Game Bird Hunting

Named for their habitat, the mountain quail will give you a workout if you want to spot one.

Features: Both male and female mountain quail have a tall, straight, head plume that is black. They also have a chestnut brown throat patch that is bordered by a white stripe. Their head and shoulders are a gray color that fades into olive-brown on their backs. Their sides are brown with several black and white stripes making them a beautiful bird.

Habitat: Mountain quail are native birds found on both sides of the Cascades. They thrive in the natural brushlands of southwestern Oregon and are also found in northwestern Oregon when suitable habitat is created by logging, fire or other disturbance. Greatest abundance occurs in southwestern Oregon, with numbers gradually decreasing as one moves north.

Technique: Southwestern Oregon provides the best mountain quail hunting in the state. Because of low numbers, and the uncertain status of populations, no open season is held in much of eastern Oregon. Because of the brushy and often steep nature of mountain quail habitat, and the tendency for birds to run in heavy cover, they are among the most difficult of Oregon's upland birds to hunt successfully. Since coveys may be widely separated, a popular hunting method involves driving logging roads until birds are seen at which time hunters stop to hunt on foot.