Skip to main content

Game Bird Hunting

Game Bird Hunting

Department of Fish & Wildlife

Curt Melcher, Director

Salem Headquarters Office

4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE

Salem, OR 97302


ODFW in-state toll-free 800-720-6339

[email protected]

Oregon Fish and
Wildlife Commission

Mary Wahl (Chair) - Langlois

Becky Hatfield-Hyde - Paisley

Kathayoon Khalil - Portland

Leslie King - Portland

Mark Labhart - Sisters

Bob Spelbrink - Siletz

Jill Zarnowitz - Yamhill

Because season dates and hunting regulations change annually, significant changes from last year’s season dates and hunting regulations are in yellow highlight.

Significant regulations and information are highlighted in bold.

Abbreviations Key

The following abbreviations are used throughout this document in Hunt Descriptions, Unit Descriptions and regulations. The abbreviations will be used in upper and lower cases.

Ave = Avenue

ATV = All terrain vehicle

BLM = Bureau of Land Management

Blvd = Boulevard

Co = County

Cos = Counties

Cr = Creek

Dr = Drive

FR = Forest Road

HIP = Harvest Information Program

Hwy = Highway

ID = Identification

Lk = Lake

Ln = Lane

Mi = Mile

Mtn = Mountain

NF = National Forest

NWR = National Wildlife Refuge

ODF = Oregon Dept. of Forestry

ODFW = Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

R = Range

RHA = Regulated Hunt Area

Rd = Road

Rvr = River

Sq Mi = Square Miles

T = Township

UCAP = Upland Coop. Access Program

USFS = U.S. Forest Service

USFWS = U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

WA = Wildlife Area

WMU = Wildlife Management Unit

Protect Oregon Waters from Invasive Species-Practice Clean, Drain, Dry

You may need an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit or a Waterway Access Permit!

  • “Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit”, required for all motorized boats.
  • Oregon resident, Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit is automatically included with motorboat registration
  • Non-residents motorized boats cost is $22
  • “Waterway Access permit”, required for all Non-motorized boats (drift boats, kayaks, rafts, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, etc.); 10 feet in length or longer for both resident and non-residents.
    • $7.00 weekly/7 days,
    • $19.00 annual,
    • $32.00 two-years.
  • One permit required per boat that is on the water; permit is transferable.
  • Purchase where hunting/fishing licenses are sold or the Electronic License system or online at Oregon State Marine Board website.

All boats, regardless of size, are required to stop at inspection stations when stations are open. Failure to stop could result in a $115 fine.

The Oregon Legislature established the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program in an effort to keep Oregon’s lakes, rivers and streams free of destructive aquatic invasive species like quagga mussels. See or for more information

Notice to Hunters

In an effort to make these regulations easier to understand, at times simplified language is used. ODFW’s intention is for these summarized regulations to be consistent with the actual language in Oregon Statutes and Administrative Rules, but in the event of an inconsistency the statutes and administrative rules take precedence. The actual wording of relevant Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon Administrative Rules can be found at: and

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.

New to Hunting?

Game bird hunting is available across Oregon and is a great way to begin hunting. ODFW has a resource webpage to help you start hunting game birds. On the page, you’ll discover: where to hunt, when to hunt, various game species, and the basic gear and equipment you’ll need to get started.

Scan the QR code or type in the URL to visit the resource page now:

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.

Find Great Bird Hunting in Oregon

  • Map contains properties and programs that allow access
  • Displays upland game bird range maps
  • Search by species
  • Improved search by location
  • Shows landownership
  • Shows property boundaries
  • Find lat/long coordinates
  • And more!

Don’t Shoot if it’s a Spruce Grouse

Spruce grouse are protected in Oregon and are not open to hunting

Spruce grouse only occur in the Wallowa Mountains of Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties of northeastern Oregon. Our small population of spruce grouse is likely geographically isolated from neighboring birds in Washington and Idaho, so we need to take extra care to protect them.

Spruce grouse are smaller than both blue and ruffed grouse. Male spruce grouse have a red eye comb, a black patch that covers the throat and upper chest, and white spotting on the lower chest. Females are browner and have white barring on the chest. Spruce grouse are often less wary of humans than blue and ruffed grouse. If you are grouse hunting in the Wallowa Mountains, please take the time to educate yourself on how to identify a spruce grouse before going out in the field.

Hunters – We Need Your Grouse Wings and Tails

Ruffed grouse, blue grouse, and mountain quail wings and tails provide ODFW biologists important information about the health of the populations. Hunters can help by donating a wing and tail from harvested grouse and mountain quail.

What to Do:

  1. Remove one entire wing and whole tail including small rump feathers.
  2. Place in PAPER collecting bags provided at ODFW offices or use your own PAPER bag (1 bird per bag).
  3. Mark the bag with the date taken, WMU taken, and general location.
  4. Drop bag off at designated collection sites located around the state or at ODFW offices. A map of collection sites is available at
  5. If there will be a delay in dropping off your bag, please freeze it.

