Oregon Boasts Some of the Best Elk Hunting in the U.S.
By Jerry Hicks, Principal Broker, Licensed in OR
If you haven’t been elk hunting in Oregon, you’re missing out.
Oregon repeatedly lands on lists for great elk hunting, but it’s still relatively undiscovered. People often opt for more well-known elk hunting areas like Colorado and Idaho, but if you haven’t been to Oregon yet, you need to get there.
What makes it so great? A few things.
First, thanks to management changes over the years, the number of Rocky Mountain elk in the region has exploded. Today, it’s right up there with Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho when it comes to elk population numbers. That wasn’t always the case. In the 1970s, the long hunting season and loose restrictions resulted in the heavy pursuit of Rocky Mountain elk. Then, in the early 1980s, the season was shortened and hunting was limited to just bulls. These efforts worked, and some areas saw their elk populations increase up to 400-500%.
Since then, the game commission has focused its efforts on getting more age on the bulls. This has resulted in more trophy bulls in the population. Today, Oregon has a lot more bulls and a lot more mature bulls. Wide Open Spaces has ranked Oregon second, after Colorado, as the state with the best elk hunting. An article about this cited Oregon’s population, measuring tens of thousands, as well as its big bulls.
Oregon hunting could be under the radar because of a misconception about the area’s terrain. When some people hear “Oregon,” they think West Coast, but the eastern two-thirds of the state, east of the Cascade Mountains, more closely resembles Montana and Idaho than it does the western side of Oregon. The area lies in the Blue Mountains Ecoregion, a diverse complex of mountain ranges, valleys, and plateaus that lends itself to world-class big game hunting and ranching opportunities.
With the table already set for them statewide, thanks to wildlife management efforts, landowners in eastern Oregon have the opportunity to manage for high-quality hunts. They can take advantage of what’s already good about Oregon hunting and make it even better on their own ranches. You’ll also find that Oregon ranches give you more bang for your buck by offering more acreage and amenities for your dollar compared with ranches in some other areas.
Right now, we have a unique opportunity with six 5,000-plus acre ranches that are all managed for trophy Rocky Mountain Elk listed through Fay Ranches. Some are 9,000 to 14,000 acres in size, and all are outstanding big game hunting ranches.
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