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Paradise Shooting Preserve, Inc. (304 425-1984), WV
Tony Mazelon, me
Low 60s to Low 70s, Swirling 10 mph winds

Tony and I decided to pay for the privilege of hunting some birds in Paradise. Paradise is 350 acres of reclaimed strip mine with phenomenal cover. It's run extremely well and I look forward going again. We prepared for the trip by shooting skeet and sporting clays.

Tony and I met in Charleston at 6:00 am, got lost on the way, and finally arrived at Paradise at a little after 8:00 am. We met Shelby, our guide, got signed up, and took off for some quail.

We crossed a dirt road from the trailer, which served as a field office, with a beautiful English Pointer named Cassie in front. We worked an open field with dozens of small trees and grown up weeds with some real thick border cover. Cassie got birdy pretty quick and, just as she was getting close, a rabbit jumped up. Shelby yelled to shoot it so I turned and put it down. I turned back around and Cassie was locked tight. Shelby flushed the quail, it quartered toward me at 10 yards out and I hit it as flush as it could be hit. Nothing was left but the head! Good shooting but no meat. A second quail jumped up and flew between us and behind me and I put it down on the second shot. Tony quickly followed with his first and we were off!

Loren and Tony with birds We worked our way out the field and found a covey of four quail that were not planted and Shelby flushed 'em. Three ran, one went up and I missed. We worked on out the line, one jumped and flew back the way we came and I popped him on the second shot. Tony had two birds jump, missed the first, and then picked up the second in some thick brush with an excellent shot. We jumped a rabbit but Tony held up because the dog followed and was too close. Finally I picked up my fourth and we headed back for a cool drink and to prepare for the pheasant hunt.

Some of the quail didn't really want to fly and Shelby had to really get after them to get 'em up. Others took off just fine. Greg Kindrick told me that pen raised quail could be like this and it definitely took a bit away from the experience. Of course the warm weather didn't help either. Nevertheless, we took all shots on flight and made it the best we could.

We jumped in Shelby's truck and drove out into the property where the pheasants live. Thick, tangled stuff with trails brush hogged through for human movement. Five minutes in Cassie locked up and a hen flew from my left to right at 45 degrees. I missed twice and connected solid with my third shot and she crumpled.

We worked down the hill and Cassie locked up quick again. We split around a big thicket and the hen flew dead in front of me left to right at 30 yards. I missed three times.

A few minutes later, Cassie locked again. Shelby flushed a nice cock and Tony put him down.

Minutes later, another lock, and after a little running, a hen flushed with a tree line between her and me. She flew right to left, quartering back. I let her clear the line and folded her with one shot. Beautiful!

Tony took another cock on his second shot and I hit it a split-second after him.

We worked around a bit, Cassie locked on one, up jumped a hen and I took her with the first shot. Cassie fetched her up while Shelby was getting the bird from here mouth, a cock jumped up not ten feet away. Tony and I fired at the same time but Tony said I hit him. I agreed because I was dead on the sucker and he folded away from me. Beautiful again!

We heard another cock bird and followed through a thicket. Tony emptied his gun and all I heard was cussing!

A few minutes later, we jumped a grouse and I emptied my gun in vain. We were even. I loaded up and away we went. Shelby saw a big cock bird in a thicket over the hill and hollered to shoot it on the ground before it flew down below and away. I raised my gun, pulled the trigger, and "click" - I had forgotten to chamber a shell. I put on the safety, chambered, and tried to shoot again with my safety on! Finally got the safety off and the bird was gone!

Tony folded a hen on first shot from another great point by Cassie.

Cassie then took Shelby and me on a chase through some thick stuff that lasted several hundred yards. Shelby saw the big cock bird and we were excited! Finally a hen got in the way, jumped up and I shot three times and missed. On my fourth shot, at fifty yards, I dropped her. Whew!

What I day. This kind of hunting is different but Tony says the pheasant fly exactly like the birds in Nebraska. I'll be back for more!

  1 rabbit killed
  4 quail killed
  5 pheasants killed

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