The big catch
Hunting and fishing are a part of Oregon’s great history and provide a thrill unlike any other. While hunting and fishing are encouraged and legal, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) closely monitors which species are hunted and fished in an effort to maintain healthy, sustainable populations.
Oregon boasts deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, bear, cougar, wild turkey, pheasant, quail and goose hunting with the proper licenses and tags. You can also cast your line for salmon, sturgeon, bass or steelhead.
Different animals live in different types of forests. Some prefer old-growth forests with large trees (some more than 200 years old), a full, thick canopy and fallen logs. Others prefer younger, open forests with flowers, berries and other vegetation. As a forest gets older, its wildlife populations also change. Some animals move out and others move in, making forests ever-evolving locales.
Sometimes, down logs will be specially placed in streams by the ODFW to create small, protected pools where fish can lay eggs, find protection during storms and take refuge from birds and other predators. A rich riparian area — trees and shrubs along the shore — provides protection for amphibious creatures and cools the water temperature.
To find out more about hunting seasons, how to acquire a license, classes and more, visit the ODFW’s website. As with many outdoor activities, it is important to hunt and fish only in designated areas, because it is unlawful to do so on private land without the consent of the owner.