Also see: 9 Tips for a Better Dove Hunting Season
One of our favorite states is in the sweet gem of the south, Alabama. In Alabama, you'll find a spot that's earned the title of “Gem of Hunting Preserves in Alabama.” That would be the Dream Ranch. Located outside Guntersville in Alabama hill country, the Dream Ranch has been providing trips of a lifetime, since 2004. With 2,500 acres of hills and creek bottoms, the Dream Ranch offers trophy deer hunts, waterfowl hunts, fishing trips and the pursuit we chose, classic Southern quail hunting.
Dream Ranch’s lodge may well be the reason for the name. It’s huge, with accommodations for over two dozen guests, and is a wonder of polished wood and stone architecture. The primary social spot is a big central room with overstuffed couches and chairs and a large fireplace. The ceiling is supported by a grand pine post. Rooms are well appointed, beds are soft, and the bathrooms are everything one could want. Outside the decks run all the way around the building offering spectacular views of the surrounding area including Lake Guntersville. From the lower level deck, shooters can enjoy a round of wobble trap to warm up for the hunt with the targets launching from under their feet.
Our first brace of dogs were Sam and Sadie, both Elhew line pointers, and I fell in love with Sadie from the start. Both were great dogs, but Sadie had the classic liver and white coloring with just the right balance of color. The dogs performed like the well-honed team they were and after finding several coveys and singles, we switched out to setters, Rock and Tex. Cherie really liked Tex, an energetic black and white youngster who was as fast as a rocket. Our flushing dog, handling the flushes and retrieves, was a big English Cocker named Nick. Great dogs, working as a team, make quail hunting what it is. Given a choice between leaving out the dog work or the shooting, I’ll take the dogs and leave the guns at home every time.
A trip of a thousand miles begins with one step and on our trip across the country to SHOT Show, the largest arms-related show in the world, our first step was a very nice step indeed. The Dream Ranch is one of the top preserves in the country. The food is great, the lodge is inspiring, and there’s almost every kind of hunting one could desire available. The Dream Ranch isn’t a dream, it’s real and it’s located in the hills of Alabama near Lake Guntersville.