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beginner requesting small game hunting tips

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Howdy everyone,
I'm in my thirties and wasn't raised around hunters so after about a year of reading posts on this site and doing other research I going to tempt some small game hunting now that most of the seasons have opened up. I plan on going to Sauvie Island labor day weekend to bow hunt for rabbit and dove in the northern unit. I also found a small area not too far from Portland where hunting is legal called "Grand Island Greenway" I will check that place out soon.
I have been doing a lot of reading on rabbit, dove, pigeon, grouse and squirrel hunting but I want to reach out to the local community on good techniques and places to hunt small game. I want to stick to traditional archery because it's fun and seems to offer more hunting opportunities near the city but I do have shotguns and rifles too.
If anyone would be willing to share some wisdom I would greatly appreciate it.

Also how does one contact land owners for hunting permission in the modern age. with rabbit and dove/pigeon being a pest to farmers I was wondering if I could spin it as a free pest control service, but I don't want to be impolite so let me know what you all think about that.

Thank you.
 

Joe13

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Kudos if your doing that with a bow;)

Didn’t get taught to hunt as a kid either, just keep beating on doors and learn as much as you can.

The less questions you have the more people in the hunting world open up is my experience.

Been at it 7 years and still haven’t got any big game but I keep trying.
 
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Been hunting SI for a couple of decades now. Rabbits and dove are scarce on the North Unit. Quail are present but are really hard to dig out of the blackberries. Labor Day weekend will also have non-hunters out hiking the trails.

Unless you like losing arrows in the blackberry bushes, you would be better off ditching the bow and shifting to the east side units for dove/quail and the fee pheasant hunt later in the month with a shotgun. A dog would be extremely helpful as well. Non-toxic shot required.

Late season snipe hunting can be pretty good on the North Unit if you time the tides right. Dogs not necessary for those.

If you haven’t done it, take a hunter safety course.

Welcome to the board.
 
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AndyinEverson

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Some general guidelines...

When hunting pick up after yourself...no spent shells , no gut piles , make sure the campfire is out , etc...
If hunting on private land...it is a good idea to have the land owners contact information and permission written down and on your person...

When stalking , walk in short "bursts"...as in walk a few yards...then stop look around and listen...then walk a few more yards...stop , look , listen....
Old logging roads with cover on the side and grown up areas of brush in the middle are ideal for rabbits and grouse...
Be aware that in some areas , you may encounter hikers , bikers and other non hunters....be sure of your target and always have a back stop....

If not in shape now...get in shape...small game hunting , involves far more walking than shooting...
Carrying water is a must , especially in the early season , when it can still get hot...

One doesn't need a heavy gun or load to get small game...
a .22 rifle or shotgun with # 7 1 /2 shot or #6 shot , 2 3/4 size shell...works pretty darn good for most small game...
Archery is tricky as you will lose or break arrows..I have gotten both rabbit and grouse while using my Osage longbow...
Pre-season practice is key...
Cheap target arrows , with .38 special shell cases as heads , work well for this use...

As for contacting land owners...
Its best done face to face..with you being on your best behavior and dress...
That and luck...
Andy
 

bbbass

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I have been doing a lot of reading on rabbit, dove, pigeon, grouse and squirrel hunting but I want to reach out to the local community on good techniques and places to hunt small game. I want to stick to traditional archery because it's fun and seems to offer more hunting opportunities near the city but I do have shotguns and rifles too.
If anyone would be willing to share some wisdom I would greatly appreciate it.

Also how does one contact land owners for hunting permission in the modern age. with rabbit and dove/pigeon being a pest to farmers I was wondering if I could spin it as a free pest control service, but I don't want to be impolite so let me know what you all think about that.
Not sure about hunting pigeon, if it's legal to hunt common domestic pigeons. That said, many farmers will let you clean out their barns as pigeons are a nuisance and their dropping are a disease vector. Just drive in, walk up and ask nicely. I used to do the same thing when I wanted to hunt ground squirrels or rockchuck (marmot) on a farmers land... rather than asking to hunt, I offered to help them manage their field pests.

