Dream Ranch Lives Up to Its Name in Alabama

Dream Ranch
Dream Ranch

We recently added a new endorsed hunting lodge in northeast Alabama called Dream Ranch. It’s located on a hill overlooking Lake Guntersville and that in itself is significant; I’ll tell you why in a minute. Dream Ranch is a family-owned operation and I called manager Austin Ainsworth to see what they have to offer. It was a bit more than I expected. While they offer great quail hunting, there are some unique opportunities there that make made it stand out for me.

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High Gun vs. Low Gun: An Argument for the Ages

Shooting a shotgun is a dynamic feat of visual concentration and movement— movement being essential to match the pace of the gun barrels to the pace of the target. This can be a very awkward to do when the gun is pre-mounted in the cheek and shoulder. I am a firm believer and advocate of starting with the shotgun in the low gun position.

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Discover Great Wingshooting at Greystone Castle

Greystone Lodge
Greystone Castle

I just returned from a quail hunting trip at Greystone Castle in Mingus, Texas. The ride to the Castle was an easy hour and fifteen minutes to get to the front gate of the facility from DFW in Dallas. I’d never been to Greystone before so this was a new experience for me. The Castle sits atop the highest point on the ranch and overlooks the entire property. It was a spectacular view.

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Picking up My New Pup, Murph: Part II

It was exactly 2, 962 miles round trip to get Murph and he is worth every mile of it. It was a great seven days with my son Nick, road tripping through the South. I was born and raised there. Nick was born and raised in Vermont and introducing him to southern staples like pork cracklins and moon pies just made it better.

The first three days we hunted quail at Harris Springs (you can see the video in the hunting section), we shucked and ate roasted oysters South Carolina, went to Bass Pro in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I discovered to my chagrin I didn’t need anything, visited a friend of mine in Athens, Georgia who lives on a lake and watched geese and mallards drop in front of the rising sun, ate our fill of Waffle House breakfasts, spent the night near Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, and ultimately ended up in Oxford, Mississippi and Wildrose Kennels.It was exactly 2, 962 miles round trip to get Murph and he is worth every mile of it. It was a great seven days with my son Nick, road tripping through the South. I was born and raised there. Nick was born and raised in Vermont and introducing him to southern staples like pork cracklins and moon pies just made it better.

The first three days we hunted quail at Harris Springs (you can see the video in the hunting section), we shucked and ate roasted oysters South Carolina, went to Bass Pro in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I discovered to my chagrin I didn’t need anything, visited a friend of mine in Athens, Georgia who lives on a lake and watched geese and mallards drop in front of the rising sun, ate our fill of Waffle House breakfasts, spent the night near Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, and ultimately ended up in Oxford, Mississippi and Wildrose Kennels.

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Wingshooting at Harris Springs

I just left Harris Springs Sportsman Preserve down in Waterloo, South Carolina, deep in the pine and Harwood Piedmont region in the northwest part of the state, the transition region that buffers the Appalachian range from the coastal plain. It is a quiet and unassuming lodge in a quiet and unassumingly beautiful part of the south.

It is a small lodge. They only take eight hunters at a time at most, but if ever there was a poster child of the axiom quality not quantity, it is Harris Springs. My son Nick and I came in late Sunday night after driving 24 hours down from Vermont. No one was there, as it was the day after Christmas, but manager Mark Seay had remained in constant contact with us on our way down. The gate was unlocked and the Rock House was waiting for us.

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Picking Up My New Pup, Murph

Saturday night, my oldest son Nick and I began a 3000 mile road trip to pick up the next member of the family: a six-week old black Lab puppy. His name will be Murph in honor of Bob Murphy, a good friend, a great sportsman, and a true gentleman, something I hope his namesake will become in the next few years.

Murph will become the fifth Labrador we’ve had in this family. The first was Mushroom, a yellow who was our first dog after Mimi and I got married. He lived up in the deer camp with us before we were married.

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Wingshooting at Deer Creek Lodge

If ever there was time to get your money’s worth in wingshooting, it’s now at Deer Creek Lodge in Sebree, Kentucky. In talking with Sales Manager David Krawczynski, he informed me the Orvis-Endorsed Wingshooting Lodge of the Year for 2006-2007 is offering a three-for-the-price-of-two promotion until the end of the season in March. Bring three hunters and pay for two. This is all-inclusive except for gratuities and license.

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Quail in the Epicenter of Plantation Hunting

RioPiedrahunt2011
Rio Piedra hunters benefit from thousands of acres of managed habitat.

Bill Atchison is justifiably proud of Rio Piedra. Year after year it wins awards—including the Orvis Wingshooting Lodge of the Year award an unprecedented three times. That’s purely based on customer feedback. In 2009 it won the Sporting Classics Hunting Lodge of the Year.

His secret? . . .

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New Farm Added to Harpole’s Upland Program

Harpole's Heartland Lodge
Harpole’s Heartland Lodge

Gary Harpole of Harpole’s Heartland Lodge and I were talking Friday, and he was pretty enthusiastic about a new 450-acre farm that he just added to the other 2,000 acres in his upland program.

“This is all CRP land in native grasses and has been managed for wild quail in the past. It has gently rolling hills and some tree lines and fencerows, and has that kind of ‘hunting Uncle Charlie’s’ farm feel to it. It’s only ten minutes away, and we’ve been improving it with food plots. Our upland hunters. . .

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