It’s about that time of year again here in the Deschutes River Canyon near Maupin; bird hunting season. There are a variety of upland birds to hunt in Oregon, but each species has its own season and rules. Get to know the best game birds to hunt in Wasco County and when to book your next bird hunting trip at Imperial River Company.
Upland Bird Preserve Hunting
Season: Sep 1 – Mar 31; Daily Bag Limit: Varies by Package
For anyone unfamiliar with the area or in search of a guaranteed hunt, Sage Canyon Outfitters has a great preserve for Chukar and Pheasant hunting near Maupin. With preserve hunting, there are fewer regulations, which equates to more birds in the bag. You can hunt with a guide and even an experienced bird dog or head out onto the 9300 acre preserve on your own. You don’t need an expensive hunting license to shoot pheasant or chukars on the preserve, but you will need to purchase a $6 permit for the day.
Whether you decide to hunt the preserves near Maupin or head out into the Deschutes River Canyon for wild game, get to know your prey, their habitat, and a few bird hunting tricks for a successful haul this season:
ODFW Season: Oct 11 – Dec 31; Daily Bag Limit:2 (8 in Possession)
Did you know that Oregon was the first state in the US to introduce ring-necked pheasants?After their first successful transplant from China in 1882, they’ve become well-known residents of our grain fields. With so many wheat fields surrounding the Deschutes River Valley and the Maupin area, pheasant are abundant. You can only hunt the males, known as roosters, though, so keep an eye out for their tell-tale red face and white collar. Their rooster-like crowing can be heard for up to a mile away, and hunters often use pheasant calls to attract males competing for females.
In the morning and late afternoon, you can fund them feeding in wheat fields, and during the heat of the day, you’ll find them at the edge of fences and fields recharging for their next feeding.Bird dogs are recommended, and our best advice is to shoot at the front 1/3 of the pheasant’s body. Many new hunters aim for the center, forgetting to compensate for the long tail that makes the bird’s kill zone appear longer.
ODFW Season: Oct 11 – Jan 31; Daily Bag Limit: 8 (24 in-possession)
A type of partridge, the chukar can be found on the steep rocky slopes of the Deschutes River valley and the Cascade Mountains. Both the Chukar and its food course, cheat grass, were introduced to Oregon in the 50s. Since then, it’s flourished, making its home in areas where development and agriculture would be less than practical.
Their dangerous habitats make them one of the most difficult game birds to hunt. Since they tend to run uphill though, try spotting them with binoculars from the top of the ridge and approaching from above in some sturdy hiking boots.
Guided Bird Hunting Trips near Maupin
According to upland bird surveys, the 2014 fall bird hunting season is showing strong numbers in quail and pheasant species, with chukar populations down slightly. If you need help finding them, check out our guided bird hunting trips and packages. With 8500 acres of access to the Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area during hunting season and an expert hunter at your side, you’ll have no problem finding a few ideal locations to bag your upland birds this season.
Don’t forget! If you’ll be hunting without a guide, make sure you have a place to stay between hunts by booking a room at our hunting lodge in Maupin.