Hunters who live in Washington will be happy to hear that elk hunting on public land is much cheaper than in Oregon. This article takes an in-depth look at hunting for elk in Oregon vs. Washington and provides a detailed breakdown of the cost differences between the two states.
Hunting for elk can be expensive, especially if you’re looking to hunt on public land. Elk hunting licenses may not come cheap either, but we’ll take a closer look at these licenses later on.
You will also need a few essential hunting gear, such as binoculars and rifles, but these can be purchased in Washington as much cheaper than those offered in Oregon. Rifles and ammunition are usually the most expensive purchases made by hunters, so it’s essential to get them from Washington, where costs are lower. Browse through this site for a detailed comparison of the cost of hunting for elk in Oregon vs. Washington.
Elk Hunting Permits In Oregon VS Washington
Hunting licenses cost less in Oregon when compared to Washington. For example, the hunting permit for bulls in Oregon can cost you $45.00, while Washington hunters must spend $77.00 on the same type of license.
However, there are several ways to reduce the cost of a hunting license in either state. First off, if you’re a resident of either state and have completed your hunter’s education course, you can get a discounted hunting license at $10.00 in Oregon or $25.00 in Washington.
Additionally, you can request a hunting license for your children or grandchildren for $4.00 in Oregon or Washington instead of the usual $15.00 that adults pay. Finally, if you’re over 65, you can get a senior hunting license for just $2.00 in Oregon and Washington compared to the standard price of $12.00.
Hunting Costs In Oregon VS Washington
Hunting can be very expensive in both Oregon and Washington when compared to other states or countries. Unfortunately, this fact can be a discouraging factor that may prevent you from investing in elk hunting.
Fortunately, one can reduce hunting costs in several ways. For example, there are several ways to cut down on the price of your hunting equipment and even licenses and tags. But, unfortunately, the only way to know for sure how much it will cost you to hunt for elk is through personal experience, never through online publications or someone else’s advice unless that person has been personally involved in elk hunting.
The truth is that the cost of hunting for elk will vary. Prices are constantly changing and can be affected by several factors like:
The type of weapon you use in elk hunting
Weapons like 308 rifles and shotguns are the most commonly used in elk hunting. But if you’re not a great marksman, choose a bow or crossbow because they can be much cheaper while being just as effective for hunting.
The amount of time and hours you want to spend hunting
For those who want to hunt for elk in a short period or just a few hours, it’s best to select one of the weapons you can use quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, if you want to spend more time in the field, go for bows and crossbows.
The type of hunting trip you’re attending.
Hunting trips can be expensive compared to other vacations because many people travel with their family or friends. So if you’re searching for cheap hunting trips, choose a trip that allows you to bring your friends or family along.
The type of land used for hunting trips
Hunting trips on public land will always be cheaper than doing so on private land. This rule applies whether you plan on going out for long or short periods. However, if you want to increase the cost of your hunting trip, choose private lands.
The time of year you hunt for elk
The cost of hunting trips is usually the highest during winter and early spring. However, if you choose hunting trips during late fall and early spring, the national park system in both states can be costly.
However, you can tip Washington’s offer on hunting costs in favor of the state by using the state’s reduced license fee. In addition, hunting for elk on U.S. Forest Service land in Washington is also cheaper than doing so in Oregon.
Hunting Equipment Costs In Oregon VS Washington
There are considerably lower prices to be found when purchasing hunting equipment for elk hunting in either state. In Washington, you can purchase a pair of ultralight climbing boots for $38.00, while a similar pair is $80.00 in Oregon. A crankbaits outfit is available for $15.00 in either state but brings you up to a whopping $175.00 if purchased in Washington.
A sling with bait costs $5.00 more in Oregon than Washington, while a complete fishing outfit costs $10.00 more in Oregon when compared to Washington. A beginner’s bow set can be purchased for $40.00 in Oregon but costs around $80.00 if purchased in Washington.
The price differences don’t end there. For example, when purchasing binoculars for elk hunting in Oregon, you’ll spend the same amount of money as a Washington resident: anywhere from $100.00 to $150.00 for decent ones. However, if you’re looking for high-quality binoculars, you can find a pair for just $100.00 or less in Washington instead of the usual price of around $200.00 in Oregon.
When it comes to rifles, you can purchase a .270-caliber Weatherby Vanguard rifle from Oregon for $250.00, compared to a similar rifle from Washington for $500.00. Overall, the price of a hunting rifle will only be slightly different in either state. Still, the differences can significantly impact your budget if you decide to hunt in Oregon vs. Washington.
