Bird Hunting in the English Countryside
Feel like royalty, or at least like the landed gentry, with a stay at Stapleford Park in Leicestershire, England. Its 500 acres of landscaped grounds offer partridge, pheasant and duck hunting during the fall and winters with falconry and archery available year-round. Alternative outdoor activities include tennis, golf, horseback riding and of course, croquet. Choose from one of 55 individually designed rooms and suites in the Georgian mansion, or rent one of two large cottages on the grounds.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Fishing
Competitive types will enjoy the salmon fishing derbies at Painter’s Lodge, an ocean-side resort located in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to hosting annual events such as the four-day, women-only derby held in June, the lodge also arranges derbies for groups of 10 or more. What better way to bond with friends or colleagues? Summer also brings the chance to participate in traditional Tyee fishing. “Tyee” comes from the Native Canadian language and refers to Chinook or Spring salmon weighing 30 or more pounds. Anglers must single-handedly land the fish from a rowboat to become a member of the Tyee Club of British Columbia. A wide range of rooms, suites and cabins, some with oceanfront views, accommodate groups of various sizes.
Deer Hunting and Fly Fishing in the American West
Turn childhood cowboy fantasies into reality at Three Forks Ranch, a 200,000-acre working cattle ranch set in the Sierra Madres that sprawls across both Wyoming and Colorado. Guests can hunt across 50,000 private acres for bugling elk (September and October only), mule deer or pronghorn; fly fish for rainbow and Colorado cutthroat trout along the Little Snake River; or saddle up for a cattle drive. You could even learn how to prepare what you catch in a cooking lesson. The four suites and 11 rooms each have private walk-out patios.
Sport Fishing in Central America
If your ideal vacation involves beach time without being a beach bum, try Islas Secas Resort. Located on Isla Cavada, one of 16 volcanic islands that sit 25 miles south of Panama, this resort offers inshore, offshore and fly fishing in the cobalt waters of the Pacific. Available species include marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, snapper, grouper, mackerel, bonefish and tarpon. Should you catch your fill, turn your attention to scuba diving, whale watching, surfing or sailing. Seven casitas (little houses) limit the number of guests to 14, ensuring your vacation will be private as well as scenic.
Moose and Elk Hunting in Sweden
Taking “getting away from it all” to the extreme, Klocka Fjällgård in Jämtland County, Sweden, rents its three buildings to only one party (12–18 people) at a time, guaranteeing solace and serenity. Fall is the season for moose and elk hunting, while small game such as hare and birds including ptarmigan and grouse are in season from August through February. Fishing aficionados can angle for arctic char, trout and salmon. Consider capping the day with a reindeer-sled ride, a snowmobile safari or a quiet evening watching the aurora borealis.
Hunting and Fishing Down Under
Are you an adrenalin junkie as well as an outdoorsman or woman? If so, Huka Lodge in Taupo, New Zealand, is for you. In addition to solo, guided and raft fly fishing for trout on the Tongariro River, the resort offers boat fishing on 616-square-kilometers Lake Taupo. Hunt turkeys at any time, but know that shooting for pheasant, duck and quail is seasonal. For more New Zealand flavor, try hunting wild boars and goats, or deer species including red, sika, fallow and sambar. Seeking more excitement? Huka Lodge can arrange parasailing, skydiving, whitewater rafting and bungee jumping. Or try to spot one of the frequent celebrity guests among the 25 suites and cottages.
Bird Hunting and Fly Fishing Out East
With a wide range of outdoor and animal-related activities, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Penn., provides a family-friendly experience to introduce youth to hunting. The Nemacolin Field Club covers 140 acres and includes bird hunts that run September through April, fly-fishing lessons and trips (catch-and-release only), and The Shooting Academy, which teaches clay shooting and air-rifle usage. Located on 2,000 acres, the resort offers accommodations including boutique hotels, private homes and an RV park.
Kimberly Sweet is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago.
Photography courtesy of Stapleford Park, Painter's Lodge, Three Forks Ranch, Isla Secas Resort, Thinkstock, Huka Lodge and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
For more amazing experiences to consider — including glamping, which lets you experience the great outdoors without giving up those little luxuries — see our selection of stories in Enjoy Life.