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Hunting in Oregon
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Hunting Opportunities for Youth

Hunter Orange

Learn about youth hunting opportunities in the state, including:


Free youth pheasant hunts at 12 locations around the state in September 2013

All youth hunters age 17 years and younger must pass a certified hunter education class prior to hunting, unless they are participating in the Mentor Youth Hunter Program (youth age 9 to 13 eligible).

The minimum age to hunt big game is 12 (at the time of the hunt).

Hunters age 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older when hunting (unless on land owned by parent or legal guardian).

Oregon Juvenile Hunting License Requirements

All youth hunters 17 years and under must pass hunter education or participate in Mentor Youth Hunter Program (MYHP) to hunt.

1) Big Game

  • 11 to 17 - need a juvenile hunting license and necessary tags and be age 12 by the time of the hunt.

2) Upland and Waterfowl hunting

  • 13 and younger - must obtain a FREE youth license and answer HIP questions so the HIP validation appears on their license
  • 14 to 17 - must purchase a juvenile hunting license, purchase the correct bird stamp and answer the corresponding HIP questions.
  • 16 to 17 – if hunting waterfowl, must buy a federal duck stamp along with a juvenile hunting license, waterfowl bird stamp and the waterfowl HIP validation.
Turkey Hunter
12-year-old Hunter Paustian with turkeys taken with a compound bow

3) Turkey

  • 13 and younger - need a FREE juvenile hunting license and purchase a juvenile turkey tag
    14 to 17 - need a juvenile hunting license and juvenile turkey tag

4) Small Game

  • 13 and younger do NOT need a license.
    14 to 17 need a juvenile hunting license.

5) Juvenile Sports Pac

  • 11 to 17 - available for youths 11 to 17; if big game hunting, youth must be age 12 at the time of their first hunt
    - if youth will hunt waterfowl or upland birds they will need to get their FREE HIP validation

6) Point Saver Program

9 to 17 - can apply for point savers by purchasing a juvenile hunting license.

Juvenile Licenses

Sarah's First Deer
Sarah's First Deer
- Photo by Chad Aschenbrenner -

Juvenile Sports Pac just $55

Includes a Combination Angling/Hunting/Shellfish License,  a Combined Angling Harvest Tag*; Spring Turkey Tag*, General Cougar Tag*, General or Controlled Bear Tag, General or Controlled Elk Tag, and General or Controlled Deer Tag ; and Validation for Upland Birds and Waterfowl are available after July 1.

*Issued automatically at time of purchasing Juvenile Sports Pac License.

Deer, elk, and bear tags are not automatically issued at the time Sports Pac License is issued. Hunters must remember to pick up deer, elk and bear tags by the day before the earliest hunt opens for deer, elk and controlled bear and by Sept. 30 for general bear.

Please refer to page 10 of the 2012 Big Game Regulations for more information on the Resident Sports Pac License.

Other juvenile licenses: $14.50 Juvenile Hunting License, $10.50 Juvenile Turkey Tag, $20.25 NonResident Fishing License, $19.50 Nonresident Hunting License and $10.50 Nonresident Turkey Tag.

HUNTER ORANGE: Hunters age 17 and under must wear a hunter orange exterior garment (shirt, jacket, coat, vest, or sweater) or hat when hunting game mammals or upland birds (except turkey) with any firearm. The exterior garment or hat must have hunter orange visible in all directions (360 degrees).

Learning to Hunt

Hunter Education

People 17 and younger must pass a hunter education course before hunting in Oregon. Students have three options: an online course, an independent study workbook course, or in-person attendance at a class taught through ODFW’s statewide network of 600 volunteer instructors. Online and independent study students must pass a field day with a hunter education instructor before being certified.

Carter Todd
Carter Todd with his first elk.
–Photo by Chris Todd–

Mentored Youth Hunter Program

This program allows youth age 9 to 13 to hunt using an adult’s tag (and under close adult supervision) without first completing a hunter education course.Register free online or at any license sales agent where hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

Youth Hunting Opportunities

For other youth hunting events:

Elk

Youth controlled elk hunts with long seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31). Application deadline: May 15 (Postmarked or Received By). See page 77 of 2012 Oregon Big Game Regulations for youth elk hunts.

Deer

Extended season: Youth with unfilled Western Oregon general buck deer, W. High Cascade (119A) or Hood-White River (141A) controlled hunt tag may hunt the area of Western Oregon general deer season the Saturday and Sunday after general rifle deer season ends. Bag limit: One buck having not less than a forked antler.

Juston's Deer
Austin’s deer
-Photo by Jason Bader-

Youth controlled deer hunts; see page 59 of 2012 Oregon Big Game Regulations. Apply no later than May 15.

Upland Bird

Youth pheasant hunts are held throughout the state each September; see the current Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information. 

Waterfowl

Youth waterfowl hunts are held at several wildlife areas and federal refuges each fall/winter; see the current Oregon Bird Regulations for more information.

Youth “First Time” Program

Guaranteed big game hunting opportunities for youth ages 12-17

This program guarantees that youth hunters will be eligible to receive up to three tags: one buck deer (100 series), one antlerless deer (600 series) and one antlerless elk (200 series). See page 86-87 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations for more information.

To qualify for the First Time Youth Program the youth must have applied in the Controlled Hunt Drawing (Deadline: May 15th), been unsuccessful, and unsuccessful in previous years for that same hunt series. Youth that apply of a Point Saver in the same year are not eligible for a First Time Youth tag for that hunt Series.

To receive one of the hunts, apply between July 1 – Sept. 1.The hunt must be applied for before the first day of the hunt season and the tag must also be purchased before the first day of the hunting season.

Not all hunts are included in the program. Each hunt must meet a minimum tag allocation to be available to “first time” hunters.

Hunt Series Min. Tag Level
Buck Deer (100 series) at least 201 tags
Elk (200 series)-antlerless only at least 51 tags
Antlerless deer (600 series) at least 51 tags

Keep in mind that:

  • A youth loses eligibility for a “First Time” tag in a hunt series once they are successful for any hunt choice in that series (including youth hunts and LOP tags), except for leftover tags.
  • Preference points will not be lost if participating in the “First Time” program.
  • Youth can use their “First Time” options in any combination (all in one year, one per year, skip years between tags).
  •  “First Time” tags are not extra tags. Youth are still limited to the maximum number of tags per species (series) per year. For example, a youth can possess only one controlled buck deer tag or one general rifle deer tag or one general bow deer tag and one leftover tag if available.
  • Other hunters with appropriate tags may hunt with youth.
  • Youths participating in the “First Time” program are not eligible to participate in the Mentored Youth Hunter Program for that particular hunt for that year.

Frequently Asked Questions

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