Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever
President: Dan Eveland
Vice President: Vacant
Secretary: Brad Trumbo
Treasurer: Don Perrigin
Youth Chair: George Endicott
Habitat Chair: Larry Boe
Banquet Chair: Tami Wass
Public Relations: Brad Trumbo
Board of Directors
Chet Hadley (Chair)
Corrie Thorne Hadley
Chapter member Robert Gerhart's 7-month-old English setter locks down a rooster during the Family Hunt.
Blue Mountains Pheasants Forever
About this Publication
Blue Mountains Pheasants Forever is Chapter number 258 of the parent organization, Pheasants Forever. Upland Review is a non-profit publication that contributes a special annual edition to Blue Mountains Pheasants Forever. This special issue highlights the Chapter's annual events and accomplishments, including other feature stories. Any content published herein is attributed solely to its author(s) and does not reflect the official position or views of, or those endorsed by Pheasants Forever.
On The Cover
2018 Chapter Donors and Sponsors
Chapter members are encouraged to submit stories and photos to be included in Chapter publications. Submit material to email@example.com. Please include names of persons in photographs.
Please send all other inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In This Issue
Overlooking some fine wetland habitat owned by Mr. Todd Kimball, as youth hunters pursue wily, September roosters.
In This Issue
7 The Ties that Bind
11 Planting the Future
15 "Dusting One Off"
17 A Family Affair
20 Let Me Count the Ways
21 Feathers in the Mist
24 Bringing The Masked Bobwhite Quail Back
28 A Simple Request
Food, Friends, and Family Fun
Planting the Future
Early Season Roosters
A Family Affair
Animal Clinic WW
Big Cheese Pizza
Blue Mountain Archers
Chet and Corrie Hadley
City Lumber and Coal
Coachman Auto Body
Cost Less Carpet
Frontier East Mini-Storage
Garner's - Pendleton
George and Patty Endicott
Going Fishing Guide Service
Grigg's Dept. Store
Gun Dog Supply
Kyle's Custom Toys
Northwest Farm Supply
Tucannon RV Park
Sportsman's Warehouse (Kennewick)
State Farm, Dayton
The Marcus Whitman
Beer, Wine, and Spirit Donors
College Cellars, WWCC
Craig and Ursula Volweiler
Dusted Valley Vintners
Five Star Winery
Gino Cuneo Cellars
Golden Ridge Cellars
L’Ecole No. 41
Mansion Creek Cellars
Mark Ryan Winery
Pepper Bridge Winery
Second Street Distilling
Sleight of Hand
The Walls Vinyard
Three Rivers Winery
Va Piano Vinyards
Walla Walla Vintners
The Chapter extends it deepest gratitude to our generous sponsors and donors. We could not operate without you!
5 Food, Friends, and Family Fun
9 Planting the Future
15 Early Season Roosters
19 Pheasants Forever Promotes Family Fun
and Getting Outdoors
21 A Season Closed
23 Thank a Farmer
Tables were packed with raffle items at the 2018 banquet, ranging from Stihl chainsaws and engine oil to Canada goose decoys and Ruger pistols, with much more in between.
The Roller Derby girls have been an icon of the Chapter banquet. These ladies volunteer their time each year, assisting with raffle bucket drawings, among other miscellaneous tasks to keep the show on the road.
The 2018 silent auction was brimming with exquisite wines from our local vineyard, winery, and brewing supporters. We received donations from 56 entities contributing approximately 13% of our banquet profit!
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The evening begins with quiet anticipation as Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever Chapter volunteers await the arrival of the masses. The day leading up to the annual banquet was spent placing decadent wines, inciting raffle packages, and flashy firearms. Attractive banners are hung around the room, boasting the generosity of our sponsors.
Each year, the last Saturday in February, Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever holds their annual banquet fund-raiser. Friends and family come together to support the Chapter, as well as enjoy some quality catering and chances to win exciting prizes.
