Oregon pheasant brood sizes grow. Hunting should be good this year.
By Tom Carpenter
“We had nothing unusual with Oregon’s summer weather,” reports Dave Budeau, Upland Game Bird Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. That’s always good news for ringneck hatching and production.
“Summer production inventories indicate the number of pheasant chicks per hen (3.4) is above average (2.7), suggesting good production this year,” says Budeau. “Overall abundance as indicated by the number of birds per 10 miles of survey route is still below average, but numbers are similar to last year.”
“Despite the harsh winter weather in our Northeast, Malheur County saw some improvement in pheasant numbers,” says Budeau, “while the Columbia Basin counties saw some decline. These two regions account for the majority of pheasant harvest in the state.”
“The Columbia Basin Counties of Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla, and the northern part of Malheur County, typically account for most of the state’s pheasant harvest,” says Budeau.
“Based on 10-year average annual harvest,” he adds, “game bird area 3 was the most productive with an average annual harvest of 9,809 followed by area 7 with 9,014, and area 5 with 3,041 birds.” See map:
Oregon Hunting Notes
*Oregon is where it all started, when in 1882 Judge Owen Denny had 28 wild ring-necked pheasants from China delivered to Portland. He bred birds, and initiated the first releases in the Willamette Valley. Some birds were shipped to Washington too.
*An average of 13,709 hunters annually pursue pheasants in Oregon. Pheasant harvest from 1990-2016 averaged approximately 48,118 birds per year, but the most recent 10-year average is 26,349 birds per year. During the 2016 hunting season, an estimated 18,583 pheasants were harvested.
Oregon 2017 Upland Bird Hunting Forecast
Oregon Public Land Hunting
Tom Carpenter is Digital Content Manager for Pheasants Forever.