Upland Bird Hunting in the Willamette Valley, Western Oregon
Without the quarry there is no hunt. We have done careful research to find the wildest birds we can. We then use equipment and techniques that provide the most exercise and least possible contact with the birds as they are raised to maturity at 19 to 20 weeks of age.
Although minimum contact is an important goal, we have determined that genetics is the best indicator of wildness. We get our birds as day old chicks from MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. where they have been raising birds for their wild characteristics since 1929. We invite you to visit them on the web at www.pheasant.com for a detailed look at their methods and other services. Of particular interest is their discussion of the Manchurian Ringneck. They are the sole provider of this wilder breed in the U.S.
Although some of our early September birds are from MacFarlane standard ringneck stock, most of our birds are the Manchurian Ringneck crosses. Even though they are a bit harder to raise, we prefer the Manchurians because they are very wild. We would use the birds exclusively, but they will not breed before late April or early May. Although we could use them in early September, we prefer to have a fully mature bird for release. It’s just part of the wilder experience.
We also rear our birds in flight pens that are a bit unusual for the industry. Most pens in the industry are 6 feet in height and provide from 20 to 25 square feet per bird. We think these pens, while providing adequate ground space for the birds, do not provide enough height for adequate flight exercise. We build our pens to ten feet on the sides and about 15 to 20 feet in the center. This gives the birds opportunity to fly over the cover and sustains longer flights with a higher initial rise – more like the wild birds used to do. Our released birds do provide higher rise and longer flight than we have experienced on other preserves. It is worth the added expense.
We do not import birds from other producers: first, because of quality control, and second, because we and MacFarlane both use stringent environmental controls to reduce and eliminate disease. We invite you to visit our production facility, and observe – from a distance.
Our experience tells us that you will enjoy these birds that look, run, and fly like the wild birds. They are an integral part of the Luckiamute Valley Pheasants experience.