Okay fellow members of Upland Nation … the first leg of the Awesome Upland Road Trip 2.0 is locked and loaded. The planning, your suggestions, and a bit of logic have come together into a very exciting first go-round. You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re headed for places you’ve never been? How about returning to hunt with friends? Or the anticipation of hunting birds you’ve only read about?
That’s one of my goals this season, and this part of our multi-leg trip moves the needle in the right direction. I still have room for a couple stops along the way, but here’s how it’s shaping up so far for the third week of September:
– Cooke Canyon Hunt Club near Ellensburg, Washington is our first port of call. We did a couple shows years ago with Doug Burnette when he was guiding for Cooke Canyon. Now, he and Alice are running the place! A skillful dog trainer/handler, Doug is a joy to share a field with, and everyone will learn something on this stop. I will never forget the ultimate compliment after flushing a bird for Doug: “Good duckin’, Scott.”
– Flying B Ranch near Kamiah, Idaho is our second stop, where we’ll chase chukars in the hills above Lawyer Creek. When our legs give out, we will limp downhill to the lush fields and draws closer to this world-class lodge and try to scare up some ringnecks. I’ve hunted Flying B just once and not on TV or for radio, so this will be fun!
– The grand finale should prove educational and help fill out my life list. Near Lewistown, Montana, we’ll pursue sharptail grouse … one of those birds that haunt me. I’ve actually shot a couple, but only incidental to pheasants. Timing should be right, and expert guide Al Gadoury of 6X Outfitters has access to some sweet property. We’ll target sage grouse later in our visit, if we can drag ourselves away from the great food and lodging at Pheasant Tales Bed & Bistro. I’m usually celebrating our wedding anniversary at some chi-chi girly place during the momentary sage chicken season in Oregon, so this might be my one and only chance to “reduce one to the bag,” as the regs say.
Of course, you’ll read about it here, first. You can also hear my reports on Scott Linden Outdoors radio and next fall, you’ll see the results on Wingshooting USA TV.
I still have room for a couple more destinations along the way, so make your suggestions in the comments section. I’ll choose one at random and the writer will win a pair of Irish Setter boots!
Thanks to our sponsors: Irish Setter Boots, TriTronics, Black’s Wing & Clay Waterfowl, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation and www.wingshootingusa.org. If you see us along the way, stop on by and say hello!