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G rdyi Sporti ng./o urn d/' www.graysspor tingjournal. com


A FEW YEARS AGO, 1\,{YWIFE surprised me with a copy of Partridge Shortenin',byGorham"GrampaGrouse" Cross.In 1949,GrampaGrouseprinted only 100 copiesfor his friends,thereby making an original copy about as scarce as hen'steeth.Two subsequent printings have added 600 additionalcopiesto the sporting world for a grand tally of 700 editions.Thanks to my wife, I haveone of them in my collection. I was in awe of the outstandins shooting chronicled in the chapter"All I\rll at Noon," which tells the story of threemen shootinga limit offour grouse eachby noon. Crossestimatesthat about 10 percent offlushed birds arekilled, so at that rate it meansfor everybird killed he saw ten more, for everyJ,imitreached he saw 40 birds, and for a three-man Iimit their shootingparty caughtat least a fleeting glimpse120.Today,anygrouse hunter who sees20 birdsin a dayhashit a magicd.benchmark.The sameis true of bobwhite quail down South,trout in the Rockies, waterfowl in the Central Fly*uy, and so on. Thesedays,it seems that finding game takesfar more time than actually hunting it. The lack ofqualityhunting or fishing opportunities is a leadingfactor in why die-hard sportsmen take matrers into their own hands. Whether purchasing a 25-acrefarm or a 250,000-acreranch, the ultimate goal is to capture their own litde sliceof heaven-and perhaps re-create an experiencethat resembles Gorham Cross's. If you bought a South Georgiaquail plantation you'd want it to have sandy soil, rolling hills, open fields,and rocky streams.Youd likely include a variety offood and covercrops,highlighted by Eglptian wheat, milo, wiregrass,lovegrass,broom sedge,Johnson grass,andbicolor lespedeza. The hardwoodbottoms should have an equally diversemix with oaks, loblolly pines, slash pines, sweet gum, long-leaf pines,and hickories-tupelo and c)?resswhere the ground stays

wet. If that veritable quail cornucopia existsthen grabyour dogs,boys,and get 'em. after Alas, few landownersare so fortunate,which is why it's often bestto call on a professionalland manager. Even Mother Nature needsa heloing hand on occasion,and thats why property owners think of Shannon Skelton astheir right hand man. Shannon owns a companycalledCFI Global (www.cfig1oba1.com), which specializes in turning averagesporting properties into spectacularones. 'A surveyof sportsmenshows that most agree their property could use a little improvement," said Skelton. "Somefolks arecontent to simolv stock their river once a yearor put out some birds at the start of hunting season. What that meansis for whatever reason,the quality ofthe property has degradedovertime. Other folks look for a sustainable resource. We re-engineera river to supportfish,just aswe engineer the land to supportbirds or game." When it comesto rivers,that means reviewingwater qualiry testing acidiry

surveying entomology, and recording oxygen levels. At that point, an infrastructure will be created to manage recruitment and fish counts,hydrological variables,insect life and reproduction, and spawninghabitat.The processmay requirehealy machinery and take up to a yearbeforeit comesto fruition, but in the end landownersmay be astonished by the improvementsthey can enjoy.Insteadofan artificialexperience, the rivers becomesa naturally restoredwaterway. The goal of habitat-improvement organizationsis to improve water or land quality for the long haul.The abundant fish and game area naturalblproduct. If you ask a room of fishermen and hunters to describe their ideal terrain you're likely to get a room fir1l of different answers.Somewant big numbersof birds in every covey rise. Others want fewer elk or deer but with larger racfts. And sometrout fishermenwill want bis fish while others prefer a dry-fly expe: rience.With a litde planning and some hard work, the odds of improving your property ^revery good to excellent.The

July2012 ' 87


grouse bonanzasthat Gorham Cross experiencedtook place just outside of Boston through south-central New Hampshire.Arrd while thcir elTectsare unlikely to be reversedtod:ry,the chancesof improving yoLlrown sliceof heaven are\reryeood indeed.

eszurce Managers I ShannonSkelton/ CFI GlobJ u.r,wv.c6g1ob:rl.com ! s1-renr-ron@c{igl obal.com (970) 207-9110 l-ort Collins,Cokrrado I Chuck Bowey/ Rlnch Rcsources www.ltnchrcsoufccs.net infir(Dr:rnchrcsr)urces.net (106)842-5010 Shcriden,Montrnir I Tim Robcrts/ Wcstern Ltnds, LLC, R:urchRcstomtionServiccs u'wrv.wcstcrn-lands.con.r Tirnr(Dwcstcn.r-lands.corl