Hitting rabbits on the run with a bow would be a hoot. Hitting doves on the fly not so much. I can barely do either one with a shotgun. Franklin/blue grouse sitting on a tree branch or stump might be your best shot.

Welcome to the hunting community... have fun!!!
 
Squirrel hunting is not so much an offensive ( pursue / tracking) sport, as a defensive one. looks for fresh chewing's. Once you catch a glimpse of one, sit down somewhere close and comfortable, and wait for him to make his move. The quieter your are, and the less movement you make, the more you will piss him off for invading his territory. Once he starts chittering at you to move along, he is doomed. If he is too far away, no worries, he will eventually get closer, just incase he was not succinct in his point. Boom, (or maybe whoosh of an arrow) Many squirrels are a tasty little treat maybe buried in a creamed cabbage casserole.:) two or three even better.;)
 

DirectDrive

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Not sure about hunting pigeon, if it's legal to hunt common domestic pigeons.
LOL

Hehehe
The first time I heard this, I thought....these crazy Oregonians are shooting pigeons ?
Then I found out.
These are a very special breed of pigeon....the Bandtail.
They are a very beautiful and statuesque, migratory bird.
They are like a giant-size Mourning Dove.....sleek, fast and tough to bring down.

When I first engaged this creature, I thought trap loads would do it.
After all, they are just a giant dove.
WRONG !
You want "hot sixes".....chukar loads, to bring them down.
They laugh at trap loads.

Mineral water and elderberries are what they like.
I've taken my share....they are decreasing in numbers and limits have been reduced.
They eat like duck, dark meat.
 
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DirectDrive

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In the Nehalem estuary there is a mineral spring that we would hunt.
One day a guy came out with a black powder, twice-pipe smokepole.
It was quite a sight to behold when he touched it off.
Lotsa smoke !
 
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You are getting some very good info and I would like to add you need to spend some time with the Hunting Synopsis and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the legalities of all the game you plan to hunt.
Just because its 'small game' does not mean it is necessairly legal to hunt.

Good luck and welcome from Wickiup Junction!
 
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Reno

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Rabbit and squirrel tips I’ve got.

Get a small mirror, survivor type, or any small 2”x4” piece of smooth plastic or glass and a piece of styrofoam. Rub them together and you get a great distress call. Works great to get the little guys to pop their heads out of their holes to see what’s going on. You can also achieve this by sucking on the web of your thumb after licking it wet slightly.

Rabbits don’t always just walk around. They usually stay close to their holes during most parts of the day. So walking around just makes them burrow longer. I’ve had best results staying put, staying quiet and working the mirror with styrofoam.

17 HMR is your friend. I’d probably never get a rabbit working an arrow gig. Gave up on 22 too. 17 just outdid 22.

Squirrel are easy really. I cheat too so there is that. Go to store. Buy corn cobs. Go to area you last saw squirrel. Place corn cobs sparingly. Sit. Wait. Shoot.

The mirror and styrofoam works okish on squirrel too. It usually gets them to at least stop and look. I usually just make a mouth squeak over the mirror as I’m likely looking at the little guy through a scope with the finger on the trigger.

Woody squirrel suck. Usually they are territorial so if you see one in a wooded area. Likely he is the only guy in that area. Unless some challenger is up to no good stealing his goods. Walking around a lot in woody areas can harvest more. A good day walking the woods. However don’t think it will actually be fruitful. Practice shooting standing. Or use a shotgun in these areas.

Squirrels love clearcut areas. All the nooks and crannies make great living quarters. Set up overlooking one and wait. Or crawl down in and set up some corn. Wait. Sit. Shoot. Clearcuts suck, crawling in to retrieve your kills isn’t fun.

That’s all I got for ya. Best of luck and most importantly be safe and have fun.

