Oregon Deer Population:  A mild 2017-18 winter resulted in good survival, but drought in the summer has reduced herds in Central and Eastern Oregon.  An estimated 540,000 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.  Reduced 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.  2017 Hunting Prospects.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Oregon deer hunting data and news archive.

Oregon Deer News

Carnivores' return helps Yellowstone park streams November 11, 2018 Oregon, OregonLive.com
...a new study ... resurgent populations of wolves and cougars have restored the park's natural balance by knocking back elk numbers and changing the herds' behaviors, according to Robert Beschta and William Ripple of the Oregon State University College of Forestry...

... The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates there about 6,600 cougars here, and possibly as many as 7,600. That’s three times higher than the numbers reported Washington or Idaho... Oregon’s estimate includes kittens ..,

2018 Washington and Oregon Deer Forecast November 5, 2018 Game & Fish
...  Oregon is still in recovery mode from the 2016 winter kill but sees most deer herds stabilizing or slightly increasing their numbers.Another unexpected anomaly is the persistence of summer-like weather and temperatures deep into the mid-October deer season..,

Nearly 200 learn about cougar issues at SH forum October 26, 2018 Oregon, Albany Democrat Herald
... the current population is believed to be about 6,400, a considerable rise from the the 1960s, when about 200 cougars were left in the state... One person said cougars may be greatly reducing the state's deer population, but Cottan [wildlife division administrator] said it wasn’t a major pressure..,
Cougar group supports non-lethal control measures October 25, 2018 Oregon, Albany Democrat Herald
... The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates the state’s cougar population is about 6,400, but Miller said that includes cougars in their first year of life. Miller said most states do not include young cougar kittens ..,

Tribes used fire to maintain area's habitat October 17, 2018 Oregon, Ashland Daily Tidings
... could see where the meadow had been but pines and brush had grown over the meadow through the years... a place where indigenous peoples would come on a seasonal basis to gather camas and tarweed and go elk and deer hunting. They used fire to maintain it, to create the ideal habitat...

Court rules in favor of LandWatch & Wildlife AGAIN October 16, 2018 Oregon, Central Oregon LandWatch
... Deschutes County’s wildlife zone has protected the winter range ... proposed amending the code to weaken winter range protections ... read LUBA’s decision here and the Court of Appeal's decision here...

Can more fires create less smoke? October 15, 2018 Oregon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer
... Tribes in the Pacific Northwest have used fire as a tool to shape the landscape for thousands of years. The touch of flame kept huckleberry and camas fields abundant. In areas where tribes hunted deer and elk, fire created a mat of forage plants on the forest floor, a favorite food for the ungulates. Burned areas recycle nutrients more efficiently and help to control the spread of invasive species...

... Deer and elk accidentally stuck by a vehicle may be salvaged for consumption only. Intentionally hitting a deer or elk in order to salvage it remains unlawful...

Deer decoy sting nets multiple citations October 8, 2018 Oregon, East Oregonian
... State police reported troopers set up a decoy deer ... Gutierrez leaned over the passenger and fired three rounds...

... Biologists managed to free one of the elk but the other died from injuries sustained while fighting wrapped in barbed wire...

Turn in Poachers – Get big game preference points October 1, 2018 Oregon, ODFW News
...  a six-year study involving radio-collared mule deer in south central Oregon found that illegal take actually exceeded legal take of mule deer. Even more troubling, poachers often killed does, not bucks, even though regulations prohibit taking female deer in order to protect breeding populations. Most poaching occurred during legal hunting seasons...

State seeking answers to vanishing mule deer October 1, 2018 Oregon, OregonReport
...enlisting the aid of hunters to determine why the state’s population of mule deer has dropped by nearly 10 percent in the past dozen years ... , the mule deer population in Oregon in 2016 was 226,775, down by 4,466 since 2013, and 20,575 since 2004. Between 2013 and 2016, the Rocky Mountain elk population in Oregon has increased by 6 percent to 74,227..,

Local Group Asks For More Wildlife Crossings September 27, 2018 Oregon, KBND
... Mule deer are a common site around Central Oregon. But Suzanne Linford, founder of the group Protect Animal Migration (PAM), says numbers are dwindling, "They are at less than 50% of their sustainability...In the High Desert, deer must cross Highway 97 each fall to get to the Fort Rock area...

As fall arrives, ODOT warns: Watch out for wildlife  September 20, 2018 Oregon, KTVZ
... ODOT has built two wildlife undercrossings that have proven effective in nearly eliminating deer-vehicle crashes. ODOT said will be building another wildlife crossing just north of Gilchrist at the site of a project to add passing lanes to the highway...

... exceptionally dry conditions ... in Central Oregon ... The meager snowpack last winter has made for extremely dry conditions ... deer numbers are in decline across much of Central and Eastern Oregon ... Buck ratios are near management goals districtwide with a ratio of 19 bucks per 100 does..,

Endangered deer may be moved September 6, 2018 Oregon, tdn 
... About 50 Columbian white-tailed deer would be moved ... to a 920-acre parcel owned by the Columbia Land Trust in Columbia County... help establish a new sub-population of the species ... Moving deer off the island will reduce the overpopulation there and help establish another new sub-population ...

