Oregon Columbian blacktail deer taken with Oregon Hunts, LLC — A goHUNT Business Member

There's a "hard" line drawn in the state for what is a Columbian blacktail. That line is Interstate 5; deer west of I-5 are considered Columbian blacktail deer and deer east of I-5 are mule deer. That is the line that Boone & Crockett uses for the record books. Keep in mind that sometimes these species cross breed in places where their ranges overlap. Locals call them bench-legs or Cascade blacktails. It’s no surprise that most of the biggest muleys come from the eastern half of the state. 

Current herd condition

Columbian blacktailed deer are reported as being difficult to survey because of their secretive life history and the dense cover they inhabit in western Oregon. Therefore, blacktails are managed based on trends in populations, buck:doe ratios, and damage reports, and not on actual counts of deer. ODFW has been in development of improved population estimates for blacktailed deer. Population estimates could be used to further develop management objectives. 

In 1979, ODFW estimated the statewide blacktailed deer population at 452,000. Population estimates during the next 10 years, based on computer modeling which relied primarily on population parameters collected during field surveys, varied between 400,000 and 500,000. In 2004, the blacktailed deer population estimate for Oregon was 320,000.

Changes in habitat availability and quality have contributed to declining populations since the early 1980’s. Reforestation techniques have also been affected by regulation changes in response to public demands. The primary use of the land (agriculture, forestry, etc.), is also an important consideration when discussing blacktailed deer habitat.

Since 2010, Oregon has 26 B&C typical Columbian blacktail deer entries, putting the state in 3rd place.

TOP B&C COLUMBIAN BLACKTAIL DEER LOCATION ENTRIES ALL-TIME (TYPICAL)



How to uncover hidden gem Columbian blacktail deer units

General rifle hunts

Top hit list units to consider for 140" or better Columbian blacktail deer on general rifle hunts
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
%4pt
or better
Harvest
success
16 - Santiam 150"+ 21% 14%
19 - McKenzie 150"+ 17% 17%
28 - Applegate 150"+ 28% 27%
29 - Evans Creek 150"+ 22% 32%
30 - Rogue 150"+ 29% 19%
15 - Willamette 140"+ 17% 18%
20 - Siuslaw 140"+ 20% 25%
22 - Dixon 140"+ 21% 27%
23 - Melrose 140"+ 18% 34%
27 - Chetco 140"+ 20% 39%


General archery hunts

If you're an archery hunter, you will have three additional "top tier" units to consider for the general hunts.

Top hit list units to consider for 140" or better Columbian blacktail on general archery hunts
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
%4pt
or better
Harvest
success
31 - Keno 160"+ 19% 27%
41 - White River 160"+ 28% 26%
16 - Santiam 150"+ 21% Early: 9%
Late: 15%
19 - McKenzie 150"+ 17% Early: 10%
Late: 21%
28 - Applegate 150"+ 28% 27%
29 - Evans Creek 150"+ 22% Early: 13%
Late: 27%
30 - Rogue 150"+ 29% Early: 9%
Late: 20%
42 - Hood 150"+ 12% 36%
15 - Willamette 140"+ 17% Early: 10%
Late: 17%
20 - Siuslaw 140"+ 20% Early: 7%
Late: 22%
22 - Dixon 140"+ 21% 16%
23 - Melrose 140"+ 18% Early: 13%
Late: 27%
27 - Chetco 140"+ 20% 16%

 


 

B&C entry trends for Oregon Columbian blacktail deer


Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are considered if any part of the unit is found within any part of the county.

