It was a brave undertaking for The Ranches at Belt Creek, Montana to open its doors to women from all over North America to come in and shoot the Ranches shotguns. The Montana Ranch who’s ultimate commitment is to provide one-of-a-kind adventures to its guests through its Montana Sporting Club knew that Girl Hunter Weekend would be both challenging and thrilling. “It’s thrilling to embark on a new concept and provide such a unique experience for the bravehearted women who dare”, said Developer Mark Hawn, “and challenging to prepare the women who have never handled a gun”.
For the women who signed up for Georgia Pelligrini’s Girl Hunter Weekend at the Ranches at Belt Creek they came with adventure in their hearts and open minds. “There is something compelling about a girl playing in a man’s world”, one of the participants voiced. Most of the women that showed up in the Fall came on their own and those that did quickly realized that they were not alone but among their own kind of enterprising professionals.
The Weekend began on the Sporting Clays Course with seven custom stations. Each Girl Hunter learned the mechanics of handling the shotgun and perfecting her shot. The flight of the clays were identical in so many ways to the flight of the pheasant and the practice proved to be beneficial when it came to shooting in the field. The Ranches were well equipped to prepare each girl no matter her level of previous experience.
The Ranches at Belt Creek’s accommodations were beyond luxurious. Copper soaking tubs and back porch views that take your breath away. This is truly the way that every girl would want to rough it. The culinary experience was rustic gourmet. The resident Chef’s dinner menu line up was as follows:
- Confit of Duck Rillette over Parmesan Tuile and Balsamic Candied Shallots
- Curried Sweet Potato Veloute
- Three-way Beets and Amalthia Dairy Goat’s Cheese
- Chokecherry Sorbet
- Dueling Pork Wild Boar Roulade and Braised Pork Belly over Apple-Kraut and Smoked Honey
- Espresso Panna Cotta with Transformed Hazelnut Butter and Almond Wafer
- Housemade Elk and Dried Cherry Sausage with Pickled Radishes and Spicey Remoulade
- Celery Root and Truffle Bisque
- Seared Quail over Quinoa with Savory Huckleberries
- Huckleberry Sorbet
- Roasted Bison Eye of Rib over Confit of Potato Caramelized Onions with Cinnamon Demi Glaze
- Gran Marnier Marinated Plantains over Carmelized Pineapple and Coffee Ice Cream
Every girl’s discriminating palette was stretched to new levels and each woman was forever grateful to have experienced it. There is such a spirit of Thanksgiving when living off the land. Chef Martin describes the Chokeberry glaze on the Venizon Chop as those red berries on the bushes you saw down by the river Fly Fishing. There is a sense of pride of living off the land and being creative with what God had provided.
Everyday was a myriad of organized adventures. Horse Back Riding, Fly Fishing, Wild Game Cooking, ATVing and of course, Falconry and Pheasant Hunting being the highlight events. The Ranches and the women that traveled from afar to participate enately knew of the modern trend to bridge the gap between what you eat and the animal that gave its life to feed you. Its not as brutal as it sounds. Even Mark Zukerburg has taken a year to only eat the meat that he personally kills. Why? Its a ‘field to table’ movement where living unconscious is out of fashion and taking responsible is in vogue. As one girl hunter described her experience, “it’s having the opportunity to thank the animal personally for giving its life to feed me”.
My whole life I’ve been wanting to visit Montana, thankfully I had my first experience recently for a Girl Hunter weekend. Staying at the Ranches at Belt Creek was everything I had hoped for. There are plentiful outdoor adventures, the professional guides became my friends and the food & accommodations are top notch! We were able to experience the great outdoors (hunting, fly fishing, ATV rides, horseback excursions, etc.) It was fun to get down & dirty, then later in the day all prettied up for elegant/rustic homemade meals at the ranch. The Ranch is perfect for a week away with the girls and also very suitable for families of all ages.
I loved it so much I went back a second time a month later. Marla, Telluride, Colorado