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Application strategy 2022: Oregon deer

 

 
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Jump to: NEW FOR 2022 State Information Draw System Mule Deer Breakdown Columbian Blacktail Breakdown Columbian Whitetail Breakdown Northeast Whitetail Breakdown

OREGON'S 2022 DEER APPLICATION OVERVIEW

Note: The application deadline in Oregon for all species is May 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST and all applications must be submitted online or at a license sales agent.


New for 2022

Most of the changes for the 2022 season affect the elk hunts, which we will discuss in the Elk and Antelope app strategy. However, the bullets below do affect the 2022 deer hunts. 

  • Muzzleloaders do not require an open ignition. 
  • The Umatilla National Forest Cooperative Travel Management Area is in effect for parts of Fossil, Heppner, Ukiah, Desolation, Mt. Emily, Walla Walla and Wenaha units.

Antlerless opportunities

Remember that goHUNT has Draw Odds for all female species.

See your Draw Odds here


STATE INFORMATION

To view more important information including a state overview of Oregon’s rules/regulations, the draw system, draw odds and license fee go to the Oregon state profile. It also includes an interactive map where you can research unit boundaries and data on a unit by unit basis

Oregon State Profile Mule Deer Profile Columbian Blacktail Profile Columbia Whitetail Profile Northeast Whitetail Profile GOHUNT Maps Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • You can apply online here.
  • The deadline to apply is May 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST. 
  • Results will be available by June 20, 2022.
  • If you made an error on your application, corrections can be made until June 1.
  • You are required to purchase a hunting license prior to applying.
  • Applicants do not have to front the cost of the permits they apply for.
  • If you are successful, you will receive a notification to purchase your tag.
  • Hunters 17 years old or younger need to have a hunter’s education certificate unless they are ages nine to 15 and enrolled in the youth mentor program.
  • Oregon deer, elk and antelope run on a modified preference point system. 
  • 75% of the tags are allocated to maximum point holders; 25% are randomly allocated with no regard to points.
  • Point only codes are as follows:
    • 199 - buck deer point saver
    • 699 - antlerless deer point saver
  • You cannot apply for a second through fifth choice if you choose to apply for a point saver as your first choice. (If the goal is to draw on a second choice and retain your points, always apply for a hard to draw hunt in the state so if you do happen to get lucky it will be in a top-shelf unit with excellent dates.)
  • Points can also be purchased during a separate timeframe from July 1 to Nov. 30.

Oregon cost to apply and tag fees

Item Resident Nonresident
Hunting license $34.50 $172.00
Juvenile hunting license $10.00 $10.00
Application fee/per species $8.00 $8.00
*Deer (controlled or general) $28.50 $443.50
* Tag fees only required if you are successful in the draw. 

In 2022, Oregon’s drought continues to linger, with no signs of improving, as the winter months are now behind us. In terms of the current snowpack, every portion of the state has either stayed the same or declined, compared to 2021. Most of the state is struggling, with <50% - 90% of its annual average of snowpack. Only one portion of the state, in the north-central section, is at 100% of its annual average. Hopefully some of these April storms help, but most of the state is way behind schedule.

The drought outlook is not good with the bulk of the state in some stages of drought from abnormally dry to extremely dry. The central, to south-central part of the state is experiencing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. Overall, the central part of the state is in bad shape. Going into the hunting seasons of 2022, it will likely be an average to below-average antler growth year again.


The Oregon draw system

Understanding the draw

Oregon’s deer draw works on a preference point hybrid system. There is both a preference point and a random draw portion. Out of the total tags, 75% are allocated to the highest point holders who apply for any given hunt and the other 25% are randomly allocated with no weight given to the number of points that you have. On the random side of that draw, every applicant is on a level playing field for those tags. Note: if there are only three or less for any particular hunt, those will be given to the highest point applicants. 

