Whether you're a seasoned outdoorsman or just a beginner, North River Retreat provides personal attention to clients desiring to hunt, fish, camp out, shoot clays from "The Matrix" (our unique 5-station platform), or simply go hiking for the day. We welcome families, church and scout groups, or close friends looking for an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a mountain setting that is close to home.

What We Offer

Hunting

Outdoor Activities

A morning or afternoon hunt takes about 3 hours, and is guaranteed to be a lot of fun. Hunt with our English setters or feel free to use your own bird dog(s). We make the hunting experience as natural as possible by releasing birds at several different locations on the property prior to each hunt.


We are a licensed shooting preserve. Non-residents can purchase a special 6-day Class J hunting permit on-line at www.wvhunt.com for a nominal fee of $10, which is much less than a general West Virginia non-resident hunting license. Shotguns are available at no charge, upon request. Ammunition can be purchased on-site. Lunch is provided after each morning hunt. Get ready for some fast shooting action!


We start our quail hunts in early October. We often need to shut down in mid-December due to weather, and start up again in late February or early March. Quail hunting normally ends around April 1.


Saturdays fill up quickly and hunting is not allowed on Sunday, so be sure to book early if you want to hunt over a weekend. A $100 deposit is required, fully refundable up to one month prior to the hunt if you need to cancel. If the weather is bad, we will re-schedule your hunt with no penalty.

Guided Quail Hunting

Deer Hunting - Firearms

There are numerous opportunities to hunt white-tailed deer in West Virginia, and North River Retreat has some great deer hunting!


A 3-day firearms season for antlerless deer in Hampshire County is normally scheduled in late October. This early season provides a great opportunity for hunting with a firearm during milder weather.


As always, the main firearms season begins on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Two weeks of hunting for buck or doe are then followed by a week-long muzzleloader season for either sex. Then there's a short (3 day) season for antlerless deer and a few days more of antlerless hunting at the end of December.


NOTE: The NRR property and cabin are leased during certain days of the firearms season. Two or three day hunts are available at other times. Please contact us for additional details.

We have 20+ ladder-style metal tree stands set up at strategic locations on the property. Portable ground stands are also used for hunters wishing to hunt from the ground. We provide maps with tree stand locations and transport hunters to and from their stands. To ensure for safety and a quality experience for everyone, hunters are asked to wear safety harnesses while hunting from tree stands and to stay in or near their stands.

Several wildlife food plots are planted every year as an attractant to deer and other wildlife. Wildlife corridors running between pastures provide cover and food for deer and wild turkey.


Although there are normally plenty of deer, this is not a "trophy buck" area. To improve deer management, we ask hunters to harvest does and only bucks with 6 points or better. This rule is paying off - we've been harvesting larger bucks at NRR during the past several years. We have safety harnesses for tree stand hunting and rifles available at no charge, upon request. Familiarization with and sighting-in of loaned rifles is required prior to hunting. Ammunition can be purchased on-site. Cell phone coverage is available throughout most of the property, or as an option hunters are provided portable radios for safety and communication.


IMPORTANT! North River Retreat is located in Hampshire County, one of the West Virginia counties where chronic wasting disease has been identified in deer. Hunters are prohibited from transporting dead deer or their parts beyond the boundary of the county except for the following: meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; cleaned hide with no head attached; clean skull plate (no meat or tissue attached) with antlers attached; antlers with no meat or tissue attached; and finished taxidermy mounts. Although we do not process deer, we have a game pole and other supplies to help ensure for compliance with these regulations.

Deer Hunting - Archery & Crossbow

Most archery and crossbow hunters prefer to hunt on their own and for more than a few days at a time. Therefore, we offer exclusive weekly deer hunting leases on NRR lands to hunters from early October to mid-November. In order to avoid hunter interference and to ensure for a quality hunt, we will lease only to a single group of hunters during each week (“lease group”). A lease group can be from 1-5 persons, such as family members or friends wishing to hunt together. Additional charges apply to a group containing more than 5 hunters. Properly licensed hunters may harvest deer of either sex during the archery/crossbow season. The 6-point or better rule for harvesting bucks during the firearms season does not apply to archery/crossbow hunters.


Groups are welcome to use the primitive campground by the North River at a discounted rate. The campground has a beautiful screened pavilion, gas grill, fire pit, and picnic tables. An outhouse is located nearby. 


IMPORTANT! North River Retreat is located in Hampshire County, one of the West Virginia counties where chronic wasting disease has been identified in deer. Hunters are prohibited from transporting dead deer or their parts beyond the boundary of the county except for the following: meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; cleaned hide with no head attached; clean skull plate (no meat or tissue attached) with antlers attached; antlers with no meat or tissue attached; and finished taxidermy mounts. Although we do not process deer, we have a game pole and other supplies to help ensure for compliance with these regulations.

We guide turkey hunters on a very limited basis during the first 10 days of the Spring season, which normally begins in mid-April each year. Hunting dates normally include Youth Day and two-morning hunts during the first week of the regular season only, with meals and overnight lodging included. We usually begin taking reservations in January. Please consider subscribing to our e-mail distribution list for this and other notifications about upcoming events and activities.


This is a wonderful time of year, and hearing a turkey gobbler sound off in the morning is an added bonus. In addition, the Youth Day Hunt with a parent and son or daughter always takes place a few days before the regular season. Success has been high during this special day.


Hunting starts before sunrise and ends in the early afternoon, so there's time later for relaxing, fishing and a much-needed nap.


