Oregon Deer Population:  About 486,000 deer in 2019, down from 510,000 in 2018.  An estimate from the state of about 540,000 deer in 2015 through 2017.  Heavy snowfall in 2019 and a late winter have reduced fawn numbers in many regions.   A mild 2017-18 winter resulted in good survival, but drought in the summer has reduced herds in Central and Eastern Oregon.  An estimated 539,000 deer in 2015, 300,000 to 320,000 blacktails and 225,000 to 235,000 mule deer.  Six years of drought then a harsh 2016-17 winter in parts of the state reduced the population.  Less hunting pressure in 2017 for the east to help the herd recover.  The Oregon deer population has been in a long decline since the 1960's.  2020 Big Game Forecast.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Oregon deer hunting data and news archive.

Oregon Deer News

Public’s Assistance requested to find elk poachers in Clatsop County November 17, 2020 Oregon, ODFW News
... Two elk were recently poached and left to waste near Hwy 26 in Clatsop County... I’ve found at least 15 elk killed off-season in the last couple of years,” he said, “And those are just the ones that we get called about. There are many more that we don’t find.” ...  Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line at *OSP (*677) or 877-452-7888 

Oregon bucks wildlife crime with first K9 unit October 5, 2020 La Grande Observer
... The yellow Labrador retriever and Trooper Josh Wolcott are the state’s first anti-poaching K9 unit... Buck is trained to detect the scent of gunpowder residue and Oregon’s most monitored wildlife: elk, deer ...

What you need to know about deer and elk on Oregon roads October 2, 2020
St. Helens Chronicle
... Each year from 2014-2018 in Oregon there were an estimated 7,000 crashes involving deer and elk ... October and November are the busiest months for vehicle-wildlife collisions. With deer and elk on the move due to breeding season and migration to winter ranges ...

This four-part short video series looks at an example of what mule deer eat during summer months in the Deschutes National Forest near Bend, Oregon. -- September 24, 2020


Highway 97 wildlife fencing project secures funding September 23, 2020 Oregon, Herald and News
... Directional fencing that will help guide deer and other animals to a newly constructed highway underpass beneath Highway 97 in northern Klamath County has been approved ... the $1 million project will be completed this fall...

... "The fire was moving toward the house," ... He's too young to fully take care of himself even without a fire... he was dehydrated and that he had messed himself," Dawn says. The last part was another clear sign that he'd been left, since mother deer usually clean their babies ...

New Approach for Archer Deer August 20, 2020 ODFW News:
     ODFW will propose that all archery deer hunting be controlled in Eastern Oregon for 2021. This change from a statewide general season with unlimited tags to controlled hunting in Eastern Oregon with limits on tags is necessary due to continued mule deer population declines. Mule deer populations have declined by nearly 50 percent in the last 40 years and having no limits on archery harvest is no longer a responsible management approach. Archery deer hunting in Western Oregon will continue as a general season opportunity.

Oregon bucks wildlife crime with first K9 unit August 18, 2020 Capital Press
...  yellow Labrador retriever ... trained to detect the scent of gunpowder residue and Oregon’s most monitored wildlife: elk, deer, steelhead,  salmon, bear, antelope, waterfowl, turkey and, eventually, sturgeon...  Buck's investigations help Wolcott determine where poaching suspects have — and haven't — been...

Retired doctor turns toward conservation August 5, 2020 Oregon, Herald and News
... Among the projects is a fundraising campaign to help complete the construction of wildlife crossing to protect migratory deer and elk — and motorists — on Highway 97 ... “More deer are killed by motorists than by hunters,”  ...

... Oregon Department of Transportation says the underpasses have reduced wildlife-vehicle crashes by 95 percent along the highway... The Oregon Hunter's Association and the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Foundation have put up nearly $500,000 to provide fences...

Elk numbers decline on Zumwalt Prairie July 20, 2020 Oregon, East Oregonian
...  the 2020 population estimate for elk in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Chesnimnus unit, which includes the prairie, is 3,500 elk... as recently as 2015, the number of elk on the unit approached 4,500 ... timber removal ... helped increase elk habitat in the unit...