2018 Oregon big game hunting forecast September 5, 2018 Oregon, ODFW News
... The winter of 2017–2018 was drier and warmer than normal making for a mild winter... Most of the state entered June in drought conditions, with 20 percent of the state already in severe drought... In most areas of eastern Oregon, deer and elk survival was at or slightly below average...

Effects of distribution, behavior, and climate on mule deer survival August 26, 2018 EM Schuyler, KM Dugger, DH Jackson, Oregon, The Journal of Wildlife Management
... Estimates of annual survival were higher for migrants (0.81–0.82), compared to residents (0.76–0.77). Survival was lower for migrants and residents during fall migration (Oct–Nov) and higher amounts of winter precipitation increased survival of both groups. The results of our study suggest that migrating to potentially higher quality summer foraging areas outweighed the cost of traveling through unfamiliar habitats and energy expenditure associated with migration...

Police officer rescues deer stuck in fence in Eugene August 30, 2018 Oregon, Oregonian
... A passer-by walking with her children in the afternoon reported seeing the small deer stuck toward the top of a picket fence ... The fawn apparently tried jumping over the barrier and landed between the boards...

Deer study calls into question juniper removal projects August 21, 2018 Oregon, The Wildlife Society
... paper published in the Journal of Wildlife Management ... while the juniper may crowd out the grass and forbs the deer rely on in the winter, it provided other benefits... we don’t know from our study is if it’s actually beneficial to mule deer populations ... mule deer in Oregon, as in much of the West, are struggling due largely to habitat loss. That’s partly because of the incursion of juniper ...

Drop in mule deer population being addressed August 16, 2018 Washington, La Grande Observer
... The question is being asked with an increasing sense of concern on the wildlife front: Why are mule deer populations gradually declining in Oregon? ... One potential cause they are looking at is a rising number of Rocky Mountain elk in Oregon... up 6 percent since 2013. The state had 74,227 Rocky Mountain elk in 2016, up 4,654 from 2013 when it had 69,573..,

... the state has managed over the past decade to cut the population — through trapping and aerial hunting — from more than 3,000 to less than 200...They can eat small birds and young deer ...

Fawns, calves fared better over the past winter July 13, 2018 Oregon, La Grande Observer 
... deer in Union and Wallowa counties came through the relatively mild winter of 2017-18 in solid shape ... fawn survival rate in Union County’s largest wildlife districts was just more than 80 percent..,

Third Case Of Arrow-Wounded Deer Reported In Douglas County July 10, 2018 Oregon, KLCC FM Public Radio
... Since spring, Oregon officials have investigated three such cases...
  Deer shot in head with arrow near Roseburg July 7, 2018 Oregon, KGW
...The deer was found in the 800 block of San Souci Drive, west of Roseburg. The arrow was removed and the deer returned to its small fawn nearby...

Suspect charged for shooting, wounding deer July 3, 2018 Oregon, KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2
...  shooting target arrows at two deer ... In April 2018 several deer with arrows protruding from their bodies were reported to be seen around the Shady Cove area ...

... DFW staff proposals to simplify big game hunting regulations will be discussed at the meetings along with tag numbers for 2019, which should be very similar to 2018 numbers. Big game over-winter survival was good this year due to the mild winter, but herds in some areas are still recovering from the severe 2016-17 winter..,

... The suspects documented their kill in graphic photos -- grinning near slumped over carcasses, posing with a decapitated elk head and taking a selfie with animal blood splattered over one of the alleged poacher's face...
... Prosecutors in Oregon have filed more than a hundred charges in an investigation of wildlife poaching that has spanned state lines and allegedly left dozens of animals shot illegally and often left to rot.  The Wasco, Ore., County District Attorney’s office charged eleven people ...

In Search of Antlers May 18, 2018 Oregon, bendsource.com
... It's becoming one of the more popular outdoor pursuits in regions where deer and elk herds thrive. ... Tanner helped form a 7,000-member Facebook groupcalled Oregon Shed Hunters in 2005. "From that point on, it's been like a big Easter egg hunt for adults." ...

... A total of 145,105 raffle tickets were sold, grossing $380,730 and breaking previous records for raffle sales... The Governor’s combination deer/elk tag went for $78,000, breaking the previous record of $70,000 set in 2016. See the list of auction events and winning bids  ...

Hunting Applications Higher in Oregon May 12, 3028 Mail Tribune
.. As of Monday, 176,911 applications had been received by the ODFW ... 2.8 percent higher than the same time last year, she says... The agency has reduced tag numbers for some Eastern Oregon big-game hunts to account for high winter mortality of deer and pronghorn ...

New state law could allow city to kill deer in town May 9, 2018 Oregon, Baker City Herald
... common issue is the animals’ appetite for city residents’ flowers, shrubs and trees... Senate Bill 373 requires the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to start a pilot program, by Jan. 1, 2019, designed to allow cities to reduce their deer populations by applying to the state for permits allowing the city to kill deer ...

