Every year, new and experienced hunters throughout the Pacific Northwest look forward to upland bird hunting season from early fall through the end of January. If you’ve ever considered taking up the sport, we’ve put together some of the basics to get you started, including season and license information.
Hunter Education is Essential
Those under 18 years of age must pass a hunter safety course in Oregon and Washington to legally hunt. There are online hunter education courses in Oregon and Washington. Find a location near you, call ahead or register online with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Get Details for Your State
Get a License
License, tag, and permit fees can be found online for Oregon and Washington residents. In Oregon, licenses for those 12 and under are free, while specific upland bird hunting licenses are free for those 16 and under in Washington. Don’t forget to buy a day-use parking and land-use permit if necessary.
Get the Right Gear
A comfortable and successful day of hunting requires a few items, including a shotgun, ammo, and the right clothing.
Upland bird hunting can be done by bow or firearm. A simple 28-inch barrel, 12-gauge shotgun is a good place to start.
If you’re hunting ducks, doves, or turkeys, some camouflage clothing might be necessary. But it’s also a good idea to wear a hunter-orange, upland vest for safety. The proper vest should have plenty of pockets for shells, licenses, your smartphone, and more. You’ll also want to dress for the weather, including waterproof boots, a hat, gloves, and lined work pants. Coastal has a full line of clothing and footwear for your next hunting adventure or day on the job.
Coastal tip: All hunters 18 and under must wear hunter orange in Oregon and Washington.
Find a Place to Hunt
It’s fairly easy to find a place to go bird hunting, as long as you know where to look. Your options include both public lands (legally accessible U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), state forest land, as well as land managed by your department of fish and wildlife) as well as private lands. Birds may be hunted on private land with permission from the landowner. Additionally, there are many companies in Oregon and Washington that offer guided and stocked hunting excursions. Do a search for “guided bird hunts near me” for more.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: When is bird hunting season in the Pacific Northwest?
A: Bird hunting season in the Pacific Northwest runs from early fall through the end of January.
Q: Does it cost to have a license to hunt birds?
A: In Oregon, licenses for those 12 and under are free, while specific upland bird hunting licenses are free for those 16 and under in Washington.
Q: Do I have to wear hunter orange to hunt birds?
A: All hunters 18 and under must wear hunter orange in Oregon and Washington.
Q: Can I hunt birds on private land?
A: Birds may be hunted on private land with permission from the landowner.
Start Your Bird Hunting Adventure at Coastal
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has your upland bird hunting supplies in stock, including ammunition, vests, waders, decoys, firearms, and calls. While you’re here, check out the camping department for pre-made meals to make your day of hunting even easier.
Always Follow Gun Safety Rules
The right to own a firearm is a big part of the United States Constitution. But simply reciting the Second Amendment isn’t enough to ensure your safety or the safety of those around you. We’ve put together these 5 rules to promote gun safety.
Rule #1 – All guns are always loaded – Always. This simply means you must always treat every gun as if it’s loaded. Always assume that every gun you come into contact with is loaded until you have physically verified it for yourself. Don’t ever rely on anyone’s word for it. When you hold a gun in your hand, you are responsible for it and anything that occurs while in your possession. If you don’t know how a gun works, leave it alone and find a knowledgeable person to show you.
Rule #2 – Never point a firearm at anything you’re not willing to shoot – Ever. You must always be aware of where your gun is pointed at all times. Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. This is the rule that saves lives. You MUST exercise due caution and diligence when handling a firearm.
Rule #3 – Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard. Always keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on target, and you have made the conscious decision to shoot. If you have your finger on the trigger and you are startled in some way, your brain will react with a primitive response that will tighten every muscle in the body, including the trigger finger.
Rule #4 – Be sure of your target and what’s beyond and around it. The hand that holds the gun is responsible for whatever is done by that gun. If you fire a gun, you are responsible – no matter where it lands or what it hits. You must know where your shot will go when you fire it. You must know what it might hit if you miss your intended target. And you must know what it can go through and still have enough energy/power to kill or hurt.
Rule #5 – Always lock up your guns. Whether you use a trigger lock, handgun safe or a cabinet safe, always keep your firearms locked. As a responsible gun owner, you know that your gun is always loaded (refer to Rule #1), but not everyone is aware of these rules. Children are naturally curious and there’s always a chance someone could find your firearms. Keep them locked and away – it’s smart, and it’s easy.