... For mule deer, population numbers have declined in Oregon and throughout the West since their peak in the 1980s, due to many factors including nutrition, vehicle collisions, poaching and predation. Many units are below management objectives. Biologists believe a general season is no longer an appropriate tool for managing mule deer..,

Proposed changes to Oregon Deer Hunting Following Over 50 Percent Decline in Mule Deer - June 26, 2020 ODFW


Fawn seized, euthanized June 10, 2020 Oregon, Lincoln City Homepage
... Over a two-week period, the black-tailed deer lived in the Ready’s house and played with her dogs — apparently dooming the poor creature... . “The deer fawn was evaluated and determined to not be suited for release and was humanely euthanized by ODFW biologists.” ...

Hwy. 97 wildlife underpass project receives funding May 29, 2020 Oregon, Herald and News
... ODFW’s research with radio-collared mule deer indicates that Hwy 97 near Gilchrist is a major crossing point for migrating mule deer and elk—and a place where big game and other wildlife are extremely vulnerable to vehicle collisions...

...  USFWS’s massive proposal creates or expands hunting and fishing at 97 wildlife refuges ... The USFWS is taking public comments on the proposal until June 8 ... the Department of Interior didn’t require an environmental impact statement...

...  included illegal take of buck deer, bull elk, black bear, bobcat and cougar ... Police received a tip through the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line ...

Hoof disease found in nearby elk herds May 13, 2020 Oregon, Ashland Tidings
... Southwest Oregon Roosevelt elk herds are virtually surrounded by new discoveries of a debilitating disease that rots the animals’ hooves ... known scientifically as treponeme-associated hoof disease, or TAHD ...

... A target arrow was removed from the neck of a black-tailed doe after it was tranquilized by wildlife biologists... We popped the arrow out and the deer strolled away 15 minutes later...

Survey: Strong Support in OR for Protecting Wildlife Migration Routes April 17, 2020 Oregon, Public News Service
... The survey - commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts ... finds 86% of Oregon voters think it's important to conserve migration routes for species like deer, elk and pronghorn, and the same number want the state to build special passages across or under highways ...

... State wildlife biologists counted 158 wolves in Oregon this past winter, a 15 percent increase over last year’s count of 137, according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management 2019 Annual Report ..,

Fall tags reduced for some deer, elk hunts in eastern Oregon April 14, 2020 ODFW News
... The deer tag reductions are due to fewer mule deer being observed during fall surveys. ODFW wildlife biologists believe ongoing disease outbreaks in central and eastern Oregon are the main cause of the decline. A large outbreak of EHD was documented this year, which led to a die-off of white-tailed deer in the Walla Walla, Mt Emily and Ukiah Units and also impacted some mule deer..,

... ODFW veterinarians recently confirmed the presence of elk hoof disease for the first time in Douglas County and are asking the public to report limping or lame elk.  A hunter harvested adult cow elk seen limping in the Indigo Unit east of Sutherlin tested positive for Treponeme Associated Hoof Disease (TAHD) ..,

Mule Deer Population Dynamics presentation by Darren Clark, Ph.D., Feb. 25, 2020, during an Oregon Legislative Hearing.


ODFW cancels five Blue Mountain deer hunts March 4, 2020, Oregon, ODFW News
... 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..,

An open letter to blacktail deer hunters March 1, 2020 Oregon, The Bulletin
... we are seeing a not-unexpected decline in deer numbers. Where we lose habitat to development, where predator numbers have exploded, where timber stands mature and choke out the shrubs that deer depend on, there will be fewer deer... Blacktail deer can thrive in places where the older trees are removed and the sunlight can penetrate to the forest floor. When politics disrupt logging practices, deer are the losers...

Hunters invited to share opinions on big game hunting via online forum February 5, 2020 Oregon, ODFW News
... ODFW wants to hear what resident big game hunters think about current hunting seasons in Oregon. Tell us what you think by commenting at https://www.oregonbiggameforum.org/ through March 3, 2020...

