For a growing number of Charlotteans, the sunrise—signifying a fresh start of each new day— doesn’t have the same meaning as it did even as early as a single generation ago. Our mornings have only gotten busier. Now, the light filling the morning sky is more about pouring coffee, piling the kids in the car, and shoveling in a quick breakfast. We’re always on the run with no time to take in nature or quietly observing our surroundings
But today, on this morning, we are participants in an age old adventure: We are hunting quail. The sporting life, filled with camaraderie and fellowship built and sustained by the adventures afield, reclaims the sunrise hour for something more than frantic chores. The outdoors are as still as a well-trained bird dog, the fields covered in slowly waving broom straw and long pines. Enter and wipe away the concerns and stress of modern life.
Of course, our success in the pursuit of the elusive bird is not even the luckiest man’s dream without our four-legged companion to assist in our endeavor. Hundreds of years of breeding, training, patience and determination culminate. Your forty-pound companion will work the wind with its snout in the air in a methodical yet seemingly random pattern, chasing the ever-shifting target. It’s such a simple, symbiotic relationship between hunter and dog, the wind and the bird. You cannot help but appreciate the elegance. Here are four of God’s creations working together to help bridge the gap between a time when you weren’t critiqued by the speed at which you updated your status, but by the quality of your character.
I’m one of the lucky few who get to engage in this pastime as a vocation. Not every day, but most. Especially once the mornings turn a little cooler, the trees start to paint the horizon with fall’s palette. The almost incessant humidity of the months-without-an-“R” begins to diminish. As certain as the sun will keep rising, life can be as simple as it once was.
Want to enjoy the sporting life yourself? Here are a few of our favorite outdoor recreation areas:
This 12,000 acre resort located along the Blue Ridge Parkway is the ultimate in refined dining, world class golf, and endless outdoor activities. Come for ATV and horseback riding, clay shooting, hunting, mountain biking, and kayaking.
The Fork Farm and Stables
The Fork is a premier outdoor recreation and event facility. Located in Norwood, NC, Fork nestles where the Peedee and Rocky Rivers converge. With a strong focus on conservation, the Fork is a great place to unwind. Come here to appreciate nature and all the activities nature has to offer.
Situated on the pastoral 4,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. With its own farm, restaurant and built in activities, Blackberry prides itself on service and a one of a kind family experience.
North Corner Haven
North Corner Haven, on 625 acres in Lancaster, SC, houses hundreds of species, including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Skeet shooting is offered in the depths of the NCH forest, and full equipment is included in the experience. Kick back along the grassy bank and cast for bass or bream in the two ponds of North Corner Haven.
In the beauty of Tryon’s wilderness, the Cleghorn Gun Club has quickly grown famous for its scenic sporting clays course. The course is a whopping fifteen stations, each fitting the land’s unique features and topography. The stations come with four separate traps, allowing the club to offer two courses with varying levels of difficulty to entice both beginners and veterans.
Moree’s Sportsmans Preserve
Established in 1985, Moree’s is a top hunting destination in Chesterfield County, SC. This outdoor recreation area offers a variety of outdoor sporting options with diverse terrain. Plus, their facilities include a spacious hunting lodge, modern dog kennels and large holding cages where the birds are kept prior to the hunt. Guests may use their own well-managed dogs.