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Author Topic: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?  (Read 1671 times)

Offline anthropisces

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How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« on: November 25, 2020, 12:51:32 PM »
Hunting pheasants in western Washington is (to me) a sort of a miserable thing to do. There are so many blackberries that I think the birds can easily go deep into that cover where my dog will not go and nor do I want her to. It is generally sopping wet. There are crowds and I don't like to push other people or aggressively try to get a bird when it is not clear who has the right to shooting it.

So I'm interested in going out to a pheasant/chukkar farm on the eastern side so that my dog and I can have an experience that is more enjoyable.

How do those farms work? If you sign up for six pheasants, do they release six pheasants and then you go out and find them? Or are there lots of pheasants already released and we get to shoot up to six of them?

If you have any experience with hunting on a game farm, please tell about it.

Offline Woodchuck

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 01:01:14 PM »
I went to one outside of Peck ID. It was fun. You bought how many ever birds and they would go plant them and then you get cut loose in the area. There were also some birds left from other hunters that did not shoot all theirs. I think it is reasonably priced. Just keep in mind that these are pen raised birds and their tail feathers were not always in great shape. You can bring your own dog or they had "loaners" for a nominal fee.  :twocents:
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Offline tank21

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 01:15:16 PM »
I've been going to miller ranch for a few years now.  I really enjoy it and like the set-up.  You buy the birds you want and they put them out and you go hunt them.  They are real birds and not at all like shooting fish in a barrel.  It is great for the dogs to get to taste success.  Especially young ones.  Last time I bought a punch card of 50 for $1500 and away we went.  Always nice to know you've got a spot and the spot has birds in it.

Offline huntnfmly

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 02:02:26 PM »
Look at cook canyon outside of ellensberg
Good prices and looks like a fun hunt
As stated in other post goes for here they release the birds before you head out and there are some carry over birds as well
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Take as many dam pictures as you want ....
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Offline birddogdad

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 03:08:08 PM »
these places are great to train young dogs or even tune up preseason... i used one years back, would bump the birds more than once to help dog work.. we would pause between to let bird scent and wander a bit before reengage.. was VERY helpful for that.. otherwise put n take is just that...

tosses them out, you go hunt, either you get or you don't the released birds... 
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Offline BD1

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 05:08:25 PM »
We went to Miller Ranch for years...enjoyed every hunt. We have recently moved to Double Barrel which is farther east but such a great time (we chose to do non guided there with our own dogs). For me, it is safer for my dog, less basalt cliffs and strictly field work. Both operations are great from the time you show up to when you leave. Accommodations are great with both. Miller offers cleaning where DB doesn't as far as I know. Both are really well run and have trap shooting on site. They are both great experiences and highly recommend either, just depends on how far you want to go and the terrain you want to hunt. BTW I have a lab so I prefer the fields. Both operations have amazing dogs to hunt over if you choose to.
Best of luck,
Mike BD1
 

Offline NorseNW

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2020, 05:29:51 AM »
It's not cheap but I do love the experience.  If your dog is new some places will "flag" the birds right before you go into the area to hunt.  Place the bird in some cover and put a marker flag in the ground.  It doesn't guarantee the bird is there but you have a good idea of where to get the dog to work. 

One thing I don't think was mentioned - probably the number one thing for me is there is no one else in sight or competing for the area.  They set up the birds in an area and you hunt them.  I can usually hear distant shots from other hunters but no where near me.  Well worth the 2-3 trips I'll make a year.  I wish it was different but it is what it is.

Offline gasman

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020, 04:14:13 PM »
Hunted Cooke Canyon a few times with other forum members, had a blast. Great for training my new dog.
Alice and Doug are great people, Alice always has a meal for hunters after their hunt, the pheasant stew she makes is awesome.
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Offline follow maggie

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2020, 09:20:41 AM »
I also used to go to Cooke Canyon when Maggie was young. Doug & Alice are great people. Doug trained Maggie for me & turned a shy pup into a hunting machine. You can have the birds just released on your arrival, or, if youíre training a young dog, they can make them dizzy for you or hobble or tether the birds so youíll be sure to get the pup on them.