  Deer shot by arrow spotted in Salem May 5, 2018 Oregon, KGW
... This time in Salem... the deer “has a little bit of a limp but it does move around and eat.” ... A hunter called them and said he’d shot a deer but couldn't retrieve the arrow or find the deer...

... Two deer, illegally shot with arrows in the Shady Cove area, were successfully tranquilized yesterday and the arrows removed... “This is not ethical hunting ...
  Authorities remove arrows from impaled deer May 3, 2018 Oregon, Oregonian
... removed arrows from the head and body of a pair of deer in the Shady Cove area ... reward for information leading to the arrest or citation of those responsible for the shooting has been bumped to $2,600...
... At least two deer were discovered wandering around Friday with arrows sticking through their bodies ... Shady Cove area ...

Biologists tag pregnant does and fawns to learn what kills deer babies April 13, 2018 Oregn, Mail Tribune & Daily Tidings
... Using GPS technology attached to blacktail does ... By investigating fawn deaths within hours of their mortality, researchers hope to tell whether they died at the teeth of predators such as cougars, coyotes and bears — as many hunters have theorized... Less than half the fawns survive ...

... Cities that declare deer a public nuisance can petition the state Department of Fish and Wildlife for help to reduce population levels starting next January...

State needs diverse tools to tackle Oregon's big-cat problem April 6, 2018 Statesman Journal
...  statewide population was estimated at 2,500 [1992-93] ...  2016 hunting season ... an estimated population of 6,400 statewide  ... Black-tailed deer numbers have been dropping, except in suburban landscapes where they have adapted to life with people...

Here is a liitle pick me up for your viewing pleasure! Join us as we enjoy the Bend buck just doing what he does best, lounging in someones yard. Buck Norris, the Nosler Buck or as some call him the Bend Buck is one of Oregon's living legends. - March 21, 2018


... The concern is that instead of reducing competition to native shrubs and grasses with juniper by cutting it, we may be swapping competitors by increasing invasive grasses," ... agencies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in juniper reduction treatments to increase native shrubs and grasses. .. Oregon's prized mule deer herds and many other important wildlife species found in the sagebrush steppe...


Solve persistent Northwest elk problems March 8, 2018 Oregon, Daily Astorian
... wildlife managers across the Northwest have a problem — nearly 300,000 elk that live in the region. It’s an incredible success story for a species that was hunted down to a few small, coastal herds by the early 1900s... overrun ranches, farms, towns and anywhere else they find food ...

Elk herds horn in on cattle pastures February 19, 2018 Oregon, Capital Press
... In eastern Oregon, the mild winter is resulting in less wildlife damage since fewer deer and elk are being driven by bad weather down to the valley pastures ... 10 Elkhorn Range sites managed by the state had about 1,100 animals in early January compared to 2,000 head a year ago during a severe winter...  feed sites are along traditional migratory routes and are intended to intercept and stop the animals before they reach private ranches...

Predator control returns to Grant County February 13, 2018 Oregon, Blue Mountain Eagle
... 2,000 deer wintered on his ranch when the county had a Wildlife Services agent keeping predators under control, but the deer population dropped to about 100 after the program ended...  the Wildlife Services agent had removed about 40 coyotes a year from his 5-square-mile property...
Deer and elk salvage from highways due this year in Oregon January 18, 2018 Oregon, OregonLive.com
... The new law will allow anyone to obtain a permit to salvage the meat from deer or elk killed (antlers cannot be kept), but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was given until Jan. 1, 2019 to begin issuing the documents...

Multiple wolves confirmed in Mount Hood area for first time January 16, 2018 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... At least two gray wolves have been confirmed in the Mount Hood area, marking the first time a pair of the predators have settled in the northern Cascade Range since they began returning to Oregon in the 2000s... ODFW feeds deer and elk during the winter in the White River ...

... Four Roosevelt elk ...were dead on the south side of the two eastbound travel lanes. Another four or five elk were in varying stages of catastrophic injury on the north side of the road near a grassy median, and another animal had dragged its broken body another 200 feet down the highway east toward Portland...

Opportunities for Baker County landowners to maximize mule deer habitat January 3, 2018 Oregon, Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service
...Private landowners in Baker County may be eligible for financial assistance to help them improve habitat for mule deer and other wildlife.  The funding is available to eligible agricultural producers in the Keating Wildlife Management Unit...

... the WDFW planned to remove all of the deer and elk under the care of For Heaven’s Sake in one fell swoop ...  officials were unable to capture all of the deer that they had previously deemed too tame for wild release... WDFW’s report implies that Wolf Haven had prior knowledge of the events that transpired...

Bend-area hunters adopt Highway 97 deer fence December 26, 2017 Oregon, KTVZ
... Throughout the year, members have been conducting a coordinated patrol along the fence line and making needed repairs.  This can include removing trees off the fence and patching damaged sections of the fence and even picking up litter along the route...

... Hancock Forest Management on 190,000 acres in the Stott Mountain Wildlife Management Unit between Salem and Newport ...  ODFW essentially pays the company $1 per acre for public access to the timberlands that have prime habitat for deer and elk...