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The Ties that Bind
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In 2018, 321 adults and 25 youth attended our banquet. Food, family, and habitat bring everyone together this night. Funds raised grossed approximately $57,367 with a net profit of approximately $15,470. Funds were distributed among four youth trap shoots held at either the Waitsburg Gun Club or East End Rod and Gun Club, habitat enhancement at the Sudbury and Buckley sites, the youth hunt held at Bennington Lake and Todd Kimball's property, and the family hunt held at the Clyde Shooting Preserve.
Quality duck and goose calls and gift certificates were common among raffle packages.
Remarkable prints, decoys, and calls paired nicely with wines of local vintage.
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Cheers to the discovery that great red wines pair perfectly with an exquisite canine companion.
The Browning ladies shooting package was among the many popular raffle packages.
While dogs, birds, hunting, and wine comprise the major theme of our banquet raffle and auction items, we always try to cater to our lovely lady supporters with a more refined taste.
Digging in the new guzzler install at Sudbury.
Planting the Future
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Grassland management, gallinaceous guzzler maintenance and installation and shrub planting consumed the majority of 2018 for Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever, with a new routine litter removal route on Highway 12.
The Buckley site continues to be mowed to keep weeds at bay, while invigorating the native grasses restored two springs past. Meanwhile at Sudbury, folks moved the uphill guzzler and replaced the rain-catch apron, and installed a new guzzler at the bottom of a large draw. Folks gathered to plug in hundreds of Woods' rose and blue elderberry as well.
Additional clusters of gray rabbitbrush were planted at Sudbury. As these clusters mature, they will provide valuable cover for upland birds and small mammals.
The Habitat Committee is considering additional enhancement sites for 2019. Join us this year in meeting our habitat mission. Support your Chapter. Get your hands dirty for the benefit of wildlife. Be proud of your contribution!
Fresh Woods' rose stems peak above a square of weed barrier fabric at the Sudbury site,
Sudbury's new guzzler is looking sharp and working like a champ!
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Chapter members plant Woods' rose and blue elderberry plugs at the Sudbury site.
Research has identified nesting and brood rearing habitat as the main limiting factors for upland birds throughout much of the country, including the Pacific northwest, Forage and cover are critical brood rearing habitat components that can be achieved through native bunchgrass and forb restoration. Therefore, the Chapter has a strong focus on restoring native grasslands in the Walla Walla Valley, and our stats don't lie.
In 2018, 24 Chapter members volunteered 182 hours to mow, weed, plant shrubs, install and repair guzzlers, and pick up litter. These valuable habitat improvements will provide significant nesting and brood rearing benefits in future years. These accomplishments fulfill our habitat mission, owed to the contributions of our community members, volunteers, and business supporters.
Grassland management at Sudbury. Mowing is a minimum action to keep invasive weeds from going to seed, reinvigorate grasses, and keeping thatch clear for young chick to navigate the habitat. Prescribed burns are the method of choice for the best results.
Brush pile enhancement at the Sudbury site. Quail use these brush piles for roosting and predator avoidance.
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A youth participant dusts a clay during a trap shoot at the Waitsburg Gun Club .
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As the summer sun rises hot against the Blue Mountains, Chapter members prepare for the summer youth trap season, and the 2018 season was one for the books.
The June and August shoots were held at the Waitsburg Gun Club, while the July and September shoots were held at East End Rod and Gun Club. The East End shoots offered a different level of challenge with clay launchers operating at eight different positions. Position six was hard, fast, far, and hidden behind the blinding sun, eluding most participants, young and old.
True to form, our participants ranged in age and experience from first-timers to metaphorical old-timers. The experienced among the Chapter offered coaching tips, and to follow tradition, our resident habitat and pointing dog experts offered informative presentations prior to the shoots at the Waitsburg Gun Club.
Left: A first-time trap shooter receives some coaching at the Waitsburg Gun Club. Above: A clay launches from overhead at East End Rod and Gun Club.
"Dusting One Off"
Below, a variety of pointing dog training gear is displayed during a presentation at the Waitsburg Gun Club.
