As the seasons shift, the rugged landscapes of Oregon come alive with the anticipation of the hunting community. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has meticulously crafted the hunting calendar for 2023-2024, offering enthusiasts an array of game species to pursue. This exhaustive guide provides a detailed exploration of each hunting season, from the beginning to the culmination, offering insights into the challenges and rewards that each pursuit brings.
Table of Contents
Big Game Seasons
Deer Season (September – November)
The hunting calendar opens with the Deer Season, a time when hunters eagerly venture into the woods in pursuit of mule deer and black-tailed deer. Starting in early September and extending into late November, this season aligns with the peak of deer activity, providing a challenging yet rewarding experience for hunters.
Elk Season (September – October)
Following closely is Elk Season, commencing in early September and stretching into October. This season offers enthusiasts the chance to track and hunt the majestic elk herds that roam Oregon’s diverse landscapes, testing the skills and patience of even the most seasoned hunters.
II. Upland Game Bird Seasons
Turkey Season (April – May)
Upland enthusiasts can look forward to the arrival of Turkey Season in early spring. With a variety of turkey species available, hunters can relish the challenge of calling in these vocal birds until late May, marking the culmination of the turkey hunting experience.
Pheasant Season (October – December)
As fall arrives, so does Pheasant Season, drawing hunters to the fields in pursuit of these challenging game birds. Starting in October and extending into December, this season promises exciting flushes and wing-shooting opportunities.
III. Waterfowl Seasons
Duck and Goose Seasons (October – January)
The wetlands of Oregon come alive during the Duck and Goose Seasons, with opportunities starting in October and extending into January. Waterfowl hunters can relish the diverse landscapes that provide ideal habitats, ensuring a thrilling experience until the closing days of the hunting calendar.
IV. Small Game and Predator Seasons
Squirrel and Rabbit Season (September – December)
For those seeking a different kind of challenge, Small Game Seasons for squirrels and rabbits opens in early fall and continues into the winter months, offering a unique hunting experience with the backdrop of changing seasons.
Predator Season (September – December)
Coyotes and bobcats take the spotlight during Predator Season, running concurrently with small game seasons. This season is crucial for managing predator populations and protecting other wildlife, bringing a strategic element to the hunting calendar.
As the sun sets on the last day of the Oregon hunting season for 2023-2024, the echoes of rifle shots and the calls of waterfowl fade into the wilderness. Each season has provided a unique opportunity for hunters to immerse themselves in the state’s natural tapestry and challenge their skills against a diverse array of game species. Whether stalking mule deer in the early morning light, calling in a tom turkey or setting up for waterfowl in the wetlands, Oregon’s hunting seasons offer a connection to the land and a profound appreciation for the delicate balance of wildlife management.
In the fading light of the hunting season, let’s acknowledge the responsibility that comes with being stewards of the land. Conservation efforts and ethical hunting practices ensure that future seasons remain bountiful and that the wilderness continues to thrive. So, as the sun sets on another hunting season, let it rise on a legacy of respect for nature, camaraderie among hunters, and a commitment to preserving the beauty of Oregon’s wild places.