Elk and deer winter migration January 17, 2020 Oregon, The News Guard
... with snow accumulation in the coast range and freezing temperatures periodically down to sea level, elk and deer may move to even lower elevations to find adequate food...

EHD, ODFW IDs cause of NE Oregon 2,000-deer die-off January 13, 2020 Oregon,
KTVZ
... Tests conducted by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife veterinarians have confirmed that Epizootic hemorrhagic disease is responsible for the die-off of an estimated 2,000 white-tailed deer in Eastern Oregon ... in late fall ...

Improving Mule Deer Habitat, One Juniper at a Time December 17, 2019 Oregon, Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service
... “Western juniper encroachment on forests and grazed rangelands is a major contributor to the loss of critical grasses, forbs, and shrubs that are important to mule deer,” said Aaron Roth, District Conservationist for Grant County ... Junipers reduce the available ground moisture for more important understory vegetation like shrubs, grasses, and forbs...

... was arrested Friday after he was caught on video riding on the back of a young mule deer while it was trapped inside a fenced area...

Mule Deer in Decline December 4, 2019 Oregon, Wallowa County Chieftain
... Mule deer populations are decreasing through the vast majority of the West... not everyone agrees on the causes ... Records seem to indicate that 1959 was a high-water mark for mule deer populations...

... OSU College of Forestry scientists found that deer and elk can play a key role in controlling the broadleaf vegetation, such as alder and maple, that compete with the "crop trees" - the Douglas-fir seedlings - in the replanted clear-cuts deer and elk heavily rely on for forage... published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology ...

Death of a blacktail December 2, 2019 Oregon, Multibriefs
... [in Oregon] Both mule deer and black-tailed deer are substantially below the long-term statewide management objectives and benchmarks... Things are changing quickly in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and it is my opinion that blacktail and their close cousins the mule deer are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine...

Changes coming to big-game hunting in 2020 November 26, 2019 Oregon, Newport News Times
... In Western Oregon, spike deer are now included in the buck hunt bag limit and removed from the 600 Series “Antlerless Deer” bag limit... The change will result in an increase in the harvesting of bucks, but the ODFW contends there is a sufficient population to handle the uptick in hunting...

... reindeer is the only species of deer where the males and females grow large antlers... since male reindeer shed their antlers in early winter and females at the end of the season, Santa’s team of reindeer are all females...

Declining mule deer numbers concern wildlife officials October 13, 2019 Oregon, Argus Observer
... reasons for a decline in the number of mule deer include increasing competition from elk and an increasing number of predators, mainly cougars and coyotes...  a reduction in quality and quantity of winter range and inadequate nutrition on summer range... numbers of mule deer in the region were up around 300,000 in about 1981 and but had dipped below 220,000 in 2012 ...

... General season black-tailed deer hunters will be allowed to shoot single-point spike bucks in Western Oregon beginning in 2020 ... The change will increase the chance of success for about 60,000 hunters ...

Proposed new license plate would help Oregon's wildlife September 17, 2019 Oregon, KOIN.com
... The plate features a mule deer and Mt. Hood ... proceeds from further purchases would go to a Watch for Wildlife Fund ...

Oregon Commission adopts 2020 Big Game Regulations September 13, 2010 ODFW News
... Next year, the Western Oregon deer bag limit will allow for spike harvest with the new bag limit of “one buck with a visible antler.” A new General Season Antlerless Elk Damage Tag in areas of the state with high elk damage will replace 19 controlled hunts and the need to provide damage tags to landowners. Hunters taking advantage of this new opportunity would still need permission to hunt on private land to use the tag and it would be their only elk hunting opportunity...

Oregon bans deer/elk urine scent lures September 11, 2019 Hood River News
... The bill, HB 2294, is intended to reduce the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to the state’s deer, elk and moose populations ... keeping with a recommendation from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), urging states to ban cervid based urine products to limit the spread of CWD ...

