Hunting Preserves & Outfitters
By C.C. McCotter
Perhaps the most often asked question we receive from our readers in the fall is: ŌDo you know of any good places I can hunt?Ķ
Well, based on the excellent and varied array of hunting preserves and guides in the region we can say, ŌYou bet!Ķ
Each year we compile our Guide to Hunting Preserves & Outfitters and our recommendations follow in alphabetical order. This list of hunting preserves and outfitters can take you upland bird, deer, turkey and bear hunting. One can even offer boar, stag and exotic game to guests. The terrain varies from place to place from mountains to Piedmont hills, rugged valleys to farm fields, so be sure and know what you can physically handle before making your arrangements.
In many cases, W2 has personally visited these establishments or will be in the coming months, so we know they are worthy of your visit. When making plans to visit one of these businesses you should expect to make reservations via a phone call or email, then be required to send a deposit in advance to hold your day. Each establishment has its own rules, but all require proper licenses you must often obtain before arriving. Blaze orange is also necessary. Be sure and inquire about tipping policies and total cost for the trips so you wonÕt be surprised at the end of the hunt.
Good luck and let us know how you do with a Reader Letter or email.
Chincoteague Hunting & Fishing Center
Captain Pete Wallace is a highly rated outfitter that offers guided waterfowl hunting adventures on Virginia's Eastern Shore; the wintering grounds for one of the largest, most diverse populations of waterfowl found anywhere. Chincoteague Hunting maintains approximately 100 blinds from the Maryland/Virginia state line south for approximately 30 miles. They also have blinds in and around the Saxis Wildlife Management area on the Chesapeake Bay. These blinds include marsh blinds, which overlook ponds and creeks and pole blinds, which are located in the open waters of the bays and sounds. Guides provide you with transportation to and from the blinds and are licensed Coast Guard Captains with Coast Guard inspected vessels. Your guide will remain with you throughout the hunt to set out decoys, retrieve your birds and relocate you as necessary. Moving a few times throughout the hunt depending on weather conditions, tides and the type of waterfowl you are hunting is another way Chincoteague guides keep the shooting hot. It is possible to hunt puddle ducks, divers, sea ducks, brant and geese all in the same day. Contact Capt. Wallace at 1.888.231.4868 or visit www.chincoteaguehunt-fish.com
Forest Green Shooting Preserve
If you are looking for a place to hunt birds this fall and winter, try Forest Green located near the south end of Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County. Forest Green features guided and non-guided hunts for pheasant, chukar and quail on over 500 acres of managed wildlife habitat. Owner David Sutter and manager Andrew Jones holds an opening day dove shoot that is open to the public, but call ahead to reserve your spot each year. 540/582.2566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner George B. Hopkins is one of the original, far-sighted men that saw a need for sporting clays and hunting preserves. With this in mind, he created the now famous Hopkins Hunting Farm in Kennedyville, Maryland. Hopkins invites you to hunt this year on 2,000 acres in Kent County for deer and upland birds. Bring your bow, muzzleloader or shotgun for the deer and bird gun for pheasant, quail and chukar hunts. You can even stay in the Hopkins Hunting lodge. Packaged hunts are available.
For reservations or more information call 410.348.5287 or visit www.hopkinshunting-clays.com
HuntÕs Game Preserve
If you like to hunt quail, HuntÕs Game Preserve in Sussex County, Virginia needs to be on your list this fall. Bring your own bird dogs and turn them loose on spacious fields for training or hunting. ThereÕs no limit to the amount of quail you can bag. Nearby overnight lodging is available. For more information call 434.246.5986 or 804.691.8809.
HunterÕs Paradise Green Valley Hunting Preserve/Outfitters
Located in the mountainous Bath County of Virginia, HunterÕs Paradise is a secluded hideaway offering visitors the chance to hunt deer, turkey and upland birds. The Lyons family runs the show and does much of the guiding. HunterÕs Paradise is a privately owned, game-managed, 2,500-acre prime habitat for wildlife and outdoor fun. When you stay with the Lyons, they can provide meals for you or you can prepare your own, the choice is yours. Don't forget that HunterÕs Paradise offers many other activities (fishing, hiking and mountain biking) for those not hunting as well as other seasonal hunting experiences. Contact Green Valley HunterÕs Paradise by calling 540/996.4134 or by visiting www.greenvalleyhuntersparadise.com .
