Hunting on Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

What You Need to Know

Hunters dressed in camouflage hike across a golden prairie at sunrise at Zumwalt Prairie Preserve.
Zumwalt Prairie Hunting is a conservation management tool. © Max Whittaker

Elk are an integral species on the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve and we work to ensure the health of both the herd and their habitat.

Hunting is an important management tool that not only promotes species diversity but maintains the important social and cultural platforms that hunting provides. TNC provides limited hunting opportunities designed to benefit the land and provide world-class backcountry hunting experiences to the community.

A hunter stands looking through her binoculars during an elk hunt at Zumwalt Prairie Preserve.
Zumwalt Prairie Preserve Chelsea Cassens hunts on Zumwalt Prairie. © Max Whittaker

Antlerless Elk Hunts

The 2023 Zumwalt Hunt Lottery is now open through July 31st. Hunters may fill out the lottery form here

Antlerless elk hunts are administered in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). ODFW administers all Zumwalt Subunit tags. The TNC lottery is for permission to access The Nature Conservancy's owned Zumwalt Prairie Preserve (ZPP) once you have drawn a tag for the Zumwalt Subunit. Hunters MUST apply for permission to access TNC's Zumwalt Prairie Preserve via the online lottery. 

The lottery will remain open from June 1 - July 31. Please do not apply for the TNC lottery until you have drawn a tag through the ODFW draw. REMEMBER, TNC is one of many landowners within the Zumwalt Subunit. There are many other landowners within the subunit. Please reach out to ODFW in Enterprise, OR for more information on additional places to hunt.

For 2023, TNC will host a limited number of antlerless elk hunters:

  • 258A1 – 5 Hunters
  • 258A2 – 5 Hunters
  • 258A3 – 0 Hunters (conflicts with buck deer season)
  • 258A4 – 10 Hunters
  • 258A5 – 10 Hunters
  • 258T Youth Hunters will have access priority

Lottery Details

Historically, ODFW designed these hunts as a management tool to lower elk herd numbers on the greater Zumwalt Prairie. Over a decade of antlerless elk hunting, elk numbers have come down to manageable numbers for coexistence with cattle, wildlife and bunchgrass resources. As such, TNC has moved from a herd reduction model to a herd maintenance approach.

This is a non-motorized, backcountry hunting opportunity in potentially rugged terrain, which may not be suitable for all hunters. For more information, contact Mike Beachy, Zumwalt Project steward, at mike.beachy@tnc.org.

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