The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking successful forest grouse and mountain quail hunters to return a wing and a tail from each bird they harvest.
Look for collection barrels (often bright blue with yellow signs) at major road junctions or highways in popular hunting areas. Barrels will also be at some ODFW offices and popular rural markets.
To find specific barrel locations, visit https://arcg.is/18uj5f or call the ODFW office closest to your hunt.
How to submit your wings and tails
Clip the right wing close to the bird’s body. Submit the left wing if the right wing is damaged (i.e. worn or missing feathers).
Remove all tail and rump feathers by skinning out the lower 2 to 3 inches of the back of the bird and clipping off the tail.
Place wing and tail together in provided paper bag, and write the date of kill and general location where indicated. Do not use plastic bags, which speed decomposition and make the wings and tails hard to use.
Put the wing bags inside the collection barrel or drop them off at the nearest ODFW office (call in advance to arrange drop off, but some offices have barrels outside the office). ODFW will also send additional bags and postage-paid return envelopes, if needed. Call 503-947-6301 for additional bags and envelopes.
Why ODFW collects wings and tails
Biologist use the wings and tails to collect information on species, age, hatch date, recruitment and sex ratios of the birds. They’ll use this information to get a clearer picture of grouse and quail populations that will help determine hunting seasons. Since wing collections started in 1980, hunters have submitted more than 30,000 grouse wings. Wing analysis is only one of several surveys ODFW uses to monitor forest grouse and mountain quail populations in Oregon. The wing data complements other information gathered in production and harvest surveys.
The season for forest grouse is Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 statewide. There is no open season for spruce grouse.
Mountain quail seasons is Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 in western Oregon and Oct. 10 through Jan. 31 in Eastern Oregon.