Category Archives: Blog

Spring News Letter!

EAGLE LAKES SPRING NEWSLETTER

March 14, 2017

The weather is finally letting up enough for the guides to get out and start preparing for next season.  We have weeks of repairs and clean up from the January and early February storms, including considerable flood damage on the farm in the corn circles.  Several dikes will require fixing; the track hoe will be going nonstop.  We won’t call January weather a 100 yr storm but 50-75 year seems appropriate.  The ice storms on top of the snow pushed several hundred thousand ducks we were holding to the river for about three weeks.  Hunting in January is always fabulous but we struggled like never before.  We were about three ducks a gun off our normal 6.5 avg. for January, but we still ended up having a good year.  Hunting in October was outstanding!  Early November was a little tough with the quackers running tardy, but mid to late November was good.  December duck hunting was wild, lots of quick limit shoots were the norm.

The Goose shooting was incredible from start to finish.  We had a few slow days here and there, but in general it was lights out.  We harvested more lessors than normal this season.  I think the weather played a big role in that.  There were several fields that we couldn’t keep the geese out of, they just kept on coming back.  We also did fabulous on the combo hunts for most of the season.

The Ranch will have all of our same properties back for the 2017-18 season and our goal is to acquire several new duck properties as well as picking up additional dynamite goose leases.  We also have several new habitat projects that will be ready for the upcoming season.  Our new blinds were a smashing success!  Lots of positive feedback on how comfortable they were and how easy they were to shoot out of.  We will be replacing a few older ones this year and working on some strategic placement of the new additions.

 

Our 2017-18 calendar will be sent out soon.  Projected opening day will be Saturday October 14th and the season will run through January 28th 2018.  We don’t expect to see any major changes in season length or bag limits.

The lodge is over 70% booked already.  Most groups booked their trip while they were here last hunting season.  I would strongly suggest getting a hold of Kaci in the office and finalizing your dates.  Group leaders round up your troops, pick out some quality dates and let’s get you back here for some amazing memories.

PRICING will remain the same for the 2017-18 season on all trips.  Follow the web page for any specials that we may be offering.

DRIVE DIRECT GOOSE HUNTS:  Book your 2017-18 goose hunt by May 1, 2017 and you will receive a $50.00 discount off our regular price of $350.00.  You can pay now and pick out your dates later if that works for you.

ALBERTA HUNTING:  Ryan will again be offering duck and goose combo hunts in Grande Prairie Alberta this fall.  Eagle Lakes Ranch customers can take advantage of special pricing specifically for them.  Shooting ducks in the morning and geese in the afternoon is the norm, but on lots of days he harvests both species over the same set of decoys.  Bag limits are eight ducks, 24 in possession, mostly Mallards and Pintail.  You can also shoot 8 dark geese, 24 possession limit.    They shoot about 90% Honkers with a small percentage of Lessors, Snows and Specks.  Grande Prairie is about a 12-14 hour drive from Washington State or California.  It’s also very convenient to fly in to with easy border restrictions regarding firearms.  Contact Ryan directly @ 509-528-8754 or ryanbernsen@yahoo.com.

DEER HUNTS:  We still have a few openings for either archery hunts and/or modern firearm.  You will have the opportunity to get a quality or trophy mule deer.  If interested please contact Ryan.

FISHING:  The Bass and Walleye should start hitting within the next few weeks.  Last season we had a great Walleye year and the Bass fishing was amazing as always.  Several groups made multiple trips last season and others put together family outings or corporate retreats that included both fishing, shooting and lots of relaxing.  Thank you for the fun and support! The boys will be running Salmon trips in July and again in September and early October.

DOVES:  September 1st opener!!!  Our dove hunting is pretty special and very reasonably priced.  What a great way to get the season started with a bang.  We now have a 15 bird limit with shooting from the first of September through October.  We are usually really busy for the first couple of days and then our schedule opens up mid to late season when the birds have really congregated together.

DOC:  We lost a tremendous asset to the Bernsen family and the Eagle Lakes Team.  Ryan and Jess’s sweet dog passed away towards the end of hunting season.  Doc had close to 10,000 retrieves between Eagle Lakes and Canada hunts.  He was definitely a “Rock star” around here is his prime.  He will be dearly missed!!