Hunters and wildlife remain robust December 12, 2017 Oregon, Sisters Nugget
...  this year's fawn populations were reduced by nearly half of normal, district-wide, meaning that deer will head into this winter with a severely reduced yearling crop. The same dramatic loss was true of adult populations, as last winter's extraordinarily harsh conditions were very hard on deer survival rates..,

December 9, 2017


Elk in no hurry to reach feed sites December 8, 2017 Oregon, Baker City Herald
... feed more than 1,000 elk, and hundreds of deer, each winter... goal isn’t to spare the elk from starvation, but rather to keep them from gorging on hay that’s supposed to feed ranchers’ cattle... Generally the strategy is successful ...

...Two local hunters recently brought prohibited elk parts from Colorado and Wyoming into the Rogue Valley. The elk were harvested in these states which have some deer, elk and moose infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease...

Wolf management plan draws criticism from conservation group December 1, 2017 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
...  allow the agency to authorize residents to hunt and trap wolves by permit in areas where the agency has determined that deer and elk are falling short of population targets because of wolves... no incontrovertible evidence of wolves in the state between 1946 and 1974. A lone wolf traveled to Oregon from the east in 1999 ... As of 2016, there are at least 112 wolves living in the state ..,

... Last week, Montana reported its first case of a free-ranging deer testing positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The deer was harvested by a Montana hunter and its carcass was brought to Oregon by the hunter’s relative, who lives in Madras.  The parties involved failed to follow regulations ..,

... A Madras man was cited last week for illegally bringing into Oregon a hunter-killed mule deer carcass later discovered to be Montana’s first free-range deer infected with the deadly chronic wasting disease.  Some infected parts of the butchered deer were found and removed after the man disposed of them in the Madras area ...

... No cases have been reported in Oregon or Washington, but Greg Jackle, an ODFW biologist based in Prineville, said the disease can spread easily, and the department isn’t taking chances...

Wildlife in Managed Forests October, 2017 Oregon, ODFW
... In 1979, ODFW estimated the statewide black-tailed deer population at 452,000.
Population estimates during the next 10 years, based on computer modeling that
relied primarily on population parameters collected during field surveys, varied
between 400,000 and 500,000. However, in 2004, ODFW estimated the blacktailed
deer population for Oregon at 320,000... Mule deer populations were estimated at about 212,000 in 2011. 

   A few decades ago, cougars in the coast range were practically unheard of. But as Oregon’s healthy cougar population has expanded into northwest Oregon from population strongholds in the Blue Mountains and south Cascades, ODFW is observing  more cougar harvest, sightings and damage complaints along the coast..,

... Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that has never been detected in Oregon’s cervids but is spreading in North America.  ... ODFW is also testing road-killed deer and elk and is expanding this testing to western Oregon ..,

Deer migration season means watch out on the highway October 20, 2017 Oregon, The Bulletin
... In the Paulina unit southeast of Bend, the 7,200 deer estimated to have spent last winter there is only 44 percent of the area’s capacity ... ODFW has tallied nearly 16,000 deer that winter in lower-elevation spots in and near Central Oregon, most of which cross at least one highway during each migration...

Project saved homes from fires, but can it be duplicated? October 16, 2017 Oregon, Idaho Statesman
... Four deer trotted through dappled sunlight. This part of the forest looked healthy, not despite of, but due to, the prescribed burn.  "Ponderosa pines are used to low-intensity fires," Osborne said. "Every five to 15 years, a fire would come through. We're trying to take it back to low-intensity fires...

... officials in Washington estimate the case involves the illegal killing of more than 100 elk, deer, black bears, bobcats and other animals over a nearly two-year span... 

Deer migration poses travel risks October 9, 2017 Oregon, KTVZ
... be on the lookout for migrating mule deer on U.S Highway 97 and other Oregon highways... “Deer are embarking on their fall migration from the eastern slopes of the Cascades to their winter grounds near Fort Rock and Christmas Valley ... Highway 97 lies directly in their path ...

... [The plan was adopted at the meeting] ... The Commission will be asked to adopt an updated Oregon Cougar Management Plan... does not propose major management changes. The updated Plan continues to stress coexistence with Oregon’s more than 6,400 cougars..,

... Oregon ...  there are about 13 deer for every 100 people  ... Washington ... works out to about 4.5 deer for every hundred people...  fewer than two deer for every hundred Californians...

Silverton council considers solutions to nuisance deer October 1, 2017 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... Senate Bill 373 prohibits the use of darts or lethal injections It also requires the harvested meat be given to a local food bank or charitable organization, at the city’s expense. And it stipulates that eradication efforts stop once an urban deer population is at “a level that no longer constitutes a public nuisance ...

'Life goes on' for wildlife affected by Chetco Bar Fire September 26, 2017 Oregon, Curry Coastal Pilot
... “The future’s bright; there will be new growth, habitat, and a lot of animals thrive off the new stuff.” ... rare the large animals — deer, elk, coyote and bear — would be trapped by a fire...