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for typical Columbian blacktail deer

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Jackson 8 22282930
Clackamas 4 15, 16
Douglas 3 20212223242629
Linn 2 15, 16, 19
Washington 2 10, 11, 12, 14, 15

 

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for nontypical Columbian blacktail deer

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Linn 1 15, 16, 19

 

Top hit list units to consider for 140" or better Columbian blacktail deer
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
%4pt or
better
General Controlled
31 - Keno 160"+ 19% X X
41 - White River 160"+ 28% X X
16 - Santiam 150"+ 21% X X
19 - McKenzie 150"+ 17% X X
28 - Applegate 150"+ 28% X X
29 - Evans Creek 150"+ 22% X  
30 - Rogue 150"+ 29% X X
42 - Hood 150"+ 12% X X
15 - Willamette 140"+ 17% X X
20 - Siuslaw 140"+ 20% X X
22 - Dixon 140"+ 21% X X
23 - Melrose 140"+ 18% X X
27 - Chetco 140"+ 20% X X

* Note: The majority of these general offerings are archery hunts. See Filtering 2.0 for more details.
 


Managing points and expectations

Note: For another view of the preference point breakdown using tables, visit the Oregon Columbian Blacktail deer Species Profile. The table view will allow for an easier readout of the higher point totals.

Find your draw odds

I have 0 deer preference points. What can I expect?

With zero points, you have a few options. You can either apply for points only, apply for dream tags, or apply to try to hunt sooner than later by applying for easier to draw controlled hunts and/or sticking to general season hunts.

Residents

There are only five hunts with 100% draw odds at zero points. They are: archery unit group 21 to 24, muzzleloader for Units 23 - Melrose/25 - Sixes, and rifle for unit group 16, 19, 21, 22, 30, 31, Unit 31 - Keno, and Unit 42 - Hood.

Nonresidents

Just like for residents, there are only five hunts with 100% draw odds at zero points. They are: archery unit group 21 to 24, muzzleloader for Units 23 - Melrose/25 - Sixes, and rifle for unit group 16, 19, 21, 22, 30, 31, Unit 31 - Keno, and Unit 42 - Hood. Besides for the 100% muzzleloader hunt, a nonresident's odds at the other hunts range from 0 to 10% and 0 to 12% for the rifle hunts (besides for the three 100% hunts).

What can I expect with 5 to 6 deer preference points?

Residents

At 6 points you can draw any of the controlled archery Columbian blacktail hunts, and you also have 100% draw odds on six of the seven controlled muzzleloader hunts. The only muzzleloader hunt that you'd have a hard time to draw is Unit group 21 - Indigo, 22 - Dixon, 23 - Melrose.

Rifle controlled hunt options at six points can be found here. You have fairly good odds at most hunts at this point level and have 100% draw odds on eight of the 11 hunts. The only hunts that you can't draw at this point level are: Unit group 21 - Indigo, 22 - Dixon, 23 - Melrose, Unit 41 - White River (Nov. 11 - 22), and Unit 42 - Hood (Nov. 11 - 22).

Nonresidents

You can pull all of the archery hunts at 6 points. The only two muzzleloader hunts that you can't draw are: Unit group 21 - Indigo22 - Dixon23 - Melrose and Unit 27 - Chetco.

For the rifle hunter, you have 100% draw odds on seven of the 11 hunts. The only hunts that you can't draw at this point level are: Unit group 21 - Indigo, 22 - Dixon, 23 - Melrose, Unit 41 - White River, (both early and late) and Unit 42 - Hood (Nov. 11 - 22).

What can I expect with 10 plus deer preference points?

Residents

At 10 points you now have 100% draw odds on all of the controlled muzzleloader hunts. But, your options are pretty much the same as they were with six points for rifle controlled hunts. You're still a long shot on Unit group 21 - Indigo, 22 - Dixon, 23 - Melrose (three more years), Unit 41 - White River (Nov. 11 - 22) (eight more years), and Unit 42 - Hood (Nov. 11 - 22) (four more years). 

Nonresidents

You're still five years away from drawing the muzzleloader hunt for Unit group 21 - Indigo22 - Dixon23 - Melrose. And, just like residents, you're still a long shot for the rifle controlled hunts for Unit group 21 - Indigo22 - Dixon23 - Melrose (two more years for the early hunt and five years for the late hunt), Unit 41 - White River (Nov. 11 - 22) (ten more years), and Unit 42 - Hood (Nov. 11 - 22) (four more years). 



