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General Hunting Regulations

Oregon Bird Hunting

For a complete copy of all state laws and federal regulations consult Oregon Administrative Rules, the Oregon Wildlife Code and Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations.

Definitions

  • Dusky Canada Goose: Any dark-breasted (Munsell 10 YR color value 5 or less) Canada goose with a bill length between 40 and 50 millimeters.
  • Eastern Oregon: All cos east of the summit of the Cascades, including all of Klamath and Hood Rvr cos.
  • Forest Grouse: “Blue”(Dusky and Sooty) and ruffed grouse.
  • Game Birds: Any waterfowl, snipe, band-tailed pigeon, mourning dove, pheasant, quail, partridge, grouse, or wild turkey.
  • Migratory Game Birds: Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots, snipe, mourning dove, and band-tailed pigeon.
  • Sea Ducks: Harlequin, scoters, long-tailed and eider ducks.
  • Upland Game Birds: Pheasant, quail, partridge, grouse, and wild turkey.
  • Waterfowl: Ducks, mergansers, geese and coots.
  • Western Oregon: All cos west of the summit of the Cascades, except Klamath and Hood Rvr cos.
  • White Geese: Snow and Ross’ geese.

Protected Birds

All birds except starling, house sparrow, Eurasian collared-dove, and rock pigeon are protected by federal and/or state laws. Federal regulations provide that no permit is needed to control crows, blackbirds, cowbirds and magpies where they are causing serious injuries to agricultural or horticultural crops or to livestock feed; when they cause a health hazard or structural property damage; or to protect wildlife listed as threatened or endangered. Federal regulations allowing such control, however, are complex and restrictive, and include reporting requirements and restrictions on ammunition used. Contact the law enforcement branch of the USFWS for advice at 503-682-6131.

Hunter Orange

No person younger than 18 years of age shall hunt with any firearm for any game mammal or upland game bird (excluding turkey) unless the person is wearing in a manner visible from all directions a hat or exterior garment of fluorescent orange. “Exterior garment” means a shirt, jacket, coat, vest, or sweater. Fluorescent orange camouflage patterns are acceptable. “Hat” means any head covering.

Decoys and Calls

No person shall:

  • Hunt game birds or crows by the use or aid of any live birds for decoys.
  • Hunt game birds (except for crows) by the use of records or tapes of bird calls or sounds, or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds.
  • Hunt game birds with the use of decoys powered by motor, battery, or other self powered methods. Quiver magnets are also illegal. Decoys with parts that are moved solely by human actions (for example, via a cable or pull-string) or the wind are allowed.­

Shooting Hours

Between Sept. 1 and Mar. 10, all game birds must be hunted during times specified in the shooting hours table, except as noted.

Trespass

No person shall:

  • Hunt on the enclosed or cultivated land of another without permission. Enclosed land may be indicated by fence, ditch, Rd, hedge, railroad right-of-way, or any distinctive boundary.
  • Hunt on private property without prior approval from the landowner.

Aircraft, Boats, Drones, and Motor Vehicles

No person shall:

  • Hunt or shoot game birds from a motor driven land conveyance or aircraft of any kind.
  • Hunt or shoot game birds with use of a sink box or any other type of low floating device having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water.
  • Drive, rally, or chase any game bird from any motor driven land, water, or air conveyance or sailboat.
  • Use drones for the following purposes related to the pursuit of wildlife:
    • Hunting, trapping, or angling.
    • Aiding hunting, trapping, or angling through the use of drones to harass, track, locate or scout wildlife.
    • Interfering in the acts of a person who is lawfully hunting, trapping, or angling.
  • Shoot game birds from or with the help of any motorboat or sailboat unless the motor has been shut off and/or sail furled and movement has stopped. Sail and motor-propelled craft may be used only to pick up dead or crippled birds. Crippled birds may not be shot from such craft under power.
  • Hunt or harass animals from snowmobile, ATV, or passenger vehicles.
  • (1) A person commits the offense of operating a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle while carrying a firearm or bow if the person operates any snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle with a firearm in the possession of the person, unless the firearm is unloaded, or with a bow, unless all arrows are in a quiver. (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to: (a) A person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun; (b) A law enforcement officer; or (c) An honorably retired law enforcement officer, unless the person who is a retired law enforcement officer has been convicted of an offense that would make the person ineligible to obtain a concealed handgun license under ORS 166.291 and 166.292. (3) As used in this section, “unloaded” means: (a) If the firearm is a revolver, that there is no live cartridge in the chamber that is aligned with the hammer of the revolver; (b) If the firearm is a muzzle-loading firearm, that the firearm is not capped or primed; or (c) If the firearm is other than a revolver or a muzzle-loading firearm, that there is no live cartridge in the chamber.