The Kennels At Mill Run Farm
While you donÕt hunt at Mill Run Farm, Doug Deats does board, train and raise plenty of hunting dogs. Deats accepts pointers, flushers, field retrievers and water dogs into his training programs and often takes them over to Rasawek Hunting Preserve (see below). If you want your dog to get a little Ōtrained upĶ or polished in time for a big event, contact Deats.804.241.2021.
Maple Tree Outdoors
Mike Puffenbarger operates this guide service/outfitter in the stunning mountain country of Highland County, Virginia. Here, Puffenbarger offers hunters spectacular venues for deer and turkey, as well as modern lodging on his family farm. One of Maple Tree OutdoorsÕ most popular packages includes a morning bow hunt, a mid-day fishing trip to nearby Lake Moomaw and a return to the standing in the evening. For more information call 540.468.2682 or visit www.mapletreeoutdoors.com
Mountain Meadow Hunting Lodge
We searched for a place we could recommend for boar hunting and found what we think is a great option for W2 readers just over the West Virginia border at Mountain Meadow. Located near Greenville, Mountain Meadow manages several hundred acres for hog hunting including open land and heavily forested hills. You can spot and stalk, stand hunt or use dogs on your hunt as well as choose from a variety of weapons. Bowhunters and crossbows are welcome. Accommodations in the form of a new, log cabin lodge that sleeps up to six hunters are available on site and thereÕs even a stocked lake for guests to fish. Are you ready to come get your hog? If you are call 304.832.6635 or visit www.mountainmeadow.net .
Mystic Marsh Waterfowling
If youÕve always wanted to hunt flooded timber but didnÕt want the hassle of traveling to Alabama, consider booking a hunt with Mystic Marsh Waterfowling located near Gloucester, Virginia. Owner Tim Aiken and his guides have built an amazing boardwalk into what they have dubbed ŌMystic MarshĶ that allow access to remote duck blinds where wood ducks whizz by challenging you to track them. Four blinds are tucked into the 20-acre marsh, each offering great waterfowling opportunities. Each hunting packages includes guide and dog. For more information call 757.810.5530 or visit www.mysticmarshwaterfowl.com
Razor Back Guide Service
Brian Bodine has been living in the Central Virginia area for the last 19 years. Now living in Scottsville, he is guiding hunters on some of the same countryside that Teddy Roosevelt once did, (his hunting cottage, Pine Knott, is three miles from headquarters). This area of Virginia holds as much game as it is scenic. Its rolling hills in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains contain deer, turkey, bear, and a variety of bird hunting opportunities. Brian has the skill and local knowledge to make your adventure as enjoyable as well as successful. Razorback owns and leases over 2,700 acres of farmland with exclusive hunting rights in the central Virginia area. Much of it is river bottom land containing planted grain fields, oaks ridges, planted pines and cutovers. Many hold farm ponds offering opportunities for mixed bags of ducks and geese. Deer are abundant and some of land is managed for trophy bucks only. You have to call to get on our list and reserve your spot.
BodineÕs annual dove shoot will be held September 24 this year, so call him at 434.923.9305 if you want to participate.
Rasawek Shooting Preserve
Be it a rain-soaked morning or a sunny afternoon, there is no better place for hard-driving dogs with bells or hunters with double guns than the fifteen plus miles of woodland trails on the new Rasawek Hunting Preserve. Join accomplished dog trainer Doug Deats with your own dog or one of his on hundreds of acres of managed pine plantation, hardwood draws, creek bottoms and hill top meadows in search of upland birds. Rasawek is named after a Native American tribe that frequented the area and left many artifacts. This preserve is said to be ŌmanagedĶ not manicured. Located in western Goochland County, just off I-64 Rasawek is a very rare find. 804.467.900.
