The 4th Annual First Pheasant Mentor Hunt took place on Saturday, September 17 at the venerable Spruce Creek Upland Club under sunny blue skies and warm fall weather – a near perfect day at the perfect location.  

Twelve adults that had never hunted pheasants – all got their first birds over highly trained pointing dogs. We have not been able to run a mentor hunt for a couple of years now due to the pandemic so we thought we might be a tad rusty. A decision was made to limit the mentees to 12, allowing us to focus harder on fewer folks providing a safer and better experience for all. 

Each hunt session featured two mentees with a mentor or dog handler and eight rooster pheasants. Over half of the 50 birds were bagged, cleaned and went home with the mentees for cooking.

Aside from the hunt, the attendees were provided a seminar on the history and hunting of upland game birds in southern Alberta, a cleaning seminar (followed by everyone cleaning 2 birds) and a cooking seminar.  

Dave Scott and Bryn Horne offered a shooting clinic designed for upland bird wing shooting. 

Thanks to Mike and Rodney Perkins, Burak Cankodaz and Brian Ness for mentoring the hunts and thanks to Vince Aiello, Toby Lukiwski and Steven Wier for handling the master pointers.

A special thanks to staff of Spruce Creek Upland Club – Ashley Gee and Tanner Rosia, who supported us with everything we needed. Their friendly helpful demeanour made it a most welcoming environment for all participants.  

Thanks to MacFarlane Pheasants who provided the roosters. These are great folks to deal with and they grow an excellent ring-necked pheasant.  

The day would not have been possible without the support of Alberta Conservation Association.