Other deer species in Oregon

Oregon is also home to Columbian whitetail deer and the regular "eastern" whitetail. Tags are highly sought after for Columbian whitetail deer and the draw odds shows this. Few Columbian whitetail bucks exceed 110” with exceptional bucks measuring 120” or more. There's only four huntable units for Columbian whitetail deer: Unit 21 - Indigo, Unit 22 - Dixon, Unit 23 - Melrose and Unit 24 - Tioga. You can find out more information on hunting Columbian whitetail deer on Filtering 2.0 and study the odds of pulling a tag on our standalone Draw Odds page.


 

Oregon's 2017 Rocky Mountain elk breakdown
 

2016 Oregon bull elk taken by Alexis Webb
2016 Oregon bull elk taken by Alexis Webb. Photo credit: Seth Webb

Whether you choose Roosevelt or Rocky Mountain elk, there are controlled hunts as well as over-the-counter hunts available in Oregon. The species are divided by the Cascade mountain range. Roosevelt elk are on the west side and Rocky Mountain elk are on the east side. You can quickly see this by checking out the views on Filtering 2.0.

Current elk herd condition

Overall the elk population in Oregon is doing very well. The current 2016 population of Rocky Mountain elk of 74,227 is above the management objective of 70,300. The only alarming thing to note is the calves per 100 cows ratio is at a six year low. The current calf:cow ratio is 25:100.

OREGON ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK POPULATION

How to uncover hidden gem elk units

Beyond the “big three” units in Oregon there are dozens of other areas that can be drawn with five preference points or less. Utilize our Filtering 2.0 tools and manipulate the Trophy Potential to display the units that have a legitimate chance at bulls that score 300” or better. Customize your search and click on a specific unit to access the Unit Profile in order to gain the greatest resource available to thoroughly learn an area. Our Oregon Rocky Mountain Elk Species Profile and Roosevelt Species Profile is another great way to determine other units and regions of the state to consider. Within the Species Profile you will find a table showing the top Boone and Crockett producing units over the years for both typical and nontypical bulls.

General rifle hunts for Rocky Mountain elk

Top hit list units to consider for 300" or better Rocky Mountain elk on general rifle hunts
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
%6pt
or better
Harvest
success
44 - Columbia Basin 320"+ 11:100 24% 32%
48 - Heppner 320"+ 11:100 13% 11%
52 - Starkey 320"+ 7:100 18% 12%
49 - Ukiah 310"+ 10:100 13% 14%
50 - Desolation 310"+ 6:100 34% 8%
51 - Sumpter 310"+ 19:100 18% 11%
61 - Imnaha 310"+ 7:100 14% 17%
53 - Catherine Creek 300"+ 5:100 13% 15%
62 - Pine Creek 300"+ 12:100 15% 21%
63 - Keating 300"+ 12:100 28% 19%


2nd choice Rocky Mountain elk units with 100% draw odds

Resident - 2nd choice controlled Rocky Mountain elk units with 100% draw odds
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
%6pt
or better
Harvest
success
Applications
52 - Starkey* NA 7:100 18% 10% 80
47 - Northside 310"+ 12:100 17% 48% 71
45 - Fossil 300"+ 13:100 20% See harvest here** See apps here**
32 - Klamath Falls 260"+ 13:100 100% 0% 14
33 - Sprague 260"+ 13:100 20% 4% 52

* Spike only hunt
** Many different season choices

The only choice for a nonresident wanting a second choice controlled elk permit is 45 - Fossil at 41% draw odds.

