Oregon Deer Hunting 2023

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Oregon Deer Hunting

Oregon has four different species of deer available to hunt – mule deer, Columbian whitetail deer, Eastern whitetail deer, and blacktail deer. Blacktail deer inhabit the coastal mountains along the western third of the state. Columbian whitetail deer are only found in small pockets in western Oregon. Mule deer can be found throughout the central and eastern parts of the state. The Eastern whitetail are found in the northeast portion of the state in and along the Washington and Idaho borders.

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Oregon Mule Deer Hunting

Oregon struggled to produce the top end bucks that it did in 2021. Oregon is typically more of an opportunity state than a trophy state when it comes to mule deer. There are very few draw units that will give you a chance at a 180″ buck. Most of these units are going to take more than two decades of points. The other option at a 180″ buck is a guided private land hunt where the outfitters have been managing for quality. Some of the better draw rifle areas are the Trout Creek Mtns and Warner units. The best archery hunt is the late hunt on the Metolius, but it took 25 points to draw that tag in 2022.

Oregon Deer Draw

We don’t recommend building a lot of points in Oregon for mule deer as there is no reason to wait 20 years for a decent tag. We recommend hunting there more often. We list several mule deer hunts that take 4-11 points to draw. The southeast area of the state is where you should focus. Oregon did away with all over-the-counter tags for archery mule deer in the eastern portion of the state. Most of those units are going undersubscribed in the draw, and there were resident tags leftover. Unfortunately, Oregon held the non-residents to 5% of those tags. If you want to hunt those old over-the-counter units, you should be able to draw them every other year.

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Columbian Whitetail Deer Hunting

Columbian whitetail deer are small with mature bucks typically scoring 90-125″. If a Columbian whitetail deer is on your bucket list, you have two options. One is to try to draw a tag, and the second is to pick up a landowner tag. There are only two units in Oregon that allow hunting for these deer – Umpqua and North Bank Habitat. Umpqua is hands down the best unit. The North Bank Habitat unit is still struggling. There are outfitters available that have guaranteed tags for the Umpqua unit. If you are interested in a Columbian whitetail deer hunt with an outfitter, give us a call.

Oregon Eastern Whitetail Deer

There is some decent whitetail hunting in the northeast corner of the state. Two of the better hunts for whitetail are the muzzleloader hunts in the Sled Springs and Baker units. The Sled Springs hunt (157M) will have season dates of December 4-17. The Baker hunt (151M) will have better rut dates of November 20-December 3. Both are going to be tough hunts, but there are a couple of good bucks available.

Oregon Blacktail Deer

If you are sitting on 24+ points, the White River has the best rifle blacktail hunt, but they are not considered true blacktails by the Boone and Crockett Club. If you are after a blacktail that the Boone and Crockett Club recognizes, the best hunt in the state is the muzzleloader hunt in the Applegate unit, which takes 13+ points to draw. There are also a handful of other rut muzzleloader tags available that can be drawn every couple of years. New for 2023, there are two rifle blacktail hunts available in the Dixon and Wilson units. The Dixon is the better of the two and will produce a couple big bucks on the rut hunt this year.

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Most of the units for blacktail deer have over-the-counter tags for archery and rifle. They offer a handful of later archery rut type hunts. The general rifle hunts also rolled a week later, which is going to put them closer to the rut. This is going to be a good year to be hunting rifle blacktail in Oregon on an over-the-counter tag. The blacktail on the western side of the state are doing really well with increasing populations. If you are looking for a guided hunt, give us a call as we work with some of the best outfitters in Oregon.

Oregon Youth Deer Hunts

Oregon does a great job of giving youth hunters opportunities at hunting deer during the pre-rut, rut, and post-rut with a rifle. The Interstate and Warner units are available for mule deer. The Warner is the best youth mule deer hunt available. Youth hunters get to be the first rifle hunters on the unit with a five-day head start on the hunters with general season tags in the Interstate and Warner units. If your youth hunter wants a blacktail, they have opportunities in the Applegate, Chetco, Evans Creek, and Rogue units. These units have some great blacktail bucks available.

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The Western Oregon general (over-the-counter) buck deer any legal weapon season was extended two days for youth 12-17 years of age. You can refer to our August issue for more information on Oregon general deer opportunities.

Oregon Deer Season Dates

  • Firearm: October 2nd – November 5th
  • Archery: August 28th – September 26th
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Self Guided DIY Oregon Deer Hunts

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Private Land, Semi-Guided, and Guided Deer Hunts in Oregon

Search our database of Oregon Deer opportunities.

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Application Dates for Deer in Oregon

The Oregon big game application deadline is May 15, 2023.

Our online/print magazine has everything in one location: Application info, draw details and odds, fees, hunter requirements, point structure, age restrictions, youth information, weapon restrictions, other tag opportunities, hunt planning and much more. If you would like access to all of our research join today!

Oregon Non-Resident Deer Hunting Fees

2023 OREGON NON-RESIDENT FEES Up-Front Fees Adult Hunting License $172 Juvenile Hunting License (9-17 years old) $10 Application Fee per Species $8 Post Draw Fees (if successful) Bighorn Sheep $1,513.50 Mountain Goat $1,513.50 Elk (controlled or general) $588 Deer (controlled or general) $443.50 Antelope $395.50 Oregon Deer Hunting Articles from Huntin’ Fool Magazine

  • Columbia Blacktail Deer by Robert Hanneman
  • My Quest for the North American Deer by Karl Albrecht
  • 3 Types of Bucks, 3 Types of Weapons by Justin Falk
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>