The easygoing, unpretentious nature of Kentucky makes it an ideal destination for wingshooting getaways, and Winghaven Lodge is home to some of the best bird hunting in the entire state. Winghaven offers some of the best-flying quail in the country in addition to a few other upland species, but a visit to the lodge is more than just about a great experience afield. Here are five other things you’ll want to be sure to do at this legendary destination.
Belly Up to the Bourbon Bar
The most popular amenity at Winghaven is the bourbon bar, designed and built by owner Russell Edwards. It is a handsome piece of craftsmanship, and it is stocked with perhaps the nicest bourbon selection you’ll see at a hunting lodge. If you like bourbon, you’ll be in seventh heaven. If you don’t, no worries, because the bar is also stocked with everything necessary to make whatever alternative elixir you desire.
Get to Know the Owners
Russell and his wife, Michelle, are a true dynamic duo. They work in tandem to keep Winghaven humming like a well-oiled machine. Although both are very accessible to guests, Russell spends more time entertaining at the bar and by the fire with interesting conversation—and on some nights country-music performances (the man can sing). Meanwhile, Michelle tends to the list of “behind the scenes” tasks that make the Winghaven experience so extraordinary. It doesn’t take guests long to notice that Michelle is a marvel of work ethic, often doing three jobs at once yet still having the energy to socialize once she has wrapped things up. The Edwards work tirelessly to maximize everyone’s enjoyment, and this has a way of winning over even the most demanding guests. Little wonder that of all the things folks like about Winghaven, the relationship with the owners is usually at the top of the list.
Cozy Up to the Fire
Winghaven’s lodge is exactly what you’d expect an upscale Kentucky hunting lodge to be: warm, spacious, comfortable and appointed with interesting regional decor. And there’s no better way to soak it all in than by grabbing your beverage of choice and settling into a comfy seat in front of the grand stone fireplace. Engage in banter with fellow guests or simply gaze into the flames as you ponder the day's hunt; it will be a blissful experience either way!
The sounds of country and bluegrass music are synonymous with the state of Kentucky, and Winghaven knows that guests are not getting the full regional experience if they never hear them. Not only do the tunes emanate from the great room’s sound system, but they also are sometimes played live for guests either before or after dinner. There’s even the occasional opportunity for guests to jump in with their impressions of Waylon or Tanya, if they’re so inclined. Whatever the medium, country and bluegrass make for the perfect soundtrack to a Kentucky hunting trip, and you’ll get to enjoy plenty of it at Winghaven.
Do a Bourbon Tour
Anyone who hasn’t been asleep for the past 20 years has noticed that bourbon has become such a huge craze that an entire culture has been built around it. And that culture encompasses far more than the mere drinking of whiskey. It also includes the stories behind the distilling process, including the personalities and all of the intriguing history surrounding the product. A trip to the Louvre can be enjoyed by art experts and amateurs alike, and the same goes for any one of the many bourbon tours offered in the Bluegrass State. Google a good one, and sign yourself up for a tour right before or after your Winghaven visit.
Winghaven Lodge is a full-service Shooting Sportsman Endorsed Lodge. To learn more or to make a reservation, call 270-836-7998 or email [email protected].
Lodge photographs courtesy of Winghaven Lodge. Whiskey barrel photography by Rachel Claire from Pexels.