2017 ORS 498.012¹
Taking wildlife causing damage, posing public health risk or that is public nuisance

(1) Nothing in the wildlife laws is intended to prevent any person from taking any wildlife that is causing damage, is a public nuisance or poses a public health risk on land that the person owns or lawfully occupies. However, no person shall take, pursuant to this subsection, at a time or under circumstances when such taking is prohibited by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission, any game mammal or game bird, fur-bearing mammal or nongame wildlife species, unless the person first obtains a permit for such taking from the commission.

(2)(a) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section requires a permit for the taking of cougar, bobcat, red fox or bear pursuant to that subsection. However, any person who takes a cougar, bobcat, red fox or bear must have in possession written authority therefor from the landowner or lawful occupant of the land that complies with subsection (4) of this section.

(b) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section requires the commission to issue a permit for the taking of any wildlife species for which a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit is required pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 to 711), as amended.

(3) Any person who takes, pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, any cougar, bobcat, red fox, bear, game mammal, game bird, fur-bearing mammal or wildlife species whose survival the commission determines is endangered shall immediately report the taking to a person authorized to enforce the wildlife laws, and shall dispose of the wildlife in such manner as the commission directs. In determining procedures for disposal of bear and cougar, the commission shall direct the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to first offer the animal to the landowner incurring the damage.

(4) The written authority from the landowner or lawful occupant of the land required by subsection (2) of this section for the taking of cougar, bobcat, red fox or bear must set forth all of the following:

(a) The date of issuance of the authorization;

(b) The name, address, telephone number and signature of the person granting the authorization;

(c) The name, address and telephone number of the person to whom the authorization is granted;

(d) The wildlife damage control activities to be conducted, whether for bear, cougar, red fox or bobcat; and

(e) The expiration date of the authorization, which shall be not later than one year from the date of issuance of the authorization.

(5) Any regional office of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife ordering the disposal of an animal under subsection (3) of this section shall file a report with the State Fish and Wildlife Director within 30 days after the disposal. The report shall include but need not be limited to the loss incurred, the financial impact and the disposition of the animal. The director shall compile all reports received under this subsection on a bimonthly basis. The reports compiled by the director shall be available to the public upon request.

(6) ORS 498.014 (Taking of wolves by State Department of Fish and Wildlife to address chronic depredation) governs the taking of wolves that are causing damage.

(7) As used in this section:

(a) “Damage” means loss of or harm inflicted on land, livestock or agricultural or forest crops.

(b) “Nongame wildlife” has the meaning given that term in ORS 496.375 (“Nongame wildlife” defined).

(c) “Public nuisance” means loss of or harm inflicted on gardens, ornamental plants, ornamental trees, pets, vehicles, boats, structures or other personal property. [1973 c.723 §75; 1977 c.136 §2; 1979 c.399 §3; 1985 c.332 §1; 1985 c.489 §1a; 1999 c.531 §1; 2003 c.248 §1; 2013 c.626 §4]

Note: Sections 1 to 3, chapter 331, Oregon Laws 2017, provide:

Sec. 1. Urban deer population control. (1) As used in this section, “food bank or other charitable organization” has the meaning given that term in ORS 315.154 (Definitions for crop donation credit).

(2) The State Fish and Wildlife Commission shall develop and adopt by rule a pilot program for urban deer population control that:

(a) Following the passage by a city of an ordinance, resolution or order declaring that deer populations have risen to levels that constitute a public nuisance, allows the city to petition the State Department of Fish and Wildlife for assistance in reducing deer population levels within city limits; and

(b) In cities where the department determines that deer populations do constitute a public nuisance, allows a local government body or an appropriate agent to take deer for the purpose of reducing deer population levels.

(3) To implement the pilot program under this section, the department shall consult with:

(a) The governing bodies of cities where high urban deer populations are a concern; and

(b) Food banks or other charitable organizations that serve the governing bodies described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(4) Rules for the pilot program adopted by the commission must include, but need not be limited to:

(a) Provisions for the means and manner by which deer may be taken under the pilot program, which must include a prohibition on taking deer by dart or lethal injection;

(b) Provisions for ensuring, to the extent feasible, that the edible portions of any deer taken under the pilot program are distributed, at the expense of the local government, to a local food bank or other charitable organization;

(c) A requirement that, if the hides and antlers of a deer taken under the program are not sold by the local government to persons licensed under ORS 498.019 (Purchase, sale or exchange of hides, antlers and other parts of deer, elk and antelope), that the antlers must be surrendered to the department; and

(d) Provisions for ensuring that the number of deer taken under the pilot program do not exceed the number necessary to be taken to reduce the deer population to a level that no longer constitutes a public nuisance.

(5) Prior to exercising any power granted by the pilot program adopted under this section, the governing body of a city shall adopt by ordinance restrictions on placing, depositing, distributing, storing or scattering food, garbage or any other attractant so as to knowingly constitute a lure, attractant or enticement for deer. [2017 c.331 §1]

Sec. 2. Report on pilot program. (1) The State Department of Fish and Wildlife shall first allow a local government to engage in activities pursuant to the pilot program adopted under section 1 of this 2017 Act no later than January 1, 2019.

(2) The department shall prepare and submit a report in the manner provided in ORS 192.245 (Form of report to legislature) on the implementation of the urban deer population control pilot program, that may include recommendations for legislation, to the committees of the Legislative Assembly related to the environment and natural resources during the 2027 regular session of the Legislative Assembly. [2017 c.331 §2]

Sec. 3. Sections 1 and 2 of this 2017 Act are repealed on January 1, 2029. [2017 c.331 §3]

Notes of Decisions

Permit require­ment of this sec­tion is reasonable restraint on defendant’s right to protect his prop­erty. State v. Webber, 85 Or App 347, 736 P2d 220 (1987), Sup Ct review denied

Chapter 498

Notes of Decisions

Sufficiency of uniform game cita­tion is governed by [former] ORS 153.720, not by statutes applicable to indict­ments. State v. Herrera, 152 Or App 22, 952 P2d 566 (1998)

  • Coos Bay World, Oct 15, 2009
    “Under Oregon Revised Statute 498.012, any animal that causes prop­erty damage can be deemed a public nuisance and killed. “A fed bear is a dead bear,” ...”
  • Umpqua Post / Alex Powers, Aug 11, 2010
    “At least one bear was sighted rummaging through garbage or prowling Ranch ... Under Oregon Revised Statute 498.012, an animal that causes prop­erty damage ...”
  • Umpqua Post / Alex Powers, Jun 9, 2010
    “A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a black bear Monday that had been reported prowling around homes and tipping over garbage cans in the Winchester Bay area for the past week. State wildlife authorities tried for days to trap the young bear. . . .”
1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 498—Hunting, Angling and Trapping Regulations; Miscellaneous Wildlife Protective Measures, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors498.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 498, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano498.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.