Another thing to consider, is understanding the tag distribution between residents and nonresidents. 95% of the tags are allocated for resident applicants and the remaining 5% are allocated for nonresident applicants. It’s not very generous for the nonresident pool, but there are plenty of hunts with enough tags to satisfy the hybrid draw system (75/25). Meaning, there’s always a chance. 

Preference point only

If applicants wish to build points only, then they can apply with the point only code as their first choice. In this scenario, applicants will use the point saver code 199 for antlered deer and 699 for antlerless as their first choice. If by chance, you miss the main draw, preference points can be purchased from July 1 through Nov 30. 

Choices

Oregon will allow applicants to enter five hunt choices. Every applicant's first choice is considered before moving to an applicant's second choice, so on and so forth. Preference points are only purged if an applicant draws their first choice. There is no waiting period for reapplying for deer if you drew a tag the previous year. 

Group applications

Oregon will allow group applications for deer of any size. A group application will have their points averaged and will round up to the next whole number if the average is .51 or above and down to the whole number if the average is .50 or below. A group application is treated as a single application where, if selected, all applicants will receive a tag provided there are enough tags to satisfy the size of the group. If there are not enough tags, no one on that application will receive a tag. 

Purchasing tags and tag return

If you are successful in drawing a tag, you have up until the day before the earliest hunt starts to purchase the tag. Once you have purchased the tag, you cannot return the tag for a refund. If you draw your first choice, your preference points will be purged so make sure you actually want the permit you apply for.

Oregon's premium hunts 

In addition to the regular controlled hunt drawing, Oregon offers a separate draw for hunts that they call premium hunts. This is a completely separate hunt drawing that allows tag holders to hunt extended season dates with any weapon. These hunts are 100% randomly drawn each year and there are no preference or bonus points attached to the application. There is no resident or nonresident quota. Standard application fees exist and the applicant can apply for five different choices on their application. They are only allowed to apply once per species (hunt code).


OREGON'S 2022 MULE DEER BREAKDOWN

Oregon manages their mule deer hunts heavily skewed towards opportunity. Trophy hunts are few and far between and the opportunities to hunt a mature buck are slim. Not to mention, the ongoing drought definitely isn’t helping. For nonresidents, those hunts are even more rare given that the percentage of good tags is so low. To add to that, mule deer only occupy the central and eastern portions of the state. The statewide mule deer population has been on a continuous slide for years and the most recent population estimates are down once again. Statewide, the estimated population is 163,007, which is almost 30,000 fewer deer since 2017. 

 

If you live in a neighboring state and are looking for an opportunity to hunt mule deer, Oregon still offers decent odds. Hunters just need to have their expectations in check and understand that the opportunity to hunt and harvest a deer are decent, but the chance at a big buck is not likely to happen.

