With outstanding shooting, fabulous New Orleans style food and superior accommodations, Covey Rise Lodge provides the perfect getaway for sportsmen who like to enjoy the finer things of life.
Established in October 1999, Covey Rise Lodge covers 400 acres near Husser, La. Slightly more than an hour north of New Orleans, the property borders Chappapella Creek, which flows through mixed pine and hardwood forests about halfway between Baton Rouge and Slidell, La.
Primarily a bobwhite quail operation, the lodge also offers chukar hunts. Native to the Middle East and southern Asia, chukars look similar to oversize, rotund bobwhites. The lodge also holds pheasant and pen-raised mallard hunts. Longer than seasons for wild birds, the Louisiana hunting preserve season runs from Oct. 15-April 15 for pen-raised birds only.
“Because our season is longer than the state season for wild birds, people can enjoy more opportunities to hunt,” said Jim Geisler III, Covey Rise co-owner. “Our primary hunting is for bobwhite quail, but we do mix in chukar if the customers want that. Most people come here for the entire experience, the camaraderie and to watch the dogs work.”
Quail and chukar hunts take place on 300 acres of leased fields near the lodge. Before each hunt, guides release about 45 quail, but sportsmen can buy more birds if they wish. Most hunters join lodge guides to follow trained dogs across gently rolling fields. However, some sportsmen bring their own dogs for do-it-yourself hunts.
“If people want to use their own bird dogs, we set up the field for them,” Geisler explained. “Some people like to use their own dogs mixed with our dogs, but most people book the whole package. We started a new hunt where we only use flushing dogs, not pointing dogs, to have a different style experience. We mix up the birds and offer the hunters a little bit of everything.”
Sometimes, people hunt mallards in the morning and quail that afternoon. For duck hunts, a guide brings the guests to a blind overlooking a swampy slough. At one end of the slough, a lodge staffer periodically releases two or three ducks at a time. The birds fly to a designated sanctuary at the opposite end of the slough. A trained retriever fetches all the downed birds.
Duck Hunt Is A Challenge
As a lifelong duck hunter, I didn’t expect much from the mallard hunt – until I tried it! Instead of shooting birds gently settling into a pond at point-blank range as I envisioned, these ducks flew surprising fast and offered quite challenging shooting. Making things even more difficult, another group of shooters occupying a blind between the release pens and our party didn’t miss many shots. By the time surviving mallards rocketed pass our blind, they fired up their afterburners to maximum thrust.
For the European-style pheasant hunts, staffers release birds from a tower. Hunters set up at 10 different stations around the field and shoot at whatever birds come with range. For a tower pheasant shoot, the lodge requires at least 10 hunters and 12 birds.
After hunting, many guests gather in the lodge dining room, which can hold up to 45 people. The staff serves three sumptuous meals a day for overnight guests and lunch for many day parties. Much of the food comes directly off the property or an associated farm.
“We’re well known for our food,” explained Sandy Sharp, who first developed Covey Rise Lodge. “We grow most of the food we serve right on our farm. These are not the typical vegetables found in a grocery story. What we do with the food is very special and very much appreciated by our customers. It’s the same food people can order in the finest New Orleans restaurants – and everyone knows New Orleans as one of the top food destinations in the world.”
The lodge itself can accommodate up to 12 people in six hotel-style rooms. Some guests prefer to stay in cabins on a 15-acre lake stocked with bass and other fish. Created in 2002, the lake produced largemouth exceeding eight pounds. While staying on the property, guests may fish the lake or enjoy fire pits, a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, a sporting clays course and skeet range, or explore 12 miles of trails.
“We try to create a lasting experience that will entertain people and make good memories,” Geisler said. “They come here and they don’t need to worry about anything. We handle everything for them.”
Click here for more information on Covey Rise Lodge, call Geisler at 985-747-0310.
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Daniel Felsher shows off some chukars he shot during a hunt at Covey Rise Lodge