Table of Contents
Nov. 8, 2023
If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen
Submit your hunting photo to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.
Eurasian collared dove, ruffed and blue grouse, quail (mountain and CA), fall turkey, chukar/Hungarian partridge, rooster pheasant, duck, Wilson's snipe, south coast goose, SW goose.
NW permit goose (Nov. 18).
ODFW's Hunt by Reservation Program connects bird hunters with private landowners. By making a reservation online, hunters receive a permit to hunt select private lands on dates that landowners select ahead of time.
Buy your 2023-24 bird stamp(s) and validations
Don't forget to buy your HIP, upland bird and waterfowl validations – as well as federal duck stamps – before your first hunt. Buy them now and cross this off your fall hunting list.
Turn in wings and tails
Grouse and mountain quail hunters, please turn in your bird's wings and tails – our biologist use them to help assess bird populations and set seasons. Use this map to find blue collection barrels where you hunt.
Eurasian collared doves: These birds have no protections in Oregon, so there are no closed seasons and no limits to their harvest. Target Eurasian collared doves around agricultural areas where food sources are abundant.
Be sure of your identification before you hunt these birds which are larger and lighter than mourning doves with a distinctive band around the back of the neck. Identify this species and its habitat.
NORTH AND MID-COAST DISTRICTS
Forest grouse: Season on the north coast opened Sept. 1 and include sooty (blue) and ruffed grouse. While both species are associated with conifer forests, sooty grouse occupy the higher elevations of the coast range, especially ridge tops, while ruffed grouse are mostly seen at mid to lower elevations of forest habitats, including riparian areas. Due to the wet early portion of the nesting season, we anticipate that hunting will likely be only average this year for these birds, with fewer juveniles available.
Mountain quail: Season runs concurrently with the forest grouse season on the north coast, and hunting is likely to be average. The early nesting season was wet, making for poor reproduction but mountain quail readily re-nest and can pull off broods during the late summer. These birds are mostly found in brushy clear-cuts, especially those with a south-facing aspect.
Waterfowl: Breeding waterfowl population surveys were down this year by 43 percent from 2022. This may be due to the good snowpack and wet spring that may have moved breeding waterfowl outside of the delineated survey area.
We are starting to see pintails, mallards, widgeon and teal showing up in the estuaries this past week. The start of the waterfowl season should be good on the coast as the waterfowl are here working their way south through the flyway.
Mourning dove: The season is currently closed but will reopen Nov. 15.
Most dove activity is observed immediately near sunrise and sunset. If hunters have access to agriculture land or are hunting wildlife areas they should target the open edges of millet and corn fields. Learn more about hunting mourning dove.
Grouse: While both ruffed and sooty grouse are associated with conifer forests, sooty grouse occupy the higher elevations of the coast range, especially ridge tops, while ruffed grouse are most commonly seen at mid to lower elevations of forest habitats, including riparian areas.
Quail: Quail are commonly seen along dirt roads with thickly vegetated edges. We have been getting reports of mountain quailin the areas of the Santiam Unit that were burned in the Riverside Fire in 2020.
The South, East, and West Coyote units are closed through April 30 2024, except when participating in the reservation waterfowl hunt. All remaining units are open daily to public use.
Water levels remain somewhat low and are dependent upon rainfall. As such, waterfowl habitat will improve with each additional rainstorm. Hunters are harvesting an average of 1.4 ducks per day which we expect will increase as habitat conditions improve.
Reminder that only non-toxic shot is allowed on the wildlife area. Hunters must carry with them and complete a daily hunting permit. Permits are free and available at most wildlife area access points.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area Headquarters: (541) 935-2591.
SOUTHWEST AREA GAME BIRD HUNTING
Coquille Valley Wildlife Area (CVWA)
Coquille Valley Wildlife Area (CVWA) in Coos County is open to public access. Permits for access are required and are available, free of charge, at the kiosk located in the parking lot along North Bank Road. You must access to CVWA through this point. Please fill out the upper half ("A" half) of the permit and deposit it in the slot located on the post of the kiosk. Sign and carry the lower half ("B" half) with you while you enjoy CVWA. At the end of your visit please fill out the B half and deposited it in the same slot.
CVWA, both Winter Lake and Beaver Slough Tracts, are open to seven-day-a-week access from Feb. 1 through Aug. 31. From Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 Winter Lake Tract is open to public access Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays while Beaver Slough Tract remains open seven days a week.
Mourning dove: The season is currently closed but will reopen Nov. 15.
Mourning dove populations on the Oregon coast are generally thinly scattered across the region. They are usually attracted to openings in the forest or the edges of agricultural fields.
Doves like feeding in locations where they can get to the ground without going through vegetation. So, look for locations with bare dirt, sand or accumulated wood to find dove concentrations.
