On Friday, March 19, 2010, the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance held its 1st annual pheasant hunt at Raahauge's Pheasant Club in Norco, California. Hunters were divided into teams of 5 and enjoyed a beautiful day out in the luscious, green, rolling hills of the Raahauge's Club land that straddles the Santa Ana River. Raahauge's offers more than 400 acres of hunting area, and provides quality hunting not far from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties.
I was lucky enough to be a part of this hunt, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. I arrived at Raahauge's at 7am, saw the sun come up over the hills of the club, checked in and purchased a raffle ticket. There were already a good number of hunters in the clubhouse and we enjoyed coffee and donuts while registration continued. There were about 30 hunters present, including an entire team comprised of people from Turner's Outdoors.
After everyone was checked in, we gathered with our teams and headed out to the fields. In our group was a man named Rocky Herbert, who made the long drive from Simi Valley, California. He was on this hunt because he was interested in checking out Raahauge's club and hunting grounds. He had been on many hunts before, but never had taken a pheasant. We were hoping to remedy that problem on this hunt. Our group was aided in the field by Bo, the black lab who was racing all through the tall, wet grass in search of hiding pheasants.
The grass was very thick, very tall, and still full of morning dew, making scenting the birds difficult for Bo. The birds were also holding very tightly too, but between Bo's hard work and the line work of our group, we were able to flush a good number of pheasants from their chosen hiding places. Rocky took his first pheasant midway through the morning hunt, and ended up with 3 total birds for the day. Everyone in our group got at least one bird, and it was a great feeling to have no one shut out for the day. I also went home with 3 pheasants, and had a tremendous day in the field. What a great way to spend a Friday morning - in beautiful green fields, hunting, sharing great hunting moments, creating memories, and supporting COHA.
The event was a great way for hunters to meet other hunters who support COHA's fight for the current and future generations' right to hunt. Hunters had the chance to shoot 4 birds, which were cleaned on-site by Raahauge's staff, plus got to enjoy a delicious, catered Mexican lunch, and participate in a raffle and auction over lunch.
Bill Gaines, President of COHA, was in attendance and spoke to hunters as they came in from the fields. He also spoke with hunters at the lunch and gave a talk about what COHA is about, stands for, and is trying to accomplish for hunters across California. Gretchen Heffler, the Southern California Director of Development, one of the day's event main organizers, called the event a great success. She said that after such a great 1st annual hunt that she can't wait for the COHA 2nd annual pheasant hunt! Hunters in attendance purchased many raffle tickets for great prizes and participated in the auction that saw a Henry Yellowboy and pheasant hunting trips receive multiple, generous bids, with the proceeds going to COHA and their fight for hunters' rights.
About The California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA):
From COHA: COHA is an alliance of conservation organizations, outdoor industry, related interests and individuals who support science-based wildlife management and the preservation of our hunting rights in California. COHA is a 501c4 Political Advocacy organization dedicated solely to influencing legislative, regulatory and administrative policy decisions which promote wildlife conservation and our outdoor heritage.
COHA was established in response to the rapidly mounting political and social threats to hunting and science-based wildlife management in California. Operating as a 501c4 non-profit organization specifically for political advocacy purposes, COHA serves to enhance the coordination and unity between hunting and conservation organizations, outdoor industry and other interests to strengthen our collective ability to better protect our outdoor heritage for future generations.