Feature Article: Overtime Roosters

Overtime Roosters

BY DURWOOD HOLLIS/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Feb 08, 2019

Pheasant hunting is still readily available well into the New Year on licensed game bird operations

WESTMORELAND — When a particular game has reached its allotted time frame and there is no clear winner, often the contest goes into overtime. That situation by extension can also be applied to the annual fall pheasant season. Since many hunters weren’t able to score on those upland roosters during the regular hunt period, an extended opportunity is available through licensed game bird clubs albeit at a modest cost.

woodlandhuntclubWOODLAND’S HUNT CLUB prides itself on the quality of its long-tailed, mature roosters. PHOTOBY DURWOOD HOLLIS

One such operation that is growing in popularity with southern California pheasant hunting enthusiasts is Woodland’s Hunt Club, located near Westmoreland in Imperial County. Mendel Woodland, the owner/operator of the club is one of the most enthusiastic and accommodating guys you’ll ever meet. His commitment to client success in the field is unparalleled and confirmed by the huge number of returning hunters.

Club properties cover several hundred acres of farmland, primarily planted in alfalfa. This type of cover provides great concealment for the birds, while at the same time allowing for total hunter visibility for a safe hunting experience. Due to the large area that the club encompasses, hunting groups are well separated from one another. This eliminates any overlap or competition between individual groups, making for a quality hunting experience.

When it comes to birds, this operation prides itself on mature, long-tailed roosters that fly like a jet with after burners. While pheasants are the mainstay, chukars partridge are also available for those who want to extend the action. It should be noted that hunters only take about 70 percent of the birds that are released, leaving a substantial population of leftovers to add to that already existing wild population of pheasant in the area. “Every spring we see considerable pheasant wild/planted bird reproduction and over the years the overall population in the area has increased markedly.” Mendel said.

greatcoverGREAT COVER, EASY walking and great birds are hallmarks of Woodland’s Hunt Club. PHOTOBY DURWOOD HOLLIS

Other than your favorite scattergun, a blaze orange hat and a pair of comfortable boots, no other specialized gear or additional membership fee is needed to access club properties. Hunting clients can use their own dog or use one of the well-trained in-house German shorthair pointers that are on site. And bird cleaning and packaging is also available.

Recently, I had the opportunity hunt one of the club’s expansive alfalfa fields. The birds provided a hunting experience that reminded me of similar hunts experienced in South Dakota on wild birds. Every rooster took to the air with cackling enthusiasm, providing some challenging shooting. Needless to say, my 12-year-old Brittany spaniel has the time of her life pointing and retrieving pheasant. After the hunt we were treated to some homemade burritos, courtesy of the club’s burrito cook, who put a smile on everyone’s face with his offerings.

In addition to excellent hunting cover and great birds, it should be noted that the flat ground made for easy walking. This is a real advantage for those of us who are getting on in years. Considering that nearly everyone in our hunting group was the embodiment of the term, “senior citizen,” the lack of hills to climb was much-appreciated!

When you consider that driving time to the club was just a little over three hours and the hunting experience not unlike that of a typical Midwestern pheasant hunt (with out the snow and cold weather), pursuing birds on Woodland’s Hunt Club was an absolute premier experience. Which is saying a lot about overtime! For more information, go to www.woodlandshuntclub.org, or telephone (626) 255-1422.

huntersarewelcomeHUNTERS ARE WELCOME to use their own dog, or make arrangements to use one of the club’s well-trained pointers. PHOTOBY DURWOOD HOLLIS

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