Thank you as always for your continued support of the Eagle Lakes Ranch Team.

Happy Hunting

Mike B

 

Opening weekend 2016 and additional special pricing dates

October 17, 2016
Opening Weekend
Eagle Lakers,
Opening weekend was a smashing success. We harvested almost 80 limits of ducks in the first two days (mostly mallards and pintails.) The birds worked fabulously. The weather was nasty with lots of wind and rain. It’s the first time in a long time that we haven’t had bright sunshiny days for the opener. This was the most local ducks I’ve seen on the opener in probably 4-5 years. It was pretty awesome to be seeing big bunches of ducks working so early in the season. We also had two nice goose shoots, mixture of honkers and lessers. We had one slow goose shoot but we moved them in the afternoon to a ripper duck hunt. Follow our Facebook page for updated pictures and results.

Grand Prairie Alberta: Ryan’s Eagle Lakes Alberta Waterfowl has turned into a sweet program. He had unbelievable shooting for both ducks and geese for three and a half weeks. He only had a couple hunts that weren’t limit shoots hunting both morning and afternoon. The last week he didn’t have a duck hunt that lasted over an hour with several in the 20 minute range for a group of eight. The goose shooting was outstanding as well. There were a lot of speckle bellies harvested with a ton of honkers shot daily. Thank you to all of our regulars who joined him up North for some amazing memories.

Drive Direct Specials: As promised, we have a few holes in the schedule that need to get filled before we get slammed. We will be offering $250.00 drive direct hunts for both duck and geese. Please contact the office for reservations as soon as possible. There are plenty of local ducks with an early migration predicted and lots of geese are arriving daily from the North.
• Special dates: October 22- November 3rd. $250.00 drive direct hunts for either ducks or geese. Save over $100.00 per day during that time period! Kid rates still apply, knock another $50.00 off for kids 16 years or younger. Also, the first person who mentions this post will receive $50.00 off their next package hunt. Thanks!

Happy Hunting!
Mike B.

Pre season newsletter

Pre-Season News Letter
Eagle Lakers,
It’s only 58 days until the opener, Saturday October 15th. This past weekend the crew got all the blinds camouflaged and the property looks great. It took a little longer than normal getting everything ready with all the new blinds that were put in. They are really comfortable! The corn crop on the ranch is basically made. The farmers will start pulling the water off soon. All the crops should be harvested before hunting season. This will really help with the early migration having all our corn down. The local duck hatch looks way better than last year and everything looks good coming out of Canada for the Pacific Flyway.
Open lodging date cycles:
• Oct. 17th and 18th: multiple rooms
• Oct. 21st-27th: multiple rooms
• Nov. 4th-7th: multiple rooms
• Nov. 25th-29th: multiple rooms (premium dates)
• Dec. 18th-23rd: multiple rooms (premium dates)
• Dec. 27th-31st: few rooms (premium dates)
• Jan. 9th-11th: few rooms (premium dates)
• Jan. 19th-24th: multiple rooms
For our instate customers that are not coming for multiple 3 or 5 day package hunts, we still have individual days or a few days together where you can still have lodging availability. Call the office right away to check on dates.

Open dates for Eagle Lakes Alberta:
Ryan still has room for a small group on September 19th-21st and September 30th- October 1st for a large party. He is booked up on all other dates for this year. Thank you for supporting him in his venture up North.

Doves-Fishing-Early Goose:
We are all booked up for the opening couple of days but the first weekend we still have lots of availability. The dove shooting stays hot all through the month of September. We also have great combo dove/fishing trips that are a blast. The bass and walleye fishing has been extraordinary. Early Goose is September 10th and 11th with a 5 goose limit. Right now there are a ton of local honkers using the fields and I hope that they stay right where they are at because it will be fabulous.

Drive direct goose hunters:
We have picked up several new farms that will be dynamite. We have some great looking property in Moses Lake as well as some new stuff near the lodge. We will be offering several cycles with some incredible specials going on. Follow the web page or call into the office for details. The goose shooting just keeps getting better and better every year!

