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Upland Game Birds Harvest

For upland game birds that live in areas with adequate habitat, population size and mortality rate are affected little by regulated hunting. Protection of game birds from hunting will not allow the population to increase. Because of the normally high mortality rate, even without hunting, and because hunting typically is compensatory, upland game birds cannot be "stockpiled" from one year to another. Thus, area or season closures for populations in good habitat are not needed and do little or no good.

Setting bag limits and possession limits can be very difficult. These types of regulations for game birds in good habitat serve much more to spread the harvest among hunters than to protect the population. In a few instances regulations are necessary to safeguard populations. Hunting of game birds that occur only in a very small area, that are suffering declines because of poor habitat, or that are concentrated during the hunting season (at watering sources, for instance) may have the potential to limit the population, and regulations must be carefully applied to such species.

For healthy populations, though, hunting is "self-limiting." This means that as the biological surplus is removed, hunters tend to lose interest in the last few birds on an area, and hunting effort falls off. The remaining birds become skilled at dodging hunters and the population achieves a measure of security. The concepts described above help explain why it is possible to have fairly liberal hunting seasons for upland game birds without jeopardy to the population.

ODFW conducts annual harvest surveys to determine statewide hunter effort and take for upland birds as well as other species. Today, these surveys generally occur during hunting seasons and are conducted via telephone. Randomly selected hunters are contacted throughout the state and surveyed for activity. However, in some years surveys were not completed due to uncontrollable circumstances, as such was the case in 1997 and 2004. ODFW continues to strive to improve harvest surveys so that accurate information can be obtained annually.

Oregon Rankings: Upland Game Bird Hunters & Harvest 1996-2006

Ever wonder where your favorite upland game bird hunting activity fits within the entire upland hunting scene? Here are the rankings based on a 10 year average of hunter numbers and total statewide harvest by species

By Participation
By Harvest
Ranking Species Hunters Ranking Species Harvest
1 Ruffed Grouse 23,340 1 Chukar Partridge 94,204
2 Blue Grouse 19,734 2 Calif. (Valley) Quail 90,076
3 Pheasant 18,535 3 Pheasant 52,670
4 Valley Quail 11,024 4 Ruffed Grouse 40,705
5 Chukar Partridge 10,713 5 Mountain Quail 38,427
6 Mountain Quail 7,680 6 Blue Grouse 35,068
7 Hungarian Partridge 3,226 7 Hungarian Partridge 11,623

Statistics (pdfs)

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

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