I travel the length and breadth
of the country every year to attend shows, give lessons and gun
fittings. Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit dozens
of Gun Clubs, both public and private. This summer I visited what
must be one of the finest clubs in the country, The Huntsman Hunt
Club in Dryden, Michigan.
The Club covers 900 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, where coppices and
stone walls frame the numerous hunting fields. The rest of the land is farmed,
landscaped and manicured, the exquisite setting for the handsome and welcoming
The property belongs to the Tebben family, which has farmed it
for three generations. “Matriarch” Nora
Tebben, her son Jim, later with the assistance of his wife Mary-Beth, developed
the farm into The Huntsman Hunt Club. Today the operation is managed by Craig
P. Novotney and Heather Tebben, Jim’s niece.
Huntsman offers a full hunting and fishing calendar with the upland
fare of quail, pheasant and chukkar, as well as authentic and exciting European
most essential and indispensable hunting companion,
the dog, is expertly cared for in the superb kennels and training
facilities by Craig Novotney and his able staff.
The Piece d’ Resistance of the Club is the kitchen run by
Executive Chef Tom Chappell. His creative and delicious gourmet
dishes feature seasonal wild
game in a seemingly infinite variety of presentations.
Every visit we make to The Huntsman is special, however, if timed correctly to
coincide with the Summer Lobster Bake, it is an exceptional experience!
The evening begins with cocktails and appetizers on the Clubhouse grounds, served
from cocktail bars built into the back of Land Rovers. Then a fleet, (yes, a
fleet!) of John Deere tractors pulling trailers piled high with hay bales, conveys
everyone over the meandering paths through the wooded and well-mowed hunting
fields to the first dining area.
Here tables covered with red and white chequered
tablecloths are sprinkled across the field and the famous Tebben attention to
detail is everywhere! The cutlery
is wrapped in
gingham napkins, tied with bail twine and fresh flowers adorn