Five deer hunts in Blue Mountains cancelled due to disease outbreak

SALEM, Ore. — ODFW is cancelling five 600 Series deer hunts, meaning hunters will not be able to apply or draw the tag for them for the upcoming fall 2020 season.

The cancellations are in an area of the Blue Mountains from Milton-Freewater to Pilot Rock where an outbreak of Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is estimated to have killed 2,000 white-tailed deer late last year. The hunt cancellations for these 227 tags are needed to protect does and allow the white-tailed deer population to rebound.

The hunts cancelled are on private land, where antlerless deer hunting addresses damage to agriculture. The hunt numbers are 649A (N Ukiah), 654A (Rawhide), 655A (Orchards), 655B1 and 655B2 (Walla Walla Valley No. 1 and No. 2). While some of the bag limits for these hunts allows an antlerless mule deer or white-tail to be harvested, most of the harvest is white-tailed deer in these hunts.

These hunts will no longer be available for application through ODFW’s licensing system. ODFW License Sales Service staff will be contacting hunters who have already applied for these hunts and asking them to adjust their application through their online account (applications can be edited online under Recreational Portfolio/Controlled Hunts).

While EHD typically does not have long-term impacts on white-tailed deer populations, cancellation of these hunts should help the population rebound faster.