This has been a very mild winter here in Oregon. Aside from the usual rainy weather, our temperatures have been in the 40 degree range. Oregon’s upland bird season lasts five months. It starts in September and ends in January. October was unseasonably wet. Other than the rain, the game birds were very friendly to us.

Here are some tips to make your winter upland hunting experience successful:

 Tip #1

Dress for the weather! In Oregon, that can be a challenge. Some days are warm, most days are wet, occasionally, the weather is very cold and snowy. I find that the back of my SUV has a whole wardrobe of gear! I believe that I hunt better when I am comfortable. Always wear your safety orange! I do carry a daypack with me in case I need to shed some clothing, and the daypack provides a place for water, snacks and dog treats!

 Tip #2

Keep your Shotgun ready I am a stickler for gun maintenance. Make sure your shotgun is clean and well lubricated. Take your shotgun out for a trial run. My boys and I love to shoot trap. This is a great way to check your gun, to make sure everything is functioning properly. After a day at the trap club, make sure to clean your gun before the hunt.

 Tip #3

Have a Great Bird Dog. “Indiana Jones” is a great dog. He has enhanced my life by showing me unconditional love. Moreover, in the field, he has a job to do! Have your dog trained by a professional. Professional training allows your dog to perform his job, and make your hunt enjoyable. Be a responsible pet owner. Make sure your dog has water, food,Indiana Pheasant HuntCredit: Photo by Cathi Von and snacks. Please don’t neglect safety wear for your dog. Keeping your dog in shape is paramount for a successful hunt. That means lots of exercise for “Fido!”

 I love winter upland bird hunting! I love having Indy by my side and the smell of gunpowder in the air. I love the sound of geese honking overhead, and the cackling of pheasants in the distance. I love watching Indy get on the scent of a bird. I love watching my dog hold the bird, and after the shot, retrieve it back to me! Sitting down for a break, viewing our success, and sipping on something warm with my dog, makes me appreciate all I have here in my beloved Oregon.