2017/2018 scheduling:
Our hunting and lodging books are already put together for next season. We are taking reservations for the 2017-2018 season. For those of you who want to book early all we need is a credit card to hold your reservation and a signed confirmation. We won’t charge your card until April 1st, 2017 unless you want to pay earlier.

We will have all the same staff back and a few new faces as well. We are all looking forward to seeing you and taking care of all your hunting needs.

Happy Hunting!
Mike Bernsen, and the Eagle Lakes Team.

Spring Newsletter 2016

4-28-16
Spring Newsletter
Things have been jumping around here a lot earlier than normal with the incredible weather we have been having. The temperatures have been in the 70’s and 80’s for a few weeks now. The farm looks great, the corn has been planted since early April and is now shooting out of the ground. My crew has been busy mowing, discing, rotovating, and fertilizing the corn ponds getting ready to plant next week. They have also been building and repairing dikes that needed some work. I think their best work so far has been building blinds. We will have over 20 new blinds this year to make your hunting experience even more enjoyable and definitely more comfortable. The local duck hatch looks great. The boys have been seeing a lot of eggs in the nests and in the wood duck boxes. All early indications coming out of Canada look promising for the pacific flyway.

Open Lodging Date Cycles:
• Opening Weekend (1st time not pre sold)- 3 rooms
• October 21st arrival- hunting 22nd to 24th, lots of availability. (This weekend is like a second opener with the 2 day duck closure on Thursday and Friday)
• November 25th arrival- hunting 26th through 30th, 4 rooms.
• December 18th arrival- hunting 19th through 23rd, lots of availability.
• December 26th arrival- hunting 27th through 31st, 6 rooms.
• January 5th arrival- hunting 6th through 11th, lots of availability.
• January 18th arrival- hunting 19th through 28th, 6 rooms.
These are just some big cycles that have not been filled yet. We still have lots of individual days or a day or two still available as well. Call the office for your specific needs.

❖ For those of you who have not gotten your deposits in yet please do so ASAP or call Kaci and release your dates that have been pre-booked. Others with partial deposits please round up your troops!

Drive Direct Hunts:
​We are offering a special for drive direct hunters that book their trips before June 1st 2016. You will be able to get last year’s pricing of $300.00 per person per day until that date. After that it will be $350.00 throughout the season. (Kid rates still apply.) For those of you who have already booked, we will make an adjustment in your accounting.

Alberta Hunting:
​Ryan still has openings for duck and goose (combo hunts) in Grande Prairie Alberta this fall. The shooting has been absolutely phenomenal in the past. Shoot ducks in the morning and geese in the afternoons or shoot both over the same set of decoys depending on the weather. He’s harvesting 95% Mallards, Pintail, and giant Honkers with a few Snows and Specks mixed in. You can either drive (about 12-14 hours) or fly very easily into Grande Prairie. If you have never experienced Canada Hunting you owe it to yourself to make it up there. Ryan also offers specials to already existing Eagle Lakes customers. Contact Ryan directly at (509)528-8754 or ryanbernsen@yahoo.com.

Fishing:
​The Bass and Walleye fishing is on right now! The boys have been averaging over 40 bass per trip and 10 plus walleye. The fish are huge right now, check out the webpage or Facebook for some updated pictures of some giants! If you are interested please contact one of the guides directly or call the office. We have fishing specials going on for our Eagle Lakes customers!

Doves:
​Only 125 days until the dove opener!!! The boys already have some canola planted for those wiley critters to munch on. There also appears to be quite a bit of wheat around the zone. Our dove hunting seems to be getting better and better. With the addition of being able to pound the Eurasian doves and the increased bag limits and expanded season, it will be even more fun.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support of the Eagle Lakes team and the Bernsen family. For over 60 years we have been so fortunate to have the amazing following that has made our business so successful. We are truly blessed to have such a loyal group of hunters that show up year after year. The relationships that have formed between all of you, our family, and our staff has been overwhelming.

​​​Thank you again,
​​​Happy Hunting!
​​​​Michael J. Bernsen, ELR.

