One beautiful October day, not too long ago, my sister and I packed our bags, guns and assorted other necessities into the back of my truck and started the journey to Jimmy Robinson's Sports Afield Duck Club, in St. Ambroise, Manitoba. Nerves zinging with anticipation, we had been waiting for this day for months now, planning everything out as meticulously as only a newbie duck hunter can, reading lists that were sent to us, emails flying back and forth making sure licenses, gear and more were all prepared.
Travel Manitoba had invited myself and my sister Karami out for duck hunting this year and Jimmy Robinson's famous duck club was kind enough to host us as their guests. The perfect partnership, both Travel Manitoba and David Reese from the lodge made sure that we were ready and able to enjoy this trip to the fullest.
Jimmy Robinson's duck lodge is a name held in near reverence for duck hunters.Having hosted celebrities, politicians, famous actors and more, the lodge is widely regarded as the pinnacle experience for duck hunting.
Name such as Clark Gable, Mary Hemmingway, Robert Stack and more have walked the halls of this lodge and hunted the bounty of the marsh. European royalty? You betcha.
However, celebrities doth not a lodge make. Jimmy Robinson's lodge is also all about the old realtor's adage: location, location, location. The lodge is situated off the shores of the famous Delta Marsh, one of North America’s largest, freshwater coastal wetlands and a primary migratory stop/staging area for all types of birds, from waterfowl to songbirds. There has been a recorded total of 307 different species of birds in the Delta marsh so far. The Delta Marsh can be found on the southern end of Lake Manitoba, spanning 30 kilometers in length and has a breadth of up to 4 kilometers in some places, in all a staggering 19,000 hectares of beautiful wetlands.
Today, I'm simply going to take you on a walk through the lodge by pictures, as I have too many stories to tell for one post.
The lodge has the capacity for up to 16 guests, however 12 is the norm for most hunts. There are two tables outside of the lodge kitchen for everyone to eat at together.
The lodge kitchen is large and functional – and churned out some fantastic meals for us while we were there.
The large common room is generally quiet during the day, most of the guys were out grouse hunting after their morning duck hunts. I however, took great joy in curling up in one of those plush green chairs and playing Plants vs Zombies 2, while fighting the urge to nap.
I lost that battle day one. Man, that was the best nap of my life.
Come the evenings, this common room was packed. Everyone would be back from their respective hunts/naps and was ready to chat while waiting for dinner. The small TV in the corner mainly played football – or the weather network, checking the weather for the next days hunt of course- and a fireplace crackles merrily from dawn to dusk, warming the room with its wood-fired heat. A small table in the back made it perfect for playing cards with fellow hunters and the bar in the back corner was, of course, the busiest hub in the room after a long day outside.
Most of the wall space – indeed, almost every spare inch- in the lodge is covered in things that you simply must look at. I don't think – for all my trying- that I actually managed to look at everything. Antiques, duck decoys, photos, paintings, mounted animals and more, the lodge simply embodied everything visual that one would expect to see in a hunting lodge.
The photos lining the walls alone would take a person days to go through, to actually see each one by itself. They have been catalogued, a process that I can't even imagine tackling.
There were more animal species in this lodge than most museums I have been in. I could do an entire write-up on just what they have gracing the tables and walls, animal by animal.
My kids would have flipped over the Wolverine. X-Men are tops in our house.
The rooms are small but perfect for two people.
( I actually don't think the rooms are that small, but when I showed Dave the picture I took of the rooms, he told me that I wasn't allowed to make them look this big 😉 )
Ah, the wonders a good wide-angle lens can work!
Truly, we had enough space for all our baggage and we travelled fully loaded,with everything but the kitchen sink. The one closet provides ample room for hanging whatever you need to.The beds are cots, with great pillows and the bedding? Oh my word. I am asking for a Hudson Bay Company wool blanket for my Christmas present from Mike. They were so heavy and warm!
Outside of the lodge, you can head out to the back..
..and shoot some trap! I had suspected that there would be a clay thrower and sure enough, there was a great set-up for everyone to warm up their shotgun skills the night before the hunting started.
After much peer pressure, my sister and I joined the men to warm up.
I shot every clay target.
Never happened before. I swear it won't ever happen again.
I'd like to thank whatever powers above decided that this would be the great time for my shotguns skills to be perfect, in front of a bunch of experienced hunters. I owe you one.
Stay tuned for more posts on the Jimmy Robinson's duck lodge, I can't wait to edit the photos and show everyone what a fabulous time it was!