(720)e36-ee73 Perkcr,Colorarlo

BraysIsland Plantation Brays Island Plantation is truly unique becrruseof its nr.Ltural surroundings,dedication to the trirditional outdoor lifestyle, andunrivaledrangeofamenities. A 5,500acreprivate residentialcommunity,Brrys is opcratedexclusively for the benefitofits 325 propertyowners.Morc than 90 percentof the hnd is held in commontrust, which limits devekrpment orr the propcrty. It rcrnainsrern:ukablyur-rc1-ru-rged fi-onl earderdayswher-rBraysIslmrdfunctior.rcd asir working plantation. Today,Brays is a sportsrnan'.s dream and includes3,500 acresset mide its a naturelnd hunting preservcthat feirftrres deer,dove, qr.rai1, tr-rrkey,phcirsant,rnd chulcrr'.The ker-urelhouscsrnore thirn 40 pointers,and the staffincludesguides and trainers.You crrn hur.rt c1uailwith yoLlrowrr doe or with club pointers,and you ciur hunt on horseb:rckor from thc mulc-drawnwrson. The gpn club offcrs skect, trirp, fivc-strind,pistol, r'ifle, irr-rd zrrcl-rery rnngesand the 15-stl.rd sporting

clayscourse,originally designedby Holland & Holland, wasrecendy expandcd. But the sport is not cclrrfinedto Ltr.rd. Braysis surroundedby morethan20 rniles of tidal estuaries,which o{feryear-rourrd fishingfor redfishand seasonal fishingfor cobia,speckledtrout, bli.Lckdrum, jacks, talpon, flounder, and othcrs. Salt- rrnd freshwaterponds on thc plantationofTer redfishup to 40 pounds,speckledtrout, blrrckdrum, bnss,and breiun. Brlys also offers other refincd pursuits.The firll-servicc cqucstriarr ccrrtcr borrstsmore thrrn60 milesof sandroirds and trails, arrd the 1S-holelinks-style golf courserc.lrircsno tcc time. The old pliu-rtatiorrhouse-The L-rn at BraysIsland-has 13 rooms,a fitness centcr:with indoor pool, nn outdoorpoo1, and tcnnis courts-:rll for the exclusive useofproperryowners,tl-reirfarnilics,and guests.Two rcstirurantson the property providefine dining everydrryof the ycirr. Brrys Ishnd Plrrntatior.r is much rnore than.justa gated sportine communify-

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it's a way of life. To visit and start enjopng the benefits of plantation living at Brays Island, call 1.-866-320-7207 or (843) 846-3170, or visit r,r.ww.brays island.com.

CasdeMountain Farm Nesded on 292 rolling acres above the Thomton River in Rappahannock County, Virginia, CasdeMountain Farm offers the very best of modern country life. And it's for sale. The custom built S-bedroom, 4/z bath home offers a perfect fusion of traditional design and modern hxuries. Situatedto provide completeprivacy,the 4,800-square-foothome offers sweepingviews of Blue Ridge Mountains from nearly everyroom. The ideal sportsmaris reffeat, the property offers nearly a mile of frontage on the Thornton River, a latge springfed pond, 78 acresof fertile halfields well suited to development as upland game coverts,and more than 270 acresof ma' ._1rq...rjiqryrqt|!

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FlyFishingLodgeFor Sale in Northern New England

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$2,750,000 Trade in the traffic and fast paceto host fly fishers,uplandhunters, vacationersand snowmobilers,Well respectedLodgewith large clientelelist and year round cashflow Trainedstaff in placeand turn key.

www.FlyFishi ngLodgeForSale.com

90'

Gray'sSportingJournal' \wwv.grayssportingjournal.com

406-426-1 805

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ture hardwoods.Healthy populations of whitetail deer, bear, coyotes, dove, and grouseprovide a vaiety of opportunities for the sportsman.The property is subject to a consenation easementand is located in one ofthe bestprotectedareason the East Coast,yet it is lessthan 90 minutes from Washington, D.C. For more information, contactDonald Skelly (dskelly@ .net,540- 406- 7370). farmandestate

LopstickCabins inNewHampshire The Cabins at Lopstick is an Orvisendorsedfishing and hunting lodge that is alsofor sale.Lopstick is profitableand popular for its premier fishing, and excellentgrouseand woodcock coverts.It is New Hampshire'sonly Orvis-Endorsed oudtter and offers guestsfust-rate guide servicefor flyfishing and upland hunting. The longtime guides havebeenfeatured in fly fishing and upland publications. In addition to cabins,guestscan also rent fly fishing gear,canoes,kayala,mo-

tor boats,row boats on remote ponds, and snowmobilesand snowmobilegear. Whatever the outdoor activity, Lopstickwill outfit you. Operating year-round, this busi nessis locatedon a major snowmobile trail. With ^fl avetageannual snowfall of more than 170 inches, revenuefrom lodging aswell assnowmobilerentalsof cabinsand gearpromiseyear-round cash flow Boastingthe area'slargestand newest snowmobilerental fleet,the business with incentivesto stay. offerspackages Did we mention the greatstaf0 Current ownersvacationmore than eight weeks per year with a six-week absenceannually. For more information, pleasecontact Lisa Savardby calling (603) 5389955 or visit www.cabinsadopstick.com.

