THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
With archery deer and elk hunting seasons opening this Saturday, Aug. 28 and fire season still in effect, ODFW is reminding hunters to “Know before you go” and check for access before heading out.
ODFW does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger. But hunters may face fire restrictions and be unable to access certain areas that are closed due to active fires, firefighting activity or post-fire cleanup. Hunters who cannot access a certain area should hunt somewhere else in their unit or hunt area instead—or if they have a controlled hunt tag and there is no reasonable access to their unit, ODFW may provide the option for a point reinstatement/tag refund (more information below).
Currently, major public land closures are in effect due to wildfire and firefighting activity in areas throughout the state. In additional, areas are still closed due to Oregon’s extensive fires last year.
However, other areas that were closed earlier this summer due to extreme fire danger have reopened, including the Umatilla National Forest and Hancock A&H properties in northeast Oregon (reopened for day use only).
Fire restrictions will also be in effect in most areas; check with the land manger where you are headed for details. Some of the most common restrictions are:
Campfires may be either prohibited or only allowed in approved campgrounds.
Smoking and off-road driving (including motorcycles and ATVs) may also be prohibited in most areas.
You must have in your vehicle either 1) a gallon of water, or 2) a fully charged and operational 2½-pound fire extinguisher and shovel (except when travelling on state or county roads).
ATVs must have a charged and operational 2½ pound fire extinguisher.
New for 2021, eastern Oregon archery deer seasons are all controlled. Archery deer hunters for the Silver Lake and Interstate units (controlled units that are mostly inaccessible due to fire right now) have already been offered point reinstatement and a tag refund due to lack of access. ODFW has a policy in place to restore preference points and refund tags when no reasonable access is available the entire season and will contact those hunters who drew the tag directly with the process. See the policy here.
Archery hunters are also reminded to pick up their tag online or at a license sale agent no later than the day before the season begins or by Friday, Aug. 27. Sports Pac holders also need to redeem the voucher for their tag (at no additional cost) through the online licensing system or at a license sale agent by Aug. 27.