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Thread: Report: Grosse Savanne in Louisiana

  1. #1
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    Report: Grosse Savanne in Louisiana

    Grosse Savanne Lodge in Southwest Louisiana

    I put this under the waterfowling section because I think that's really their bread and butter, but they also offer a variety of other activities. I am in no way affiliated with the hunting organization other than I shot ducks there.

    The lodge is located on the marshes south of Lake Charles, Louisiana in an area approximately the size of Rhode Island and probably dirtier and smellier (I've never been to Rhode Island). Duck hunting would be the major drawing point for most hunters, but geese and quail are also available to hunt (quail were not available in November of 2006, but that is related to the hurricaine destruction and should be back up in 2007). Well, there is also alligator and nutria hunting, but I don't think many folks actually spend their money to hunt giant rats and nasty lizards. Additionally salt and freshwater fishing is available as well as golf, bird watching and just relaxing for those that don't wish to enjoy any of the outside facilities.

    The lodge itself is set up much like a hotel with rooms with two beds, one bathroom and a screened in porch. The lodge has a game room with pool table, poker table, 2-3 TV's, living room with comfy couches and 1 TV and a communal dining room.

    The food for all meals is excellent and the staff are friendly and helpful. The guides were the usual mix of outstanding to average. In the area of duck hunting, all the guides seemed to be on the good to excellent side. In our group there were 16 hunters and I heard no complaints about the guides or their efforts while waterfowling. I went saltwater fishing in Calcasieu Lake and this is where I would say the differences in the guides really showed. A poor guide will get you your limit in redfish in a pretty short 30-40 minutes. After a redfish limit is reached the real work for the guide begins. In the lake there are also speckled trout and flounder. In November, flounder are not on the menu, so you're left with speckled trout. The problem is that it requires a GOOD guide to hook many trout unless the conditions are just right, and it requires an EXCELLENT guide to limit. I had a poor guide that convinced us he was a good guide. Another group had an excellent guide. We were within 100 yards of one another most of the day, and we caught about 1 trout each while they caught their limit which I believe was 10 fish each.

    The marshes were very dirty and kind of depressing. It is impossible to ignore the devestation Katrina worked on the area, and in the marshes, it is most evident. There is debris and trash everywhere, including tires, dolls, freezers, and just about anything else you can imagine. No one is going to clean it up, either. It would just be too expensive for anyone to try. That's the sad part.

    The happy part is that ducks don't care. Canals are cut through the marsh to several different blinds. The closest blind is literally a 4 or 5 minute boat ride while the furthest would be approximately 35 minutes away. Depending on which blind the hunter is in determines at just how un-godly an hour the staff wakes you up. Yes, the staff wakes you up...or maybe they just did that for me and my drunk veterinarian friend.

    Anyway, the hunting was absolutely fantastic. We saw literally thousands of ducks every morning and everyone limited out every day.

    I won't say it was a "good" deal or a "bad" deal. They list rates on their site and you don't need me to tell you what is "worth" it or not.

    Duck hunting. If this is your bag, this is a great lodge. The hunting is great, with oppurtunities to shoot lots of different ducks and teal.

    Goose hunting. I guess we were a little early for the prime goose hunting, but we did see some birds. I can't really say it was "good" hunting because we weren't there during the prime hunting season. It did have nice facilities for hunting geese and would seem to be on par for an excellent grade if the birds do show up.

    Calcasieu Lake salt water fishing. I'd give the lake an A while the guides and the weather would largely decide how successful the fishing actually was. If this is why you went to the lodge, I'd demand one of the excellent guides. There is a SIGNIFICANT difference here in guides.

    Bay salt water fishing. Katrina had done a lot of damage here as well and they had not recovered. Prior to Katrina, the fishing here was absolutely excellent.

    None of us went gator hunting, but there were plenty of gators to keep you occupied. In fact, you are welcome to bring your own dog, but you must keep him on a VERY strict leash or he won't be going home with you.

    Nutria. Ok, for those of you that have ever been prairie dog hunting, this is nutria hunting...except you do it from an air boat. And the nutria don't give you any time to shoot. And the boat is moving. And there might be beer involved. If I ever go back down to Gross Savanne, I will dedicate every moment I'm not duck hunting to nutria hunting. You can't use anything larger than a .22, .17 HMR, etc. The slugs would just skip forever on that flat water. The nutria is a giant rat that somehow ended up here. Its not native and I think they actually pay you to kill them. Did I mention air boats and guns? It is truly one of the most fun things I did while I was down there.

    All in all, I'd definately go back if the trip comes back around, and it probably will. The quality of rooms, food, and hunting are just excellent all around.

    If you have a question, let me know. I'll try to answer.

    Chris

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