My Castle Valley Outdoors Experience (Utah) – Bachelor Party 2013 – Raif Richardson


My Castle Valley Experience – Bachelor Party 2013.

It was pitch black when we arrived at Castle Valley. As we pulled through the metal gates and started down the winding gravel road, we came around a corner and before us sat the magnificent wooden main lodge as it glowed in the darkness from the light illuminating through the front windows. I knew instantly that the pictures we had viewed while planning this trip, which was actually part of the reason we chose Castle Valley, did not do the lodge justice. The welcoming sight on that first evening was absolutely beautiful. My excitement was shared by 7 of my oldest friends and my Father who had all flown to Utah for my unforgettable Bachelor Party experience. Three nights and two days of upland bird hunting with professional guides and dogs, and as remote and private as we could get.

A late gourmet dinner was served to us as we finished our first scotch, and with the wine that ensued, the stories of past hunts were thrown out as possibilities for what the next day could be like.

The next morning, as the sun reflected through the beautiful stained glass above my bed, I woke to let my hunting companion, “Luca” my trusty yellow lab outside for some fresh air while I stood awestruck in the doorway at the view in front of me.  The rising sun, rolling over the ridge behind us was throwing red over the canyon walls that rose high above the lodge. This was only a first impression, the views and the scenery only got better with every step, every field and eventually the rewarding hike to see the native cave paintings from another era in time.

Our group had all brought our personal shotguns to hunt for the weekend, and after a quick tour of the lodges gun room, everyone re-cased their trusted duck guns for a chance to shoot one of the “fine guns” which were available to us.  With beautiful side by sides draped over our arms, we separated into groups of three, with each group having their own guide and a team of 3 or 4 pointing dogs. With this scenario, we all headed out for our first morning’s hunt.  My group headed across the highway and up into the head or top of the valley.  As the truck crawled along the gravel road, mule deer bounded ahead of us through the willows on each side.  As I stepped from the truck, and under what we called the “Castle Rock” the silence of this remote location engulfed us, and at that particular point in time, there was no place on earth I would have rather been.

With our team of dogs in front, my older brother and a great friend on either side, and of course Luca ready to spring into action, we took our first steps into what can only be described as the most spectacular weekend of upland hunting I have ever experienced.  We watched in awe as our guide Greg worked the dogs with perfection through the field from point to point. What an awesome sight!!

The entire experience at Castle Valley was so amazing!! I don’t think any of us could have ever imagined when we arrived, the incredible adventure that was in store for us.

This is where I am going to end my story.  It was just too special of an occasion to adequately share with pen and paper. Every step I took in those amazing fields during the day, along with the friendship, camaraderie and great memories while in the main lodge in the evening made this trip so very special for me. It was absolutely the perfect Bachelor Party. Definitely an adventure in each of our lives that we will never forget.

To Jim and all of the staff at Castle Valley Outdoors, thank you for everything!!  Your service and attention to detail made your lodge feel like our own for the entire weekend. Exactly what I had hoped for. We will definitely be back for another hunt!!

We look forward to hopefully seeing you and your staff up at our lodge, The Lodge at Little Duck for some Caribou Hunting.

To everyone else who reads this letter; our photos, which Jim has, are just a glimpse of what your weekend could be.  Enjoy your hunt and experience at Castle Valley Outdoors. I can honestly say that we all did.


February 2013.