Remington Whistling Wings Hunting
Many folks in the northern Virginia, Maryland and DC area like to hunt but donÕt have the time to travel to overnight destinations. Remington Whistling Wings Hunting is the perfect solution located in Nokesville, Virginia, about an hour from Washington, DC. Owner Russ Cress and his staff will guide you to ducks and geese from pond side blinds or layout blinds in fields. He also offers upland bird trips and dog training. All packaged hunts include a guide and dog. To book your trip call 703.772.1517 or visit www.remingtonwhistlingwings.com.
Rose Hill Bird Hunting Preserve
In the heart of VirginiaÕs Piedmont region lays Rose Hill Farm Game Bird Preserve. This is a 210-acre estate where sportsmen have hunted since Virginia was still a colony. Today hunters still enjoy prime upland game bird hunts at this Culpeper area preserve about an hourÕs drive from DC. The property features a variety of managed cover and natural grassland providing a unique hunting experience for pheasants, Hungarian partridge, chukar and quail. You may choose from guided and unguided hunts and clay target warm-ups are available. Tower pheasant shoots are also offered managed by a hunt master in the European style. 540.423.1930.
Tall Oak Farms
If youÕve ever wanted a good hunting lease, but couldnÕt justify the expense or commitment, consider hunting with Tall Oak Farms this season.
This is a group of fantastic hunting properties located along the Virginia and North Carolina border in Halifax (near Danville) and Person Counties open to the public for daily and other short term leases.
You can book as little as a two-day stay and hunt deer and turkey during the season for as little at $200/day AND get a free pass to hunt in Tall Oak FarmsÕ annual dove shoot held September 3.
There are properties from 42 acres to 240 acres and over a dozen small lakes full of bass. Some of the properties even have cabins and camping opportunities. Call 336.504.5247 or email email@example.com.
Smoke Hole Outfitters
Tucked in the valley that also holds the South Branch of the North Fork River and just minutes from incredible additional destinations like Seneca Rocks, the Dolly Sods Wilderness, Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley, Smoke Hole Outfitters is a great West Virginia destination for area hunters
The Hedrick family that owns and operates Smoke Hole Outfitters actually hunt. Josh Hedrick is the head guide. You can hunt turkey and deer with Smoke Hole while choosing from a log motel or immaculate log cabins. You can even use Smokehole as a base camp and do your own hunting trip. Take the whole family because while you are hunting, the wife and kids can horseback ride, visit the caverns, go hiking, arrange
for an ATV or Jeep tour or just enjoy relaxing and around the fully furnished cabins.
Contact Smoke Hole Outfitters by calling ))) or by visiting www.smokehole.com
Shenandoah Valley Sportsman Preserve
Located just 1.5 hours from Washington, DC near Inwood, West Virginia this shooting preserve offers visiting hunters upland bird and whitetail deer hunts. Dog training and trout fishing are two more amenities offered here. Full lodging and meal packages are available. For information call 304.229.7715.
White Oaks Hunting Preserve
Just about every bird hunter has always wanted their own farm, right? Well, you can almost have one if you book with White Oaks Hunting Preserve. The way this operation is run you can book the entire farm, have a large amount of birds in place, use the lodge, fish the ponds and drive five ATVs for one price. Imagine you and four other hunting buddies or your family on over 1,000 acres with nothing but birds to find, trails to ride and fish to catch. One client, one day at a time. ItÕs that simple. For reservations call 434.374.2025 or visit www.whiteoaks.ws.
Winterhaven Hunting Preserve
Lee Winter took the popular concept of preserve hunting for upland birds and went one step further – he made his place with a circular layout. You can actually start and finish at the same spot without walking through the same field twice. You can start out in a grain field for pheasant then try you luck at chukar in Indian grass then quail in a cutover. Winter maintains a strong kennel of German shorthair pointers he can use on your trip or you can bring your own dog. This preserve is located in Fluvanna County. You can combine a round of sporting clays at nearby Central Virginia Sporting Clays with some bird shooting for a full day of shooting sport. To book your hunt contact Winter at 703.494.2081 or 703.725.7926 or by visiting www.winterhavenpreserve.com.