Rolling the Dice on Oregon Game

Earlier this week I sat bundled up in my Sitka Traverse hoody as I enjoyed a local softball game thinking it felt more like October than July. Just four days later Mother Nature was pushing 90 in the PNW. I looked up at Mt. Hood looming large on the horizon, still white with snow, wishing I were digging in for the hunt. I suppose I should catch you up a bit . . .

A few months ago I toiled over the quarter inch think booklet that Oregon sends out for their hunting lottery and felt like a 10th grader fretting over her SATs. What series should I choose? Which units should I request and in what order? What’s the likelihood I will have a successful draw and what do I do if I don’t? These and many other questions cluttered my mind. But before I could answer any of them I had to find out exactly what it all meant.

The state of Oregon requires its hunters to not only buy a license to hunt, but to enter a lottery system for the right to hunt controlled game. If you’re successful in drawing tags for your controlled hunt, you then have to buy tags for each individual species (also referred to as series) before the first valid date of the tag. Each series is broken down into particular areas, or units, with their respective open season and bag limits.

If you’re unsuccessful in drawing tags for a controlled hunt, you can still buy tags and hunt the General Season, but only west of the Cascades. So now you see why Oregon’s Big Game Regulations booklet is so thick and why I feel I need a study session before completing my application.

Before we knew it, the May 15th deadline had arrived and I scrambled to coordinate with my boyfriend, his buddy and his father as we are applying as a party. As far as I can tell, this just means whatever our party leader draws (in this case, my boyfriend) we all draw. I think it also means he has to clean my boots when we are done (insert evil grin here).

After suffering through a few episodes of Short Attention Span Theater (and they say WOMEN are bad) we agreed on the following species and areas: 200 Series Elk with two Ochoco Units, two Grizzly Units, and one Maury Unit, 100 Series Buck in Metolius, Grizzly, Ochoco, Murderers Creek, and Upper Deschutes, skipping the once-in-a-lifetime tags this year as our pockets just weren’t that deep.

I traded the kid at the gun counter $99.00 for my hunting license and a meter’s worth of receipt paper that documented my application. Excited about suiting up for the fall season, I grabbed a handful of catalogs I collected at SHOT Show back in January and popped open some 10 Barrel IPA fresh out of Bend. Results are just around the corner, so gentlemen…it’s time to gear this girl up!


  1. avatar Michael B. says:

    I’m not a big hunting fan in general but, how are you gonna get a grizzly out of there if you bag one? And why do you want to hunt them anyway?

    1. I think the grizzly unit’s she is referring to are map regions, not animals.

      As far as I know, the only place you can legally hunt Grizzlies in the US is Alaska.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        Don’t I feel dumb.

        1. David is correct, Grizzly is the Unit or land area where we applied. And don’t feel dumb! It took me a while to figure all this out too!

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      Elk are actually larger than Grizzlies.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        tastier too. although i’ve never eaten grizzly i don’t see how it could be better than elk.

        1. avatar Sanchanim says:

          If your hungry you will eat anything lol

  2. avatar Geoff says:

    Hunting and 10 barrel IPA, you’re an all-star.

  3. avatar Aharon says:

    Nice tattoo.

  4. avatar Matt in FL says:

    What a convoluted mess. Good luck drawing your way out of it.

    1. Stay tuned, Matt…I have my results and will be posting them very soon!

  5. avatar Toggle says:

    Your bf is one lucky dude, so the Oregon game lottery should be a cinch.

    1. avatar bob says:

      Yes I am. Wendy is the love of my life.

  6. avatar Trust no one says:

    I love oregon

  7. avatar Qajaqon says:

    Wow. What a breath of fresh air. To talk about guns and hunting and to see how complicated hunting has become since the 60s. Memories of simple hunts, gutting and dragging/packing game out of deep, brush filled draws, over ridges and no trails, out smarting elk….. good memories. Have fun. It is all worth every bit of ‘hoop jumping’ you will have to do.

    (A pair of really good, comfortable, water-proof, sticky-traction, boots and extra dry sock are a must)

    Nous Defions

    1. Thank you! And I’m very much looking forward to gearing up! So I’ll grab all the advice I can get!

  8. avatar Sanchanim says:

    I so wish I could afford to hunt. Elk tags in CA are crazy expensive, not to mention all the hoops you have to jump through. I kind of understand why, but when reading the regs I am left scratching my head on how much I will spend and if I will even be able to go. I still want to hunt though, it is for putting meat on the table not a trophy.

  9. avatar Lt Dave says:

    That’s why we call it the “Department of No Fish and Very Little Game”.

    But, we can hunt with suppressor here.


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