A Hunt Worth Remembering

I looked out the door at 4:30am, and knew that with the stars shining bright and moon radiating the dark sky; it was going to be a beautiful day. We had a long drive ahead of us, but it was all going to be worth it if I could shoot my first pheasant. Since I just sold my Beretta, it was up to my old trusty Mossberg to do the work. acWe got everything loaded into the jeep and headed out to pick up the rest of the crew hunting with us. Even my brother-in-laws new English pointer puppy Gage, was excited for the hunt. 

Scott's Cast and Blast

Lake In The Dunes Pond

Anna Reservoir

After picking up the rest of the group, we headed to Ana Reservoir in Summer Lake, Oregon for a little early morning fishing. I had never been to Summer Lake; I only knew there was a wildlife refuge there. When we rounded the last corner that brought us above the town, we came into the basin that was surrounded by the most magnificent mountains. They were dusted with snow, but the lower portions were painted with brilliant colors. They are known to house deer, elk, and mountain sheep, and the views were spectacular.

Thanks for showing us how it is done

Myself hanging out fishing

We got out our fishing gear at Ana Reservoir, and loaded up the bait on our hooks. I have been told that this reservoir has had record breaking bass and trout taken out of it. I was ready for the challenge of being the only girl in the group that day, and I knew I had to keep up with the boys. I had my grandpa’s old rod and reel by my side and was ready to catch a fish. Unfortunately, I was not the first one to catch a fish, Roy our oldest member of the group did, but I chalked it up to more experience with the pole. He had his fish on a stringer in the water, when our friend’s lab puppy Breezy decided to explore what was flopping around in the water. She tried to grab the fish and it startled her as it flop in her mouth. She let it go quickly, and moved away from the fish. She didn’t want anything more to do with that thing. We all got a good laugh from it.

Enjoying the scenery

We finally got the call from Russell Scott, the owner of Lake in the Dunes. He had released the pheasants for the days hunt, and we were ready for the hunt. We loaded up our fishing gear and made the few miles drive out to his place. His ranch is also surrounded by the beautiful mountains, and was a great backdrop for the days hunt. He introduced us to the land and gave us our instructions for hunting the property and we were on our way. My brother-in-law David took his dad and Gage, the puppy and hunted alongside Russell, my husband, and I, with his dog Luke. It was impressive to watch Luke work, the natural instinct that is bred into those dogs is mind blowing. He was on point with those pheasants so quickly, and what a rush it was when he flushed them out. One pheasant flew up from a ditch so close to all of us, Darren could almost touch it, and three of us pulled up at the same time and brought it down. That was my first experience at bagging a bird.

The hunting cabin

A place inside the cabin to relax

Darren and Bob

Myself and Gage

We had so much ground to cover, as the ranch has 480 acres of area to hunt that I know of. There are several man made lakes that are great for fishing and duck hunting. We hiked miles upon miles, and with the dogs nose as our guide, we hit pheasant after pheasant. After a few hours of hunting, we needed to take a short break for some food at the cabin. I realized next time I come out for the hunt, I definitely need to stay at the cabin. It was really nice, and what a peaceful place to watch a sunset. Since our bodies were refueled, we were anxious to get some more birds. Little did we know Russell had planted a white pheasant. As we approached an area of thick grass, the dogs got excited and out of the brush emerged this all white pheasant. What a surprise this was and the game was on. The pheasant offered Darren a great shot and he blasted it with his Benelli. Right after that he took a black pheasant, it was an exquisite looking bird, and so amazing to see. I have not had this much fun ever, I was on a hunting high. As we were hiking Russell spotted a pheasant trying to hide in the distance. I closed the gap between the bird and I, then took aim and shot. Another bird down and I was so elated with what a great shot opportunity I had. There was going to be some good eating at our house tomorrow.

David and Gage

Gage and the Pheasant

Luke and Gage

Near the end of the day, we made out way to the back of the property. This was one area where we knew birds had been released, but we hadn’t hunted. So, we put Luke and Gage to work, and followed them. In the distance we saw about 3-4 pheasants walking around and Luke got a bit excited and decided he need to get in on the action. He chased after those pheasants, and they were out of there. At the same time he flushed one up and Darren got a kill shot. I think by the end of the hunt, the pheasants were wise to what was going on. There was a mixture of good hiders, and runners, which made it all the more challenging. It was another successful hunt, and extremely fun at that. Even though I was the only girl on the hunt that day, I think I held my own. Who says a women can’t hunt alongside men. I haven’t walked that much in a long time, but got some good hunting in. I highly recommend this hunt to anyone of any skill or age level. We had to work hard to get these birds, and it was completely worth it. It was very addicting and I am ready to go back. The day turned out to be warm, with blue skies and we couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect.

Matt and Jeff

Russell and Darren

Russell and Myself

Our pheasants

Our bounty

Let the cleaning begin

The view from the ranch

To hunt at Lake in the Dunes see their website @ http://www.lakeinthedunes.com/

About the Author

Heather Moore

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a field staff shooter for The Bow Rack in Springfield, Oregon, a field staff member for PursueTheOutdoors.com, a member of the local archery club, Oregon Hunters Association, Women in the Outdoors, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry.