Table of Contents
December 7, 2022
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.
Legal shooting hours
Check page 10 of the regulation booklet or MyODFW.com.
Find game bird harvest statistics
Harvest statistics from ODFW wildlife areas are posted online. Use them to help plan your next duck hunt.
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.
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.
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 most commonly 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 most commonly found in brushy clear-cuts, especially those with a south-facing aspect.
Eurasian collared doves are non-native birds found in developed portions of the north coast. There is no closed season or bag limit for them, but hunters need to get permission to hunt them on private land. Although similar in markings and appearance to the native mourning dove, they are larger (similar to a rock dove) and with a more squared-off tail.
Good numbers of both divers and puddle ducks have finally arrived on the north coast! Large rafts of birds on the coastal bays consisting primarily of mallards, widgeon and pintail usually work inland with the incoming tide. Divers present on the coast are primarily scaup and bufflehead, with a mix of others and will tend to stay on the bay, sloughs and coastal lakes.
When rains are heavy for several days and local pastures flood, more birds will be found using farmers’ fields (private property) and hunters may have better luck if they have made local contacts. During such conditions, diving ducks will generally be all that are available on the bays and tidewater. If freezing weather occurs in the valley for more than a few days, more birds may become available on the coast.
Northwest Permit Goose: Good numbers of geese are using local pastures as well as estuaries. There are definitely both local and migratory geese on the north coast, so hunters need to be aware of dusky Canada geese, which are protected from take during the season. See the 2022-23 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details.
Mourning dove: Reopens Nov. 15. 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.
The South, East, and West Coyote units are closed through April 30 2023, except when participating in the reservation waterfowl hunt. All remaining units are open to public use daily.
Waterfowl hunting has been very productive this year with hunters averaging about 3 birds per visit through November. December is starting off a little slower but forecast storms might provide another round of migrating birds from the north. Hunt stats for the waterfowl reservation hunt can be found here.
For all upcoming waterfowl seasons, bag limits, and access restrictions please consult the 2022-2023 game bird hunting regulations.
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
Mourning dove: Re-opens 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
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.
JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES Last updated 11/2/22.
Mourning dove reopens Nov. 15 with a daily bag limit of 15 birds. 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). More grouse were observed this year on upland brood surveys in the Rogue Watershed. Driving less used dirt roads in the late evening can be an effective method in finding grouse to harvest.
Quail season opened Sept. 1 in western Oregon. The daily bag limit is 10 quail (in aggregate with both Mountain and California quail). Quail numbers increased again this year on ODFW Upland Brood surveys. Driving old dirt roads in the late afternoon and evening is usually a good way to locate groups. For more information refer to the Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
Eurasian collared doves: These non-native game birds that can be harvested year-round with no bag limit; however, a hunting license is required. They are found throughout Jackson and Josephine counties, and seem to be in especially high concentrations near residential zones.
Fall turkey season closes Jan. 31. The fall turkey season allows hunters with a fall turkey tag to harvest one bird of either sex in WMUs within Jackson, Josephine, and Curry counties. 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: Goose will reopen on Nov. 8 and duck season in the Southwest zone will reopen on Nov. 3. There are many geese in the Rogue Valley which can make for good hunting. Focus hunting efforts during nasty weather events for your best chance at killing some waterfowl. Windy and rainy mornings seem to be the best producing.