Oregon deer populations and buck to doe ratios

Unit Population
objective
Population
estimate
Buck:doe
ratio (2021)
31 - Keno 3,20 4,070 10:100
32 - Klamath Falls 6,200 4,255 17:100
33 - Sprague 2,200 300 -
34 - Upper Deschutes 2,200 800 24:100
35 - Paulina 16,500 4,097 17:100
36 - Maury 5,200 1,680 11:100
37 - Ochoco 20,500 6,864 23:100
38 - Grizzly 8,500 4,875 16:100
39 - Metolius 6,200 3,359 19:100
40 - Maupin 3,000 1,505 26:100
41 - White River 9,000 5,298 23:100
42 - Hood 1,400 1,295 -
43 - East Biggs 3,500 1,740 20:100
43 - West Biggs 3,300 5,487 22:100
44 - Columbia Basin 10,000 6,700 19:100
45 - Fossil 10,000 6,600 14:100
46 - Murderers Cr 9,000 5,568 12:100
47 - Northside 15,500 2,981 9:100
48 - Heppner 12,000 6,475 15:100
49 - Ukiah 8,500 6,000 16:100
50 - Desolation 2,500 646 14:100
51 - Sumpter 7,000 3,661 11:100
52 - Starkey 3,000 1,200 10:100
53 - Catherine Cr 4,300 1,500 18:100
54 - Mt Emily 5,000 1,600 21:100
55 - Walla Walla 1,900 850 19:100
56 - Wenaha 4,000 1,037 16:100
57 - Sled Springs 11,000 3,255 11:100
58 - Chesnimnus 5,700 1,662 21:100
59 - Snake River 6,400 1,243 21:100
60 - Minam 7,000 1,152 20:100
61 - Imnaha 7,000 2,207 22:100
62 - Pine Cr 3,700 1,769 14:100
63 - Keating 4,600 1,118 20:100
64 - Lookout Mt 5,000 2,440 16:100
65 - Beulah 15,000 7,400 20:100
66 - Malheur River 15,000 8,122 24:100
67 - Owyhee 5,000 2,570 20:100
68 - E Whitehorse 3,200 1,500 24:100
68 - Trout Cr Mts 2,800 1,243 49:100
69 - Steens Mt 11,000 5,848 48:100
70 - Beatys Butte 2,800 1,100 32,100
71 - Juniper 2,300 1,300 33:100
72 - Silvies 12,000 9,370 17:100
73 - Wagontire 2,500 1,438 15:100
74 - Warner 5,500 3,588 17:100
75 - Interstate 14,800 6,520 16:100
76 - Silver Lake 10,300 5,393 15:100
77 - Fort Rock 11,200 3,626 26:100

 

Top hit list units to consider for 180" or better mule deer

(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident points to
draw
Nonresident points to
draw
37 - Ochoco 180”+ Archery: 28%
Rifle: 23%
100% with 1
100% with 2
100% with 1
100% with 2
36 - Maury 180”+ Archery: 14%
Rifle: 30%
100% with 0
45% with 1
100% with 1
34% with 1
64 - Lookout Mt 180”+

Archery: 31%

Rifle: 71%

100% with 0
80% with 4
100% with 1
67% with 6
65 - Beulah 180”+ Archery: 19%
Archery (late): 44%
Rifle: 53%
100% with 0
56% with 14
100% with 3
100% with 0
100% with 20
100% with 3
66 - Malheur River 180”+ Archery: 19%
Muzzleloader: 30%
Rifle: 48%
100% with 0
74% with 2
73% with 2
100% with 0
100% with 3
70% with 2
67 - Owyhee 180”+ Archery: 28%
Rifle: 46%
Rifle: 50%
100% with 0
35% with 3
71% with 1
40% with 1
50% with 7
100% with 3
68 - Whitehorse 180”+ Archery: 63%
Trad. archery: 23%
Muzzleloader: 70%
Rifle: 34%
Rifle: 80%
100% with 0
100% with 0
100% with 12
94% with 16
100% with 2
100% with 0
100% with 1
100% with 21
100% with 23
13% with 4
69 - Steens Mt 180”+ Archery: 24%
Rifle: 54%
100% with 0
45% with 7
100% with 1
100% with 14
70 - Beatys Butte 180”+ Archery: 38%
Archery: 26%
Archery: 25%
Muzzleloader: 43%
Rifle: 46%
100% with 6
100% with 3
100% with 0
100% with 12
94% with 3
50% with 10
100% with 8
100% with 1
100% with 13
100% with 11
71 - Juniper 180”+ Archery: 0%
Archery: 42%
Archery: 0%
Muzzleloader: 0%
Rifle: 17%
Rifle: 27%
100% with 6
100% with 3
100% with 0
100% with 12
100% with 0
100% with 2
50% with 10
100% with 8
100% with 0
100% with 13
100% with 1
40% with 3
72 - Silvies 180”+ Archery: 18%
Muzzleloader: 42%
Rifle: 45%
100% with 0
70% with 4
39% with 4
100% with 0
100% with 5
35% with 4
74 - Warner 180”+ Archery: 10%
Archery: 55%
Rifle: 38%
Rifle: 72%
49% with 4
100% with 0
100% with 15
97% with 2
100% with 5
100% with 0
100% with 21
75% with 3

Hidden gems in Oregon

If you are looking for a hidden gem, your best bet is to consider applying for one of the newer archery controlled hunts. The first season for these archery controlled hunts was in 2021 and your odds of drawing are pretty decent. Previous to 2021, these were all general tags. 

