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CWA Disabled Vets Hunt

By Don Webster
01/20/16 -- On January 8-9, the California Waterfowl Association held a combination duck and pheasant hunt for disabled military veterans. I was one of the eight, lucky veterans selected to participate in the outing, which took place in and around the Goose Lake area near Wasco, California.

Goose Lake Veterans hunt, photo courtesy of Don Webster
Military vets at CWA Goose Lake hunting area, photo by Jeff Smith

The California Waterfowl Association owns a 2200 acre property there, and is in the process of developing it as waterfowl habitat. The new, 300 acre marsh was laid out nicely, with four-man, sunken blinds, and emergent vegetation should eventually make it a first-class waterfowl unit.

2 men in sunken blind, photo by Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith and George Derrington at Goose Lake, photo by Don Webster

The hunt was organized and supervised by Jeff Smith from California Waterfowl Association, and Jeff did an outstanding job. The entire hunt was courtesy of Cal Waterfowl, and they spared no expense in taking care of the veterans. We stayed at the Springhill Suites Marriott in Bakersfield, California and the accommodations were excellent. We each had our own private room. Everything we needed for enjoyment and success was provided by Cal Waterfowl—lodging, food, shells, guides, lunches, etc.

Retriever, photo by Jeff Smith
Dog on point at pheasant club, photo by Don Webster

On Friday, January 8th, we enjoyed a fine, morning duck hunt at the Goose Lake property, followed by a pheasant hunt nearby in the afternoon. Everyone harvested birds, and we had a great time.

 Man and Dog hunting, photo by Jeff Smith
Andrew Gabryszak and pointing dog, photo by Don Webster

A fine evening meal was enjoyed, and everyone turned in early, since we were plumb tuckered out, and had to rise and shine at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning for a second duck hunt.

Following the duck hunt, the veterans enjoyed a great barbecue lunch at Goose Lake.

On Saturday night, we veterans were guests of honor at the Bakersfield California Waterfowl Members Dinner. Another great meal was enjoyed, and everyone had a good time. One of the guys won a nice Beretta A300 shotgun.

California Waterfowl Association is to be highly commended for paying tribute to disabled military veterans. The Association offers a wide variety of complimentary hunts throughout the hunting season for veterans, and their thoughtfulness and hospitality is greatly appreciated by those who have served their country.

Veterans are encouraged to visit the website at and check out the various hunts that they may apply for.

Don E. Webster has been an avid outdoorsman for over 60 years. In addition to being a columnist for, Don has published three books: "Bury Me In My Waders" An Old Duck Hunter Recalls His Fowl Past, "Double-Ought Buck" a novel, and "Bears, Beer, Trout Tacos, Etc." Short Outdoor Tales & Other Quasi-Kindred Illuminations.

Webster's MyOutdoorBuddy column entitled “Canine Comics" won the Phil Ford Humor Award from the Outdoor Writers Association of California in 2013. Visit Don's website at

He continues to love fox squirrels and hate eucalyptus trees.


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