Top units for Rocky Mountain elk bull:cow ratios

Unit Bull:cow
ratio
General Controlled
71 - Juniper 139:100 X X
67 - Owyhee 139:100 X X
68 - Whitehorse 139:100 X X
69 - Steens Mt 139:100 X X
70 - Beatys Butte 139:100 X X
73 - Wagontire 139:100 X X
65 - Beulah 47:100 X X
46 - Murderers Creek 24:100 X X
58 - Chesnimnus 21:100   X
51 - Sumpter 19:100 X X
66 - Malheur River 19:100 X X
56 - Wenaha 17:100   X
60 - Minam 17:100 X X
64 - Lookout Mt 17:100 X X
72 - Silvies 17:100 X X
37 - Ochoco 16:100   X
32 - Klamath Falls 13:100 X X
33 - Sprague 13:100 X X
34 - Upper Deschutes 13:100 X X
36 - Maury 13:100   X
41 - White River 13:100 X X
43 - Biggs 13:100 X  
45 - Fossil 13:100 X X
76 - Silver Lake 13:100 X X
77 - Fort Rock 13:100 X X

 


 

B&C entry trends for Oregon Rocky Mountain elk

While Oregon may not be home to the biggest elk in the West, it does offer many great hunts that can occasionally produce record book animals. Below is a list of the top record book producing counties found in the state.


Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are considered if any part of the unit is found within any part of the county.

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for Typical Rocky Mountain elk

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Union 2 49, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 60, 63

 

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for Nontypical Rocky Mountain elk

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Clackamas 1 16
Wallowa 1 5355565758596062

 


 

Hit list units for Rocky Mountain elk in Oregon
 

Oregon bull elk taken with Oregon Hunts LLC
2016 Oregon elk taken with Oregon Hunts, LLC — A goHUNT Business Member

 

Top hit list units to consider for 320" or better Rocky Mountain elk
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
%6pt or
better
56 - Wenaha 360"+ 17:100 23%
54 - Mt Emily 350"+ 6:100 25%
37 - Ochoco 340"+ 16:100 28%
55 - Walla Walla 340"+ 6:100 22%
57 - Sled Springs 330"+ 11:100 22%
59 - Snake River 330"+ 10:100 28%
36 - Maury 320"+ 13:100 14%
44 - Columbia Basin 320"+ 11:100 24%
46 - Murderers Creek 320"+ 24:100 21%
48 - Heppner 320"+ 11:100 13%
52 - Starkey 320"+ 7:100 18%
58 - Chesimnus 320"+ 21:100 16%
60 - Minam 320"+ 17:100 32%

 


 

Managing points and expectations

OREGON ELK PREFERENCE POINT TOTALS

Note: For another view of the preference point breakdown using tables, visit the Oregon Rocky Mountain Elk Species Profile. The table view will allow for an easier readout of the higher point totals.

Find your draw odds

I have 0 elk preference points. What can I expect?

With zero points, you have a few options. You can apply for points only, apply for dream tags, or apply to try to hunt sooner than later by applying for easier to draw controlled hunts and/or sticking to general season hunts.

Residents

  • General hunts
    • There are 18 units with general rifle seasons. You can quickly narrow down your choices in Filtering 2.0. You can see that list here.
    • There are 38 units with general archery seasons. You can quickly narrow down your choices in Filtering 2.0. You can see that list here.

The best part about the general archery hunts is that you can hunt all but eight of the "trophy" controlled elk units. This can provide great action year-after-year and can allow you to really learn a unit.

Controlled hunts

Of the 18 controlled archery hunts, you could draw 8 of them at 100% odds. You can see that list here.

Nonresidents

The only choice for a nonresident wanting a second choice controlled rocky mountain elk permit is 45 - Fossil at 41% draw odds. You're best bet for a muzzleloader tag will be Units 35 - Paulina, 77 - Fort Rock at 50% draw odds. The rest of the muzzleloader hunts range from 0 to 12% odds. Of the 84 controlled rifle hunts, a nonresident could draw 26 at 100% odds. You can see that list here.

What can I expect with 5 to 6 elk preference points?

Residents

Now with 6 points, you could draw 15 of the 18 controlled Rocky Mountain elk hunts. You can see the list of hunts here. The any bull tag for Unit 54 - Mt Emily and Unit 55 - Walla Walla will take you another nine years to draw. You'll have to wait another 13 years to have a chance at drawing the any bull Unit 56 - Wenaha tag. With that said, you now have a really good chance to pull the Unit 52 - Starkey and Unit 57 - Sled Springs.

