Back in the 1960s a fellow by the name of Toby Beard transplanted some 50 ring necks here on the Peninsula in the dunal areas between Long Beach and Seaview. Toby has long since passed and at the time he did this, he was working for the WDFW as the local fish hawk and game warden. At one time he was also the mayor of Ilwaco.

To my recollection there were no pheasants present in this area then. At least I don’t recall seeing any, and no one I knew bothered to hunt them, it was all ducks and geese back then. Toby was an avid game bird hunter and I believe he had purchased these birds from a game farm in the Corvallis, Ore. area.

For a while, these birds did quite well here and their numbers flourished and began to increase before people and developers began clearing out into the dunes and building houses and whatever else there. The dunes were a great area for them to build their nests and raise their chicks. Pets such as cats and dogs raiding their eggs in the nests didn’t do them any good either. Soon most of them disappeared out there. But some of them were able to hang on in the Chinook area on Goulter’s farm and surrounding forest lands.

I used to hunt them myself with family while growing up as a boy in Hillsboro, Ore., which was still mostly farm country back then. But that’s all mostly long gone now too. So I am happy that there appears to be a concerted effort to keep a few of them going here.

Whenever I see one walking alongside the road or flying along as I drive Chinook Valley Road, it sure brings back some fond memories to me. So to those folks who are doing the work to keep them going around here thank you and keep up the good work. In my opinion there is not a more challenging and finer game bird to hunt anywhere and at any time.

PS: And yes indeed, they do taste like chicken of the wild variety.

PSS: If there are any of the more indigenous locals who were born here please step forward to further enlighten my comments on this.

GENE M. LILLY

Ilwaco

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