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2020, 09:27:58 AM »
I've done Double Barrel near Spokane a few times, and it's a good spot.   Good folks.   

Offline anthropisces

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2020, 08:50:01 PM »
BD1 are you saying that a labrador is better suited to fields than to rockier terrain compared to something like a pointer?

Offline cougforester

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2020, 09:10:09 PM »
I was out at Millers yesterday and had a blast. They have some beatiful birds to chase.

Offline BD1

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2020, 09:47:07 PM »
BD1 are you saying that a labrador is better suited to fields than to rockier terrain compared to something like a pointer?

Not nesicarly...just that my dog is primarily a duck dog but a good  upland hunter. The cliffs are no issue for the pros, I watched the dogs from miller run straight down them without a second thought (pretty cool actually) but I was worried my dog was going to take a header following. Everything went fine...it is a great place...was just worried sometimes that my dog would get hurt not knowing how to traverse that intense terrain at times.

Offline anthropisces

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2020, 10:27:00 AM »
Two of us decided to go out to Miller Ranch yesterday and we had an absolute blast. We paid for 10 birds, we found 8, and we killed 7. I think on other days it is likely that a person would see more than they paid for since there are some left-over released birds running around.

Our Lab Luna had the time of her life. She had never experienced so much positive reinforcement.

We started out from Stanwood at about 5:30am and easily arrived by 11:00. That included a 45 minute breakfast stop, gassing up, etc. it was about a bit over 4 and a half hours for us to drive out there.

We especially enjoyed Millers because of the topography. When we arrived we were given a choice of areas to hunt and we decided on area 2, which is maybe the smallest, but had more rapid topography change compared to the more rolling-hills of the adjacent areas. We were able to cover it pretty thoroughly over the course of about five hours.

Millers is a mixture of fields and basalt outcroppings, there are small groves of brush/trees interspersed with meadows. The terrain made the outing all the more fun. It is ranges from easy to just mildly strenuous. There was an inch of snow on the ground and 35- 40 degrees during our hunt.

Most of the birds gravitated toward the edges of the fields near the basalt. The day was a bit windy and the birds were maybe trying to stay close to the short basalt walls for shelter. Luna quickly learned that focusing on those sloped edges of the fields was going to provide birdies. Her confidence grew over the course of the day. She's hunted at the Western Washington release sites and with me for Grouse but none of that provided action that was anything close to this. When we were pretty worn out I let her go out further than normal to scour the field for a bird that she plainly knew was out there. Although we'd already walked that field the bird was probably "onto" us and was running around, keeping well ahead of us.  Without the humans holding her back, she quickly picked up the scent and then was blazing back and forth and finally she flushed it to us for the final kill of the day.

Some of the shots were really easy. Some were challenging.

After the hunt, it was a pleasant surprise to be introduced to the clean, well-equipped room for cleaning the birds. There is a custom stainless table that drains to a huge sink, and there are several wash-down sprayers. We each selected one of the sharp knives and a pruner (for cutting off legs and wings) from the shelves and then we made short work of our harvest. Finally we bagged the meat into zip-lock bags provided by Millers at no additional charge.

The people at Miller's are super friendly and helpful. The place has the genuine upland bird vibe that is distinctly missing when hunting the western release sites. It is dry with the kind of cover that is traditionally associated with upland birds.

If you go, you'll probably get in a shot that has a fish-in-the-barrel feel. We had one and we just couldn't stop laughing over it. You'll also probably have shots where the bird flushes out of heavy brush and then is about to disappear over an outcropping and you wing it from a long way off and then it starts running and your dog has to pull out all the stops to bring it back. I had one of those as well. If you live in Western Washington then you'll have plenty of time to talk about what a great time you had on the drive home.

 

Offline KFhunter

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Re: How do the pheasant/chukkar game-farms work?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2020, 10:37:57 AM »
Great write up thanks

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