For muzzleloader hunts, you can draw any of the six hunts except for Unit 48 - Heppner which will take roughly three more years.

At six points, you can draw 78 of the 84 controlled rifle hunts at 100% draw odds. The units that will take a little more time are: Unit 52 - Starkey, Unit 54 - Mt Emily, Unit 55 - Walla Walla (Oct. 25 - Nov. 12), Unit 55 - Walla Walla (Oct. 28 - Nov. 5) and Unit 56 - Wenaha. Note: Unit 59 - Snake River is at 74%, so this hunt is pretty much within reach.

Nonresidents

Nonresidents also have a large amount of controlled rifle hunts they can draw with six points. Again, the heavy hitters are going to be out of reach for quite a few more years. A nonresident has 76 controlled rifle hunts that are 100% draw odds at the six point level. You can see that list here.

What can I expect with 10 plus elk preference points?

Residents

The options at 10 points are pretty much the same as six points. You could draw 15 of the 18 controlled Rocky Mountain elk hunts. You can see the list of hunts here. The any bull tag for Unit 54 - Mt Emily and Unit 55 - Walla Walla will take you another five years to draw. You'll have to wait another nine years to have a chance at drawing the any bull Unit 56 - Wenaha tag.

For muzzleloader hunts, you're at 100% draw odds for all five units. You can see that list here.

Your rifle options are again very similar to the six point level. You're four years away from potentially drawing Unit 52 - Starkey, six years away from Unit 54 - Mt Emily and Unit 55 - Walla Walla (Oct. 25 - Nov. 12), two years away from Unit 55 - Walla Walla (Oct. 28 - Nov. 5) and eight years away from Unit 56 - Wenaha.

Now would be a great time to weigh your options. Should you continue to build points and hope to someday draw those tags? Or burn your points now and hunt another unit?

Nonresidents

Not much has changed for the nonresident with 10 points when you compare them to the six point level. Again, the heavy hitters are going to be out of reach for quite a few more years.

A nonresident archery hunter with 10 points can draw 15 out of the 18 hunts. The three that are out of reach are: Unit 54 - Mt Emily, Unit 55 - Walla Walla, and Unit 56 - Wenaha.

For the muzzleloader hunter, you could pull five of the six muzzy hunts. The only one that is still out of reach is Unit 48 - Heppner which will take another seven years.

Unit 52 - Starkey will take seven more years, you're six years away from Unit 54 - Mt Emily, nine years away from Unit 55 - Walla Walla (Oct. 25 - Nov. 12), six years away from Unit 55 - Walla Walla (Oct. 28 - Nov. 5) and 10 years away from Unit 56 - Wenaha.

A nonresident has 79 controlled rifle hunts that are 100% draw odds at the 10 point level. You can see that list here.



Oregon's 2017 Roosevelt elk breakdown

Whether you choose Roosevelt or Rocky mountain elk, there are controlled hunts as well as over the counter hunts available in Oregon. The species are divided by the Cascade mountain range. Roosevelt elk are on the west side and Rocky Mountain elk on the east side. You can quickly see this by checking out the views on Filtering 2.0.

Current elk herd condition

Overall the Roosevelt elk population in Oregon is doing fairly well. The only alarming thing to note in the graph below is the rapid decrease in population from 2015 to 2016.

OREGON ROOSEVELT ELK POPULATION

TOP B&C ROOSEVELT ELK LOCATION ENTRIES ALL-TIME

How to uncover hidden gem elk units

Utilize our Filtering 2.0 tools and manipulate the Trophy Potential to display the units that have a legitimate chance at bulls that score a certain size or better. Customize your search and click on a specific unit to access the Unit Profile in order to gain the greatest resource available to thoroughly learn an area. Our Roosevelt Species Profile is another great way to determine other units and regions of the state to consider. Within the Species Profile you will find a table showing the top Boone and Crockett producing units over the years for both typical and nontypical bulls.

