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Look to the South Coast for uncrowded waterfowl hunting

GOLD BEACH, Ore – Waterfowl hunters can look to the uncrowded South Coast for good opportunities to harvest a holiday goose or duck.

Curry County
Wildlife biologist Bree Furfey recommends the New River Aleutian Goose hunt, an excellent opportunity for waterfowl hunting on private lands with friendly landowners who know where to direct hunters for a successful hunt.

During the early season hunt, most hunters harvested Aleutian geese and most got their bag limit. Now that rains are beginning to flood up this area, more ducks should be showing up (Duck Hunting Zone 1). The New River hunt is made possible through ODFW’s Access and Habitat Program. Contact Furfey for information on this hunt: 541-247-7605

The New River hunt (South Coast Zone):

Open Dec. 21 – Jan. 11, 2020 and Feb. 22 – Mar. 10, 2020 for goose.
Open now through Jan. 26, 2020 for duck and merganser, and scaup.
Coos County
Good numbers of waterfowl migrated into the area and more should be coming with the arrival of winter storms. Limited precipitation this year means ducks will be found in the highest concentrations in the lower bays. When winter storms inundate inland valleys, birds will redistribute to agricultural lands that become flooded inland from the coast.

Until significant precipitation occurs, hunters can concentrate on the salt-water portions of coastal bays. Once the rain comes, hunters should follow ducks and geese to the inland agricultural fields.

Remember, it is imperative that hunters get permission before hunting private lands. The Coquille Valley Wildlife Area is a good place for waterfowl hunting. Permits show about 50 visitors a week with the majority hunting waterfowl.

Sea ducks provide another hunting opportunity with surf scoters the most common on the Southern Oregon coast. Interesting looking birds, males have a black body with a clownishly colorful face and bill, and a white spot on the back of their head. Hunters who harvest these birds generally feel they are good table fare if cooked properly.

Charleston wildlife biologist Stuart Love says although sea ducks are not particularly large, they are quite tough and can be difficult to kill. Hunters should not skimp on shot size if they plan to hunt them. They also can be difficult to decoy, and most serious sea duck hunters consider four dozen decoys a minimum.

Hunting is not allowed in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coastal beaches. Luckily, large numbers of sea ducks will congregate in coastal bays and in many of them, hunting is allowed. Also, know that a sea duck permit is required along with license and stamps to hunt these birds.

Zone 1 duck and merganser and Zone 1 Scaup open through Jan. 26, 2020.
Zone 1 Wilson’s snipe open through Feb. 26, 2020.
Southwest Zone regular goose season open through Jan. 26, 2020.
South Coast Zone (west of Hwy. 101) opens Dec. 21 – Jan. 11, 2020 and Feb. 22-Mar. 10, 2020.

Check the 2019-20 Oregon Game Bird regulations.