Also. Our rangers and Leo’s can be a PITA to deal with at times. Make sure to have all your documentation on hand. I’ve met rangers that seriously need a better understanding of their own rules and regs. Walking the woods with a rimfire and a bright orange vest, one would not think that person is poaching elk or deer, but hey, I’m no official.
 

bbbass

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The first time I heard this, I thought....these crazy Oregonians are shooting pigeons ?
LOL... I was referring to the common domestic pigeons that infest barns, underpasses, bell towers, etc. I'd have to look up if they are legal to shoot. But we used to trap them and use them in our pointing breed field trials. Swirl the head around and get them dizzy, then tuck the head under the wing, and place them gently under a bush/sagebrush. Then run a couple of dogs in a head to head competition for judges score. Not sure it was legal, but it was fun.

Yep, I barely remember reading about hunting Bandtail Pigeons... like Mourning doves, they are tremendous fliers and are often taken pass shooting coming out or going to feeding areas. I've heard it's a real challenge. Squab is good eating just like Mourning Doves. I used to marinate the dark meat breasts in olive oil, onion, parsely, and wine.... the wine is the secret to good dove eating!!

Here in NE Oregon, we are infested with Eurasion Collared Doves.. they are a predatory species that forces other species out of an area. There are tons of them in my neighborhood and none of the doves that I used to see. They should be gotten rid of. Need to get the pellet rifle out.
 
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Domestic pigeons fall into the invasive/nuisance species and aren't protected. Fire away, whenever and however you like.

All birds except starling, house sparrow, Eurasian collared-dove, and rock pigeon are protected by federal and/or state laws and may not be taken without authorization.
 

AndyinEverson

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We seem to have "hangers full" of those Eurasian Collared Doves around here , where I live.
Mostly they tend to hang out in farmers fields...in city limits...but I do see 'em at times where I hunt as well.

Been tempted a few times when out after grouse to take a shot at them...
Andy
 

bbbass

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We seem to have "hangers full" of those Eurasian Collared Doves around here , where I live.
Mostly they tend to hang out in farmers fields...in city limits...but I do see 'em at times where I hunt as well.

Been tempted a few times when out after grouse to take a shot at them...
Andy
Those are seagulls, Andy! Be careful, they'll poop on you!!! ;):D
 

bbbass

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We have several flocks of Seagulls where I teach...nothing like freshly washing your truck and a seagull or ten poop all over it...:mad:
Andy
Living in Brookings and Huntington Beach I learned a thing or two about seagulls. When visiting the pier or the beach it cracked me up to see tourists holding an arm up in the air to feed a seagull french fries or whatever... only to rx a huge splat on face, hair, jacket, sweater, etc. Just don't get it in the mouth! Yuck!!!!!
 
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Finding locations to hunt?
Spend $20 and go get the OnX mapping for your smartphone. It'll tell you who owns what land and gives you names and phone numbers. Many of the tree farms allow hunting, ODFW's website shows who participates, and you should contact the tree farm to confirm. Sometimes calling multiple times you'll get different answers. As always, be polite, be tactful, be responsible and choose your words according to how they would like to be treated.

Some great tips have already been given. READ THE REGULATIONS! Both the Game Bird and Big Game regs.

Pigeon = Rock Dove. The common Rock Dove is unprotected. Shoot as many as you can find. Starlings too. English sparrows as well.

Common rats:
Barns, residential areas, old structures, lots of fun for rats. Use pellet gun or .22 bird shot. Some hay farmers and horse facilities will allow you to clean out rats and pigeons since they soil the hay that they feed their expensive equines.

Nutria & Racoons:
Commonly found inside city limits. Unprotected. If you're hunting them for sport you harvest as many as you want. They are all over the metro area in creeks and "green spaces" between roads and such. If you're hunting them for pelts, you have to go through the effort of getting a furbearers license and all those regulations apply.

Tree Squirrels:
Red Squirrels - non-native, and displace native squirrel, so OK to hunt. Same with eastern gray which is typically found in the valley. No limits from what I understand. The Western Gray Squirrel is a game animal and has a season. Western Gray squirrel is found typically outside the "normal metropolitan areas." The rest of the tree squirrels are protected.

Ground Squirrels:
Beldings and California Ground squirrels are unprotected. The rest are protected, just like chipmunks. These you can often find in clear cuts, fields, urban areas.

Rabbits:
Mostly unprotected. There's a lot of wabbits around. Morning and evening are better chances of finding them moving around.
 

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