Don't expect to find large numbers of mourning doves anywhere in the Oregon Coast Range, it is very rare to do so. Learn more about hunting mourning dove.
Grouse: Grouse numbers are likely to be low this year. The extended, winter-like weather we experienced this spring is expected to have had a negative impact on brood survival. Hunters who want to hunt grouse should look for them on closed forest roads with clover and other forbs growing on them.
Quail: Like grouse quail reproduction was negatively impacted by the winter-like weather we experienced late into the season. When young chicks are subject to rain and cool conditions, they quickly become hypothermic and die. This may have been the fate of many quail broods this year.
Those interested in hunting quail should look for mountain quail in young clearcuts, they especially like areas with rocky outcroppings. California quail will be most numerous around agriculture fields.
Fall turkey: Turkey populations in Coos County have been increasing over the past several years as has their distribution. While the highest abundance of turkeys is concentrated around the Coquille Valley, turkeys can now be found in many other parts of the county.
Generally, turkeys get through winter by congregating in or near agricultural lands in Coos County. Therefore, they are most likely to be found within a short distance from ag lands, even in the summer or fall. However, with increasing populations they often spend time in forest openings such as clearcuts and meadows adjacent to ag lands. It is worth a hunter's time to scout these kinds of places for sign of turkeys during the fall season.
Waterfowl: Duck numbers are clearly beginning to increase in Coos County bays and along rivers. This year migrating birds seem to be slow to make their appearance on the south coast. This may have been due to El Nino conditions in the Pacific northwest.
Ducks are sticking to their usual pattern of congregating in the lower bays when they first show up in the county. They will scatter inland as precipitation creates water inundation in agricultural fields.
For now, hunters should fucus their efforts in bays below tide water. Duck will often congregate on the leeward side of islands and points. They usually move up the bays away from the ocean following the rising tide. Then they tend to move back down the bay as the tide recedes.
Mourning dove: The season reopens Nov. 15 to Dec. 14. Learn more about hunting mourning dove.
Grouse: Ruffed and blue grouse seasons open Sept. 1.
Fall turkey: The western fall turkey season runs from Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, 2024.
JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES
Mourning Dove: The season is currently closed but will reopen Nov. 15.
Doves are small fast flying birds so it is best to get some practice with clay pigeons in before the season starts. Learn more about hunting mourning dove.
Grouse: Season opened Sept. 1 statewide. The daily bag limit is three birds of each species (blue and ruffed). Driving less used dirt roads in the late evening can be an effective method in finding grouse to harvest. During our spring and summer inventory routes we documented good numbers of both ruffed and sooty grouse. Hunting should be productive this fall and winter.
Quail: Season opened Sept. 1 in western Oregon. The daily bag limit is 10 quail (in aggregate with both Mountain and California quail). Driving old dirt roads in the late afternoon and evening is usually a good way to locate groups.
Our summer brood routes indicated good numbers of quail in Jackson and Josephine county. For more information refer to the Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
Fall turkey: season opened Sept. 1 in western Oregon with a season bag limit of 2 wild turkeys of either sex. Turkey numbers are extremely high in southern Oregon which should make for a good fall hunting season. Successful hunters can purchase an additional fall turkey tag for a second opportunity.
Waterfowl: Waterfowl season is currently open for ducks and geese and will remain open through Jan.28, 2024. Winter's stormy days provide some of the best opportunity for hunting waterfowl as waterfowl tend to be more on move and looking for a secure place to rest.
Knowing the species you wish to target is helpful in understanding their feeding patterns and the areas they'll frequent. A dabbling duck such as mallards and green winged teals will be found in and around shallow pools, ponds and flooded fields. Wood ducks are also a dabbling duck but are more likely found within a mix of shallow water and flooded forest habitats.
Currently the Denman Wildlife Area has select grain fields flooded for hunter use. Placing a small number of decoys in an open feeding area not far from tall cattails or brush, where hunters can stay hidden, can be a great hunting advantage for a variety of duck species. Shallow pools within the tree lines also provide great cover and foraging for wood ducks.
Please keep in mind that the Hall Tract portion of the Denman Wildlife Area is only open for hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information on waterfowl hunting see pages 16 of the Oregon Game Bird regulations.
Wilson's Snipe: A medium sized pudgy shorebird with short stocky legs and a long bill that is used to probe the mud for earthworms and invertebrates. They are a mottled dark brown color with 3 long buffy streaks descending their back.
This species is considered an upland bird, despite its tendencies to forage mud flats near the edges of marshes, ponds, and wet fields. Their ability to stay well hidden in ground cover before flushing abruptly, and zigzagging in flight, provides a fun challenge when hunting.
The season for Wilson's Snipe remains open through February 18, 2024 with a daily bag limit of 8 birds. They can be easily confused with several species of shorebirds. Be thorough with your identification when hunting this species.
Learn more about hunting snipe.