Best mule deer hunts with 100% odds with 0 points

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
% bucks 4 point+
60 - Minam 170”+ Archery: 20%
Rifle: 32%
45%
61 - Imnaha 160”+ Archery: 13%
Rifle: 31%
31%
65 - Beulah 180”+ Archery: 19% 32%
63 - Keating 170”+ Archery: 21% 39%
42 - Hood 160”+ Archery: 31% 23%
31 - Keno 160”+ Archery: 24%
Rifle: 29%
22%
32 - Klamath Falls 170”+ Archery: 27% 29%
51 - Sumpter 170”+ Archery: 29% 35%
40 - Maupin 170”+ Archery: 30%
Rifle: 43%
29%
54 - Mt Emily 170”+ Archery: 19% 38%
48 - Heppner 170”+ Muzzleloader: 15%
Rifle: 15%
27%
71 - Juniper 180”+ Archery: 42% 63%
57 - Sled Springs 160”+ Rifle: 27% 35%
68 - Whitehorse 180”+ Archery: 63% 44%

The other method in locating a hidden gem is with resources like Filtering 2.0 and Draw Odds. It has never been easier to locate a unit that fits your individual goals. You can pour over information like trophy potential, draw odds percentages, buck:doe ratios and a percentage of 4 point or better per hunt and unit. You can also explore the muzzleloader and rifle hunts. There are many other hunts that offer decent odds with good trophy potential.


MANAGING POINTS AND EXPECTATIONS

What can I expect with 0 deer preference points?

Residents

Out of the 126 hunts available to residents, 51 could have been drawn with no points. Archery hunts in Unit 55, 51, 64, 67, 68, 70 and 71 are good options with good trophy potential. Rifle hunts in Units 40, 43, 44, 45, 57 and 71, all have 100% odds with no points and harvest success rates are 20% or more. With the exception of unit 71, the percentage of public land within these units is low. 

Other options include Archery hunts in Units 32, 40, 41, 43 and 44. Those areas offer the opportunity to draw a tag, but are limited in the amount of public land. Those can be great hunts if you can find access, but without it those can be tough areas to hunt. 

The other option, if you have no points, is to take a swing for the fence approach. Remember, with Oregon’s draw system, a portion of the tags are randomly allocated. Even if you have no points you still have some chance to draw the best tags.

Nonresidents

There were 33 controlled archery hunts that had 100% odds at zero points. The best options for a controlled archery hunt that was drawn with zero points and the most public land would be, Units 34, 41, 51, 60, 63, 68, 71 and 73. Those units all have a harvest success of 21% or more. From the table above, there are also rifle hunts that nonresidents can draw with no points. You might consider Unit 31, 48 and 57.

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

Residents

The early archery hunt for Unit 70 is one of the most intriguing options within this point range and could have been drawn with six points. The Unit 74 - Warner (north Warner) archery hunt is another good option. The best muzzleloader hunts are in Unit 41/42, 72 and 75. Rifle hunters should consider Unit 39, 46, 63, 64 or 72

Nonresidents

The Unit 74 - Warner (north Warner) hunt is the best archery option with five to six points. Muzzleloader hunters should consider Unit 72 and 76/77. Rifle hunters can research Unit 39, 46, 63, 68 (east Whitehorse), or 72.

What can I expect with 10 plus deer preference points?

Residents

Unfortunately, with 10 points, applicants are in no man's land. The best archery hunt available would be the 70/71 early archery hunt with six plus points. When looking at the best archery hunts, those are going to be in Unit 39 late hunt (20 points), 44 (25 points), 65 (14 points) and 70/71 early or late (<10 points).

