Major Changes Oregon 2022 Archery Season
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is proposing major changes to the upcoming 2022 Oregon archery elk season. The changes would see 13 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) and 3 sub-units move to controlled archery hunts in the northeastern part of the state. Five units would be combined to create a single Eagle Cap Zone Hunt.
Reasons For Change
Over the last 40 years, archery hunting has become more and more popular. When the 30-day general archery season began in 1983, it was intended to draw hunters away from the crowded rifle season. Since then, bow hunting has not only risen in popularity but with more people archery hunting, and advancements in bow hunting technology lead to an outcome of higher success rates.
With archery hunting being more popular it is now causing over-crowding and complaints among archery hunters. According to the ODFW website “These changes are needed to help wildlife managers meet elk plan objectives in areas with low bull ratios and in areas with a high percentage of branch antlered bull harvest occurring within the general archery season.”
The 2022 hunting regulations will be presented at the September Commission meeting.
We already saw this change for deer season in 2021. Many of the WMUs in eastern Oregon changed from a general season tag to controlled hunts. This was once again to help control the declining Mule Deer populations according to ODFW.
Along with those changes, Oregon will now allow hunting with crossbows only during “any legal weapon seasons for big game.”