In a recent survey conducted on HuntingClub.com, we asked about travel experiences related to your annual hunting trips. Of those who participated in the survey—more than a thousand of you—93 percent stated that they take hunting trips each year that involve travel and an overnight stay—51 percent said they make one to three hunting trips per year that require an overnight stay.
Colorado and Montana were judged the most hunter-friendly states because there’s lots of public land and a variety of big game, especially mule deer and elk. Only 17 percent of respondents hunted outside the continental United States during the past 3 years, and 62 percent picked Canada as their top destination, 23 percent chose Alaska. Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland/Labrador ranked as the top three Canadian provinces, probably because there are a majority of NAHC members living in the Northeast quadrant of the United States.
NAHC members took planes, trains and automobiles to reach their favorite hunting destinations and were selective about their choice regarding where they were going to stay, where they ate, etc. We used your feedback and our own traveling experiences to select the cream of the crop in four travel categories—those companies that are doing the best job of catering to hunters. Here are our top travel picks.
MOST HUNTER-FRIENDLY AIRLINE
EDITORS’ PICK: Southwest Airlines
WHY: No excess baggage charges; friendly service;no hassles related to firearms.
BEST CAR RENTAL COMPANY
EDITORS’ PICK: Enterprise
WHY: Pickup and delivery service; competitive pricing; availability of trucks/SUVs.
EDITORS’ PICK: Best Western
WHY: Good price; proximity to field; hunter friendly in terms of dogs, firearms, etc.
BEST RESTAURANT CHAIN
EDITORS’ PICK: Cracker Barrel
WHY: Good “home-made” food; good price; friendly service.
FRIENDLIEST NORTH AMERICAN CITY
EDITORS’ PICK: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
WHY: Montreal is truly the gateway city to all of the incredible hunting opportunity in the gigantic province of Quebec. Hotels, especially near Dorval Airport, are set up for transient sportsmen. Shuttles run at all hours. Hotel staff aren’t squeamish about firearms and camo in the lobby. They have coolers and freezers to handle meat and trophies in transit.
Unique to Montreal are top-quality meat processors who will meet your incoming plane, take the game you harvested, process it, package it, cool or freeze it, and have it back to your hotel room by 5 a.m. the next day for you to catch your flight home. And finally, the people of Quebec appreciate hunters. Many are hunters themselves. They are genuine and enthusiastic in sharing the hunting tradition.