Pheasant, quail, chukar, and gray partridge provide exciting upland bird hunting opportunities in Washington. Changing land use practices and habitat conditions have had a negative impact on many upland bird species, but good hunting is still available in a number of areas.
Upland bird hunting in western Washington is much more limited than in eastern Washington.
- Designated release sites where pen-reared birds are released provide much of the hunting opportunity to Westside upland bird hunters.
- A western Washington pheasant license is required to hunt pheasant in western Washington.
- Western Washington also offers forest grouse hunting wherever suitable habitat is found. A basic hunting license is all that is required to hunt during the forest grouse season.
Upland bird habitats and hunting opportunities are much more extensive in eastern Washington. Although habitat conditions for upland bird populations may favor eastern Washington, access to hunting land may be very limited in some areas. Be sure to obtain permission from landowners before hunting.
- As with western Washington, forest grouse hunting is also available in suitable habitats. A basic hunting license is all that is required for forest grouse hunting.
- Seasons and bag limits vary considerably for upland bird hunting, so be sure to check the annual Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet before heading afield.
Regardless if you are hunting in eastern or western Washington, success can vary widely from year to year, depending on how weather conditions affect upland game bird populations. Mild winters and low rainfall springs generally favor upland bird populations. Cold winters and cool, wet springtimes, however, are hard on birds.