All youth are encouraged to participate, including those not yet members of the Chapter. The Chapter sponsors annual membership dues, as well as clay targets and shotgun shells. So keep an eye out in the news paper, online, and in our quarterly newsletters for upcoming youth events. We have some interesting trap shoots in the works for 2019!
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“...a rooster busted from the bunchgrass, soaring long and low with the goldens in tow. ”
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Passing the aviary on the right, I knew I was headed in the right direction. Having never been to the Clyde Shooting Preserve, I found winding between the home and various out-buildings past some plywood signs a bit confusing. With the feeling of trespassing, I continued through the expansive valley of grasses and xeric shrubs until reaching the rendezvous, which was overflowing with vehicles, hunters, and boisterous bird dogs.
Wading through the crowd, I was suckered in by a young English setter (on the cover) dancing gleefully in the bed of an old Ford pickup. A sign that I was in good company.
The dull hum of energetic conversation hung in the low humidity of the morning air. Youth participants and their friends and family huddled around the bonfire as light white smoke drifted overhead. Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever Chapter volunteers prepared their dogs and checked in with Kit Lane, owner of Clyde Shooting Preserve.
Not one to make a dashing appearance, Kit emerged from a small building, boarded his side-by-side utility vehicle, and bounced into the grasslands, seeding roosters left and right. Promptly, hunters split into groups, fell in line behind the dogs and handlers, and descended upon the grasslands to try their hands at collecting a rooster or two. And just like that, the family hunt was underway.
Tagging along with the first group afield, two experienced flushing golden retrievers owned by Randy Snyder leapt into action, followed by a German shorthaired pointer and a wirehair pup. The sun had yet to reveal its golden warmth, but was creeping ever closer to kissing the bunchgrass and illuminating the playing field.
If you have never witnessed a pair of flushing dogs “get birdy”, it’s a sight to behold, indeed. Randy’s goldens picked up the first scent and began working tight circles with noses and tails working in equal frenzy. In an instant, a rooster busted from the bunchgrass, soaring long and low
with the goldens in tow. A shot much too risky to attempt, unfortunately defining the theme of the hunt for this group.
With sun on the valley, a group working in the opposite direction was heard employing their wingshooting skills over Makaiwi Wachter’s chocolate lab, Mocha, and Dan Eveland’s English setter, Alex. The birds flew a bit better on their account. I suspect having a setter on the ground was sufficient motivation.
The morning moved along like clockwork with birds put down, dogs putting them up, and successful hunters slipping them into heavy game bags. Participants enjoyed a quality experience with friends and family, and members and volunteers enjoyed working among the participants. Overall, 35 members participated. A turnout that satisfied the Chapter membership, officers, committees, and Advisory Board alike, and has everyone looking forward to next fall’s hunt.
Much appreciation to Kit Lane and the Clyde Shooting Preserve for supporting the Chapter in hosting the event.
A Family Affair
By Brad Trumbo
Let Me Count the Ways
By Brad Trumbo
Back in 2013, I put my first bird dog on the ground for my first season hunting birds over a dog. By the grace of God, we fumbled our way into five pheasant that year. The following couple years I led myself to believe the bird numbers were fewer as I hadn't seen or harvested as many birds as the 2013 season. Come to find out, my assumptions were faulty.
With six seasons behind us ("us" including my oldest setter, Finn) we've learned a thing or two about wily roosters. We weren't seeing birds because they were seeing us and promptly beating feet into the next county. Experience has now remedied some of this.
Well, my setters upheld their end of the deal and found us more birds than ever in 2018, and I brilliantly failed to connect with nearly every one of them. Sure, I have my seemingly legitimate excuses, but it wasn't before reading a few Gene Hill trap shooting articles that I began to contemplate my own excuses for missing so many birds. I tallied eighteen in total. How many did you come up with this season?
My gems: 1) The trigger is too tight; 2) The stock is too long; 3) The shot was too close; 4) I was leading too far; and my favorite 5) Pump guns are too slow.
