Wings North Off-Season Hunting & Trap Shooting
KNOWING YOUR NEIGHBORS: A Northland Hunting Club Celebrates 20 Years!
PINE CITY, Minn. — Attention Hunters! Are you looking for a place to keep your shot sharp and your dogs well trained? In this week’s Knowing Your Neighbors Fox 21’s Brittney Merlot takes us to Wings North!
“Have a cup of coffee, lie about how well you are going to shoot! And then we get you out in the fields!” laughed Chad Hughes the Owner of Wings North. He opened this private facility when he was only 23 years old.
“I was born and raised in the business; I’ve been doing this my whole life. Wild Wings of Oneka is my dads club down in Hugo. Oldest shooting preserve in the state of Minnesota!”
Following in his fathers footsteps, Hughes opened his place in 1998. And runs a fully commercial license shooting preserve in the state of Minnesota and last year they celebrated 20 years!
“Very very fortunate to share everyone’s experience. You can’t help but get goosebumps just thinking about all the good times that people have and the first time kids get out and they are shooting birds!” said Hughes.
They offer off-season pheasants, chuck, partridge, quail, pigeons, trap, sporting clays, 3D archery and a full outdoor recreation facility.
“We can legally operate year round at our facility. So what we do is we are a put and take. We release the birds for the hunters to harvest. So we are not taking any wild birds from the area.” explained Hughes.
You can get an annual membership or simply a day pass, either one allows you to enjoy all the amenities that the private club offers. And all youth is free!
“We don’t require any hunting licenses; we are nontoxic facility, so you need to shoot steel or nontoxic shot.” said Hughes.
Be sure to call ahead and make reservations too, (320) 629-4868.
“We release the birds in the fields for the day, about an hour to an hour and half before you get here.” said Hughes. “You want it to be fun. We are biding for the recreational dollar so we want you to come out, we want you to have a good time so you want to come back in!” explained Hughes.
This summer, clay shooting and the rifle and pistol range is quite a hit.
“Even the people that don’t hunt, the clay targeting shooting is a non–blood sport. So they are shooting clay targets and everything else and having fun! So it makes it a good time.” said Hughes.
Offering traditional shooting called trap, “You’ve got your trap houses right here and then the birds are going up and away, so you are shooting the birds up and away.” said Hughes. “Sporting clays were actually invented back in the 1800’s in Europe. The royalty couldn’t hit anything, so they started sporting clays to emulating bird hunting. So then they could start to shoot and actually hit the birds!”
When you’ve had a blast and want to relax, they have a clubhouse with food, drinks and more. They even host weddings, parties and more.
“We want to give everyone the homey feeling. You want to feel like you are walking into a clubhouse that you feel comfortable and can sit in front of the fireplace in the winter and sit on the couch and reminisce about the hunt or get excited about the hunt that is about to happen!” explained Hughes.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned shooter, you can’t beat a nice day outside!