Commission meets in Gold Beach Sept. 12-13 September 6, 2019 Oregon, ODFW News
... The Commission will adopt 2020 Big Game Regulations. Some major changes are proposed for 2020 as part of efforts to review and improve hunting regulations; these were first announced in late May. Those changes include simplifying the Western Oregon deer bag limit to allow for spike harvest by changing it from “one buck deer having not less than a forked antler” to “one buck with a visible antler.” While the change may result in an increase in buck harvest, there are sufficient bucks in the population to support increased harvest.  ODFW is also proposing a new General Season Antlerless Elk Damage Tag in areas of the state with high elk damage ...

Wildlife biologists say mule deer exiting Bend en masse August 31, 2019 Oregon, The Bulletin
... Mule deer numbers are falling in Central Oregon as fast as humans arrive, according to annual inventories conducted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Paulina Unit, east of Bend, is down to 5,918 deer from 15,400 in 2002, a 61% decline. Wildlife biologists say the deer are losing habitat to growing construction in and around Bend...

Oregon High Desert : 2019 big game preview August 22, 2019 MarketScreener
... In Southwest Oregon, district wildlife biologist Tod Lum in Roseburg reports more deer hair loss than normal... Fawn rations are at 17 to 100 does in the Grizzly unit, 27:100 in the Ochoco unit and 31:100 in the Maury unit, a far cry from the 50s-plus that the biologists shoot for... heavy snowfall and delayed green-up really hammered them." ...

... In general, deer and pronghorn recruitment was low in many areas heading into winter. This is likely due to drought conditions last fall resulting in little/no fall green-up in many areas. Some areas of eastern Oregon, including Baker, northern Harney and Malheur counties, and some parts of Union County, have deer and pronghorn herds that have not fully recovered from the severe winter of 2016-2017...

Oregon license plates to feature mule deer August 20, 2019 The Bulletin
...  Funds generated from the sale of the plates and the auction will benefit wildlife conservation projects... will put the license plates into production if the Oregon Wildlife Foundation can sell 3,000 vouchers ...

... The 2019 Oregon State Legislature has passed a bill that bans the possession and use of deer and elk urine scent lures that contain or are derived from any cervid urine beginning Jan. 1, 2020. HB 2294 was sponsored by Rep. Witt (D-Clatskanie) and Rep. Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) and is meant to reduce the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to the state’s deer, elk and moose populations..,

... Until settlers began arriving in the 1850s, the indigenous people used low-intensity fire to herd [and feed] deer, reducing fuel content in the watershed.  As settlers pushed aside the Indians, the forest thickened, becoming susceptible to wildfires...

The community of Gilchrist is getting increased safety with a passing lane project on US 97 in central Oregon, but additionally, local wildlife get a "pass" with construction of a new undercrossing intended to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions. This area is a hot spot for these types of crashes where migration patterns exist for mule deer. - August 1, 2019 Oregon


Moose, already rare in Oregon, see numbers drop in Idaho July 21, 2019 Oregan, OregonLive.com
...  they number fewer than 100 in Oregon ... Recently burnt forests with new growth are great moose habitat. But wildfire suppression reduces good moose habitat...

Managing our forests is the answer June 25, 2019 Oregon, The Register-Guard
... a large percentage of Oregon’s wildlife species live in or need young forests. It is about time the BLM started to develop a better mix of forest ages across its landscape. Diverse young stands ...are lacking in Oregon. Species like ... deer and elk need these young stands in order to survive... the BLM is working to enhance much needed habitat ...

... an ODFW spokesperson said the cougar populations there is growing while the deer population is shrinking. He said deer are their primary source of food. He said that could be leading to more conflict with humans...

... Around 55,000 deer and elk have been hit by cars since ODOT began tracking data in 2010.  House Bill 2834 requires the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to map wildlife corridors and work with ODOT and other state agencies to protect them, for example, by incorporating wildlife crossings in new development projects...

Younger bucks might be in the cross-hairs June 7, 2019 Oregon, Mail Tribune
...  proposed expansion from forked-horned to any buck with a visible antler ... “They’re kind of young and dumb, so they might be easier targets, especially for people getting into hunting and youth hunters...

