ODFW unveils new deer, elk, antelope premium hunts

The Enterprise

SALEM – May 15 is the deadline to apply for new premium hunts for deer, elk and pronghorn antelope, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced.

The new months-long season will cost cost a few lucky hunters just $8.

Hunters who draw tags for the new premium hunts will get a two or three-month season hunt – Sept. 1-Nov. 30 for deer and elk, Aug. 1-Sept. 30 for pronghorn. The bag limit is either sex with no antler restrictions.

Premium hunts are also additional hunting opportunities, meaning hunters who draw them can still get a regular controlled or general season tag.

Hunters need to apply by May 15, and can do so online or at a license sales agent.

Most wildlife management units will have one deer and one elk tag available. A pronghorn tag will be offered in 27 units.

Applicants should not the unit number, and a full list is on page 17 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations.

As only one tag for each hunt is likely to be available in 2016, no party applications are allowed. Non-residents may apply for any tag and have the same chances to draw it as a resident, as state statute says both have an equal chance when only one tag is available for a hunt.

The premium Hunts will not use the preference point system. Every hunter will have the same chance every year in the random draw. The hunts are not once-in-a-lifetime, but can be drawn and applied for again.

Premium hunt winners will still need to purchase a tag, which will cost the same as a regular tag: $26.50 for deer, $46 for elk, $48 for pronghorn for residents, and $414 for deer, $549 for elk and $369 for pronghorn for non-residents.