Hunters should expect a challenging buck deer rifle season September 23, 2017 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... The record snowfall last winter in Central Oregon led to high fawn mortality rates ... The harsh winter could have a similar effect in the Ochoco District (Grizzly, Ochoco and Maury units), where over-winter fawn survival rates were reduced by 30 percent ..,

Deer hunters will find scattered herds, some winterkill September 19, 2017 Oregon, OregonLive.com
... Western Oregon deer suffered through record rainfall, but that was followed by a record dry spell and numerous forest fires in the south Cascades and southwest Coast Range...

... the plane’s landing gear and propeller ended up striking the elk... An instant later, a second elk ran in front of the plane and was struck by the left wing ... That second elk also died...

Archery hunters face challenge amid smoke, heat September 7, 2017 Oregon, East Oregonian
...  in Baker, Union and northern Malheur counties, where ODFW reduced tags by as much as half ... snow depth exceeded 18 inches in some areas while temperatures failed to break freezing for 28 consecutive days. Animals struggled to find forage for extended periods of time, which led to a higher-than-usual winter mortality..,

There are bright spots to having fewer tag numbers September 5, 2017 Oregon, The Register-Guard
... Buck deer tag numbers are proposed to be reduced 4.5 percent and antlerless deer 5.5 percent because of the tough winter in parts of Eastern Oregon  ... deer populations are below what they would like to see in the Deschutes district units except for the Metolius ... Western Oregon deer numbers remain fairly stable ..,

Massive poaching case headed to prosecutor's office August 15, 2017 Oregon, The Daily Herald
... In many cases, the animals were simply shot and left behind to rot ... The investigation began more than two years ago after headless deer were found on a popular walking trail in Oregon...

ODFW kills 2 wolves for repeated attacks on cattle August 9, 2017 Oregon, Capital Press
... The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association said the dry summer caused deer and elk to retreat higher into the mountains, making cattle “easy targets” for wolves...

2017 Big Game Preview August 8, 2017 Oregon, Coos Bay World
... in northeast Oregon. In addition to sub-zero weather, the mule deer just couldn’t find places without deep snow no matter how low in elevation they migrated. The result was mortality levels that reached 32 percent for Baker County herds ... deer fared considerably better in the rest of the state..,

Commission meets Aug. 4 in Salem to adopt 2018 sportfishing regulations, discuss updated Cougar Management Plan July 28, 2017 Oregon, ODFW News
... The Commission will be briefed on a draft updated Cougar Management Plan though no action on the Plan will be taken until a future meeting. Last updated in 2006, the Plan guides management of cougars in Oregon. The draft updated Plan incorporates new scientific literature and Oregon-specific research about cougars, including a genetics and habitat analysis, but does not propose major management changes. The updated Plan will continue to stress coexistence with Oregon’s more than 6,000 cougars...

Ashland, New law allows urban deer 'taking,' donating venison to food banks July 25, 2017 Oregon, Ashland Daily Tidings
...  Senate Bill 373, which requires the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt a pilot program for urban deer population control, ... Mayor Stromberg was specific, noting, “Killing of deer, one way or the other is problematic and not a viable solution. I believe it would be very divisive also. Experts don’t think it’s effective.” ...

A new state law could regulate urban deer July 19, 2017 Oregon, KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2
... Senate Bill 373 ...opens the door to thinning urban deer populations ... First, they would have to ban people from feeding deer. Second, the city would have to declare the deer a nuisance. Finally, the city would have to petition the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ...


... heard the deer’s cries and when they arrived on the scene, they realized the deer was stuck and desperate to get out... After the painful rescue, the deer ran free ...

... Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) observed declines in black-tailed deer populations since the late 1980’s and attributes these declines to reduction in quality and availability of habitat, following the decline of timber harvest on federal lands... my results support the hypothesis that food and cover are more readily available and used by female black-tailed deer on industrial forestlands than federal forestlands in western Oregon...

... The U.S. Forest Service issued a final decision Wednesday green-lighting an extensive motorized trail system that would add 137 miles of new off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails ... the Western Environmental Law Center, challenged the decision ... disruptions to elk calving and security areas on the forest...

No salvaging of roadkill yet June 26, 2017 Oregon, My Columbia Basin
...  A new law allowing the salvage of deer and elk killed by motor vehicles will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2019 at the latest... ODFW is now working on the rules ...

Outbreak sickens local deer herds, AHD June 23, 2017 Oregon, Dalles Chronicle
... an outbreak of Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD) in a local deer herd in The Dalles ... AHD is a virus transmitted by direct contact between deer, making it easier to spread in areas of high deer concentrations... 

Lavender Fields Forever a labor of love June 16, 2017 Oregon, Mail Tribune
... “Any of us that live here in Southern Oregon are well aware of how the deer like to share our gardens,” she said. “But deer do not like to eat lavender.” ...

... Idaho has seven times as many wolves and allows hunting and trapping in addition to “lethal control” for livestock and ungulate losses... Potential changes are on the distant horizon.... Idaho has an estimated 800 wolves — probably more ... Oregon, which documented 112 wolves at the end of 2016 ...

Commission hears public testimony on Wolf Plan, schedules work session for June 8  May 19, 2017
     The Commission heard from a panel of stakeholders representing Wolf Program stakeholders and an additional 73 members of the public who signed up to testify at a meeting about the revised Draft Wolf Plan today.  The meeting was live-streamed and a recording can be viewed at ODFW’s Twitter account...