Update Feb 10, 2016

Eagle Lakers,

We finished the season off with a bang!  The shooting from right before Christmas until the very last day was outstanding.  When it got cold we were holding between 500,000- 750,000 ducks for about 3 ½ weeks.  The shooting couldn’t have been any better, with us averaging between 25-30 limits a day during that stretch.  When it warmed up we lost a lot of ducks back to the north, but the small ponds that were frozen opened back up and the ducks that were around found them quickly.  Shooting wasn’t as fast and furious as it had been, but still very good.  November and early December were very inconsistent this year.  In November, our ducks were at least 2 weeks behind schedule and made for some long days in the field.  We still had lots of great hunts, but too many shoots that weren’t up to Eagle Lakes standards.  In general the duck harvest numbers will still be above our normal averages.  The goose shooting was outstanding from opening day right through the last weekend.  We did our standard 70% honker to lesser ratio.  On most days the birds decoyed wonderfully…there were a few days of bright sunshine, clear and cold, and a couple of thick fog days that the shooting was a little bit off.  Overall a fabulous season with harvest numbers way above average.

Attached (link to the botttom right of the page) you will find our new 2016/2017 hunting calendar and price sheet.  We will also have it up on our website by mid next week.  Please pick out your dates as soon as possible.  Most of our groups have booked their trips while they were here hunting this past season, leaving limited availability in the lodge.  For those of you who have already selected your dates, Kaci will be calling you within the next few weeks to confirm dates, group sizes and collect deposits.

We have several new and exciting projects that are scheduled for construction for the 2016/2017 season.  Hopefully they will be as successful as some of our most recent habitat improvements.  The improvements that we made in the Scootney corridor were off the charts good!!  This season we harvested over 500 mallards more than our previous high.

Thank you for your continued support of Eagle Lakes!

Regards,

Mike Bernsen

Mid November Northern Newsletter

Mid November news letter.
November 12,2015

Eagle lakers, just wanted to give you a quick update that we got our
first batch of Northerns in over the last day or two.
They couldn’t have come at a better time. With the poor hatch and spooky
Mid November news letter.
November 12,2015

Eagle lakers, just wanted to give you a quick update that we got our
first batch of Northerns in over the last day or two.
They couldn’t have come at a better time. With the poor hatch and spooky
ducks, things have been very difficult over the last week or so. Limit
shooting had been few and far between, and the groups that did finish up
were taking most of the day to get it done. We were still having a few
smasher hunts during this time period but definitely not up to the Eagle
Lakes standards. At Eagle Lakes, we have set the bar so high, when we
don’t limit out every single day its difficult on customers and staff
alike. Thank you to all for still being so great with my guides and
staff. It shows your true character and reminds me of what a classy
bunch of clients have been part of the Bernsen/ Eagle Lakes family
for so many years. Yesterday ( Veterans Day ) marked the 5 yr
anniversary of Paul S bernsen’s passing. I can only imagine how proud he
would have been of all the gang and the job that they do. Pretty special
to have the great hunts we did while remembering what he accomplished in
development of wetlands all throughout eastern Washington.

The goose shooting has been nothing short of phenomenal. We have been
smashing the geese on a regular basis. Yesterday alone we shot 38 limits
of a mixed honker/ lessor ratio. Pretty incredible hunting considering
we had very strong southwest winds that make shooting very difficult
at times. The guides did an incredible job. They had the birds
backwinging right over the enormous spreads of decoys. We still have
room for lots of goose shooters throughout the season !!!! Get with kaci
and book your trip today!!! With a ton of new birds arriving daily I
expect the shooting to be breathtaking right to the finish. An early
happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Happy hunting,
Mike B ducks, things have been very difficult over the last week or so. Limit
shooting had been few and far between, and the groups that did finish up
were taking most of the day to get it done. We were still having a few
smasher hunts during this time period but definitely not up to the Eagle
Lakes standards. At Eagle Lakes, we have set the bar so high, when we
don’t limit out every single day its difficult on customers and staff
alike. Thank you to all for still being so great with my guides and
staff. It shows your true character and reminds me of what a classy
bunch of clients have been part of the Bernsen/ Eagle Lakes family
for so many years. Yesterday ( Veterans Day ) marked the 5 yr
anniversary of Paul S bernsen’s passing. I can only imagine how proud he
would have been of all the gang and the job that they do. Pretty special
to have the great hunts we did while remembering what he accomplished in
development of wetlands all throughout eastern Washington.