Baiting

No person shall hunt game birds by aid of baiting, or on, or over a baited area where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area has been baited. A baited area is considered to be baited for 10 days after complete removal of any bait. Baiting includes placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for game birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them.

Disguising Sex

No person shall disguise the sex or kind of any game bird. The head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

Note: Private hunting preserves are excluded from this regulation. Further restrictions apply to the NW Oregon Permit Goose Zone.

Retrieval/Waste

All game birds killed or crippled must be retrieved immediately, if possible, and kept by the hunter in the field except for internal organs. The duty to retrieve and to not waste does not justify otherwise criminal conduct including but not limited to trespass. All crippled birds reduced to possession must be immediately killed. Waste means to allow any edible portion of any game bird to be rendered unfit for human consumption, or to fail to retrieve game birds from the field. “Edible portions” of game birds means, at a minimum, the meat of the breast associated with the sternum.

Possession and Transport

Maximum number of birds that a person may lawfully possess (includes fresh, frozen, or otherwise processed) in the field or in transit to place of permanent residence. Game birds shipped or given to another person for transport during the season or within 48 hours after the season closes must be accompanied by a written note listing the number and kinds; date killed; name and address of possessor; and signature, address and hunting license number of the hunter. Birds transported more than 48 hours after the season closes must bear a shipping permit or metal seal from ODFW. Shipping permits or metal seals are available at any ODFW regional or district office and any Oregon State Police office.

Field Possession Limit: No person may possess, have in custody, or transport more than the daily bag limit or aggregate daily bag limit, whichever applies, of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged, at or between the place where taken and either (a) automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; (c) migratory bird preservation facility; (d) Post Office; or (e) common carrier facility.

Other Restrictions

No person shall:

  • Hunt in areas closed by the state or federal government, within city limits (unless otherwise authorized, see OAR 635-051-0048), or on school grounds, public parks, national monuments (unless otherwise authorized), cemeteries, public Rd or Rd right-of-way or railroad right-of-way.
  • Shoot from or across a public Rd, posted safety zone, or railroad right-of-way.
  • Take furbearers, except in compliance with furbearing mammal regulations.
  • Disturb or remove the traps of any licensed trapper from public lands.
  • Use an artificial light for hunting any wildlife, except raccoon, bobcat and opossum provided the light is not cast from or attached to a motor vehicle. This includes laser sights or any other sights which project a beam to the target. This does not include battery operated sights which only light the reticle.
  • Hunt or take game birds with trap or snare.
  • Sell, trade, barter, exchange, or offer for sale, trade, barter, or exchange any game bird parts, or game bird feathers thereof EXCEPT as identified in OAR 635, Division 200. If you have any questions relative to the sale and purchase of game bird feathers or would like a copy of Division 200 please call your local ODFW office.
  • Hunt in any safety zones created and posted by ODFW.
  • Disturb, damage, remove, alter, or possess any official ODFW sign.
  • Take any game bird without a permit or destroy the eggs or nests of game birds. For exceptions for the destruction of nests or eggs of resident Canada geese see OAR 635-051-0048(8a).
  • Release without a permit any wildlife brought from another state or country, or raised in captivity in this state.
  • Refuse inspection of any license, tag, or permit by an employee of ODFW, any person authorized to enforce wildlife laws, or a landowner or agent of the landowner on their land.
  • Refuse inspection of any gear used for the purpose of taking wildlife or game birds by and employee of the ODFW, or any person authorized to enforce wildlife laws.

