Category Archives: Blog

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.

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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

 

 

 

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January Newsletter

January News

The duck hunting in early January was streaky for a few days when a new cold front blasted through the zone. The goose hunting during that stretch was amazing though. Everything straightened out quickly when the birds re-patterned themselves and we averaged over 25 limits a day down the stretch for the last two and a half weeks. Our final harvest numbers were close to all time record highs. What an amazing season from day one with Ryan’s combo hunts in Grande Prairie Alberta through the very last weekend at Eagle Lakes. I can’t remember a season where both duck and goose hunting were so consistent all season.

We normally don’t start taking reservations (deposits) for another month or so, but demand is so heavy with guests wanting to reserve their dates that we are firing up early this year. If you know what dates you want I would encourage you to contact the office right away. You can pick out your dates now and pay later (just hold with a credit card) while you get your troops lined up. For those of you who have already scheduled your dates, Kaci will get in touch with you to confirm your reservation and collect deposits. If you are interested in Canada hunts in September and Early October contact Ryan directly at (509)528-8754 or at ryanbernsen@yahoo.com Hunting for both mallards and giant honkers is a great way to get your season started with a bang!

Thank you for your continued support of the Eagle Lakes Team, we appreciate you all so very much!!

Projected opening day is Saturday October 17th 2015 going through Sunday January 31st 2016

Have a happy and healthy 2015

Regards,

Mike Bernsen

December Newsletter

December News:

The hunting for December was very good for both ducks and geese. The consistency of our hunts from opening day through the end of the year has been outstanding. It has been a big help that we’ve had a ton of birds right from the get go. Last month was one of the mildest Decembers that we have ever had; shooting ducks and geese in 40 to 60 degree temperatures in late December was pretty special! The thing that makes me the most happy was the turnout of parents bringing their kids, and whole families showing up during our holiday cycles. That is exactly what I had hoped for when we started our kids ½ price specials years ago. Way to go parents!!

We are on the homestretch now, with only 21 days left in our hunting season. There are plenty of dates available to sneak in one last hunt. We have dates left in the lodge the 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, the 16th-19th and the 22nd and 23rd. For our drive direct customers we have availability the 7th, 8th, 12th-16th, and the 19th-24th. Please call Kaci/Billie in the office to book your dates, and remember you can shoot both ducks and geese the last week of the season.

Happy New Year!

Mike Bernsen

Eagle Lakes Ranch Lodge

509-488-4484

 

November Newsletter

November News                                   December 1, 2014

 

November was one of the strongest months ever for both ducks and geese. The consistency of the hunting was amazing. We had very few poor hunts in general. No disastrous days where everything goes wrong and nothing is working. The harvest numbers and birds per man totals are off the charts. We always do good but this last month was something special. Unlike last season where we had to work at it all day a lot of times to take care of business, the limit shooting has been extraordinarily quick. The Northerns came right on time as scheduled in early November by the hundreds of thousands. The weather besides yesterday (clear and very cold) has been extremely helpful, a lot of windy, overcast, ducky days. We have been shooting about 98% mallards and a ton of the biggest honkers I’ve seen in a long time.

There are a lot of exciting things ahead for December. We have some kids specials, holiday specials, and just another fun filled month to enjoy what is shaping up to be an epic season.

We still have some lodge availability December 7, 8, 10, & 11 due to a large party cancellation. These are premium dates that need to be filled ASAP. It may be tough due to short notice for our out of state cliental but you in-staters need to jump on these dates now!! Also for our instate cliental the goose shooting has been dynamite all year.

There are still some good January dates available as well for both ducks and geese. Let’s finish this season off with a bang.

 

Happy Hunting,

Michael J Bernsen

Cold weather HOT hunting

With temperatures not above freezing since last Tuesday the hunting has been incredible. The amount of birds that showed up over night was amazing. We had plenty of ducks before hand but the weather wasn’t here. The combination of freezing temperatures and our moving and warm water applications have made for epic hunting. Guides saying “best duck hunt that they have been on in years” sure does show how great it really has been. The temperatures could come above freezing and open up a lot of our corn ponds which would spread the ducks out but with the huge numbers here we would have even more spots to shoot. Goose hunting has been amazing as well. November has been a great month for Eagle Lakes Ranch.

 

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