Salem is Oregon’s state capital. Located about 50 miles south of Portland, this city of 155,000 people and miles of sprawl was a tiny town 100 years ago. As you would expect, the hunting around there was a lot different back then.
Salem sits like a bull’s eye on Oregon’s Willamette Valley–ground zero for the first successful Chinese pheasants releases in the United States. This happened around 1882. By 1911, wild pheasants thrived up and down the valley. So did monstrous ducks and ruffed grouse.
Paul Nicholson grew up around Salem and he hunted the area extensively his whole life. This article is based on his experiences and recollections. My heart ached a bit when I read this part:
“Five cock pheasants was the limit, and it was no trouble to get limits for four or five men. We always kept a couple of bird dogs. A few were top performers, and we lost no crippled birds. Hunters were few, and we knew most of the farmers where we hunted. “No Hunting” and “No Trespassing” signs were almost unknown.” You can read the rest here.