Anyone been to Miller's Ranch -- what did you think? I'm going with a small group in late March...first time there for me. Plan to pack the fish gear as well and hit Lenore or Lenice on the way back.
I've been there several times in the past . . . they typically have great birds. However, if you go in late March be prepared for ticks . . . lots & lots of ticks. I went late 1 time (on an Easter Sunday) . . . my visits after that were during cold months.
I've always used Ben's on my skin & a variety of tick sprays designed for clothing. Blouse your pants, wear sleeves with snug cuffs, & check thoroughly when you're done. Millers had some spray they used on the dogs, but my Lab still got infested. Put Frontline on your dog ahead of time & go to Petco . . . get yourself a package of "Tick Twisters" . . . little plastic crowbar-looking things in 2 sizes that work like a charm if a tick gets buried . . . better than tweezers & removes NO flesh/tissue while stopping any potential for the tick to regurgitate into the bite site. http://www.petco.com/product/102855/Tick-Twister.aspx
I'm pretty sure we're using their dogs...for sure not mine...don't have a bird dog. Never heard of Ben's, but will definitely get some and some spray to douse my lower leg pants, socks and boots. To bad the prior nights residual tequila, JD and or scotch isn't a repellent...wouldn't that be the bomb!
Pictures on the website suggests pretty much open scrub-land. That can be a windy time of year... hope the weather gods favor us.
Sagebrush, tall grass, & some stands of brush/bushes. Easy hiking/hunting & I'm sure you'll have a great time. Any time I've been there, they had very nice birds. If it stays warm unseasonably early, watch for Rattlers, too. Oh & Deep Woods Off would likely work just well on your exposed skin . . . checking afterwards is the key . . . takes those little buggers awhile to climb-up to shoulder+ level, which is where they prefer to dine. I tend to wear light-colored pants & shirts in tick country . . . makes them a bit easier to spot.
I had a punch card at Miller's the last year I lived in Washington. My GSP was 2 at the time and it was a great deal for me and my pup. I would put 5 birds out each time I went and never failed to see at least 8 or 10 birds, and some days a lot more than that. I only hunted there in Jan. and Feb. so can not comment on hunting that late in the season.
The Miller's are very good people, I miss not hunting there.
Good luck on your hunt.
Just spent the weekend at Miller Ranch...great place lot's of fun. There were 5 of us in the party and everyone got birds. The German Short-hair and Black Lab (Katy and Tyson) worked like a precision drill team... I am always amazed watching dogs work. You can tell they absolutely love doing what they do -- wish I had that much enthusiasm at Boeing . The weather was fantastic, clear, cool and crisp with a light breeze. A few light snow flurries wandered through, just to remind everyone that winter isn't quite yet ready to hand over the reigns to spring.
I had no idea the ranch was so big (15000 acres...and use to be 30000!). I really like the topography, lots of variation, long slopes and coulee's mixed within. We made 3 hunts, two on Saturday and one yesterday morning. The accommodations and personnel are great and I'd recommend the place to anyone. Since no one else in the party fly fishes, I brought home enough tail feathers to last me for a long, long time.
The new CZ worked w/o a hitch. Using new muscle groups, carrying a gun around, my arm and shoulders did get a little taxed towards the end of the 3-4 hour hunts...but I suspect that's normal. I don't think the Canvasback is that much heavier than most other guns, but maybe so? It fits my reach well and I was able to knock down every bird I shot at...so it's a keeper.
Great fun, awesome food and beverage, no injuries, and no ticks... what more can you ask for?