Some of the better options near the 10-point level are for the muzzleloader hunts. Unit 32 was drawn with 10 points, Unit 39 was drawn with nine points. 

Nonresidents

The best controlled archery hunt within the 10 point range is the August 70/71 hunt, that was 50% at 10 points. With point creep, you’re probably looking at 100% at 11 points for 2022. Beyond that, the majority of archery hunts, is pretty wide open to draw for nonresidents. The Unit 52, 64 and 67 rifle hunts are also good units that were drawn between seven and nine points. 

See your Draw Odds here


OREGON'S 2022 COLUMBIAN BLACKTAIL DEER BREAKDOWN

Oregon’s blacktail populations are doing well and most of the units are offering general season over-the-counter (OTC) tags for both archery and rifle hunts. There are also some limited quota controlled hunts for archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunters. The populations are doing well although Oregon does not have a blacktail deer management objective based on population. Obtaining an accurate count on the Columbian blacktail deer in the coastal states has proven near impossible using normal counting practices as the dense vegetation makes it very difficult to see and count deer populations. Instead, the states are left to conduct on-the-ground surveys and assess hunter success year after year to make adjustments in the number of permits allocated annually. The state herd is somewhere around 300,000 to 350,000 total deer. 

Note: There are four units that have established herds of mule deer as well as blacktail. Those units are 30, 31, 41 and 42. Be aware that blacktail bucks harvested from those units would not qualify for B&C.

Oregon blacktail deer herd composition (2021 data)

Unit Buck:doe ratio Doe:fawn ratio
10 - Saddle Mt 20:100 33:100
11 - Scappoose 17:100 52:100
12 - Wilson 20:100 24:100
14 - Trask 27:100 33:100
16 - Santiam 25:100 40:100
17 - Stott Mt 34:100 42:100
18 - Alsea 36:100 32:100
19 - Mckenzie 51:100 33:100
20 - Siuslaw 22:100 35:100
21 - Indigo 33:100 38:100
22 - Dixon 30:100 55:100
23 - Melrose 27:100 37:100
24 - Tioga 27:100 43:100
25 - Sixes 24:100 58:100
26 - Powers 20:100 40:100
27 - Chetco 22:100 46:100
28 - Applegate 36:100 71:100
29 - Evans Creek 30:100 61:100
30 - Rogue 23:100 63:100

 

Top hit list controlled hunts to consider for better blacktail deer

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident points to
draw
Nonresident points to
draw
41 - White River 160”+ Muzzleloader: 38%
Rifle: 25%
Rifle: 34%
Rifle: 85%
86% with 3
77% with 3
89% with 1
86% with 21
No tags
100% with 4
89% with 1
100% with 22
31 - Keno 160”+ Archery: 38%
Rifle: 28%
68% with 1
83% with 0
100% with 2
83% with 0
28 - Applegate 150”+ Muzzleloader: 60% 19% with 2 100% with 13
42 - Hood 150”+ Rifle: 25%
Rifle: 19%
Rifle: 85%
77% with 3
100% with 0
45% with 13
100% with 4
100% with 0
100% with 14
30 - Rogue 150”+ Rifle: 28% 100% with 0 100% with 0
23 - Melrose 140”+ Archery: 11%
Archery: 0%
Muzzleloader: 39%
Muzzleloader: 33%
Rifle: 64%
Rifle: 67%
100% with 0
100% with 2
100% with 0
100% with 8
33% with 2
100% with 15
81% with 1
100% with 2
100% with 0
100% with 20
100% with 21
100% with 16

 