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Feathers in the Mist
By Brad Trumbo
I moved to Washington a big game hunter by upbringing. My grandfather had hunted elk and mule deer in Idaho a number of years, and as a child in Appalachia, I would stare at the grandeur of mule deer racks and heads upon his cabin room wall. As the flames of the open fireplace danced in the dark, glass eyes of a shoulder mount, I would dream of hunting big muley bucks in the Rocky Mountain states.
Fast-forward to adulthood, my particular interest in antlers had faded significantly, but my desire to hunt mule deer hit hard as I eyeballed the wealth of critters in the farmland surrounding Walla Walla. An avid archery hunter, I spent my first five Septembers chasing muleys with a bow, but as my young bird dogs matured, so did their prowess. Thus, my desire to chase deer during an open upland bird season quickly waned .
Never one to hunt a dog hard in the heat, I found myself waiting for cooler, overcast weather to pursue ruffed grouse. Anyone with Appalachian Mountain roots knows that ruffies can be quite easy to find when it rains. Hence, September rains were my cue to put a setter on the ground in grouse country.
The 2018 upland bird season was no different, and our first day out in September put us on more ruffies than I have seen in Washington to date. Pushing through a soggy creek bottom riparian flanked with elderberry and Woods' rose, my middle pup, Yuba, came to an abrupt halt. The grouse had read my mind as to where I thought they should be. A quick swing of my Fox sixteen-gauge brought Yuba's first ruffie to the vest while steady rain settled in for the afternoon, foreshadowing our successes for the season overall.
The early part of the pheasant season offered splendid, sunny days and mild temperatures, perfect for chasing roosters across the Palouse, yet pinning birds proved difficult. But, as I dropped my setters to run on November 3rd, I could see the rain moving in from the southwest.
Scampering back to the truck, I dropped off my digital SLR camera and donned a rain jacket, returning to the hunt just in time for the first drops to patter my hood. It was my pup Zeta's first real pheasant hunt. With her check-cord around my waist, we worked some bunchgrass alongside an overgrown ditch. She wasn't
sure what she was doing, and the rooster sneaking out ahead of her took clear advantage of this. Rushing in, I put the bird up and brought to vest our first rooster of the year, and Zeta's first bird on a hunt off the farm.
Two roosters met the vest that day. It would have been a limit had my wingshooting been more true. That afternoon, I also collected my first Hungarian partridge.
A few quail made it to the vest between
sunny hunts, each one in the mist or rain. We chased dozens of roosters and even filled a turkey tag one icy morning along the Snake River.
We introduced a young hunter to bird hunting with dogs under a ceiling so low it caught my hat. The girls put on a pointing dog clinic, adding a few more quail to the bag for everyone, and securing a new upland hunter for life.
Our final success of the year put yet another quail in the bag as the girls and I pushed through rain along the Tucannon through blackberry and Woods' rose. The covey rise was surreal and protracted; the covey holding tight as a stiff breeze pushed the rain.
An incredible season with a tremendous number of birds, yet not one hit the vest under a bluebird sky. With February upon us, I reminisce of rainy day magic. As the clouds gather, I daydream of chasing feathers in the mist.
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Do you know how many species of quail exist in the United States? Can you name them all? If you named off Bobwhite, Scaled, California, Gambel’s and Mearn’s, you would have a partially correct answer. There is another quail out there. He’s not well-known and doesn’t get much publicity, but we have driven him to near extinction.
Colinus virginianus ridgwayi, or the Masked Bobwhite quail, as it is commonly known, is the only quail in the United States that is currently on the endangered species list. Being a subspecies of the Northern Bobwhite (although some argue, Masked Bobwhite are their own species), Masked Bobwhite quail are similar in appearance and size to Northern Bobwhite quail, but the males have dark-chocolate faces. By the time it was officially discovered in 1885 in the once arid grasslands of southern Arizona, the Masked Bobwhite quail was already a rare sight.
