Booking a hunting trip sooner rather than later has always been a good idea. Of course, many wingshooters already have reserved their hunts for this season. If you haven’t, we strongly advise that you delay no further. Procrastinate too long, and your target dates for a particular lodge may be sold out or the lodge may not be able to accommodate your entire party. These challenges often are compounded by the fact that world-class lodges traditionally boast high re-booking rates, so the number of openings may be limited even for early birds.
While it pays to book early even under normal circumstances, it is even more important for the upcoming season. Because of our Endorsed Lodge Program, Shooting Sportsman remains in close contact with many of America’s top-rated wingshooting lodges—and the vast majority are reporting that demand is at an all-time high. Reasons include wealth and retirement trends, a desire for sportsmen to head afield now that the country has “opened back up,” and the complications of international travel. Another factor is that lodges have developed highly effective marketing efforts that have resulted in increased bookings. Consequently, many lodges are already close to being full during their peak seasons—and in some cases are even filling up their shoulder seasons.
That said, if you find that a lodge’s peak season is no longer available, don’t despair! The vast majority of world-class lodges, such as those endorsed by Shooting Sportsman, offer excellent hunting throughout their seasons. For example, in Idaho, Oregon and Georgia guests often enjoy just as good hunting in late February as they do in October and December. Similarly, early-October hunts in Illinois and Iowa can be every bit as enjoyable as mid-November “prime time” outings.
If you want to avoid the disappointment of learning that your preferred lodges are booked up this year, your best bet is to start contacting them now. And there’s no better place to begin that process than by tapping into Shooting Sportsman’s Endorsed Lodge Program.
Wherever you end up going, we hope you have the time of your life!
Photographs courtesy of Ralph Stuart and Brian Grossenbacher.