Where to Hunt Elk in Washington State?
In Washington, elk are commonly found in the Cascade Mountains and the extreme northwestern region of the state. You can also easily hunt for elk in Washington’s coastal forests, but this is less popular.
Hunting for elk on public access within Washington state may be a lot cheaper than hunting on private lands. Hunting licenses are also significantly cheaper when compared to Oregon, but you have to do a lot more work to get them that way.
Elk herds in Washington state may be larger, but they tend to be more spread out and more challenging to spot than elk herds in Oregon. Not only that, but both states have limited hunting opportunities for elk – only around 100 tags are available each year in Oregon and Washington combined.
The best time to hunt for elk in Washington state in August, when the males are shedding their antlers. Finding a herd of elk is usually much more challenging during this time, so there’s usually less competition among hunters who want to take one down.
Best Place to Hunt Elk in Oregon
Oregon’s most popular destination for elk hunting is the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This region is quite large, but its length is only 13 miles, and its width is about 4 miles. The refuge itself covers nearly 500 square miles, which means that elk can be challenging to spot if they’re not accustomed to humans.
All elk hunting areas in Oregon are public land so that you can hunt without permits. However, hunting restrictions may apply depending on where you’re hunting. For example, some areas may require a special license and even a permit to harvest an elk.
When is the best time to hunt for elk in Oregon? The rut season begins in August after the bulls have shed their antlers and are particularly active between September and October. That is when you’ll find the most significant number of bulls gathered together in one place, so it’s your best chance at sighting an elk herd.
What Other Hunting Games to Hunt in Oregon and Washington?
Even though elk hunting is the most popular big game in both states, it’s certainly not the only option. You can also try your hand hunting for other big games like a bear, bobcat, and dear.
You can also hunt for swift foxes, badgers, and even mountain goats in Oregon, but you must have a special license to do so. However, you may not be permitted to make a kill.
Hunting seasons for these wild animals in both states are the same as elk, so that you can apply for a hunting license from July to December. However, you must apply for separate game licenses for each animal – elk, bear, bobcat, or any other game.
Places to Stay During Hunting Season in Oregon and Washington
Most people who decide to hunt for elk in Oregon and Washington state tend to stay on their hunting grounds. But, of course, there are also many more affordable hotels and motels in these states that can still get you to your hunting ground on time.
Another option is to rent a house, condo, or apartment before your trip. You can even find Airbnb listings that might suit your needs if you’re looking for something a little more affordable.
Hunting for Elk in Oregon and Washington – A Hunting Adventure
You will undoubtedly have a memorable experience when deciding to make your getaway to Oregon or Washington state just for elk hunting. Of course, Elk hunting by itself is a great experience, but you can also have fun hanging out with fellow hunters and enjoying good food once the hunt is over.
Both states are pretty beautiful, so it’s easy to explore the beauty of these outdoor areas in between hunts. Besides hunting, you can also do several other activities, such as:
- Rock climbing
Do you intend to hunt for elk in Oregon or Washington state? In either case, be sure to take note of the wildlife laws and regulations in place within your destination. Additionally, there are other hunting seasons that you can participate in that do not require a special license.
Oregon vs. Washington – What Is The Difference?
If you’re a Washington resident, it’s essential to know that your state has stricter laws regarding hunting. For example, Washington has a zero-tolerance policy towards poaching elk on private lands. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Oregon, where you can legally shoot elk on private land, leading to higher costs for hunters.
Additionally, while both states provide elk hunting licenses for residents, Oregon provides special licenses for non-residents.
The Bottom Line
When hunting elk in Oregon and Washington, these two states have several things in common. First, you’ll find the enormous herds of elk in the state’s mountainous regions rather than coastal areas. Both states also experience relatively low levels of hunting pressure from other hunters – the number of residents who are permitted to hunt for big game is always limited and controlled.
As you can see, finding the big game in Oregon and Washington is often relatively straightforward. Still, the availability of hunting venues, hunting seasons, and hunting regulations of each state vary significantly from one another.
So if you’re looking to hunt elk in Oregon or Washington, you must plan your hunting itinerary thoroughly. Decide where your journey will start, where you’ll stay the night, and where you’ll go next. Most importantly, make sure that you have all the paperwork in order. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss your chance at the big game of a lifetime on account of not having your license or permit in hand.