Wintergreen Hunting Preserve

  It is no secret that I hunt at  preserves a lot. I have talked about how I like to use them to keep the dogs motivated to work hard. Let’s face it that after multiple days of hunting what you think is prime cover and not finding anything it gets a little frustrating. I know it is hunting and not killing but it would be nice to find more than the few coveys a year that I manage to find.

 Recently I hunted another preserve that I have never been to. I have had my eye on going to this place for a while,  but was deterred by the two hour drive when I have a few preserves so much closer to my house.

 So after hunting at another preserve that was a little farther away earlier this season, I realized that I should get out and check out the many places that are available to me.

 That in mind, I set up a hunt with a good friend and this time we chose Wintergreen Hunting Preserve in Bladenboro North Carolina.

 Wintergreen is situated on the same grounds as a very large and well kept cattle farm. There is a clubhouse at the preserve that has a comfortable feel to it..There is also a five stand range. We didn’t take part in any of these amenities this time but I hope to when I return in the future..  

  I am not sure of the exact acreage for the preserve but I do know that the day that we were there two other groups were being hosted and if it wasn’t for the report of their guns we would never have known they were there.

  We hunted in a block of woods that I would guess is about twenty plus acres. It was a pine forest with wire grass. So it made for nice cover. I will say this though, there had been a lot of rain so there was a large amount of standing water. We may have had wet feet but this did not keep us from thoroughly enjoying the day.

 The birds were top notch. In fact the birds here were the strongest flying birds that I have seen in a very long time at a preserve. They got off the ground fast and didn’t wait for you to get too close. When they flushed they were fast and if you didn’t get them with your first shots they flew a long way. So you didn’t always get a second try at them. These quality birds more than made up for having wet feet and kept our focus on the hunt and not our wet feet.

 Another thing that I liked was that while we were checking in to the preserve there was a member of the staff putting the birds out so we had no idea where they were and the birds had time to move around and spread out around the block of woods that we were going to hunt in. A couple of them even found each other and made for some excitement when you expected one bird and two get up. I actually got a double on one of these. The second time this happened I completely blew it and only got one on a left to right crossing shot. Definitely not my best work.

 The way that we had our hunt play out was one dog at a time so that we would have fresh dogs after each walk through the block that we were in. The first walk went to Cash who is my older dog. He covered the ground thoroughly. He had a few finds and handled the birds like the old pro that he is.

The shooting for this run was not up to par at first. However as we got warmed up the shooting improved.

After a walk through the block which was about an hour long we got back to the trucks. We emptied our game bags, so the employees can come by and pick up the birds to start processing them for us.

We then changed out dogs and put Max the young dog on the ground. He is only ten months old right now and has been a fast study of the game and has had a bunch of birds shot over him already.

I release the dog and we begin the next leg of our hunt. the ground game is much faster with this young dog and he covers a lot of ground. It is like being inside a classic picture watching a setter run through the piney woods.

After a little time he starts to find the birds. I have been concerned about his patience in letting me get to him to him to flush the bird. This day he is patient and we get the flush. Only once did he creep on a bird, but in his defense the bird was running around in front of him and the temptation was pretty high for him to break, but he held after I gave him the whoa command.

This time the shooting was a lot better and we put a few more in the bag.

We finish the walk and get out the old dog again. This is going to be the last walk of the day so it was clean up time so we double up the dog power. Clean up we did. We found the rest of the birds and as was the tradition of the day we missed more than we hit.

While it would be nice to brag about getting all the birds we put out it was more than that on this day. It was about two friends that don’t see each other enough getting out and spending a day in the uplands doing what is timeless.

  This hunt is one of the most memorable ones that I have had in a long time. The dogs handled the birds and minded their manners very well. The birds were not only strong but very jumpy. This made them perform as close to wild birds as I have ever hunted on a preserve. The habitat was easy to challenging but not impossible to get through. The hunting in a block of woods added another dimension to the difficulty of the shooting which helped to create the wild bird hunt feel.

  I will say this in closing. If you want to hunt at a preserve with birds that are strong and the cover is challenging then I highly recommend that you give Wintergreen Hunting Preserve a call. I am positive that you will have a great time and walk away more than happy with your experience.

Make sure to follow on Instagram at wingshotandfall and share this blog with the upland hunters the you know.

2 Replies to “Wintergreen Hunting Preserve”

    1. I am glad that you enjoyed the article. The place is definitely worth the drive. I don’t think you would disappointed.
      Thanks for the kind words about the judging. I hope to see you guys soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *