The Mighty, Great, Successful, Oklahoma Quail-Ridge Pheasant Hunt

Mighty Fine Shooting

Mighty Fine Shooting

All-righty then. We ended up with eight guns who are fellows in our High Plains Shooting and Dining Society. Friday evening most of us were able to gather in Tecumseh Oklahoma for a fine evening of dining in the private, Elvis Room of the Boomerang Diner which is an old 1950’s diner with a rock and roll theme.  The food was most excellent, among the fare was All You Can Eat Fried Catfish with hushpuppies and fries, Chicken Fried Chicken, Chicken Fried Steak, Double Open Face Chili Cheese Burgers and other traditional Oklahoma gastronomical delights. All of it, of course, was served with tremendous amounts of either sweet or not sweet iced tea.  We then adjourned to our cabins in the woods at Quail Ridge for a small bonfire and appropriate libations and story telling.

We seem to have such a good eclectic group that there is hardly a subject that comes up that cannot be expanded upon and shared with personal experiences from working on tall towers, flying airplanes, working with technology, practicing law and medicine and including, relating lots of high adventure, recreational activities.  Now, the best I can tell, at my age and with the wealth of experience of all of our fellows I don’t think we will run out of stories until just about a week before I pass away and that is a very good thing.

As for the pheasant shoot itself, most of us have participated for three or four years with a couple of new guys this year and the weather was just right, starting in the mid-forties with a beautiful, cloudless Oklahoma blue sky and a moderate wind that made things just a bit more challenging.  This year there were a total of 21 shooters, with eight of us in our group were known as “Those Texas guys who come up here and shoot so well they keep the dogs real busy.”  Of course now, two of our eight live in Oklahoma, one native and once transplant from, where else, Texas.

There were five wonderful labs with their handlers and they did a great job for us of gathering the birds up as we shot them.  These well trained dogs would bring the birds back to our feet and drop them in a pile as they would spin around and watch the sky and take off to get the next pheasant that was down.  Shooting incoming pheasants is a fast sport that requires rapid reloading and it was a challenge at times to keep up with the pace of birds flying overhead. After a full morning of shooting we put our guns up and adjourned to the bunk house for a nice barbecue lunch while the birds were being cleaned and then we each received 11 pheasants breasted out.  A total of 88 pheasants for our High Plains shooters.

I will be cooking five of my pheasants tomorrow night seared then smothered and baked in a garlic, cream sauce with mushrooms to serve over fettuccine with fresh vegetables.  Son, David McElyea, flew back to Denver with his breasted out pheasants and the folks at South West airlines were great. They gave him the tip to have them well chilled ahead of time and have the birds alone in a soft side cooler to carry through security without any liquid, dry ice or gel. Then, they advised him to get ice on the other side before going on the plane or request some extra ice from the flight attendant.  That was great, simple advice to solve the carry on security issue. It pays to call ahead for advice.

As usual Dave, both Rocky’s and the rest of the crew at Quail Ridge, came through with a first class European Pheasant Shoot and we are already making plans for sometime in February next year.  Of course, we will be doing our annual Brownwood Texas Dove Day hunt with First Shot Outfitters, on September 1 of this year. A couple of the guys are talking about trying to arrange a hog hunt during the summer in addition to our August warm up at Bluff Creek in Crawford, Texas before the Dove Day hunt and that might be an interesting addition to our calendar. So to sum it up, a good time was had by all.

About the Author

Joe McElyea
I am an original member and founder of the esteemed High Plains Shooting and Dining Society which is dedicated to fellowship of bird hunters and shooters who also enjoy finding great local places to eat large, unhealthy portions of breaded and fried meats and gravies washed down with the appropriate libations. I am also a retired old man who enjoys fishing, shooting and my wonderful family.