Upland game hunting
Columbia Area

Columbia Basin bird hunting guide – An introduction

An introduction and overview map of bird hunting in the Columbia Basin. Part 1 of a 4 part series of articles.


Table of contents

Part 1: Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide - An Introduction (you are here)
Part 2: Bird Hunting the Columbia Basin State Wildlife Areas
Part 3: Bird Hunting the Columbia Basin Federal Wildlife Refuges
Part 4: Public Access to Private Land for Bird Hunters in the Columbia Basin

Bird hunting in the Columbia Basin

Game bird hunting - ODFW Photo

The Columbia Basin is home to a robust population of game birds including: pheasants, quail, chukar and waterfowl. The area’s private farms and ranches provide the desired forage and habitat for game birds.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and its partners have opened tens of thousands of acres of private land to hunting in Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow and Umatilla counties. Add six state wildlife areas and several national wildlife refuges to the mix, and hunters have access to 250,000 acres of land to bird hunt in the Columbia Basin.

  • State Wildlife Areas – ODFW-managed properties that provide wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities. They are funded through federal excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition plus hunting license dollars.
  • National Wildlife Refuges – A national network of federal lands for wildlife conservation and management. Refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Regulated Hunt Areas (RHAs) – Cooperative program between ODFW and landowners that allows regulated hunting on private lands. Some RHAs are funded through the Access and Habitat program.
  • Access and Habitat (A&H) Program - opens private land to hunting, funded by $4 surcharge on hunting licenses plus auctions and raffles of special big game tags.
  • Upland Cooperative Access Program (UCAP) – Private lands open to upland bird hunting. The program is funded by hunting license dollars.

This guide was reviewed by ODFW staff in September 2015 but hunting rules and regulations can change. Hunters are advised to check the current Oregon Game Bird Regulations or with the federal refuge or other land manager where they want to hunt to confirm information.

Header photo by Dave Budeau

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