Not much is known about the ecology of the rare and secretive Masked Bobwhite, but the known historical range once existed on a small sliver of habitat from southern Arizona and extending into northern Sonora, Mexico. It is not known if it was ever widely distributed outside of this range before its discovery. Just as quickly as it was discovered, it quickly disappeared from the landscape.
Masked Bobwhite habitat was unique in the late nineteenth century. They lived in a southern Arizona landscape where the grass was so tall, “it tickled the bellies of horses”. The landscape of southern Arizona was once a sea of native grasses that were specific to the habitat needs of the Masked Bobwhite. Those days are gone. The grasslands in the Arizona territory were too great of an opportunity for cattle ranchers to pass up, and unchecked grazing ultimately had a very negative impact on Masked Bobwhite habitat. Once the habitat was gone, the Masked Bobwhite quickly followed.
By the 1920’s it was believed to have been extinct. Sightings throughout the decades in Arizona confirmed that small and fractured populations still existed, hanging by a thread. During the 1960’s in Sonora, Mexico, small coveys were discovered on ranches which led to the very first attempts to relocate the Masked Bobwhite quail back into Arizona. This strategy brought limited success and ultimately became a captive breeding program years later.
In 1985, the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) was created in hopes of preserving a portion of the known habitat range of the Masked Bobwhite and other wildlife species. BANWR also became headquarters for captive breeding programs, reintroducing captive-bred Masked Bobwhite quail back into the wild. The program had a shaky start, with little success and was ultimately put on the back-burner for some time due to budget cuts.
Today, BANWR has begun to focus on habitat restoration within the refuge and efforts to reintroduce native grasses and remove non-native plants are underway. Captive breeding efforts were outsourced in 2017 by the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center, tasked with breeding new batches of genetically diverse Masked Bobwhite chicks, with hopes of stimulating the population in Arizona. In October of 2017, the Sutton Center released 132 juvenile Masked Bobwhite in the refuge, along with a handful of sterile adult Texas Northern Bobwhite quail to act as surrogates. The hope is these surrogates act as “mentors” for the Masked Bobwhite, showing the younger birds how to seek shelter, avoid predators and locate food in the wild.
In the Summer of 2018 Sutton Center released another 550 Masked Bobwhite in Arizona (along with surrogates). The hopes are that 5-10% of this initial 2018 release will survive through the winter, with supplemental releases to follow, again, hopefully building upon a self-sustainable population of birds in the future. Twenty of these released family groups were still being tracked by radio collars. There have also been visual sightings of the original 2017 groups, so there is some room to be optimistic that this captive-release program may bring better results than in previous attempts.
Though recent efforts to bring back the Masked Bobwhite are promising, many obstacles and uncertainties lie ahead for the Masked Bobwhite. The looming threat of a “wall” may complicate efforts to create viable habitat and perpetuates fractured wildlife corridors, causing a lack of biodiversity. Many ranchers and landowners want nothing to do with an endangered species, especially if it threatens their livelihood or property. With no incentive, there is little interest. The lack knowledge or public support further bogs down efforts. The Masked Bobwhite needs more allies.
I would love to see partnerships with landowners, hunters and like-minded organizations! Cooperation with land owners seems to be a crucial part of this puzzle that are currently missing in this project. In Sonora, Mexico, biologists have worked with landowners and have seen some success with small populations of Masked Bobwhite. Ranchers get an incentive for creating habitat for Masked Bobwhite, much like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the United States. They also get the exclusivity of allowing hunting once Masked Bobwhite coveys are sustainable. If this is not a reason for piqued interest among hunters, I don’t know what will do it!
Quail Forever has been one of the biggest advocates for quail and wildlife habitat restoration and they have gone to great lengths to help bring back declining quail numbers in other parts of the country. I was happy to see a profile on the Masked Bobwhite featured on their site just this past summer (2018). More exposure like this would be helpful, and I hope to see further involvement from the habitat organization. As of this writing, Quail Forever has partnered with US Fish and Wildlife Services in efforts to repopulate the Masked Bobwhite!