... ODFW is proposing to simplify the bag limit from "one buck deer having not less than a forked antler" to "one buck with visible antler... allowing the harvest of spike bucks... 

Wolf plan vote set for early June May 20, 2019 Oregon, East Oregonian
... Wolf hunts would be considered if and when wolves were determined to be a major cause of the decline in deer and elk populations... as with the most recent adoption of the cougar plan, the department manages other predators for ungulate populations, as well...

Another wildlife crossing planned for Highway 97 May 20, 2019 Oregon, The Bulletin
... A groundswell of public and private support for a wildlife tunnel near Gilchrist has managed to raise over $500,000 for fencing, more than half of what is needed for a project that aims to save mule deer and elk along an important migration route...

... people have spotted the animal at least twice in the past two weeks. The first, on May 6, was in the canal near Fred Meyer in the early morning. The second, which ODFW identified on Wednesday as a deer kill, was at the east rim of the Deschutes River Canyon...

...Mule deer have been below desired levels for more than two decades, before wolves’ returned to Oregon ... ODFW released its draft proposed Wolf Conservation and Management Plan today at www.odfw.com/wolves...

... Three months in ... More than 200 permits were issued by March 31, and primarily where expected: rural areas with an abundant supply of both wildlife and motorists...

... State wildlife biologists counted 137 wolves in Oregon this past winter, a 10 percent increase over last year’s count of 124, according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management 2018 Annual Report released today at odfw.com/wolves..,

... an already difficult journey has been compounded by the massive snowfall in late February, which experts say leaves them vulnerable to predators and stretches their thin reserves to the breaking point..,

... “Our winter ranges are still covered in snow and deer are having a difficult time, so I encourage shed hunters to wait until after snow melts and even after green-up has started,” ...

Wolf task force seeks to form advisory board March 15, 2019 Oregon, Curry Coastal Pilot
... Boice ... notes that cougars alone have decimated the regional deer and elk population that keep the grass cropped... there are 6,000 cougars in Oregon, which collectively need 300,000 deer and elk each year to survive... without deer and elk grazing and keeping forest fuels down, forest fires could be even more fierce...

Hunter group to present on safe animal migration March 12, 2019 Oregon, Albany Democrat Herald
... House Bill 2834 proposes that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and ODOT collect data to implement a plan known as the Wildlife Corridor and Safe Road Crossing Action Plan... approximately 7,000 deer struck and killed each year on the state’s roadways...
Commercial deer, elk scents under scrutiny February 15, 2019 Oregon, Mail Tribune
... A 2017 study shows that CWD-infected elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer can shed the prion protein causing CWD in their urine, even before they exhibit CWD symptoms ... At least seven other states have banned commercial sale of urine from captive deer and elk, allowing only synthetic alternatives ...

Cougar management: Look back before moving forward January 22, 2019 Oregon, Pamplin Media Group
... hat has accounted for this cougar population expansion from an estimate of less than 3,000 in the mid-1990s to well over 6,000 today? ... Many hunters and state wildlife managers report that deer are now less abundant ... Oregon cities are wrestling with the number of deer inhabiting city limits ..,

Reprieve For Deer Herds January 18, 2019 Oregon, Baker City Herald
... The scarcity of snow, especially at lower elevation sites that serve as traditional winter range for deer, is reason to be optimistic that the animals will continue to recover from the harsh winter of 2016-17, said Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist ... Northeastern Oregon ... During the spring of 2017 ... ODFW biologists counted 9 fawns per 100 adult deer ..,

... While stakeholders representing ranching, hunting and wolf conservation came to agreement on some topics, there was no consensus on several of the most controversial issues including the number of livestock depredations that leads to consideration of  lethal removal of wolves when nonlethal deterrents have not worked...

