Called OnPeg.com, it’s the online portal for an exclusive concierge concern that fusses over every infinitesimal detail in booking authentic driven shoots at estates in the US, UK, Spain and New Zealand (with more to come).
OnPeg.com is the brainchild of Lars Magnusson, an alumni of the West Stockholm Shooting School, the West London Shooting School and the Griffin & Howe Shooting School where most recently he served as Managing Director. In 2008, he founded Blixt & Co. and secured the exclusive hunting rights to Lazy Triple Creek in 2009 – a sprawling rustic lodge in Newdale, Idaho – about an hour drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Mr. Magnuson’s devotion to driven shoots is all-consuming, an irrefutable assertion to anyone who has experienced them at Lazy Triple Creek (see our story). Along with his wife Jennifer and the rest of the Blixt & Co. team, Mr. Magnuson orchestrates driven pheasant shoots that are backed by some 50 beaters, dog handlers and loaders who work tirelessly in creating the only driven shoot of its kind in the continental US (open for you to participate).
Since the pheasants are reared in a program adopted from long-established traditions in the British Isles and Europe, the Blixt & Co. driven shoots are a magnificent and timeless spectacle. As beaters with flags and sticks drive the birds from crop fields, pheasants burst forth from a precipice at some 40 miles-per-hour over a ravine where a line of guns awaits them. Shells eject, loaders work the double guns and the birds come in waves with dogs retrieving the bounty. The next day you have an option to participate on a traditional walk-up hunt over dogs in fields that present majestic vistas.
Mr. Magnuson’s devotion to the English driven shoot has sparked several entrepreneurial ventures that have incrementally brought the tradition ever closer to American disciples. In 2010 he teamed with legendary tailor Leonard Logsdail and his wife Jennifer Magnuson – a Jackson Hole native and accomplished sportswoman in her own right – to form Logsdail Classic.
By combining Mr. Logsdail’s four decades as a leader in the bespoke clothing business with the Magnussons’ understanding of time-honored, driven-shooting traditions, the partners have embarked on fashioning gentlemen’s wear for the sporting life. The Logsdail Classic line is created with rich tweeds from the most coveted mills in Scotland that produce virgin merino in distinctive patterns for the collection.
Mr. Magnusson’s association with Mr. Logsdail taps into a rich and storied history. Mr. Logsdail cut and supervised the making of riding breeches for Queen Elizabeth II. His clients include royalty, lords, earls, barons, congressmen, businessmen and quite a few celebrities. His clothes have been featured in “American Gangster,” “Wall Street II,” “The Good Shepherd,” “Frost/Nixon,” and on the Oscar Awards stage.
Now the irrepressible Mr. Magnusson is going global with OnPeg.com. The new service is an international extension of the Blixt & Co. Shooting Syndicate.
As Mr. Magnusson explained it, the idea for OnPeg.com sprung from word-of-mouth referrals. Members of the Blixt & Co. Shooting Syndicate were looking for driven-shooting venues in Europe, and asked his assistance in lining them up. He described OnPeg.com as an organic outgrowth of Blixt & Co’s current business.
“The objective of this site is to provide driven shooting opportunities in North America and around the globe, and help the avid sportsman interested in the sport, to locate and evaluate great shooting opportunities based on information provided about each shooting estate,” he said.
For starters, the Blixt & Co. Shooting Syndicate is a tiered model that ensures pegs and other shooting opportunities through a reservation system. As a private shooting society, it originally concentrated on Lazy Triple Creek. It offers four different types of membership: Peg Membership, Walk Up Membership, Clay Membership and new in 2011 the Dog Handling Membership. Bottom line: you don’t pay for anything you don't use. You can combine the different memberships into a flexible package of reserved dates that specifically suits your interests, including shooting lessons.
In addition to its menu of services, the Blixt & Co. Shooting Syndicate gives individuals and smaller groups the opportunity to be paired for a full complement of eight guns.
OnPeg.com now takes the Blixt & Co. Shooting Syndicate global.
“We have a group of people who enjoy driven shoots,” Mr. Magnusson said. “We added a group of high-end estates that are prequalified for our customers – moving slowly to make sure we can keep commitments with our partnering estates in the UK and elsewhere.”
Driven-bird hunters can think of OnPeg.com as their “concierge for the shooting world.” Car travel arrangements, lodging and dining accommodations are handled with the same dedication to service and detail as members of the Blixt & Co. Shooting Syndicate have grown accustomed. For example, an OnPeg.com destination includes a representative meet you at the airport.
Of OnPeg.com, Mr. Magnusson said it is an “extension of introducing Americans to the European shooting experience as well.”
Members of OnPeg.com can use their pegs at any of the participating estates. These include Lazy Triple Creek, Newdale, Idaho; Twin Peak’s Estate, Newdale, Idaho; Ashcombe Estate, Wiltshire, England; Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, England; La Nava, La Mancha, Spain; and Rathmoy, Hunterville, New Zealand.
Twin Peak’s is only about a 10-minute drive from Lazy Triple Creek. Its 620 acres has been a wildlife habitat for the past decade – providing the opportunity for walk-up hunting of native grouse, pheasants and partridges in a wide variety of cover.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Ashcombe Estate is located in the downlands of Wiltshire. The estate is known as one of the finest pheasant and partridge shoots in England. Its rolling grass landscape, combined with its mature hardwood covered valleys, acre after acre of planted cover crop, creates an unbeatable setting for a day in the field.
Belvoir Castle, meanwhile, will make most Americans feel like they stepped onto the set of a Masterpiece Theater show. Belvoir means “beautiful view” in French. The enormous castle dates back to the times of the Normans. Belvoir has been the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland for 1000 years and is currently the family home of the 11th Duke and Duchess and their five children. Partridge and high pheasants are found on Belvoir’s 16,000 acres. By the way, for ladies not wishing to participate in the shooting activities, Her Grace is happy to arrange a tour of the Castle and gardens, lunch at a neighboring stately home or a day shopping followed by a choice of Spa treatments in the castle's own beauty room.
At La Nava in Spain, guests can fly in on the private asphalt runway, which is suitable for international flights. There are two contemporary lodges on the property, which is renowned for partridge shooting across the accessible 61,000-plus acres of diverse terrain.
While partridge shooting began in Spain at the end of the nineteenth century, the Rathmoy Fish & Pheasant Lodge was founded in 2006 on a 1,000-hectare sheep and beef farm situated in some of New Zealand's most beautiful native bush. The estate is deep in the heart of the stunning Rangitikei region. The property is bordered by the spectacular Rangitikei River. The day begins with two morning drives. After a break for lunch, you travel by jet boat down river and have as many drives as required to achieve the bag.
Once you purchase a peg through OnPeg.com, you are entitled to use it at any of the member estates during the 2011/2012 hunting season. A one-peg membership starts at $4,500 for the season, working its way up to an eight-peg membership for $28,000.
All the estates are fully vetted by Mr. Magnusson and his associates, whose sole goal is to provide the most luxurious and trouble-free driven shooting in the world.
As you might expect, Mr. Magnusson is hard at work looking at other venues for OnPeg.com. In the mean time, the 2011/2012 season is booking up fast.
OnPeg.com web site
The Blixt & Co. web site
The Logsdail Classic web site