Desert Pheasants 2-24-18


I Should Upgrade My Account
Feb 22, 2004
Escondido, CA
jeff meeker
26 Blackman Billfisher
My buddy and I haven't been guiding very much at a couple of clubs this season and our dogs really needed the work so we suckered our duck hunting partners into a day of pheasant hunting @ Woodlands Hunt Club on the western edge of the Imperial Valley west of El Centro. We hunted the club a couple of years back and I was a little surprised as the birds he put out were as close to wild as you can get; the roosters ran and had to be tracked and the hens were adept at sticking tight to cover and exploding at the last second. Where we would normally use a 410 or 28 gauge on club birds we had to reevaluate our plan after flushing the first 3-4 birds; the roosters didn't hold very long after the dogs got up on point and with a 20-25 yard head start we didn't have enough lead to consistently put them down so we bumped up to 20 gauge High Base and our results increased. It was about as close as you could get to hunting wild birds in Mexico, very challenging and far from a sure thing. This trip the four of us each bought the 6 birds for $225 package so we knew we would all get a lot of action. Menden set us up in a medium height alfalfa field on the north end of the property next to an irrigation canal. and after getting loaded up and e-collars attached we set up in a line of 4 about 20 feet apart and headed across the field and on our 3rd back and forth pass Gerry's White English pointer had found a running rooster and was in hot pursuit. Before Gerry could find his controller and stop his dog from chasing the bird, it jumped up out of range and flew out of our field and into the desert. Not the start we were hoping for, but soon after my little Shorthair Lucy pointed a bird and Gerry got us on the board with a nice rooster on the first shot. A short while later and both dogs locked up on different birds; Gerry's shooter flushed his bird first and hit the hen a couple of times causing its legs to drop however the bird kept going and made its way over the canal and out to the desert beyond. Lucy still held her point and my buddy Harley was able to knock down his rooster as well. This went on for the next couple of hours in great cool weather while all of us took turns on the first shot at the pointed birds and there were also a few that sustained multiple lethal hits from multiple shooters (ie -Annie Oakly) . We did get a couple of escapees when the birds surprised us all and flew back into the middle of us causing a few of us to hit the dirt but surprisingly everyone kept their cool and waited for the clear shot or passed on the bird. We ended up with 20 of the 24 birds we paid for plus a couple of others from adjacent fields. The Club's bird cleaner came out to the field and picked up our birds for cleaning and had them ready in 2 bird gallon ziplocks at the end of our hunt. We all enjoyed the hunt and Mendel the owner visited us afterwards and asked us if we had a good time and what could he do to make it even better. I asked him if he was using the same bird vendor as he did during my first visit the year before and he said he normally does however this late in the season he has birds trucked in from the Bishop area as the other breeder has a limited supply so he is only able to get enough birds to last until the first of the year. There was nothing wrong with the birds we had; they all were great flyers and held to cover really well. The wild bird breeder uses more square feet per bird to give them ample space to fly and run, but it cuts down on total production so he told us he would be trying to secure a larger allotment of those birds next year. Either way, I'm sure you will have a great hunt and if you don't have a good pointer to help locate your birds he has several fine shorthairs you can rent for your hunt. I would highly recommend Woodland Hunt Club

WOODLAND 2-24-18.jpg
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Bad To The Bone

Not old...Experienced
Mar 17, 2004
Sold it!
Great report Jeff and a great day afield too. The dogs sure did work their hearts out for us. When I got home I gave Bailey a nice warm bath, fed her, and then she promptly put herself straight to bed and stayed there for twelve hours. This morning she looked at me as if to say, screw you, I'm not going anywhere with you today..
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