General rifle hunts

Top hit list units to consider for 290" or better Roosevelt elk on general rifle hunts
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
%6pt
or better
Harvest
success
11 - Scappoose 300"+ 11:100 7% Early: 18%
Late: 14%
16 - Santiam 300"+ 17:100 22% 5%
12 - Wilson 290"+ 11:100 5% Early: 10%
Late: 11%
14 - Trask 290"+ 11:100 10% Early: 13%
Late: 9%
19 - McKenzie 290"+ 32:100 26% 6%

 

Top 10 units for Roosevelt elk bull:cow ratios

Unit Bull:cow
ratio
General Controlled
19 - McKenzie 32:100 X X
25- Sixes 25:100 X X
10 - Saddle Mt 24:100 X X
20 - Siuslaw 24:100 X  
30 - Rogue 22:100 X X
22 - Dixon 19:100 X X
31 - Keno 18:100 X  
16 - Santiam 17:100 X X
21 - Indigo 17:100 X X
29 - Evans Creek 16:100 X X

 



B&C entry trends for Oregon Roosevelt elk

Oregon ranks #1 for the most Roosevelt elk B&C entries in the West. Below is a list of the top record book producing counties found in the state.


Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are considered if any part of the unit is found within any part of the county.

Oregon's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for Roosevelt elk

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Douglas 9 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 29
Coos 5 24, 25, 26
Tillamook 5 12, 14
Clatsop 2 10, 12
Columbia 2 10, 11
Yamhill 2 14, 15 

 



Hit list units for Roosevelt elk in Oregon

Top hit list units to consider for 290" or better Roosevelt elk
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Bull:cow
ratio
%6pt or
better
10 - Saddle Mt 300"+ 24:100 9%
11 - Scappoose 300"+ 11:100 7%
16 - Santiam 300"+ 17:100 22%
12 - Wilson 290"+ 11:100 5%
14 - Trask 290"+ 11:100 10%
19 - McKenzie 290"+ 32:100 26%

 



Managing points and expectations

OREGON ELK PREFERENCE POINT TOTALS

Note: For another view of the preference point breakdown using tables, visit the Oregon Roosevelt Elk Species Profile. The table view will allow for an easier readout of the higher point totals.

Find your draw odds

I have 0 elk preference points. What can I expect?

With zero points, you have a few options. You can apply for points only, apply for dream tags, or apply to try to hunt sooner than later by applying for easier to draw controlled hunts and/or stick to general season hunts.

Residents

A resident with zero points has a lot of great options if you're looking to hunt this year. Keep in mind, it might be worth building points for a few years because it doesn't take many points to draw some of the best Roosevelt elk units in Oregon. Of the 19 controlled Roosevelt elk hunts, seven of them have 100% draw odds at zero points. You can see the list here.

Nonresidents

If you're looking to apply and try to draw a controlled this year, your only real option for archery and muzzleloader is Unit 24 - Tioga that has 100% draw odds. You can only draw three of the 12 rifle controlled hunts at 100% odds. So, after all that, if those options aren't what you're looking for, it might be best to shoot for the stars and wait out your time to draw one of the more coveted tags.

What can I expect with 5 to 6 elk preference points?

Residents

If you're a resident with six points, you can draw any Roosevelt elk tag in the state except for Unit 23 - Melrose. Which will take you roughly 11 points.

Nonresidents

At six points, you can now pull any archery tag and any muzzleloader tag. For rifle controlled hunts, you can draw every hunt except for Unit 23 - Melrose. That hunt will still take roughly another 13 years.

What can I expect with 10 plus elk preference points?

Residents

Again, you can pull any tag in the state with 100% odds except for Unit 23 - Melrose that has 55% odds at 10 points. 

Nonresidents

Like at the six point level, you can draw any tag in the state except for Unit 23 - Melrose. Currently that hunt is taking 19 points to draw. 

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