Category Archives: News letters

Opening weekend 2017 Newsletter

Eagle Lakes 2017 Opening Newsletter
October 16, 2017
Eagle Lakers,
What a great way to start the 2017 season, 40 limits by 9 AM!! Backed that up with a great Sunday 36 limits out of 41 shooters. Had a couple groups that had to hit the road before we could get them taken care of. We also ran 2 afternoon shoots on Sunday that limited by 5 PM. Monday morning started off a little slow for most of the groups but everybody was getting close, by midday. Looks like we might have to run one afternoon hunt. One group shot their 21 ducks in about 10 minutes this morning. Some of the guides kids and Grandkids got to whack a bunch of Mallards this weekend as well. Harvested almost 700 ducks in the first few days. This is the best local hatch of ducks we’ve had in a long time.
We still have some great dates available for both hunting as well as lodging during these cycles. Don’t be disappointed, get your trip booked now!! Call the office for dates!
Goose shooting
The migratory lessers have been arriving the last few days. There is also a tremendous amount of local honkers around that should produce some great goose shooting or a nice alternative for a combo hunt after you have limited on ducks. Most of the corn is just being harvested now and the winter wheat and triticale is going in right behind the potato crops. We are putting in a bunch of new pits in some great locations for some bang up hunts to come.
Grande Prairie Alberta
The shooting in Canada was nothing short of phenomenal. We Limited on ducks and geese every day but two and they were still dynamite hunts. We had 7 days where we limited on both ducks and geese by 11 AM in some fresh cut peas. The duck hunting over water was outstanding as well. Our last few duck hunts lasted less than an hour. Ryan is booking for 2018 right now so if you are interested contact him directly @ 509-528-8754 or
Here at the lodge we got brand new beds and pillows for your comfort. New bedding is also on its way that was back ordered. The floors were completely re done and shining like new. Brand new carpet is in the works just running a little behind. We built a new cabinet to hold our new 80” TV which is being installed next week. That way we all can enjoy some college football games. The whole facility looks outstanding. Kaci and Becky will take care of all your scheduling needs. Happy to announce all our great servers have returned.
Betty and Bonnie are back again creating some delicious meals with great presentations. The reviews were overwhelming opening weekend. The girls will be happy to share some of their fabulous duck and goose recipes for your enjoyment at home as well. Can’t wait to see all of you soon and thanks as always for your support.

Michael J Bernsen Owner
Please follow us on facebook, Ryan is doing an excellent job of updating daily. You can follow hunting results and migration patterns as they unfold.

Spring News Letter!


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

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


Spring Newsletter 2016

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

​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!

​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.

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.

August News Letter

Eagle Lakes Aug Newsletter


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,





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 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


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



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

August newsletter 2014

ELR News August 14, 2014

The WDFW set season dates and bag limits this past weekend. There were no changes from my 99% accurate calendar that I sent out in June. Bag limits remain unchanged from last season as well.
We still have some package hunts available in the end of October through the first few days of November and January hasn’t completely filled up yet. We also have plenty of room for Drive Direct duck and goose hunts throughout the season. The duck numbers are off the charts for the Pacific Flyway. We should have an incredible season ahead of us!!! We are expecting to get some dates released that have been previously booked. If and when dates become available we will contact customers that didn’t get their first choice dates and then we will send out notice via email and our web page. For any of you who had questions or concerns about our auxiliary housing please check out our web page for updated photos.
Early Goose- September 13 and 14, we still have room for a few more shooters, call asap if interested.
Dove Hunting- September 1st and 2nd is completely booked, September 4th-7th we still have hunts and lodging packages to fill in.
Salmon Fishing- The fall Chinook run on the Columbia is supposed to be epic. It is going to be one of our largest runs ever. We have a lot of good dates for both Combo hunting and fishing trips or just fishing trips available thru the end of October.
Deer Hunting- We have only one slot to fill for an archery tag for a giant Muley left. We can still take a few more hunters for modern firearm October 11th – 19th cycle. Last year there were some incredible animals harvested.
Canada Hunting- Ryan can still take a few more groups on some specific dates from mid-September through October 9th. If anybody wants to sneak away for a few days contact him directly @ 509 528-8754.
Eagle Lakes Blog- Follow the adventures of our season starting in Canada in mid-September to our late January hunts back at Eagle Lakes. We are going to try to keep you posted on a regular basis.
Best Regards
Michael J Bernsen