... The North Bank Habitat Management Area is a 6,581 acre area, acquired through a land exchange in 1994, to provide secure habitat for Columbian white-tailed deer...

Deer control and roadkills May 7, 2017 Oregon, Hasso Hering
... Senate Bill 373-A would authorize the state wildlife department to kill deer in cities that ask for deer control ...  SB 372, which would allow people who hit and kill wildlife with a vehicle to salvage the animal and use the meat. If a deer is injured and incapacitated in a collision, the bill would authorize someone to "put it out of its misery," ...

Ashland, Let's hear it for the deer May 7, 2017 Oregon, Mail Tribune
... Tourists delight in seeing them, admiring them and photographing them. Tourists, of course, contribute greatly to the economic lifeblood of the town, and because deer sightings increase tourist happiness, it seems reasonable to conclude that happy tourists are apt to spend more money...

... researchers ... want to find out whether unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or “drones” can be used effectively to count elk in this kind of terrain.  Preliminary results of field trials conducted on the North Coast near Astoria suggests that they can..,

Application deadline coming up for Oregon fall hunting April 29, 2017 OregonLive.com... winterkill will shave some hunts in northeast Oregon, department officials still anticipate between 350,000 and 400,000 applications for more than 132,000 tags.  That doesn't count thousands more applications for 160 additional "premium" hunts ..,

... House Bill 3158 would award "preference points" to Oregonians who provide law enforcement with detailed information that can help prosecute poachers...

ODFW Commission hears wolf plan testimony April 24, 2017 Oregon, Capital Press
... Wolf advocates pleaded for stricter conservation measures while ranchers asked for quicker determinations on suspected wolf-caused livestock losses and hunters pushed for controlled hunts when wolf populations threaten deer and elk populations...

There needs to be compromise in wolf management April 20, 2017 Oregon, NRToday.com
... Hunters are worried wolves will take a bite out of the big game populations – deer and elk – that they enjoy pursuing. Some Oregon areas already have depressed numbers of those two game animals ... If hunters become frustrated by an increased presence of wolves in future years, they’ll pass on buying licenses and tags and that is the money that goes into wildlife management of all animals...

... When the first management plan was adopted in 2005, there were no documented wolves in Oregon. The first pups were discovered in 2008, and by the end of 2011 there were 29 confirmed wolves in Oregon. The state documented 64 wolves at the end of 2013, and a minimum of 112 by the end of 2016, including 11 packs and eight breeding pairs..,

Deer Decimated April 17, 2017 Oregon, Baker City Herald
... The hard winter killed hundreds of deer in Baker County, prompting Oregon wildlife officials to cut in half the number of buck tags for this fall’s hunting season... The long-term average for Baker County is about 35 fawns per 100 adults.  This spring the average across the county was 11 fawns per 100 adults..,

... Early spring flight surveys of mule deer showed the winter took a toll on mule deer. Usually, surveys count fawn ratios (fawns per 100 adults) in the mid-30s. This year, 11 fawns per 100 adults on average were counted across the county with some units being as low as 8 per 100 adults. While the average winter loss of adult radio-collared does being studied in the Blue Mountains is around 8 percent, Baker County lost 32 percent..,

     ODFW releases its 2016 Wolf Annual Report and a Draft Revised Wolf Management Plan today... ODFW counted 112 known wolves in Oregon in 2016, up two wolves from 2015. Counts are based on verified evidence (like tracks, sign, remote camera photographs, visual observations) and are considered a minimum known population. Severe winter weather made counting wolves much more challenging this year.  Surveys documented 11 packs and eight of those were breeding pairs...

...A draft wolf plan, also released by the wildlife department on Tuesday, would continue to allow controlled killings of wolves only in situations of chronic livestock depredation, or if wolves are causing declines in populations of deer, elk and other ungulates...

...Both must pay $7,600 in fines, fees, and restitution along with forfeiting hunting privileges for three years...

Roadkill bill cruises through Oregon Senate April 11, 2017 East Oregonian 
... passed the Senate on April 6 by a vote of 29-0... Washington enacted its roadkill salvage program on July 1, 2016, issuing 1,100 permits over the first six months ...
     Road kill bill runs over first obstacle April 7, 2017 Oregon, My Columbia Basin
... ODFW estimates that more than 6,000 deer and elk are killed by motor vehicles in Oregon annually... Senate Bill 372 ... would allow motorists who kill a deer or elk while driving to process its meat ...

...  authorities are urging the public to postpone their early-spring scavenger hunt on account of this winter’s historic snowfall.  Deer and elk are still very concentrated because of the snowpack ..,

Wolf population on the rise, but conservationists concerned March 11, 2017 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... While Dennehy said the agency would continue to emphasize nonlethal methods of keeping wolves away from ranches and other residences, the wolf management plan allows for ODFW agents to kill wolves if there’s evidence wolves are causing declines in deer or elk populations, or if a wolf is determined to be chronically killing livestock...

