Safety first! Prior to every hunt, we discuss safe gun handling and hunting in the field because the safety of our hunters is our number one priority. With the pandemic impacting people globally, this year we are also considering how to increase your safety and well-being during the remainder of your time with us at the Lodge and in the company of other hunters.
If anyone has a comment about our safety plans or other suggestions, please chat with any staff member. Everyone on our team is committed to listening to new ideas and ensuring the Lodge is as safe as possible for all our hunters.
Masks: We are providing masks for all hunters, staff and visitors at the Lodge. It is entirely your decision whether to wear them or not, but they are washable and reusable so you may take them home with you. The masks have our logo so share them with your friends if you already have plenty.
Hand Washing: Bottles of hand sanitizer will be provided around the Lodge and on buses. For example, if you have an amazing shot in the field and give high-fives to all your friends as they congratulate you, washing your hands might be a prudent choice before partaking of lunch.
Lunch: Everyone will receive an individual lunch box if your group has lunch in the field. We have always provided these for smaller groups, but larger groups have enjoyed platters of sandwiches or cookies. When someone selects their sandwich, they might inadvertently touch surrounding items. Individual lunch boxes should solve this potential problem.
Breakfast and Supper: The buffet approach to dining is still the best method to feed everyone efficiently and encourage our hunters to return for seconds. This year we are installing plexiglass shields to further protect the food from microscopic particles if people are chatting while they select their fare.
Bedrooms: Our bedrooms are quite spacious so we do not believe our hunters will be too crowded or close together while sleeping. By choosing not to install TVs in bedrooms, we encourage our hunters to spend their awake time in the game rooms or enjoying other activities.
Contact Surfaces: Some objects in the Lodge are naturally touched by numerous people throughout the day such as door handles, faucet knobs, flush levers, pool cue sticks, TV remotes, etc. We have plenty of Lysol wipes and will sterilize these surfaces frequently to minimize transfer of germs.
Dining: Forty persons can be accommodated in the dining room, but we rarely have a full house. Therefore, we will arrange place settings at every other chair to encourage our hunters to leave a little extra space between each other.
Buses: We will be using extra buses this year to avoid crowding our hunters together as we travel to and from fields or between walks. For example, the small brown bus can accommodate 12 persons. By limiting the capacity, everyone will have extra space between them. For our hunters who drive to the Lodge with their own vehicles, they may also bring those to the field if they do not feel comfortable using our buses.
Ventilation: Recycled air has been blamed for shared germs in confined spaces such as apartment buildings and nursing homes. To avoid this problem, we will be changing our air filters more frequently and encouraging everyone to open windows if the weather cooperates. This is particularly important in bedrooms as the geothermal system with air handlers does recirculate air throughout the building. We will also be keeping the three sets of double doors to the deck open as much as possible to encourage fresh air in the dining room.
Wellness Check: To help our hunters assess their health, we have a no-contact thermometer available. Sometimes after a long day walking through fields and perhaps staying up later than normal to enjoy time with your friends, you might feel a trifle unwell. Checking your temperature can reassure you that your health is still top-notch.
Social Distancing: Sometimes after a few drinks, people have a tendency to move closer together. Please be respectful of your fellow hunters and maintain a safe distance. Although you may be comfortable having a close personal conversation, someone else might be uneasy in that situation.
Personal Responsibility: If you feel sick prior to your hunt or believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, please let us know so that we can reschedule your trip. We appreciate that you have been looking forward to your hunt for many months, but we will still have plenty of pheasants next year. And ducks. And prairie dogs. If you become sick during your hunt, there are several testing sites nearby. Please let us know immediately so that we can assist you in scheduling testing.
Quarantine: If someone at the Lodge does become ill during their trip, we have separate space in another building available to quarantine them until they have test results or can arrange travel home. This should prevent other guests from becoming contaminated.
We hope you thoroughly enjoy hunting with us. Our COVID-19 plan is not meant to scare anyone, but rather to reassure our friends that we are strongly committed to protecting them and ensuring their safety. Better to explore preventive options now than to look back later and realize a few precautions could have averted a catastrophe. So spend a few days outside hunting with us, make some memories with your friends and colleagues, enjoy a drink or a cigar together, and hope that next year brings less challenges.