State Wildlife Area Eviction

The department may evict any person from a state WA for violation of any department rules or regulations or when continued presence of that person could cause a threat to the rights and safety of others or property.

Columbia and Snake River Boundary

  • To hunt the Oregon portion of the Columbia Rvr, including that portion of the Lewis and Clark NWR and other islands in Oregon in the Columbia Rvr, hunters must possess a valid Oregon Resident or Oregon Nonresident Hunting License.
  • To view a map of the boundary between Oregon and Washington in the Columbia Rvr visit, www.oregonhuntingmap.com.
  • Any hunter with a valid Oregon or Idaho license may hunt in the waters or on the islands of the Snake Rvr, where the Rvr forms the boundary between the two states. All laws and rules of the respective states apply.

Federal Regulations

Violation of state migratory game bird hunting regulations is a violation of federal regulations. Each hunter should consult the actual federal regulations in Title 50 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20. Also, more restrictive regulations may apply to NWRs open to public hunting. For additional information on federal regulations, contact Resident Agent in Charge, USFWS, 9025 SW Hillman Ct, Suite 3134, Wilsonville, OR 97070; Phone: 503-682-6131.

Upland Game Bird Emergency Closure Procedures

Irregularly, severe winter conditions can negatively impact segments of upland game bird populations. There is little that can be done to alleviate the effects when these conditions occur, including stopping hunting. In fact, a hunting closure may have the opposite affect by allowing more birds to compete for what little food may be accessible. However, when these conditions occur, the stage is set for undesirable social situations. For example, severe weather may concentrate birds along Rds in valley floors allowing unethical hunters to harvest birds illegally by shooting from vehicles or from the Rd. In addition, in some parts of eastern Oregon, chukar range coincides with important, high-density winter ranges for deer, bighorn sheep and elk. Under harsh winter weather conditions, disturbance to big game by bird hunters late in the winter can be a concern.

ODFW recognizes the need to consider localized, early closure of certain game bird seasons during unusually severe winter conditions. In an effort to provide consistency and more certainty for hunters and businesses that depend on upland game bird seasons, if the department implements emergency closures they will take effect on the 15th or last day of the month. For example, if winter conditions do not warrant the closure of chukar season on Dec. 31st, the season will extend through at least Jan. 14th. Similarly, if the season is not closed on Jan. 15th, hunters will know the season will extend through Jan. 31st. Closures will be by Co and publicized as widely as possible (newspapers, radio, & ODFW information line: 503-947-6002 or 1-800-720-6339).

LEGAL HUNTING METHODS

Firearms

Archery

Falconry

Upland Game Birds, Migratory Game Birds and Crows

Rifle or Handgun1

Shotgun2 (see definition below)

Muzzleloading (rifle or pistol)

Recurve, Long and Compound Bow3,4

Crossbow

Hawk or Falcon

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

Field Dressing of Game Birds — What’s Legal?

Hunters understand the importance to care for meat while in the field to protect it from spoiling. However, what is not understood by many is the legal requirements necessary to transport dressed birds from the field. Some hunters commonly practice “breasting” birds out and discarding the rest of the carcass before getting home. This is not legal and hunters need to note the following:

The head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the processor. Further restrictions apply to the NW Oregon Permit Goose Zone.

So why is this necessary? There are many restrictions on sex and species of birds that can be included in your daily bag. Leaving a head or wing attached allows law enforcement personnel to identify the birds taken by a hunter. You can be cited if it is not possible to determine the types of birds in your possession.

The edible portion of a game bird means, at a minimum the meat of the breast associated with the sternum. However, the Department encourages hunters to consume meat from the leg (drumstick), thigh, and wing when practicable. Many hunters don’t realize how much meat is lost when just the breast is consumed. On most game birds, 25% to 35% of the meat is found on just the legs and thighs, with only 55% to 60% found on the breast.

Support Wildlife —
Buy a Habitat Conservation Stamp

Buy an annual stamp to benefit conservation of Oregon’s native species.

Proceeds are used for restoration of the habitats that are home to the state’s fish and wildlife. The Habitat Conservation Stamp is available anywhere fishing and hunting licenses are sold.