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Liberal duck season, extended upland bird hunting adopted

 
Aug. 7, 2009

 

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission set 2009-10 bird hunting regulations and a framework to guide upland bird hunting for the next five years during its meeting in Salem today. 

Changes to regulations and highlights are listed below. The 2009-2010 Oregon Game Bird Regulations are expected to be available during the week of Aug. 17.

Pheasant:

  • Open one week earlier or the Saturday closest to Oct. 8 (this year, Oct. 10, 2009) to coincide with eastern Oregon chukar and quail season opener. Closing Dec. 31 (instead of Sunday nearest Dec. 11).
  • Western Oregon fee hunts at wildlife areas: Denman (Sept. 21-Oct.9), E.E. Wilson (Oct. 1-31), Fern Ridge (Sept. 7-Oct. 4) and Sauvie Island (Sept. 14-27)
  • 14 youth hunts during September and two Becoming an Outdoors-Woman hunts (Sept. 25 at E.E. Wilson and Sept. 19-20 at Klamath)

Turkey:

  • Number of fall turkey tags available in western Oregon will increase from 3,000 to 4,000. Tags available Sept. 23.
  • General fall season bag limit will increase from 1 to 2 turkeys of either sex (daily bag limit of 1 turkey per day)

Sage grouse:

  • Season Sept. 12-20
  • Application deadline Aug. 31, 2009
  • 1,150 permits available
  • 2 sage-grouse bag limit

The Commission also adopted the 2010-2015 Upland Game Bird Framework to guide upland game bird seasons for the next five years.  In addition to incorporating the changed pheasant season dates, increased turkey tags and turkey bag limits described above, the framework includes the following changes which take effect beginning in the 2010-11 season.

  • Mountain quail season will be open in eight eastern Oregon counties—including Crook County after a decades-long closure there. Season will close Jan. 31 in six of the open counties and Dec. 31 in Morrow and Umatilla counties, concurrent with chukar and California quail seasons.
  • Forest grouse season in eastern Oregon will close Dec. 31 (instead of Sunday nearest Nov. 27).

The Commission adopted another liberal waterfowl season. “Continental duck counts were up compared to last year so this will be the 13th consecutive liberal duck season framework for the Pacific Flyway,” said Brandon Reishus, ODFW assistant game bird biologist. “Although Oregon’s breeding numbers were down slightly, the state’s waterfowl hunters should still enjoy another good season with lots of opportunity to hunt early and late in the season.”

Duck and merganser:

  • Zone 1: Oct. 17-25 and Oct. 28-Jan. 31
  • Zone 2: Oct. 10-Nov. 29 and Dec. 2-Jan. 24
  • 2 pintail in the daily bag limit (up from 1 per day last year)
  • 1 canvasback in the daily bag limit (no harvest allowed last year)
  • 3 scaup in the daily bag limit, up from 2 last year. Another 86-day scaup season like last year.

Black brant:

Season opens one week later, which allows hunting over Thanksgiving weekend and may increase harvest opportunity as more brant migrate to Oregon.

Goose:

  • 100-day goose season in most zones
  • Opening dates coincide with duck in most zones
  • Bag limit: 4 dark and 4 or 6 white geese daily with some exceptions
  • September Canada goose opens on Labor Day weekend and shooting hours change to ½ hour before sunrise to sunset (formerly sunrise to sunset) to align with most other bird hunts.
  • Reduced dusky Canada goose quota, from 165 to 90 due to long-term declines in population size 
  • Klamath County Late Hunt: White-front daily bag limit of 2 (up from 1) and white goose daily bag limit of 4 (up from 3)

Wildlife Area Rules

Most of Summer Lake Wildlife Area south of Thousand Spring Lane (Lake Co Rd 4-17) will be closed to all public access (except campgrounds and open roads) for seven days before the opening day of waterfowl season. This is to decrease disturbance to birds before the opener and may also increase hunter success. The closure will begin Oct. 3, 2009 for this fall season.

OAR 635-008-0050(8) will change to allow persons that violate department rules or regulations to be evicted from ODFW wildlife areas. The new rule reads: “The department may evict any person from the area 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.”

Wasting and game bird retrieval

To reduce poor hunter practices including “skybusting” (shooting at birds too far away and losing track of where they fall), the word “immediately” will be added to the waste rule so it reads:

“All game birds killed or crippled must immediately be retrieved, if possible, and kept by the hunter in the field.”

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel usually meets monthly.

The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Grants Pass. Its agenda includes consideration and approval of the Diamond Lake Management Plan.

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Contact:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022/(503) 931-2748                                         

Fax:     (503) 947-6009
 
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