Ring-necked pheasant
Columbia Area

Public access to private land for bird hunters in the Columbia Basin

Learn about private lands granting public access to bird hunting in the Columbia Basin. Part 4 of a 4 part series of articles.

Table of contents

Part 1: Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide - An Introduction
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 (you are here)

Access and Habitat (A&H) Program

A&H provides grants that open private land to hunting and improve wildlife habitat for game animals. Created in 1993, the program is funded by a $4 surcharge on hunting licenses and the annual auction and raffle of special deer and elk tags.

Photo by Bob Swingle

It offers two kinds of hunting opportunities on private land: “Welcome to Hunt” access where no permission is required and "Hunt with Permission” areas where hunters must contact the landowner or ODFW staff for permission or to make a reservation.

Each August, the A&H program produces a “Private Land Hunting Opportunities” packet with detailed information about all properties enrolled, including printed maps for “Welcome to Hunt” properties. Contact the A&H program at ODFW’s Salem Headquarters (503-947-6087 or 503-947-6317) for a copy of the packet or see the Oregon Hunting Map for A&H properties.

A&H currently funds two large “Welcome to Hunt” Regulated Hunt Areas (RHAs) in the Columbia Basin.

Regulated Hunt Areas (RHAs)

RHAs are cooperative programs between Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and private landowners that offer regulated hunting on private lands. Each RHA has special regulations, so be sure to check them before hunting.

Columbia River RHA 

  • South shore of the Columbia River from Arlington to the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge in the Columbia Basin Unit.
  • Boundary runs from eastern city limits of Arlington, then east on I-84 to Threemile Canyon (mile post 151); north to the north side of the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way; east on the railroad right-of-way to the boundary of the Umatilla NWR Boardman Unit, north to the Oregon/Washington state line.
  • Species to hunt: upland game bird, waterfowl, rabbit.
  • Open year-round 7 days a week, no entry permit required.
  • Federally-approved, non-toxic shot only.
  • Camping permitted at Quesnel Park (Threemile Canyon, mile post 151).

More information:

Port of Morrow RHA 

  • Located adjacent to the Coyote Springs Wildlife Area in Columbia Basin Unit near Boardman; boundaries may change from year to year.
  • Species to hunt: game bird hunting only.
  • Open 7 days a week; see Oregon Game Bird Regulations for open dates; no entry permit required.
  • Federally-approved non-toxic shot only.
  • Directions: I-84 E to exit 165. North on Laurel Rd then ½ mile east on Columbia Ave and southeast on Rippee Rd.

More information:

Regulated hunt in Heppner

Heppner RHA

  • Nearly 40,000 acres of grassland, rangeland and timberland up the Willow Creek drainage from Heppner in the Heppner and Fossil units.
  • Species to hunt: pheasant, California quail, gray partridge, forest grouse, mourning dove, turkey, deer, elk, bear, cougar.
  • Open year-round 7 days a week.
  • Open fires and camping prohibited in posted areas. Closed to motor vehicle use unless posted otherwise.
  • Directions: I-84 E, exit at 147, turn right on OR-74 Heppner Hwy. Follow to Heppner, approx 46 miles. Continue through Heppner heading south, turn left at Willow Creek Rd. Follow until within RHA boundary.

More information:


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