SALEM, Ore. — Some hunters pay thousands of dollars to win special raffle tags that offer the chance to hunt deer, elk and pronghorn during a months-long season. But beginning this fall, it will cost a few lucky hunters just eight bucks.
New in 2016, ODFW is offering Premium Hunt tags for deer, elk and pronghorn. Hunters who draw these tags get a two or three-month season hunt (Sept. 1-Nov. 30 for deer and elk, Aug. 1-Sept. 30 for pronghorn). The bag limit is either-sex with no antler restrictions. Premium Hunts are also additional hunting opportunities, meaning hunters who draw them can still get a regular controlled or general season tag.
As with other controlled hunts, hunters need to apply for Premium Hunts by May 15, 2016. Apply online, at a license sales agent or using this mail fax order application. Choose L Series for deer, M series for elk, and N series for pronghorn.
Most wildlife management units (WMUs) will have one deer and one elk tag available; 27 WMUs also have a pronghorn tag available. Your choices should coincide with the WMU number, so choose hunt M56 for the Wenaha elk hunt, for example. See page 17 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations for a full list of hunt numbers and please be sure to include at least a second choice in each series when you apply.
As only one tag for each hunt is likely to be available in 2016, no party applications are allowed. Non-residents may apply for any tag and have the same chances to draw it as a resident, as state statute says both have an equal chance when only one tag is available for a hunt.
Hunters should note that the Premium Hunts will not use the preference point system. Every hunter will have the same chance every year in the random draw. Also note these are not once-in-a-lifetime hunts, so hunters who draw the tag can apply again the following year.
“We are excited to offer this great new hunting opportunity,” said Tom Thornton, ODFW game program manager. “We also wanted to keep Premium Hunts equitable and give every hunter a fair shot, so the price is just $8 and every hunter has the same chance to draw the tag.”
Please note that winners will still need to purchase the tag, which will cost the same as a regular tag ($26.50 for deer, $46 for elk, $48 for pronghorn for residents and $414 for deer, $549 for elk and $369 for pronghorn for non-residents).
For more information on Premium Hunts and other controlled hunts available, see the Oregon Big Game Regulations or ODFW’s Hunting Resources page.