The gootrong southwest winds that make shooting very difficult
at times. The guides did an incredible job. They had the birds
backwinging right over the enormous spreads of decoys. We still have
room for lots of goose shooters throughout the season !!!! Get with kaci
and book your trip today!!! With a ton of new birds arriving daily I
expect the shooting to be breathtaking right to the finish. An early
happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Happy hunting,
Mike B

October News Letter

 

October News

The 2015-16 hunting season is off to a blazing start. The duck hunting has been very good. We have been limiting the majority of our groups everyday. It hasn’t been easy by any means, over half the hunters are having to go back out in the afternoon to finish up. I couldn’t be happier with the results considering the mild weather and the lack of ducks in the zone. I think we are just like everywhere else in the flyway probably down 30% on the local duck hatch. It’s the worst hatch I have seen in many years. The good news is their coming!!! We are expecting a fabulous migration of quackers from the north that should be arriving any day now. Mild temperatures in Canada may slow the migration a bit, but it won’t be long. Ryan and I saw first hand from our hunting adventures in Grande Prairie Alberta that we have a lot to look forward to. We smashed the ducks and geese everyday for three and a half weeks. If you have not experienced a hunt in Canada you should give Ryan a buzz and pick some dates for next year.

The goose shooting has been out of this world. It started on opening weekend and has not stopped. We harvested over 100 honkers the first two days and a handful of lessors. We have been shooting a lot more lessors the last 4-5 goose days as the migration has started, but still whacking some honks as well. The birds have been decoying wonderfully on most days either landing or backwinging over the spread. With the mild weather almost all the crops have been harvested so the geese have plenty of grub to munch on.

The deer season was a great success. Both archery and modern firearm hunts went extremely well. We harvested 9 beautiful bucks out of the 12 hunts. The three hunters that didn’t score either had a great opportunity or chose to pass on a legal buck. We didn’t harvest any monster bucks this year like we normally do, but had some really nice animals with lots of character. There was one monster buck poached right in front of client and guide, a stunning 5×6 34″ trophy animal. Thanks to the combined effort of the Franklin County Sheriff and the W.D.F.G. officer we nabbed the scallywag. I think his big game hunting in the near future is not looking too bright. (Case pending.) What a waste of a spectacular animal.

We still have some rooms available in the lodge during a few cycles: Friday November 27- Monday November 30, Tuesday December 29- Thursday December 31, Saturday January 16- Monday January 18, as well as Friday January 22- the rest of the month.

If you have not already please get your dates picked out. We also have lots of drive direct goose hunting dates that we need to fill. With the way the goose shooting has been you wont be disappointed!!!

 

 

Happy hunting,

Mike B.

Opening weekend 2015

Opening weekend couldn’t have been much better under the circumstances. As of Tuesday the 20th we have harvested 68 limits of ducks and only a few groups have not limited. We have had great goose shooting so far this season. As of today we have limited 7 groups of goose hunters almost all honkers. Todays hunt was our first lesser massacre. There are less local ducks around but what we saw in Canada early this fall is very promising. There is a record hatch this year and it is a matter of weeks before the birds start to move south.

There are less local ducks around but what we saw in Canada early this fall is very promising. There is a record hatch this year and it is only a matter of time before those ducks head south to visit us at the Ranch.