... The current Plan states that controlled take of wolves can be allowed in two specific circumstances: 1) if wolves are determined to be causing declines in ungulate populations such as deer and elk or 2) in specific cases of chronic livestock depredation...
      Oregon wolf management plan moves into new phase March 7, 2017 Portland Tribune
... The latest count of Oregon wolves shows there are eight breeding pairs in Eastern Oregon, meaning state wildlife officials move into a management plan phase that potentially could ease restrictions on killing them if they decimate deer and elk herds or chronically attack livestock...

... the issue isn’t so much about cougars as it is about controlling a major predator of mule deer... The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says there are more than 6,000 cougars in Oregon right now, and hunters killed about 260 of them last year ..,

... it’s tempting to go out now, especially because severe winters can congregate deer and elk and make for prime shed hunting. “It’s easy to think since there is not a lot of snow now that the critters are fine, but that’s not necessarily the case,” he added. “They are still burning winter reserves and aren’t ready for people to be pushing them around.” ...

... he has also spread small amounts of (alfalfa) hay at many sites rather than dumping a single large pile... thinks as much as 80 percent of the animals in some areas would have died without the handouts ... The campaign has raised about $14,500 through a GoFundMe account ...

Ashland,  Deer Population, Traffic on Dudley Discussed at Edgewood Meeting February 28, 2017 Oregon, The River City News
... Huffman referenced the City of Ft. Thomas and how it allowed for hunting of the deer with bow and arrow to cut down on the numbers. City Administrator Brian Dehner said that he heard the population is growing again in Ft. Thomas, though...

Arrow removed from deer's neck; suspect still unknown February 24, 2017 Oregon, KGW 8 Portland
...  the deer was captured and the arrow was removed from its neck. The deer was released back into the wild...
  $1500 REWARD: Deer Shot Through Neck with Arrow February 23, 2017 Oregon, 750 KXL
...  An image of the injured doe was captured in a photograph that clearly shows an arrow protruding through her neck. The deer, according to the Oregon State Police, is thought to be caring for a yearling and is likely pregnant... 

Bill would allow killing of 'urban deer' February 20, 2017 Oregon, Hasso Hering
...  Senate Bill 373 ... rid participating cities of "urban deer" by killing them ... ODFW suggested that cities would be better off making it illegal to feed wildlife within their limits. Indeed that is one of the requirements if a city wanted to reduce the numbers of urban deer in a program of the kind envisioned by the bill...

... SB 372 ...  rules for issuance of wildlife salvage permits to salvage deer or elk accidentally killed as result of vehicle collision ...  Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife says the law would, “provide a loophole for people to shoot a deer or elk then strike it with a vehicle in an attempt to claim it as road injured and killed for humane purposes...

Oregon ‘problem wolves’ proposal draws howls February 13, 2017 Register-Guard
... the state wildlife department is considering allowing members of the public — defined as licensed hunters and trappers — to kill the wolves ... proposal that wolves be eliminated for “causing major declines of ungulate populations,” such as deer and elk... environmental groups strongly oppose any public hunting of the state’s roughly 150 wolves...

Focus on feeding February 10, 2017 Oregon, Baker City Herald
... leading a campaign to feed about 1,000 elk and more than 1,000 deer in snowbound eastern Baker County ...  raised about $14,500 through a GoFundMe account over the past 21 days ... as much as 80 percent of the animals in some areas would have died ...

  Firefighters rescue deer trapped in icy Erie Canal February 2, 2017 Oregon, Democrat and Chronicle
...A buck fell through ice Thursday and the animal's hind legs became trapped underwater about 15 feet off shore ...

Central Oregon mule deer migrations in crisis February 1, 2017 Bend Bulletin
... These deer travel from 40 to 120 miles from summer range to winter ground... long characterized U.S. Highways 97 and 20 as walls of death for mule deer. As traffic has increased on both highways, he now speaks in terms of their eventual impassibility ... deer are in danger of losing connectivity between their summer and winter habitats...

... After six years of drought, parts of Oregon are experiencing a harsh winter, with impressive snowpack ... they do expect to see increased winter mortality... ODFW does not plan emergency feeding this year ...

Protected areas critical to Central Oregon deer January 15, 2017 The Register-Guard
... disturbances from people can force deer to burn more vital calories, while also displacing them from a safe spot to areas where they face more challenges, including predators ... they’re starving to death ...

Deadline nears to report 2016 hunts January 6, 2017 Oregon, Mail Tribune
... Nearly 21,700 Oregon hunters who failed to report their 2014 hunting successes paid the $25 penalty when buying licenses last year, generating $541,700 ....
... they're starving to death ...  disturbances from people can force deer to burn more vital calories ...  this winter is a normal one, although after six years of drought it may not seem that way ...

... “The larger the habitat size, the more wildlife it can support,” said Jeff Merrill, a Metro natural resources scientist. The site likely supports black-tailed deer, beavers and other native animals ...

State authorities rescued a deer stranded on a frozen pond ‎(Dec. 20, 2016)‎ Oregon State Police video


Joseph rejects Hansell's deer bill December 13, 2016 Oregon, Wallowa County Cheiftain
... Sen. Bill Hansell’s draft bill included a population control plan that said ODFW could kill deer, after live trapping and moving them ... citizens were worried armed men would march through town shooting deer...