Environmental groups withdraw from Oregon wolf plan talks January 7, 2019 Oregon, The Beaumont Enterprise
"With a population of wolves that's 120 animals statewide ... The groups also feel the state agency's plan favors hunters, who contend more wolves mean fewer deer for them to hunt..,

... Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, deer and elk struck by vehicles can be legally salvaged in Oregon using a free online permit that will be available at www.odfw.com/roadkill  The change in law was required after the passage of Senate Bill 372 during the 2017 Oregon State Legislative session...

Oregon  Data:  The 2019 population estimate in the table below of 486,000 deer is based on the state's mule deer estimate of 176,017 and an estimate using harvest data of about 310,000 blactail deer.  Using the same approach gives a deer population estimate of 510,000 for 2018.  The state estimates about 540,000 deer in 2015 through 2017, although harvest data suggests a significant population decline in 2017.  2020 Forecast.  Heavy snowfall at the end of the 2018-19 winter reduced fawn numbers in many areas.  Deer tags were reduced in 2020 for eastern Oregon because disease outbreaks reduced mule deer populations. High February 2019 snowfall made spring migration difficult. The 2019 Big Game forecast notes that fawn survival was low in many areas and deer have not fully recovered from the severe winter of 2017-18.
     The 28% decline in the 2017 deer harvest suggests a total population of about 450,000. The 2018 mule deer population population estimate was reduced to 190,445 and 176,017 in 2019, about 180,000 in 2020, a range of 160,000 to 180,000. In 2016 an estimated 226,775 mule deer. High February 2019 snowfall made spring migration difficult. A severe winter in 2016-2017 reduced the herd which was still recovering into 2018. Emergency deer tag reductions were implemented for the 2017-18 hunt to help the herd recover. A mild 2017-18 winter resulted in good survival, but herds are still recovering in some areas. Drought in mid-2018 reduced deer numbers especially in central and eastern Oregon, see the 2018 ODFW forecast.
      ODFW is working on a method of estimating black-tailed deer populations using scat.  Good weather for the herd in  2016 with the target black-tail deer buck to doe ratio was about 25 to 30 bucks per 100 does.   An estimated 300,000 to 320,000 blacktails and 225,000 to 235,000 mule deer in 2015The 2013 mule deer population was 222,309 and 206,200 in 2004.
     A mild winter for 2013-14 and a very mild winter for 2014-15 has increased survival, but limited precipitation created poor forage for deer in 2015, followed by the harder winter of 2015-16.   Deer tags were increased by 1 percent and elk tags by 3 percent for the 2015 hunt.  Deer populations were up in the north coast.  In the southwest, Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease reduced the population in fall, 2014. Black-tail populations in the western Cascades are at about management objectives.  Drought in the High Desert has reduced mule deer populations which fell to about 220,000 in 2012 from about 300,000 in 1982.
    The Oregon deer population has been in a long decline since the 1960s, but has been relatively stable for the past few years. The black-tailed deer population was estimated be about 452,000 in 1979 and 320,000 in 2004, 300,000 in 2012, slightly higher in 2014 and 2015. The mule deer population, east of the Cascade Crest, was estimated at 216,000 in 2009. Around 212,000 total mule deer in 2011, about 215,000 total mule deer in 2014 with 32,000 obucks. [2013 ODFW population analysis, 2017 population analysis]
    The 2014 black-tailed deer population of the north coast was up as increased logging creates better habitat,  populations also appear to be increasing along the mid-coast with improved buck ratios and reduced deer affected from hair-loss disease.  Deer populations continue their decline in the western Cascades,  declines in logging, but better buck ratios.  Deer populations in the south Cascades are down, especially mule deer, but doing better in valleys.  Mule deer populations in the high desert continue to be low, but a slight increase from last year.  Increased clear cutting is boosting populations in the Wilson unit. 
     The buck to doe ratio on some private lands is 29 to 100, but as low as 15 per 100 in the Rogue  unit - a ratio considered to be dangerously low by many deer managers and may be contributing to the deer population decline.  General deer management policies have led to low buck to doe ratios, ratios from 19 to 33 bucks per 100 does reported for the Rogue Unit. The 2016 mule deer management objective was from 12-25 bucks per hundred does.