We have shotguns and ammunition available, as well as hunting vests with padded seats.

Spring Gobbler Hunting

Shooting Clays

"The Matrix” shooting platform, with five shooting stations at different levels, must be seen to be appreciated. Made from treated pine with a shingle roof, it looks more like an A-frame cabin than a platform, and blends beautifully into the landscape.


And what shooting possibilities! NINE "traps" (machines that release clay pigeons) are arranged in a semi-circle around "The Matrix". All clays are released by remote control. They fly above and below the shooter randomly, with each flight varying in height and angle. There are ample opportunities for incoming and crossing shots, as well as doubles.


In addition to the seven traps that release standard clays, a "Rabbit” trap throws hardened clays that bounce along at ground level. Finally, a "Quail" trap releases smaller clays that fly upside down, simulating a quail erupting from cover!


Families or small groups of friends are welcome to book "The Matrix" for a morning or afternoon shoot. Whether you're an expert or a beginner to the sport, shooting clays is great fun year-round! We have 20 gauge shotguns and safety equipment available for our guests at no charge. In addition, the range has a beautiful pavilion with a fire pit and gas grill for your use at no charge.


Shooting clinics are offered periodically by expert John Alexander, a Level III National Sporting Clays Association instructor.


PLEASE NOTE: Shooting at "The Matrix" has become increasingly popular over the past several years. Lead pellets dissolve into ground water over time, posing a serious risk to the environment. In addition, lead pellets can be ingested by bird species and cause lead poisoning. Therefore, the use of shells containing lead shot is prohibited at the range. We have steel shot available in all gauges for purchase, or you may bring your own lead-free shells.


!WARNING! If you wish to bring your own shotguns to the range, please check with the manufacturer to make certain that your firearms are compatible with steel shot. Some older models of shotguns and/or screw-in chokes are not compatible and may pose a danger to the shooter. When in doubt, please remember that we have 20 gauge shotguns available for your use at no charge. 

Camping, Fishing, & Hiking

CAMPING!


We have a wonderful primitive campground adjacent to the North River that is a perfect setting for family reunions, Boy Scouts or other groups. It is situated in a grove of white oaks that provide shade and privacy. We provide a meal preparation area with a screened pavilion containing foldout tables, 2 picnic tables, a fire pit and gas grill. A clean outhouse is adjacent to the campsite. While we provide wash water and firewood, campers must bring their own camping gear, food and drinking water.


FISHING!


Fish for trout, bass and bream in a pond near the cabin - no license required! Trout are stocked during the spring and fall months, and bass and bream are always available. Guests with fishing licenses may also fish The North River.


HIKING!


Several trails traverse the property for your hiking enjoyment. Swimming in the North River is always an option on hot days!

Clays Shooting Clinics

We offer clays shooting clinics taught by John Alexander once or twice a year. A group of five guests may also book a private morning or afternoon clinic. John is a Level III NSSA clays shooting instructor and an excellent teacher. Whether you are a beginning or experienced shooter, you will benefit greatly from John's instruction. We have clients who have participated in these clinics several times, and have continued to improve their shooting skills each time.


Best of all, you don't need to purchase expensive equipment. We provide everything you need for the clinic - shotguns, shells, clays, vests, and eye and ear protection. Snacks, drinks and lunch are also included.


GPS Training

We also offer Basic GPS Training, upon request. We will be happy to set up a specific course for your family or group.


If you love exploring the outdoors and have always wanted to know more about the basics of using a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit, this is the course for you. GPS technology is rapidly changing how outdoor enthusiasts find their way in unfamiliar country. With a GPS unit, you can store the location of your car or other home base, as well as other important locations during your trip. Finding your way to your deer stand or flock of roosted turkeys before daylight is a breeze. And the latest advances in this technology actually allow you to follow your progress on topographic maps downloaded into the unit! 


Youngsters love this training, as it combines technology with outdoor fun! In fact it has been taught to youngsters attending Camp Tall Timbers summer camp located near High View, West Virginia.


Firearms Safety

During hunting season, novice hunters are taught hunting safety and use of firearms with equipment supplied by North River Retreat. We also have a small shooting range for firearm sighting-in and familiarization. However, use of this range is restricted to guests hunting on the property.


Tree and Plant Identification

We can set up a course with a local forester on how to identify Appalachian hardwood and softwood tree species, whether by bark, leaf structure, acorn, cone, or seed.


Other training courses at NRR can possibly be arranged and scheduled just for your group. Please let us know about your interests!

Outdoors Training

The NRR cabin has three guest bedrooms. Furnaces with individual thermostats are located in each room. The kitchen area is fully-equipped, with a sink, refrigerator and range. Plates, silverware and cookware are provided.


The bathroom has a sink and shower, and a storage area with clean towels. Hot water is provided by an “on-demand” tank-less hot water heater. A screened-in porch and deck with a gas grill provide a wonderful view of the North River Valley.


We remain on site when guests book hunts that include meals and lodging. Guests leasing the NRR property for deer hunting during the archery/crossbow season and the firearms season may also rent our cabin when it is available. Public power does not exist at the cabin - all utilities operate by either propane or generator. Guests renting the cabin will be fully briefed on cabin operation to ensure they have a safe, enjoyable experience. A Cabin Use Manual is also provided.


Outside of the hunting season, the cabin may be rented on a limited basis to families or small groups who will have access to the entire property for hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities. Guests wishing to shoot clays should make certain the range is available during their stay. The cabin is not rented during the winter months.

Lodging