For additional information, including bags and pre-paid return envelopes, please call 503-947-6301.

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 Northwest Oregon Permit Goose Zone, see Northwest Permit Goose Season.

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.

General Hunting Regulations of this booklet outlines the important regulation for hunting game birds in Oregon. Please familiarize yourself with all these regulations.

Know before you go:
Check fire restrictions!

It is a hunter’s responsibility to check fire restrictions before heading afield. Check with the land manager where you plan to hunt. To see a list of industrial forestland closures/restrictions visit and click on Wildfires/Forest Restrictions & Closures.

Most common fire restrictions

  • No smoking
  • No off-road driving
  • No exploding targets or tracer ammunition
  • Check if camp/warming fires are allowed. If open fires are permitted, make sure the fire is truly out when you’re done.

Planning Your Hunt

Did you know that many WAs post daily, weekly, and/or monthly harvest and hunter effort numbers to WAs include: Denman, E.E. Wilson, Fern Ridge, Klamath, Ladd Marsh, Sauvie Island, and Summer Lake.

You can also find tips for applying for reservation hunts at Fern Ridge and Sauvie Island, including strategies for increasing your likelihood of getting drawn and the number of first choice applicants that applied for reservations by date.

See for more information.

Harvest Information Program (HIP)

Before hunting mourning doves, band-tailed pigeons, snipe, or waterfowl all hunters, regardless of age or residency status, must obtain a HIP Validation by taking a HIP survey. If you obtain a resident waterfowl validation you will automatically be asked to complete the HIP survey and get your HIP validation. If you intend to hunt other migratory game birds (mourning doves, band-tailed pigeon, or snipe) and don't already have a waterfowl validation or if you are a nonresident or youth under 12 years of age, you must obtain your HIP validation by selecting it from the list of available documents in the Electronic Licensing System catalog.

Evidence of compliance will be noted with your hunting license as a “HIP Validation”. That’s it! There is no cost to you.

How does HIP work? Of the total group of HIP validated migratory game bird hunters, the USFWS will select necessary samples of hunter to participate in providing harvest information. Selected hunters will receive hunter record cards prior to hunting seasons or soon thereafter. Hunters will be asked to record their daily harvest of birds and return the completed record card at the end of the hunting season.

Why HIP? Your participation in this program means that important information will be available to wildlife professionals to better manage Oregon’s wildlife resources. Hunter participation and migratory game bird harvest levels are needed to assist in setting regulations and justify future hunting seasons.

Thanks! Your cooperation is essential to responsible resource management and is greatly appreciated.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Avian influenza, or “bird flu,” is a respiratory disease of birds caused by influenza A viruses. Wild birds can carry and spread these viruses but may show no signs of illness.

Although avian influenza viruses rarely infect people, you should still protect yourself:

  • Do not harvest or handle wild birds that are obviously sick or found dead.
  • Always wear disposable gloves when handling or cleaning game and wash hands with soap and water immediately afterward.
  • Dress game birds in a location away from poultry and other birds and bag the carcass for disposal. Disinfect all tools and work surfaces.
  • Clothing and boots used in hunting wild birds should be changed before handling live poultry.
  • Cook game meat thoroughly.
  • Report dead wild birds to ODFW 866-968-2600 or email [email protected]

For more information about avian influenza, go to

More Opportunity Comes with Greater Responsibility

For over 35 years NW Oregon hunters have proven their ability to avoid harvesting dusky geese and we still need your help to keep goose hunting in NW Oregon a great opportunity!

  • With a closed dusky goose season, it is now more important than ever for hunters to hold their fire unless they are sure their target is not a dusky Canada goose.
  • Cackling geese are very abundant and relatively easy to identify. Hunters should shift their hunting efforts toward cacklers to avoid a costly mistake.
  • The online Northwest goose identification materials were revised with new information in 2015-16. Hunters are strongly encouraged to periodically review the materials to stay informed.

The future of goose hunting seasons in Northwest Oregon is in your hands. Should unlawful harvest of dusky geese lead to reduced dusky populations, managers may have no choice but to restrict hunting opportunities for all Canada geese in the region.

Your Oregon Game Bird Stamp Dollars at Work

Oregon game bird stamps have been providing funds to maintain healthy game bird populations in the state for more than 30 years. The Oregon migratory waterfowl stamp began in 1984 and the upland bird stamp followed in 1990. The stamps (now called validations) are purchased by game bird hunters in conjunction with the general hunting license. Collectively, sales of game bird stamps and related artwork generate nearly $1 million each year. Funds are used to accomplish a variety of program-related activities, such as game bird research and banding, equipment purchases, and habitat improvement and conservation projects.