Stay tuned for more updates. If you haven’t already booked your trip for the year call the office today for available dates, they are filling up quick.

blog jhkhjh

August News Letter

Eagle Lakes Aug Newsletter

8-21-15

Eagle Lakers,

I Hope everyone is having an outstanding summer and that you have all been able to relax a bit. Things have been hectic around here. We have had some water issues with structures blowing out and some beavers backing up water into the corn before we’re ready for it. In the big picture though, nothing major. All the fires that have plagued the northwest have missed us completely. We are very fortunate that we have tons of fresh water flowing through the properties on a regular basis. This is especially helpful when the cold temperatures hit the Basin in December and January. The crops look great for the most part; a little corn in places has some heat damage but still oodles for the ducks. The ponds look good as well, and we’re going to start flooding in mid September. The duck populations in the Pacific Flyway remain strong, looking forward to another fabulous season. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife just set the season dates and bag limits (no surprises). The season will open Saturday October 17th and go through January 31st, bag limits 7 ducks, 4 geese, 21 duck possession, 12 geese possession. The dove limit got raised to 15 per person and the season was extended by a month until the end of October. Dove opens September 1st and we have lots of available dates. We also have a few spots to take some early goose hunters September 12th and 13th. For those of you who still have not booked your trip, lodge dates are very limited during most cycles. Here is a complete inventory of remaining rooms October through January. We still have plenty of space available for drive direct hunts throughout the season. Drive direct guests can still come up to the lodge for meals and to use our plucking facility as long as it’s prearranged with the office.

Lodge Availability:

10/19 11 rooms and triple wide home

10/23 triple wide home

10/24-10/26 1 room and triple wide home

10/27 6 rooms and triple wide home

10/28 3 rooms

10/29 4 rooms

10/31-11/5 triple wide home

11/9 8 rooms

11/10 2 rooms

11/11 1 room

11/12 3 rooms and triple wide home

11/15 3 rooms and triple wide home

11/16 triple wide home

11/19 1 room

11/21 1 room

11/23 2 rooms

11/24 3 rooms and triple wide home

11/27 8 rooms and triple wide home

11/28 5 rooms and triple wide home

11/29 4 rooms and triple wide home

11/30 5 rooms and triple wide home

12/1 3 rooms and triple wide home

12/2 triple wide home

12/7 2 rooms

12/9 4 rooms and triple wide home

12/10 4 rooms and triple wide home

12/11 1 room

12/12 1 room

12/15 2 rooms and triple wide home

12/16 4 rooms and triple wide home

12/27 10 rooms and triple wide home

12/28 4 rooms and triple wide home

12/29 6 rooms and triple wide home

12/30- 1/2 7 rooms plus triple wide home

1/3 6 rooms and triple wide home

1/4 10 rooms and triple wide home

1/5 11 rooms and triple wide home

1/6- 1/10 triple wide home

1/11 3 rooms and triple wide home

1/12 4 rooms and triple wide home

1/13 3 rooms and triple wide home

1/14 10 rooms and triple wide home

1/15 8 rooms

1/16 10 rooms

1/17 11 rooms and triple wide home

1/18 8 rooms and triple wide home

1/19 3 rooms and triple wide home

1/20 4 rooms and triple wide home

1/21 10 rooms and triple wide home

1/22 7 rooms and triple wide home

1/23 7 rooms and triple wide home

1/24 5 rooms and triple wide home

1/25 6 rooms and triple wide home

1/26- 1/28 7 rooms and triple wide home

1/29 12 rooms and triple wide home

There are lots of new and exciting things going on inside and outside the lodge. The building/facilities look fabulous. We have the hot tub back up and running so bring your trunks!

The goose shooting should be unbelievable this year. There was a great local honker hatch and the migration gets stronger every year. We picked up 2 new goose leases that are the juice! They are about 10-15 minutes in each direction from the lodge; over 1,000 acres each of corn and triticale. These farms have tremendous traffic all the time.

Ryan and I are headed to Grand Prairie Alberta in the middle of September for almost a month. We still have a few spots to fill but for the most part we are pretty booked for this season. For those of you coming up, we will have a blast! Thanks again for supporting Ryan’s venture.

 

I am not sending out a hunting calendar of dates this year. My printer for over 25 years retired and has no one continuing his business. I will have a new printer lined up for all of our needs and the calendar will be back in the mix for next season.

There are only 58 days until the opener! Get with Kaci to get your dates picked out ASAP!

 

Happy Hunting,

Mike

 

 

 

Check out new pics to the photo gallery

Fantastic end to the 2014-15 season. If you have any great pics that you want in our photo gallery please send them to ryanbernsen@yahoo.com

 

 

 

buttnerhearn