Concierge-A Sporting Tradition-September 2011
You could invite your best clients to spend another beautiful day on a golf course, but why would you, now that hunting season is here? For many men, and an increasing number of women, few things compare to the primeval pleasure of a spectacular autumn day in the woods with a passel of friends and a pair of impeccable dogs. And with top-quality hunting preserves within easy driving distance of the Twin Cities, you can enjoy hunting small game, shooting sporting clays, and trap shooting well into the spring. Base rates for hunting range from about $300 for a half day to $1,200 for a full day.
Traxler’s Hunting Preserve
Traxler’s, a 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities, is a favorite destination for hunters who appreciate the more than 850 acres of pristine woods, hills, and sloughs, the top quality game-management practices, and the signature wild game dinners. Hunting options include easy, challenging, half-day, and full-day shoots, as well as duck and chukar continental shoots. Lodging is available in the Bunkhouse or the Game Bird Lodge. Guide services, dogs, and clinics are also offered. Le Center, 507-357- 6940, traxlers.com.
Marsh Lake Hunting Club
If you and your clients share a real passion for hunting, joining the exclusive members-only Marsh Lake Hunting Club might make good business sense. Located 40 minutes west of the Twin Cities in Chaska, the club sits on 400 acres of rolling hills, woods, and fields. Spend a bucolic morning at the legendary Duck Pass and the afternoon at the 300-yard rifle range and the trap range, followed by one of Vicky Thaemert’s legendary meals in the Clubhouse. Guide services and dogs are available. Chaska, 952-443-2082, marshlakehuntingclub.com.
Caribou Gun Club Hunting Preserve
Anyone who loves shooting sporting clays—or has clients who do—should mark the calendar for the 2012 U.S. Open Sporting Clays Championship next July at the Caribou Gun Club in Le Sueur, about 75 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. In the meantime, go to hunt pheasants and chukar on more than 700 acres of prairie grasses and other terrain, shoot trap, skeet, and sporting clays, or practice on the shooting range. Relax over dinner in the Loose Moose Banquet Hall, and stay overnight in the Caribou Cozy Cabin. Guide services and dogs are available. Le Sueur, 507-665-3796, caribougunclub.com.
Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club
The metro area’s best-known hunting club is nestled on more than 600 acres just 45 minutes from downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul. Come for a day of upland game bird and waterfowl hunting, followed by a luxurious dinner of bison and other wild game specialties at Trigger’s Saloon & Supper Club. Or host a morning meeting in the rustic but elegant clubhouse, and then head outdoors for an afternoon on the shooting range or on the second-oldest sporting clays course in the country. Guide services, dogs, and clinics are available. Prior Lake, 952-447-2272, horseandhunt.com.
Long Lake Lodge
If your clients want to brainstorm as much as hunt, Long Lake Lodge makes it easy to kill the proverbial two birds with one shotgun shell. Two-and-a-half hours north of the Twin Cities on Interstate 94 (near Alexandria), the lodge offers conference facilities, comfortable rooms, hot tub and sauna, full bar, and gourmet meals featuring aged buffalo prime rib and other specialties. Hunt for pheasants, quail, and chukar on 650 acres of fields, wetlands, and native grasses, or spend an afternoon on the sporting clay and five-stand ranges. “It’s a really natural hunt,” says Philip Caspers, an attorney with Minneapolis-based Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh & Lindquist “It’s like going to South Dakota or North Dakota, without having to drive all that way.” Guide services and dogs are available. Brandon, 320-524-2755, longlakelodge.net.