BLOG

Sportman's Warehouse Visits Falcon's Ledge

By January 3, 2015 No Comments

Falcon’s Ledge Lodge and Pleasant Valley Hunting Preserve

By Collin Dalley

 Eastern Utah is home to one of our favorite outdoor playgrounds, offering unmatched fly-fishing and exceptional upland bird hunting.  While isolated, this property is easily accessible and located just over 2-hours from the Salt Lake International Airport. The drive will take you through some of the most scenic country Utah has to offer. Their hunting preserve offers guided pheasant and chukar hunting adventures. Now, this isn’t your ordinary hunting preserve consisting of flat ground and food plots. Pleasant Valley Hunting Preserve has an extremely knowledgeable manager and staff that utilizes the natural landscape to ensure the property has the ideal habitat for birds as well as top accommodations for clients.  Consisting of over 3,000 acres of irrigated and dry–farm fields of grain and native prairie grasses, it’s the natural landscaping and food plot placement that makes this some of the best bird habitat we’ve seen. The PV Hunting Preserve takes time to plant food plots near rocky hillsides, cottonwood thickets, sagebrush flats, Russian olive thickets and cattail and bulrush marshes. It’s this type of strategic planting that gives birds plenty of feed and the type of cover to challenge every level of hunter. The manager, Keith Hicken, has been running the PV Hunting Preserve for 27-years, including raising his own birds for the hunting preserve. He believes in only using the birds he raises for their operation and not buying birds from another company. They do this because they want healthy birds that are not familiar with humans. If a bird is hand fed its entire life and then suddenly released into the wild for hunting, chances are it won’t fly away the same as it would if it was not familiar with humans. Its little things like this that set apart a company from others, which the general public doesn’t always think or know about. Not only did we find a good number of wild birds on the property that were hard flying, but even the pen raised birds proved to be in excellent health and behaved exactly like one would hope for while pheasant hunting. These hard flying birds were impressive and provided the ultimate challenge as they used the natural habitat for cover, along with their ability to explode into flight. If you have never heard the cackling sound of a colorful rooster as it burst into flight, you are missing out. As we arrived at the hunting preserve for our first day of hunting, our guide, Dale Jenkins along with the general manager, Dave Danley and Pleasant Valley Hunting Preserve manager, Keith Hicken greeted us and we then proceed though a tour of the building and clubhouse. They have a full pro-shop with everything from shotgun shells to hunting attire, so don’t worry if you forgot something because chances are they will have you covered. Also, inside the clubhouse is a full service restaurant. We sat down and had an excellent lunch before heading out for our first afternoon of hunting. Falcon’s Ledge Lodge offers a variety of hunting and fishing packages to choose from with lodging available. Check out their website for a full list of packages available. We opted for the Cast “N” Blast package, which would provide lodging with meals, guided upland bird hunting and guided fly-fishing.   As we headed out after lunch to an alfalfa field surrounded by Russian olives and marshland, the dogs were anxious to get to work. As soon as our guide let the dogs out of their kennels, the game was on.  We set out and watched the dogs do what they love. In a matter of minutes we had our first point from the dogs. Excitement boiled in our blood as we readied ourselves for the action, as soon Dale sent his lab in for the flush and a brilliantly colored rooster sprung into the afternoon sky.  Mark Francis of Browning Arms, who joined us on the trip, made a great shot and the first bird of the day was quickly being retrieved by the dogs. For those that haven’t used dogs for hunting, it’s extraordinary to watch them work the terrain for birds. Once a bird is tracked, the dogs stop and point, typically sticking their tail straight out and using there snout to point at the bird. The next two days were filled with empty shotgun shells and downed birds. We were fortunate enough to hunt a variety of habitat and landscape that tested our abilities and let us see what clients can expect when coming here to hunt. If you’re looking for a great place to hunt upland birds with a top-notch staff, accommodations and guides, then make sure you get in contact with Pleasant Valley Hunting Preserve and see for yourself why they are one of our trusted Platinum Approve Outfitter for upland bird hunting. We spent each night at the incredible Falcon’s Ledge Lodge where we found ourselves surrounded in luxury and accommodations. The lodge is 15,000 sq. ft. with nine private rooms, ranging from a single king bed and luxurious master bathroom to a double queen bunk room that will sleep up to six adults. One of our favorite parts of staying at the lodge was breakfast and dinner.  Our chef never let us down in his quest to surprise us with a new and exciting creation at every turn.  His dishes were nothing short of amazing. The fully Orvis endorsed lodge has a complete fly-fishing pro shop in the basement that has you covered from flies to fishing rods and everything in-between. If you need to rent any equipment, they have you covered for that too. After your fishing gear is ready just walk out the front doors of the lodge and decide which of the eight ponds surrounding the lodge you want to fish or take a short drive and choose from another seven ponds as well. The ponds are full of hard fighting monster rainbow, brown, tiger and brook trout. If fishing stillwater ponds for big, hard fighting fish isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe one of the numerous steams or rivers in the area will be what you’re searching for. We spent one day fishing a small mountain stream catching browns and brook trout with the occasional rainbow. This was just one of many mountain streams available to fish while staying at the lodge. If you want to experience Mother Nature at her best, then fishing the surrounding mountain steams is your ticket where it’s common to not see another fisherman all day. The average sized fish in most of these streams will vary between 13-18 inches with the occasional fish over the 22 inch mark, but don’t get me wrong, fishing the ponds around the lodge is a lot of fun too, especially when you’re catching 20 plus inch trout almost every cast with possibility of a 32 inch or bigger trout lurking. The scenery around the lodge is beautiful as it sits in a canyon of rolling hills full of cedar trees with spectacular views from the deck where you can watch rising fish taking insects off the water, but there is something different about fishing a mountain stream, especially in the fall as we experienced during our trip with the leaves changing colors; looking like the art work of a Picasso painting. Overall, the Falcon’s Ledge Lodge is a fantastic place to relax or just get-away to with family and friends. Their accommodations are top notch with excellent food, games, fishing and hunting. Make sure you check out one of their 15 stillwater ponds for a chance at catching some BIG trout or spend the afternoon sharpening your shooting skills at “The Bird Walk”, a seven station clay range designed to simulate shooting scenarios encountered in upland bird hunting, all just a short distance from the main lodge. With all the comforts of home and then some, I’m confident you will enjoy your stay at this one of a kind lodge. From the wireless Internet access to stay connected with the outside world to a game room and endless outdoor activities, we had no problem filling our time with lasting memories. Our days at Falcon’s Ledge Lodge were full of adventure. The upland bird hunting was truly a unique experience and the fly-fishing was superb with plenty of fish and breathtaking scenery. It’s easy to see why we value Falcon’s Ledge Lodge as one of our prestigious Platinum Approved Outfitters. This is one of those places perfect for the entire family or your next corporate retreat. Make sure to check them out online or give them a call to plan your next adventure. Toll free (877) 879-3737 www.falconsledge.com and www.pvhunting.com. Visit http://www.sportsmansnews.com/outfitters/#.VKh8_CvF8rU to learn more about Sportman’s Warehouse’s Platinum Approved Outfitters.]]>