Top hit list general hunt to consider for 130” or better blacktail deer

Unit Trophy
potential
General seasons Harvest success Bucks 4 points+
29 - Evans Creek 150”+ Archery
Rifle
21%
27%
27%
28 - Applegate 150”+ Archery
Rifle
21%
21%
34%
19 - McKenzie 150”+ Archery
Rifle
15%
20%
24%
30 - Rogue 150”+ Archery
Rifle
20%
16%
32%
23 - Melrose 140”+ Archery
Rifle
19%
40%
29%
27 - Chetco 140”+ Archery
Rifle
30%
32%
20%
20 - Siuslaw 140”+ Archery
Rifle
31%
22%
28%
22 - Dixon 140”+ Archery
Rifle
7%
28%
28%
21 - Indigo 130”+ Archery
Rifle
29%
26%
30%
24 - Tioga 130”+ Archery
Rifle
17%
23%
22%

MANAGING POINTS AND EXPECTATIONS

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

Residents

Residents had five hunts that could have been drawn with no points. Those hunts are archery units 21/22/23/24, muzzleloader units 23 and 25 and rifle units 16/19/21/22/30/31 and 42. Harvest success for the archery hunt and the muzzleloader is relatively good for those hunts.

Nonresidents

Nonresidents had four hunts that could have been drawn with no points. Muzzleloader controlled hunts in Unit 23 and 25 and rifle hunts in 16/19/21/22/30/31 and 42

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

Residents

Every hunt is available except for muzzleloader 21/23, rifle 21/23, 41 and the late Unit 42 hunt. Some of the more interesting options might be muzzleloader 21, 28, 41/42 or rifle in Unit 15 and 41/42. All of those hunts required two or three points so you will be giving up a few points to draw those. The hunts that cannot be drawn, required 11, 14 and 21 points in order to draw in 2021. Applicants can either decide to cash in their points and go hunting or stay in it for the long haul.

Nonresidents

If you want to burn your points and go hunting, the archery hunt in Unit 21/22/23/24 and 31, all took two points. For muzzleloader, Units 19/21/23/25 and 27 are attainable with 5-6 preference points. The early rifle 41/42 hunt required four points.

Several of the best hunts (41 late rifle, 42 late rifle) are likely to require 14 points plus. Unit 28 muzzleloader required 13 points, which was likely the best hunt if you are in the 13 to 20 point range.

See your Draw Odds here


OREGON'S 2022 COLUMBIAN WHITETAIL DEER BREAKDOWN

Oregon has the only delisted populations of Columbian whitetail deer in the world. Although there are whitetails scattered up and down the Pacific Northwest, the southwest corner of Oregon holds populations of approximately 2,000 + deer. There are very few tags available each year and that is the reason that these units can be rather difficult to draw.

Oregon Columbian whitetail deer hunts

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident points to
draw
Nonresident points to
draw
23 - Umpqua 120”+ Archery: 42%
Rifle: 51%
100% with 0
33% with 2
81% with 1
100% with 21
23 - N.Bank Habitat 120”+ Archery: 33%
Muzzleloader: 67%
Rifle: 67%
100% with 2
51% with 7
100% with 15
100% with 2
No tags
100% with 16

OREGON'S 2022 NORTHEASTERN WHITETAIL DEER BREAKDOWN

Oregon has a decent population of whitetail deer in the northeastern portion of the state. There are 21 units that offer a chance at a whitetail buck although there are very few hunts/tags that are species specific. Generally, the tags for those units are valid for either a whitetail or mule deer. We will cover the whitetail specific hunts below. Trophy potential is generally average; however, there are a few bigger bucks taken each year.

Oregon whitetail specific hunts

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident points to
draw
Nonresident points to
draw
51 - Baker 110”+ Muzzleloader: 52% 70% with 1 100% with 2
52 - Grande Rhode 110”+ Muzzleloader: 53% 87% with 0 100% with 1
57 - Sled Springs 130”+ Muzzleloader: 58% 82% with 0 82% with 0

Use Filtering 2.0 for more information about these units and others that have established herds of northwestern whitetail deer.

The four units that likely have the best trophy potential are 54 - Mt Emily, 55 - Walla Walla, 56 - Wenaha and 57 - Sled Springs. All of those units have 130”+ trophy potential. Tags for the better trophy potential units are valid for any buck with visible antlers.

See your Draw Odds here

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