Your dove hunt is mere weeks away, and you’ve got to knock the rust off before you embarrass yourself in front of your buddies—but man is it sweltering out there! First off, don’t go to the south central U.S. and secondly, pick a summer retreat that has a pool and plenty of cool libations nearby for after the guns are cased. After combing the whole country, I’ve narrowed this year’s pick to one late summer destination resort. It’s easy to access, fairly priced and contains sporting fun for the whole family: Seven Springs Mountain Resort, in Seven Springs, Pa.
Hidden in the heart of Pennsylvania and lifted over intense heat by the Appalachian Mountains, Seven Springs Resort located in Seven Springs, PA, offers sportsmen and women the best summer experience possible short of actually going hunting. With swimming, zip-lining, rock climbing, horse riding, golfing, ATV riding, alpine sliding, food festivals, live entertainment, shopping and downhill bike riding, there is literally something for everyone in the family to do if they are uninterested in the things that lured you to this sportsman’s paradise in the first place—like fly-fishing or shooting your shotgun at its world-class sporting clays facility situated high on the mountain. It features two courses, plus one sub-gauge course, a great 5 stand range and a practice area. If you need instruction, NSCA Level III instructor Mike Mohr can provide it. Golf carts are available if that’s your bag, or walk it if you want to get in shape for pheasant hunting. The range features a pro-shop and The Grill restaurant serves excellent food and beverages whenever you decide that no dove or teal has a sporting chance this season.
I visited Seven Springs last July, while Optimum Shooting Performance professional shotgun instructors Gil and Vicki Ash were on hand, and believe me, it’s a good thing they were. Gil and Vicki not only showed me why I was missing mechanically, but delved into my simplistic, yet over-thinking head to enable me to hit more targets just by mental concentration. (See their new book, Traveling the InnerState if you positively can’t join them at Seven Springs. They can help you too.) I shot several rounds of clays, all while my girlfriend was happily ensconced at the Trillium Spa. After our respective activities, she met me for dinner and we wined and dined on The Grill’s deck that overlooks a glorious trout pond. Not once did I excuse myself to go fish—I waited until after dinner.
I’m telling you, if you live within a couple hundred miles of the central Pennsylvania area, you must check out Seven Springs Resort in the summer. Of course it’s known for its winter time skiing, but that's when most of us normal folks are hunting. Since it’s 100 degrees and humid in Washington, DC, where I live now, I’ll be returning to Seven Springs this weekend, complete with my fishing rod, golf clubs, bow and arrows—did I mention the resort held the IBO World Championships and Seven Springs Archer’s Open on August 8?—a bathing suit, a hearty appetite, cigars, my best two shotguns and all the discount shells I can fit into my truck. If my girlfriend, my sporting buddy and his wife want to join me, perfect. But if not, I assure you I’ll have fun there alone.
If you do drop in, tell Mike that you’re an NRA member and you want the tough clays. He’ll hook you up
Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Seven Springs, Pa.
The view from The Grill’s deck outside Seven Springs sporting clays range can easily entice sportsmen to pick up the fishing rod after a day of shooting.
AmericanHunter.org's Dogs, Shotguns and Other Vices blogger Kyle Wintersteen receives instruction from professional shotgun instructor Gil Ash. Texan Gil and his wife Vicki teach at Seven Springs during the hot summer months.