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OR – HUNTING – Migration Alert: Oregon Hunters Off to a Strong Start

Oregon’s duck season opened with a bang, and despite low water conditions, hunters continue to do well. “Things look great!” declared Brandon Reishus, waterfowl coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “My metric is Sauvie Island (Wildlife Area), and it’s off to a fantastic start. It’s far and away the best start to the season we’ve seen.” Indeed, Oregon’s most popular public hunting area typically starts strong, but the action quickly abates before northern birds begin to arrive later in the season. This year, however, the hunting success at Sauvie Island has consistently averaged between two and three birds per gun, by far the best kickoff to a duck season in a long time. Same, too, for Summer Lake in southeast Oregon and Klamath Lake, which Reishus proclaims as a habitat improvement success, where hunting has been “phenomenal.” Even Ladd Marsh in northeast Oregon and the Mid-Columbia River refuges are seeing better than usual hunting. While wigeon numbers seem to be lagging inland, the always reliable Oregon Coast has plenty, especially in Tillamook Bay, where wigeon winter in impressive numbers. A mix of wigeon, mallards and teal have been holding in the lower Columbia estuary. “We’re definitely seeing signs of an early migration,” agrees Kelly Warren, DU regional biologist in Oregon. “There are more pintails than we’ve ever seen, and the early storms on the coast pushed some of the birds into the Willamette Valley.”  [full article]

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