snow geese
Northwest Area

Goose hunting on Sauvie Island

A beginner's guide to waterfowl hunting on Sauvie Island - hunting for geese. Part 5 of a 5 part series.

Table of contents

Part 1: A Beginner's Guide to Waterfowl Hunting on Sauvie Island - An Introduction
Part 2: Hunting Sauvie Island’s East Side Unit
Part 3: Hunting Sauvie Island’s West Side Unit
Part 4: Hunting Sauvie Island’s North Side Unit
Part 5: Goose Hunting on Sauvie Island (you are here)

Goose hunting on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

snow goose
Snow Goose - Photo by Rick Swart

There is some excellent goose hunting to be found on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. However, goose hunting is highly regulated to help reduce goose damage to surrounding private farmlands and because management is subject to international treaties. In addition, dusky Canada geese are struggling and need protection while other species are flourishing. As a result, areas that are open to hunting can change and so can season dates. As a goose hunter, it is your responsibility to know when and where you can hunt and what species you are targeting.

Goose hunting seasons

September Canada goose season 

Early to mid-September

Northwest Permit Zone goose season

Wildlife Area (Eastside and Westside) hunt days during periods 1 & 2 of the Northwest Permit goose season (late October & late November – mid-January). To participate in this season, in addition to all the license requirements for duck hunting, hunters must also possess a valid Northwest Goose Permit. Permits can be obtained by passing the Northwest Goose Identification exam. This test is required to protect certain sub-species from being over-harvested and is available online at the ODFW website.

Goose hunting areas

September Canada goose season 

Western Canada Geese
Western Canada Geese

The entire wildlife area, except for designated refuge areas, is open for hunting during the September Canada Goose Hunt. Hunters must check in and out daily at self service check stations located at the wildlife area headquarters - two miles from the Sauvie Island Bridge at 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road, and at the Willow Bar Parking lot - just north of the Multnomah/Columbia County line on Reeder Road. The North Unit has proved to be the most productive during this early season, but other areas also provide success. Other areas which may be productive are the Crane subunit in the Westside Unit and some of the agricultural areas in the Eastside Unit.

Northwest Permit zone goose season 

The Eastside, Westside and Oak Island Units are open for white goose only hunting during Wildlife Area hunt days that coincide with periods 1 & 2 of the Northwest Permit Zone goose season. Although hunters may lawfully harvest any white goose (snow geese and Ross’s geese), almost all of the white geese wintering at Sauvie Island are snow geese. Good hunting can be had from the “goose” blinds on Oak Island or in several of the other East side subunits. Only a few snow geese are taken at the West side. Check-in and check-out for this hunt follows the normal East side or West side procedures (Parts 2 & 3). All goose hunters must possess a valid NW Goose Permit in addition to all other required licenses, validations and permits.

Header photo by Rick Swart