Multiple deer rescued out of pond December 13, 2016 Oregon, Sisters Nugget
... Tugging and pulling with all they had, the Storlie's managed to drag the fawn up to the fence surrounding the pond ... set to work with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, while Bob snatched up his wife's hair-dryer, plugged it in and started blowing warm air on the almost-dead fawn's wet, cold body...

Ochoco forest eyes site for removing juniper December 11, 2016 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... The Ochoco National Forest wants to remove younger juniper trees  ...  If removing the juniper helps other vegetation to grow, then those federal forestlands may draw more foraging deer and elk from the nearby private lands, Spitzack said. That result could benefit hunters who use public lands to hunt animals...

t's pretty rare to get this on film. These bucks were jostling in our back yard this morning. One is a frequent visitor that we have named Little John. He is the three point buck. The other is a yearling. - December 11, 2016


... findings suggest that hunters using those styles of guns may have a reduced risk of secondary lead poisoning from consuming game meat, and that there may be a reduced risk to scavenging animals as well, compared to ammunition for modern rifles that also contain lead...

Roads Close In Deschutes Forest December 6, 2016 Oregon, myCentralOregon.com
... Deer and elk migrate to lower elevation winter ranges in the fall... Severe winters can strain the animals, and disturbance from people-from additional trail use ... can stress them ...
... the deer tried to escape a yard by squeezing through a wrought-iron fence. However, it became stuck halfway through...

... To deter the deer without harming them, she sprays her plants with a natural repellent she bought at Home Depot. She hasn’t had any problems since ... “The deer are beautiful. They’re part of the life I love here,” ... Troy Eckberg, the director of golf at River’s Edge Golf Course ... said they don’t have any damage issues caused by the 15 or so deer that regularly roam and bed down on their 18-hole course...

... The hunters’ association, which counts 10,000 members across the state, is a significant ally in tracking down violators. The organization has raised money through its Turn-In-Poacher hotline for years. OHA has distributed $7,800 in rewards so far this year for tips that led to poaching charges ...

Responding to injured animals November 29, 2016 Oregon, The Bulletin
... those hit by vehicles ... “We give ’em a chance,” ... If the deer is up and moving and able to eat or drink, officials leave it alone and may try to monitor how it’s doing. A deer with a broken bone can live and heal, for instance.  “They survive and they have fawns and they carry on ...

Proposal may pave way for deer removal in city limits November 25, 2016 Oregon, Wallowa County Cheiftain
... Dist. 29 State Sen. Bill Hansell ... bill requires the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to institute a pilot program for deer population control that would allow a city to petition the state’s Wildlife Commission to remove deer if the ODFW determined they constituted a public nuisance... 

This awesome 200 inch massive Oregon buck was an amazing sight to see. This old mature buck shows many battle scares including a missing eye from past rut! Not to mention he is just a giant buck. November 25, 2016 Oregon


Gorging on the green November 18, 2016 Oregon, La Grande Observer
... The combination of a damp October and an unseasonably balmy first half of November has prompted a lush crop of new grass to sprout in the region’s drought-desiccated rangelands... Deer are probably the biggest beneficiaries ... and in particular this year’s crop of fawns...

... In Oregon, game animals killed by a vehicle cannot be harvested, by the driver or anyone else. Antlers from deer or elk killed by a vehicle cannot be harvested either...

Pendleton outfitter pleads guilty to poaching mule deer November 15, 2016 Oregon, Wallowa County Cheiftain
... A local hunter, outfitter and former board member for the Mule Deer Foundation admitted Tuesday to poaching a trophy mule deer buck two years ago...

Hunters can help protect deer, elk November 14, 2016 Oregon, The News Guard
... Chronic Wasting Disease has never been detected in Oregon, but wildlife managers are on the lookout for the disease... import restrictions meant to keep Oregon free of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)....

Bend: Jeff Orr shared photos, video as Bend police and fire crews rescued a deer rescued from being stuck in the mud from drained Mirror Pond. - November 11, 2016


...  it started out slow, but those who hung out longer seemed to find deer. The weather was actually pretty favorable, with cooler temperatures and rain ...

Hunters asked to report disease in elk and deer November 8, 2016 Oregon, Wallowa County Cheiftain
... it is illegal to bring any deer, elk or moose part containing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into Oregon from any state or Canadian province with a documented case of the disease...

Oregon Data:  For 2015, an estimated 300,000 to 320,000 blacktails and 225,000 to 235,000 mule deer, about 540,000 deer.  In 2016 an estimated 226,775 mule deer.  A severe winter in 2016-2017 reduced the herd which is 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.  In 2016 the target black-tail deer buck to doe ratio was about 25 to 30 bucks per 100 does.  The 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 are 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
    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  Peak 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 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.   About 80,000 deer in 1913 according to an Outdoor Life estimate.
     The severe winter of 1992-93 reduced deer populations.
     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.  In 2016 an estimated 74,227 Rocky Moutain elk and 60,057 Roosevelt elk.
    Moose, 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, 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.