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Emergency reductions to deer tag numbers for some Heppner, Interstate, Starkey hunts

April 27, 2022

SALEM, Ore.—Tag numbers for four controlled deer hunts are being reduced for the 2022 hunting season from what appears in the Oregon Big Game Regulations.

The hunts impacted are:

  • Heppner Unit #1 (hunt #148) –2,610 tags will be available (down from 2,860)
  • Starkey Experimental Forest(#152B) – Zero tags available in 2022 (down from 5)
  • Interstate Unit (#175) –850 tags available (down from 1,308)
  • Interstate Unit Bow (#175R) – 270 tags available (down from 413)

Heppner deer tags are being reduced because the Heppner Regulated Hunt Area (see map) has been reduced in size (from about 63 square miles to 22 square miles) due to an unexpected change in land ownership causing a significant loss of publicly accessible hunting area.

Mule deer populations have continued to decline within Starkey Experimental Forest, so all deer hunting opportunity in the Experimental Forest is being removed to avoid jeopardizing ongoing research objectives. The decline within the Experimental Forest is primarily due to poor habitat conditions (from in growth of understory conifers and exacerbated by drought) which have resulted in poor nutrition and low fawn survival.

Interstate deer tags are being reduced in two hunts because of habitat impacts and access closures due to last year's wildfire activity, ongoing drought conditions, and poor fawn recruitment.

Hunters who applied for one of these hunts who wish to change their application have until June 1 to make the change online via their account or at a license sale agent.

All hunters also are reminded that Sunday, May 15 is the deadline to apply for 2022 fall controlled hunts.

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Contact:

Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748, Michelle.N.Dennehy@odfw.oregon.gov

 
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