Upland Bird Hunting in the Willamette Valley, Western Oregon

Luckiamute Valley Pheasants operates two licensed hunting preserves.  

Our Pedee preserve contains 315 acres which is divided into two upland bird hunting units. Both contain some hillside areas and part of the flatter bottom-land area along the Luckiamute. The bottom area includes a diverse habitat area and can provide some easy and difficult hunting. The riparian areas along the river provide some short shots in more brushy areas. The retrieves can be challenging for the dogs and may be in-water. The edge habitat we have created in the bottom provides some longer shots, easy retrieves, and near level walking. The large Ash, Maple and Cottonwood trees and views of the Luckiamute make this part of each area enjoyable, just for the scenery.

Much of the area that you will hunt has been reclaimed from idle land where we used to pasture cattle and sheep. These areas are steeper, but we have planted cover on the contour so that the areas hunt as if they were nearly level. The cover varies with wheat, sorghum, sunflower and native grasses and shrubs providing excellent holding areas for the birds. Views of the beautiful Willamette Valley from these areas are spectacular. They should be hunted slowly and enjoyed.

We have developed two hunting units that will provide a good day’s hunt, and will continue to develop and enhance these in the years to come.

The westernmost unit is Unit 1 contains a hedgerow area that is contoured along a relatively gentle slope overlooking the valley and providing excellent views during the hunt. Walking is relatively easy in the standing grain or native grass between the hedgerows. Birds tend to run a bit on the sides of the hedgerows, or just sit tight and flush close. There is good drinking water for dogs on both the east and west ends of this part of the unit. This unit also contains a major portion of the bottom area. It has pockets of habitat in the center of the grass-cropped bottom area, some native grass among young trees, other edge habitat along the field edge, and some very unique and challenging areas in the riparian zone along the river. The trails along the river often provide water retrieves and of course, water for dogs.   It also contains a seasonally ponded area that provides excellent pheasant habitat and holds the occassional duck.  We would recommend this unit for those who like a relatively easy walk. The hunt can be as long as you want to make it.

 

Click here for Slide Show of Unit 1

 

The easternmost unit is Unit 2 and has quite varied habitat. It has areas of wheat and other grain crops planted as habitat on the contours of a west sloping field. Native grasses grow between these planted areas and among the young Christmas trees in the center. The area includes some areas that are brush covered and provide a more challenging hunt. Some of these areas are fairly steep but provide the kind of jump shooting we experienced growing up. Unit 2 also includes the part of the grass-cropped bottom that has partially flooded areas in the winter months. These areas are planted with various crops, mostly corn and sorghum with some small grain and sugar beet ground, which provide very good cover for birds while permitting very open shooting. There is also an area of trails along the river in the riparian zone.  This unit is easily walkable, but the upper area is probably a bit more difficult than Unit 1.



Click here for Slide Show of Unit 2

 

Our Maple Grove  preserve contains 340 acres and also has our bird rearing operation.  On that preserve, we are currently operating one 100+ acre unit that is very similar to the bottomland and Riparian areas of the Pedee preserve.  A fourth unit of 125+ acres is used sparingly and is dominated by timberlands and a creek bottom.  Unit 4 is not as well developed at this time and is scheduled only for special events.

The bottomland unit, scheduled as unit 3, is our flattest area.  It has a large amount of edge planted with strips of corn and sorghum.  It also has a number of feed-plots and strips in the middle of the open farmed fields somewhat similar to the Pedee preserve, but more extensive.  There are areas of small grain stubble as well as open grass cover.  This unit also has an area of reforested alder and fir along the river that provides some edge habitat for both quail and pheasant as well as other species.  This unit also has considerable frontage on the Luckiamute and has some of the same type of riparian hunting area of Pedee preserve.

Unit 3 is nearly a flat walk and is the easiest to hunt of our three units.   This area is very good for people with limited mobility or getting young dogs or young hunters on birds.  It also works well for single-hunters.  It provides good cover among the cropped areas as well as open shots over those cropped areas.  As with all of our units, we will continue to develop and improve this one in the future.

 

Click here for Slide Show of Unit 3