Oregon – California Quail Good, Fair for Mountain Quail

Forecast: Following a positive 2010 season, California quail in northwest Oregon are continuing their upswing, says Dave Budeau, upland game bird coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Last year, more than 15,000 hunters targeted Oregon quail, with a combined take of more than 57,000 California and Mountain quail.

Below average temperatures and above average precipitation extended into June 2011; however, quail nest later than many of Oregon’s other upland game birds and most broods should have hatched after the cool and wet weather. On the east side of the state where moisture is limited, spring weather resulted in good habitat conditions and it is expected late hatched broods will have good survival.

California quail counts are up 18 percent from 2010 and are also above the recent 5-year average. Mountain quail numbers appear down from last year and the recent 5-year average, but the number of chicks observed per adult was above average in 2011.

Season Dates: September 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012 in western Oregon and October 8 through January 31 in most areas of eastern Oregon
Daily Bag Limit: Western Oregon 10 in aggregate, eastern Oregon 10 California quail and 2 Mountain quail (where open)
Possession Limit: Generally twice the daily bag limit, but only 2 mountain quail may be possessed in open areas of eastern Oregon. Check regulations.
Field Notes: Oregon was one of 17 states receiving funds through the 2008 Farm Bill CPA-HIP program. One of three priorities in Oregon is to improve public hunting access to private lands in the Columbia Basin. Fall 2011 will be the first year of the program and locations of newly enrolled properties will be available on the agency website at Oregon Department of Wildlife.

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