     There is a small population of Columbian white-tailed deer in Douglas County and the Columbia River Gorge, some of which were moved during 2013 when it was feared they would be flooded.  These deer were common in Western Oregon, but fewer than 700 remained in 1970.  Farming altered their major habitat.  
      Deer History  Deer were overhunted to very low levels in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  About 80,000 deer in 1913 according to an Outdoor Life estimate.  "Scientific studies of the 1930s reported that between 1926 and 1933 Oregon’s mule deer population ranged from 39,000 to 75,000 animals. The estimated mule deer population in 2005 was 230,700," according to a DFW report, page 7Peak deer harvest was in 1961 at 163,939 with 31 percent of total mule deer harvest being antlerless and 37 percent of black-tail antlerless.  The percentage of does in the harvest has generally gone down since then.   In 2004, the numbers fell to below 10 percent for mule deer and in the 9 to 14 percent range for black-tail deer.  The severe winter of 1992-93 reduced deer populations. The 2012 harvest was 43,098, or 26.3 percent of the historical high.  In 2012, hunter success was about 36 percent.  Every fall thousands of mule deer make a 30 to 75 mile trip between Bend and La Pine, increasingly difficult due to development.   
                   Source of Graphic:  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
     Elk densities are highest on the north coast, down a little along the mid-coast with bull ratios only a little above 10 per 100 cows.  The 2016-17 winter reduced populations.  In 2016 an estimated 74,227 Rocky Mountain elk and 60,057 Roosevelt elk.
    Moose, less than 100 in 2019, about 70 in 2018 and about 60 in 2016 in the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman national forests.  These Shiras moose are the smallest North American subspecies.
    Cougars,  Over 6,400 in 2017 and about 6,600 up to 7,600 in 2018.  Oregon includes kittens less that one year old that are not included in some other state estimates.  Estimated 6,372 cougars in 2015.  About 5,000 to 6,000 from 2011 to 2015.  In 1992-93 about 2,500.  Estimated at 214 in 1961.  Cougars were hunted to almost extinction in Oregon until they were reclassified as a game animal in 1967.   Population estimated at 3,114 in 1994 and about 200 in the1960s. 
     Wolves,  ODFW counted 137 wolves in the 2018-19 winter, an estimate of 120 wolves in 2018, roughly 150 in 2017, 112 known wolves in 2016, up 2 from 2015. The last wolf bounty was paid out in 1947, the first wolf pack in recent times was seen in 2006.  The first pups documented in 2008 with 29 confirmed wolves in 2011.  A minimum of about 82 wolves in the state in 2015.  Wolf status report, 2015.  Wolf Plan, slides.
    Black bears, about 25,000 in 2016
    A 1913 edition of Outdoor life offers the following estimates:  1,000 elk mostly in Northwest Oregon (re-introductions of Rocky Mountain elk had just begun in northeast Oregon); 80,000 deer, mostly blacktail; 16,700 black bear, also mostly in western Oregon; 4,650 antelope, and no mention of bighorn sheep or Rocky Mountain goats.  Deer populations throughout the U.S. had been over hunted during this period.

Report poaching, rewards:  1-800-452-7888

Other useful links:
-  Compass map,  online system of maps helps you make informed land use decisions related to fish and wildlife habitats as you plan energy, transportation, conservation and other large projects.



MULE DEER INITIATIVE Commission Briefing - February 20, 2009. Issue:
Researchers and wildlife managers generally concede mule deer achieved maximum abundance during the 1950s and ‘60s. Since then, mule deer have declined across the West, including Oregon. The most recent decline appened during the early 1990s and, though not fully understood, it is believed to be primarily due to the combined effects of drought and severe winters. Historically, deer populations rebounded quickly after such climatic extremes. However, in recent years, production and survival of fawns have remained at depressed levels. Low recruitment, severe winters, dry summers, changing predator/prey relationships, and increased habitat loss have pushed mule deer populations lower than the department and public desire.