Own an Outdoor Retreat in BeautifrrlAlaska Enjoyyourone-oFa-kindt'wo-storycustom log home that is only a 2O-minute

flight from Anchorage. Use the cabin as a hub for fishing, hunting or year-round activities,where trout fishing from your personal dock is steps away and woddclass fishing for salmon and halibut is just 30 minutes distant. Cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, hunting, AIV trails, and snowmobiling begin right outside your door. Cast for 50-pound king salmon (the state record is 97 pounds), halibut in er<cess of 250 pounds (the state record is more than 400 pounds), and 5- to 10-pound rainbow trout that swim in the crystal-clearwaters of South Central and SouthwestAlaska. The legendary Kenai River flows only 20 minutes from the cabin,and the saltwaterparadiseof Cook Inlet is nearby Within a 100-mi1eradius of the cabin are more than 100 worldclasstrout and salmon streamsand lakes. Your four-be&oom,three-bathhome on the Kenai Peninsulaprovidescomfort and sectrrityon2.6 acres,secludedyet accessible,in a greatfamtly rctreator co{po-

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I 92'

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r ^te getaway.Overfl ow accommodations areavailableacrossthe streetat a bed and breakfast.A road maintainedyear-round meansyou can have family or co{porate get-togethersany time of year. When you are here,you'll enjoy the beautifirl view of Barbara Lake and the ease of upkeep for the professionally landscapedyard. Ifyou are hunter, the log walls provide lots of room for heads and trophies. The home is fully-furnished-all you need to bring are your clothesand groceries.A pavedpad next to the garageprovides convenientparking for your boat or R[ and a state-ofthe-art securitysystemkeepsyour home and belongingssafewhile yox^re away. For more ffirmation, contactEd Bergar at et9@ ilxl<a.netor (9U) 240-76N.

VictorvRanc.h Clubin WoodlandValley, Utah The Victory Rancfi Club is a 7,000-acre master-plannedltxury dwelopment perfecdy situated amongstthe banla of the

Upper ProvoRiver and nesdedin the scenic Woodland Valleyof Utah. The ranch is located 15 minutes from Park City which is world reno..vnedasthe home of the SundanceFilrn Festir,alandvarioussh resorts,including Deer Valley,the number one ski resort in the country. Plus, the ranctris a beautifi.rl45-minute drive from SaltLake City IntemationalAiryort. Members of the Victory Ranch Club haveprivate accessto three exquisite miles of the Upper Provo River,one of the greatestfreestonetrout fisheries found anlnwherein the world. This untamed and unioue freestoneriver is home to trophy-sizedGerman browns, rainbows, cutthroat, and brook trout, and generatessome of the most prolific hatchesanyr,vhere in the West. As a resultof the ranchbcloseproximity to the JordanelleReservoirand its highlyoxygenated,pristine, and nutrient-rich headwaters,the Upper Provo River at Victory Ranch produces spectacular, hard-fighting wild trout. At Victory

Ranch Club, memberscan experience the river with seasonedguide Matt Eastman,host of "Wanna Go Fishing" and one of the more sought-after flyfishing guidesin the world. This spectacularproperty truly has everything to offer for those who love the outdoors,including an 18-Hole Rees JonesChampionshipGolf Course,which has been voted one of the too 10 new coursesto play in the country by Golf: week magazine.Combining a meticulously managedworld-class fishery with gol-{,skiing, horsebackriding, mountain biking, hiking, camping,wildlife viewing, and pond fishing all in completeseclusion and luxury, the Victory Ranch Club is destinedto be oneofthe mostexclusive and premierdevelopments in the world. We are inviting gueststo experience the Victory Ranch Club and its spectacular, world-class fly fishing. To schedulea visit,contactthe ranch'sguideMatt Eastmanvia emailsentto fl).nnan@allwest.net or bv ohone^t 1-888-744-9479.f

OwN AN OuroooR RnrnEAT IN ATASKA '

' .,M 300'of frontageon BarbaraLake beautifulviews ' Excellentfly-fishing for trout and salmon ' Hundreds of crystal-clearlakesand streamswithin 100 mi. by car or floatplane ' Year-roundoutdoor activities ' 2100 sq.ft. (+ garage)customlog home '4 bedrooms,3baths ' Fully furnishedincluding linens and kitchenware '2.6 acregatedcornerlot ' Professionallylandscaped 'Patio withJacuzziplus upper deck 'Storage shed,secludedboat storagepad,and boat dock ' Monitored alarm system ' Located on pavedand maintainedroad '20 min. by air from Anchorage 'A11 this for just one easypaymentof $399,000!!!

Contact Ed or Paula Burgan ^t907-346-1991(h),907-240-7600 (c) or email at etb2@alaska.net July2012 ' 93

A Little Slice of Heaven by Tom Keer, originally printed in Gray's Sporting Journal  

Professional game management is essential to creating your private sporting paradise.