Located 55 miles west of Minneapolis, just off Highway 212, Major Avenue Hunt Club is ideal for half-day or one-day shoots. Situated on more than 350 acres of restored prairie grass and 160 acres of marsh and wetlands with spring-fed ponds, owners Jerry and Myra Martin offer pheasant and chukar hunting, plus European-inspired tower shoots, where game birds are released from the top of a converted silo. After the hunt, enjoy a home-cooked dinner in the clubhouse. Call two to three days ahead to schedule a hunt.Rates: Pheasants $19 each, chukar $13 each, guide and dog, $40 per day. Open seven days a week through May 1.
Glencoe, 320-864-6025, majoravehunt.com
A day of upland hunting for pheasant, chukar, quail, and turkey is a great way to build camaraderie among clients and colleagues. Just 25 minutes north of the Twin Cities between White Bear Lake and Forest Lake, Wild Wings is the oldest hunting club in Minnesota. Set on 540 acres of picturesque forest and fields, the members-only club offers corporate events for seasoned hunters and amateurs alike, including hunting in 14 areas, clay target and rifle shooting, and outdoor walks for non-hunters. Hunting events can be scheduled from September through May, while the Wild Wings clubhouse, outdoor pavilion, and patio are available throughout the year. Annual memberships start at $300 for sporting clays and $1,300 plus a one-time initiation fee for hunting, but for a limited time, the club is offering a trial hunt special for non-members, featuring a dog and guide, five birds per hunter, bird cleaning, and a $25 credit towards membership for $195 per hunter.
Hugo, 651-439-4287, wildwingsofoneka.com
If you’ve been hankering to get out of town, gather a passel of hunting buddies and head to southern Wisconsin for a weekend in river valley country. The club is typically open only to members, but owner Jeff Maier is happy to help first-time guests organize a custom package, including hunting, accommodations in the 8,000-square-foot lodge, and custom chef-prepared meals. Members and guests enjoy a sporty hunt with lean, flighty birds, and acres of natural cover including sorghum and corn strips, and native woods. A two-day package for four hunters with individual rooms and 50 birds per person per day starts at $2,000; guides and dogs additional.
Spring Green, Wisconsin, 608-583-3570, cedarvalleypreserve.com
Don’t have the time or inclination to go hunting? Make tracks to Woodsmans Grill near the river in Anoka. Veteran chef/hunter Shawn Richardson serves 25 types of game, including quail from Wild Acres Game Birds in Pequot Lakes, meats and fish smoked on-site, and made-from-scratch specialties including elk hash, buffalo porterhouse, and alligator burgers, plus a selection of beers. Ambiance is provided by Woodsmans regulars, who trade hunting stories under the watchful gaze of trophies from Richardson’s own collection and Jack’s Taxidermy.
Anoka, 763-323-6588, facebook.com/woodsmansgrill
If you’re passionate about hunting and wildlife habitat conservation, mark your calendar for the annual Pheasants Forever convention/trade show. The event features exhibits and seminars on pheasant hunting, shooting sports, wild game cooking, dog training, habitat improvement and conservation, and more. Established in 1982 by a group of pheasant hunters in St. Paul, Pheasants Forever is now a national organization that has invested more than $407 million in conservation and education. In Minnesota alone, Pheasants Forever has spent more than $52.1 million to purchase and open nearly 34,000 acres of uplands and wetlands for public hunting and recreation.
February 15–17, Minneapolis Convention Center, pheasantfest.org