This year’s 2023 Hunter Ed Pheasant Hunt was held on February 18th at the Limits Game Farm. There were 20 hunter ed students present this year. The first group, started out at the Connell Gun Club with some clay bird shooting to warm the students up for their hunt. After clay bird shooting the first group went down to Limits Game Farm and was given a safety briefing for the upcoming hunt then paired up with mentors and dog handlers and proceeded to their hunting location. This year we had a couple of different hunting areas from the past couple of years that added some interesting opportunities. The second group of students arrived around 10 am at the Connell Gun Club and proceeded to shoot clay birds warming them up for their hunt. After the second group finished shooting clay birds, they went down to Limits Game Farm and were met by the first group of students coming back from their hunt. At that time all the students attended a “hunting clinic” put on by Aaron Garcia of WDFW. At the end of Aaron’s presentation WDFW game enforcement officer Brian Fuller spoke to the students about his role as a game enforcement officer. After the clinic everybody met in the main building where a awesome lunch was provided by Limits Game Farm and Pheasants Forever (PF). This year we fed over 110 people. The chicken, Tri Tip, and all the fixings were attacked, and nobody left the dining hall hungry. After lunch the second group of students was given a safety briefing for their upcoming hunt and paired up with mentors and dog handlers and proceeded to their hunt. Around 5:00 pm the afternoon hunters were back at Limits Game Farm with their harvest of birds. Pheasants Forever Ringold Chapter provided over 60 pheasants that were released for the two hunting groups. The weather was good. Almost all the student hunters got a bird, and all of them got to shoot at a bird. A lot of shooting was done by all the students and a lot of ammo was expended! Special thanks goes out to several of the sponsors of this year’s hunter ed pheasant hunt: McCary Meats for supplying Tri Tip, Ringold PF Chapter for purchasing and preparing the food and birds, Connell Gun Club for providing the facilities and clay bird thrower, Marylin Steele for delicious desserts, Barry and Hugh McEachen for extra chairs and tables, WDFW for putting on the hunting clinic, and to Brian Fulton, enforcement officer, for his presentation, Richland Rod and Gun Club for providing guns to those students that didn’t have one, and the ammunition for the clay bird shooting, and a very nice monitory donation, and Griggs Department Store in Pasco for the hunting ammunition and clay birds. Additionally special thanks to Wade and Angie Conant for all the behind the scenes help and providing the eye and ear protections, over 25 individuals who volunteered this year as either mentors or dog handlers, several PF volunteers who helped with the set up of the dining hall, did all the cooking, planted the pheasants, and showed the hunter ed students how to clean birds. And last but certainly not least a very special thanks to Dave and Pam Piovesan of Limits Game Farm for all the help, coordination, facilities, and making sure this year’s hunter ed pheasant hunt was a success. Thanks to everybody!
Chief Hunter Ed Instructor