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On-the-Spot: Raahauges

On-the-Spot: Raahauge’s Pheasant Club cures the duck hunter blues

BY PAT YOUNG/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 19, 2018

DUNNIGAN — Has lousy duck hunting success due to lack of weather and birds got you down?? A trip to Raahauge’s Pheasant Club will cure the hunting blues and sent you home with a brace of pheasants or chukar.

On Jan. 11, I headed down to Raahauge’s with my son, Michael, and good friend Greg Cadaret to cure our duck hunting blues. We arrived at 8 a.m. to cloudy skies with a light southerly breeze and checked in with owner Donna Raahauge. Donna graciously set us up with her number one dog handler, Steve Rambo, and his sporty German Shorthair, Ace.


raahauge_pheasanthuntingPHEASANT HUNTING IS going strong at Raahauge’s Pheasant, Chukar and Sporting Clays out of Dunnigan, and waterfowlers have a habit of stopping by for some action after a slow day in the blind. Here Steve Rambo and “Ace,” Mike Young, and Greg Cadaret had a great late morning shoot for pheasants and chukar.

A short drive to a nearby field that was a nice combination of flats, a drainage ditch, and gentle rolling hills put us quickly in action. Michael and Greg loaded their guns while I readied my camera and we were off to a hot start as Ace quartered gracefully through the flat and locked up on a solid point. For me, watching a good dog work is the best part of a bird hunt. Rambo had the guns move into place and flushed a big rooster that fell to Greg’s Citori. We knew there were at least 5 pheasants, a mix of roosters and hens, in the field and within 30 minutes Ace had found all of them and Michael and Greg dropped them in fine form.


If you have limitations with mobility, Raahauge can set you up in a field that will provide you with an easy hunting experience.


After getting back to the trucks for a drink and to unload the pheasants, Raahauge had a few chukar and another pheasant planted in the field and we were off again to watch Ace work the cover and lock up on beautiful points. The first chukar made it out of the field into the nearby hills — our first miss, but we marked where it landed and continued on through the field until we had collected the rest of the chukar and the one rooster. A walk up the hill toward where we had seen the chukar land provided our last opportunity of the day and Michael scored the last of the ten birds that were harvested.


We worked our way back to the trucks, had a drink, told a few lies, and then headed back to the clubhouse to check back in with Donna and drop the birds off with the lovely ladies that provide the great cleaning service. The bird cleaning operation uses the hot water bath method of scalding the birds and has a spinning tub picking machine that makes your bird look like a Foster Farms chicken when it’s done — a beautiful job for just $5 per bird.


Raahauge’s is open 7 days a week and has a number of special events planned over the next couple of months. First, be sure to stop and visit the Raahauge’s display at the upcoming ISE Expo at Cal-Expo from Jan. 18-21 at Booth 953 in the Mezzanine Building.


raahauge_mikeyoung
MIKE YOUNG, Steve Rambo with Ace, and Greg Cadaret (left to right) with 5 pheasants from the first half of our morning shoot at Raahauge’s Pheasant, Chukar and Sporting ClayS out of Dunnigan last week.


For a great day in the field at a great price, plan on attending the 4 th Annual Terry Raahauge Memorial Hunt on February 3. Pheasants will only cost $25 and chukar $15. Participants will get a free tri-tip lunch and have an opportunity to win raffle prizes of hunting gear provided by Kittle’s Sporting Goods of Colusa.


Next up, Raahauge’s will host a Fish and Game Kids Shoot for youths 17 and under on March 10 with signups being taken until March 9. The event is free and includes a lunch and shotgun shells — what a deal for youth hunters!!


Raahauge’s also has a great 17 station sporting clays course that hosts a whole schedule of NSCA Registered Shoots—check for the schedule beginning in March. A round of sporting clays only costs $35. If you have a hunting dog, Raahauge’s sponsors a rattlesnake avoidance class in March that can save you from the loss of your hunting partner or at the least a huge vet bill. Individual dog training is provided using live snakes that are muzzled or defanged so there’s no chance of danger to the dogs!


For a few more months, Raahauge’s will also give you a chance to shoot up some of the lead hunting loads you have in your ammo inventory before the complete ban on the use of lead for hunting in California that begins on July 1, 2019.


With wild pheasant hunting opportunities getting tougher and tougher to find in California, the best bet for a successful day afield is a good hunting club and Raahauge’s has been in the business for many, many years with a stellar reputation for providing a great outdoor experience.


Raahauge’s is centrally located in the Sacramento Valley in Dunnigan 10 minutes west of I-5. If you want to shoot birds or sporting clays, Raahauge’s offers everything the shotgunner needs to keep a smile on their face. Plan a trip soon, you won’t be sorry!! Call them at (530) 724-0552 or go to their website at lincraahauges.com/.




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