SALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s largest hunting season (any legal weapon deer) begins Saturday, Oct. 3, with general season hunting in Western Oregon and controlled deer hunting in Eastern Oregon. Last year, 105,481 hunters participated in these seasons.
Hunters, remember to pick up your deer tag no later than Friday Oct. 2, which is also the deadline to purchase cougar tags and your first fall bear tag. If you got a Sports Pac, you still need to pick up your tag by the deadline at a license agent or “purchase” it (at no additional cost) on the licensing system (find how-to here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdAt9k_jXUg).
Many public lands are still closed due to Oregon’s unprecedented wildfires, including parts of Willamette National Forest and parts of Mt Hood and Umpqua National Forest. Santiam State Forest is also closed. Some BLM lands are closed including all public lands east of I-5 in Multnomah, Clackamas and Marion counties.
Hunters need to check with the land manager where they intend to hunt for the latest on access and fire restrictions before they go hunting. Access can change quickly so check back often. This information is online at:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/ – US Forest Service (national Forests)
https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington – Bureau of Land Management
https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html – Oregon Department of Forestry including fire restrictions
http://www.ofic.com/private-forestland-closures/ – Private industrial timberland
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ – InciWeb major incidents (may include closure maps)
The most common fire restrictions hunters are likely to encounter are:
Campfires are either prohibited or restricted to certain areas.
Smoking and off -road driving is also prohibited in most areas, which includes motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
Vehicles must have either a gallon of water or a fully charged and operational 2½-pound fire extinguisher and shovel (except when travelling on state highways or county roads).
ATVs must have a charged and operational 2½-pound fire