Another year has come and gone at Tara Wildlife. We thank all of you for helping to make 2016 a great year at Tara Wildlife. We are taking a look back at 2016 and everything that was going on at Tara as well as giving you a sneak peek into some special events happening in 2017.
In 2016, we added a new team building activity for business retreats, family reunions, or meetings – the Tara Tromp Challenge Course. The course includes six low-impact skill stations: sling shot, .22 rifle, skeet shooting with a shotgun, knife throwing, spear throwing, and tomahawk throwing. Scores are tallied as groups compete for bragging rights in a competitive, good natured exercise. The Challenge course takes approximately 2 hours to complete and is a great activity to end a productive day of strategic planning.
Lodges and Cabins – For A Weekend Getaway
We entertained 25 Spring Break Campers in 2016. Our seven Summer Youth Camps along with our Archery Camp had close to 300 campers attend.
Tara’s fishing pond has taken recent restocking well and offers business and summer camp attendees opportunities with a great pastime. Cane poles are provided.
In 2016, we constructed a wall around the pond at Tara Lodge to reduce erosion and improve the aesthetics of the pond. It was a large undertaking, but the pond wall has been a great addition to the property.
2016-2017 Hunting Season
Thus far, the 2016 Archery Deer season is going as expected. Early season drought conditions and temperatures were challenging for hunters however hunting success has kept pace with previous years.
Two alligator hunts were sold this past year. The first scored near 11 feet and the second was the trophy of a 15-year-old young lady measuring just shy of 13 feet.
The turkey population at Tara continues to be negatively affected by the high levels of the Mississippi River in spring and early summer, which is during the turkey’s nesting season.
Meetings and Special Events
Tara is a great place for weddings, family reunions, corporate retreats, workshops, and planning meetings. This year, we saw 41 corporate groups, reunions and retreats with 1 wedding and 4 more weddings planned for early spring 2017.
New Staff at Tara in 2016
Tara welcomed four new hires in 2016. Jane Culbertson has taken on the task of the evening cook duties at Tara Lodge. She is the wife of Bobby Culbertson. Another Culbertson joined the staff as son David is assisting with Fall Hunting guiding chores.
Unfortunately Tara has said goodbye to Karen Harper, who retired after close to 20 years as Tara’s bookkeeper. We will miss her dearly!
Our third new hire is Glenda Terry. She lives nearby in the Eagle Lake community and will take over the role of bookkeeping duties.
New in 2017: Advanced Summer Camp
New for Summer Camp of 2017 is our “Advanced Camp.” It will offer challenging and exciting field activities to seasoned campers, boys and girls ages 12 – 17. Along with our Archery Camp, our Advanced Camp will be packed full of instruction in shooting sports combined with woodland and Mississippi River activities. As an added feature, Advanced Camp and Archery Camp may be combined offering an entire week of fun and excitement.
New in 2017: Building a New, Improved Tara Lodge
In 2017 we will begin demolition of the current lodge and dining facility – replacing it with a strikingly new Tara Lodge, Reception, Lobby, and Dining area. Extra care and attention will be taken in salvaging some of the spectacular cypress timbers, planks, and furnishings. The new lodge will include a much needed central registration and welcome area. Seating capacity in the new Dining Facility will increase to accommodate approximately 80 guests.
Plans include a fully equipped commercial kitchen which will greatly improve overall efficiency of food handling and preparation. The more spacious Dining Room will allow for a two-sided serving counter which will improve both food presentation and self serving.
Additionally the new lodge will include a large great room with increased seating and tasteful décor. A large fireplace and with vaulted ceilings along with oversized windows will greatly complement the lodge.
Also, beginning shortly Tara will begin construction of a new gazebo located near the accommodations.The facility will serve multiple purposes such as a staging area for fall hunters to chat about their hunts, or Tara guest wanting to relax within a screened, open air setting.
As demolition will begin August 1st, make special plans to attend the Spring Birding Weekend as our Mississippi River Nature Weekend in late August will not be held until 2018 due to the construction.
We will share more details on the new lodge and dining facilities in the coming months.