The beautiful Willamette Valley land that you will hunt has been in the Cates family since 1945 when our father, Eldon Cates, started farming it. He came to Western Oregon from Utah and California searching for somewhere “God provided the water, not a ditch”. Indeed the Luckiamute River provided the water and today its valley provides the varied terrain for our hunting units. It still irrigates some of our bird cover. Our drinking water still comes from the same spring that Eldon tapped for his family in 1945, with some modern modifications of course. The original house has been removed, but the old barn was there in 1945. It is patched and modified, as all things on working farms are, but some of the original timbers are still there. The barn currently serves dual purpose as equipment storage and as a weather avoidance gathering place for our guests.
The farm produced a variety of crops over the years with cattle, sheep, sweet corn, snap beans, strawberries, wheat, sugar beets, clover seed, hay and other crops each taking its turn as the markets changed and crop rotations dictated. These crops and the ditch-edge habitat provided between and among them produced good cover for the pheasants and quail we hunted. We have noted that the focus on large grass seed operations has vastly reduced or eliminated this habitat in the Willamette Valley. With the cooperation of our lessee, Steve Hamilton, we are establishing edges along and within the grass production areas.