The purpose of this article is to bring and spread awareness. My hope is to generate an interest in the Masked Bobwhite quail and restoration of its habitat. I hope we can correct the wrongs of our past and give this quail another chance. Until then, I dream of a day where we can stroll in the hills of southern Arizona, with the whir of Masked Bobwhite wings in the air.
Jorge is an ecologist in California with a passion for pursuing quail with his Ithaca Model 37.
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Bringing the Masked Bobwhite Quail Back
By Jorge Ramirez (www.uplandjitsu.com)
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A Simple Request
By Brad Trumbo
In my younger days (which are not far behind) I used to enjoy flying. Hopping a flight across the country always meant something good was to come. Whether it was coming home from college to visit family and hunt whitetails over the holidays in my Appalachian home town, or traveling to visit a girlfriend at her university, the result was always celebratory.
Times change, however. As the college years slip into the past, family members age, and real-life budgets grow thin. My flights have turned to business and family support in the hard times, not to mention a terrifying landing in Portland, Oregon, one night returning to my Washington home from my grandpa’s funeral. Mourning the loss of a man who largely shaped my life, I stepped off a 737 that had been haphazardly tossed like a child’s paddle ball. Tempting fate no further, I demanded my bag and rented a car.
So, it came as no surprise as my lovely wife, Ali, and I stepped aboard our honeymoon flight to Kauai, Hawaii (nearly five years post-wedding), that I began to
panic a little about flying 3,500 miles over the Pacific. I like to have a contingency plan, and the lack of a solid runway for the duration was more than I could stomach. To kill time and stifle my anxiety, I grabbed a book my father-in-law sent me for Christmas; a compilation of Gene Hill stories from his days as Editor of Sports Afield, last published in the late 1970s (at least this version).
I never knew I was a Gene Hill fan until I really dug into his short stories, and a fine and humorous writer he was. One of my biggest concerns of flying involves the fear of leaving my beloved Llewellin setters in a boarding facility with the slight possibility that I may never return to spring them from what I assume is
perceived as doggy prison.
Turning to the page announcing a story titled Old Tom, it became clear to me that I had a simple request of the good Lord. If you have never read Old Tom, it’s a must. A heartwarming short about an aging man with an elderly setter upon his last day afield. The man decided on one last hunt with Tom before his departure, so they went out to the man’s favorite covert and marked a few roosters coming in to roost.
The following morning, the man and Tom hunted their covert one last time, where Tom proudly pointed and retrieved his final pheasant. The man then took Tom to the veterinarian where Tom breathed his final breath with a snoot full of fresh rooster. The man then buried him at his home. And on perfect evenings, the man would sit by Tom’s grave sipping neat bourbon, recalling the good times as the sun dipped slowly below the western horizon.
Choking up, I folded the corner of the page to mark a remarkable chapter that struck a deep chord in my soul. A man who has enjoyed every facet of the great outdoors now refines his passions to include pointing dogs and marvelously plumed upland birds. Scrambling to retrieve my smart-phone from the seatback pocket, I swiped through the myriad photos of my Llewellin girls and our magnificent hunts of the 2018 season. My heart ached for their impoundment at the pet boarder as I flew further from them with each passing second.
At once, my one simple request hit fast and hard like stepping in front of a bullet train. The opportunity to spend a lifetime chasing my setter’s tail feathers into the upland breeze, and to sit by their final resting places, basking in the warmth of the memories of seasons past as my own remaining seasons become numbered. A mental image of myself flashed through my mind. I was sitting just as the man had done with Tom, sipping a smooth, amber whiskey, smiling to myself, and talking to those I had loved and lost. Those who brought me such joy and frustration over the years. I believe the Lord has a plan for us all. Clearly, he returned me safely home to my setters, to fulfill what prophesy, only He shall know. With my glass held high, I propose a toast to my upland brethren. May we all be blessed with such grace and riches as to live out this one simple request.
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