A Glance Back at 2015


2015 was a great year at Highland

We had many new and exciting things take place this year and although we cannot capture all of them in this letter we definitely want to highlight a few.

As each year passes we are reminded of how lucky we are.  It’s such a pleasure when you can see the first bird harvested, or the first time a clay is broken, and even the first time a shell is fired.  We truly feel blessed each day to be able to provide a safe and controlled learning environment to all of those who experience this with us young to old.  While also providing a place to provide entertainment and build relationships for families, friends, clients and businesses.

We would like to take this time to thank all of you for being such loyal customers and allowing Highland Hunting to accommodate you, your family, friends, clients, and whatever the case may be, thank you for letting Highland Hunting be a part of it! So whether we see you out on the sporting clay range, in the field chasing birds, or in some cases both, we want to thank all of you for the continued business throughout the years.  Without great folks like you Highland Hunting would not continue to grow.

Have a great New Year and make 2016 one to remember!

– Ryan Giannini

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Sporting Clay Course

This was a great year on the Highland Sporting Clay course; we had many returning events along with some new ones.

During the 2015 sporting clay season we threw over 350,000 targets!  Which is up from the previous year, and we will to continue to grow this number during the 2016 season.

A favorite event among many is the Ronald McDonald House Sporting Clays Shoot, this was the 10th year for this event, and as many of you know was the first year for this event to be on a Friday.  The Ronald McDonald house wanted to try something different to see if appealed to the shooters and unfortunately we found that this was not a huge success.  I’m happy to announce that this year’s event has been moved back to a Sunday and will be held on Sept. 18 2016.

We also hosted another great Shooting Clinic with Steve Liberta and Haley Dunn, we will have another one this summer but the date is yet to be determined.

We also had trick shooter’s Micah McMillan and Josh Richmond for the first time and had a blast with them and the group they were entertaining.

This past season we were able to purchase a few new sporting clay traps from MEC and have plans to add another 5-7 for this spring   We also have plans to update our 5-stand range and hope to have the project completed mid-summer.

We are gearing up for another great year on the range, and we look forward to seeing all of you soon!


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View from the Field

As always at Highland we continue to strive to have the best upland habitat available for all of our hunters to enjoy.  Each year we conduct a few prescribed burns to improve the cover, create more winter food cover plots, enhance the quality of the cover in a couple of fields, and experiment with a few other food sources for the food plots.  This year we tired a few varieties of Sorghum which you may have noticed while hunting.  We have found a variety we really like and will continue to experiment with this in the spring.

Continuing to grow and enhance our habitat each year always brings new challenges and ideas but we feel this is one of the most important qualities for our hunt and we plan to make it better and better each year.




Hatchery Report

With this being the 16th season, for Highland we faced a challenge that has always been a threat to our industry but never a complete fear…well that happened this year with the new strain of Avian Influenza (AI).  Many of you heard about this in the media and we received many emails and calls from customers with concerns.  Which I want to thank you for expressing, with everyday busy lives going on it’s nice to know you guys are thinking of us during these times.

We took extra measures to enhance our biosecurity and will continue this into the next season.  This taught us an important message about how easily not only our food sources can be affected but small farm operations as well.  I’m happy and thankful to say that we have been AI clean and continue to stay AI free.  Although the major threat is behind us for the time being we still have great concern about this for our next season.

We had a great year in the hatchery with a very successful hatch.  We hatched just over 28,500 pheasant chicks this season, and raised just over 21,000 to maturity, we continue to have a beautiful and heathy flock and are sitting good on our flock for the remaining part of the season.

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The Aiming for a Cure Foundation Celebrity hunt will take place March 13th and 14th.  The hunt is sold out, but there are still banquet tickets available.  Click Here to purchase a ticket to the banquet.  Hope to see you all there!


Staff Updates


Top Left:Blake Dononvan, Bill Burton, Kyle Frank, Ron Rath, Ross Frank, Carter Jacque Bottom Left: Jason Vanderlinden, Ryan Giannini, Easton Giannini, Brody Burton, Dan Burton


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Ron and Ruth Rath

Dear Friends of Highland Hideaway Hunting,

Ron-and-RuthWe are hoping that you had Wonderful Holiday Season! We are thankful for the mild weather we are having this winter, we didn’t even have a White Christmas, and that was ok, we have had plenty of them in the past few years.

2015 has been a very nice year for us; we started the year out right, on February 14th bought a 35 ft Sunset Creek Camper.  We took our camper out several times; we went to Dubuque State Park for a

week end, and also to Palo to watch Ruthie’s son run a triathalon, and to the State Fair, where we hung out with lots of old friends that enjoy the fair too.

On the first day of spring, March 21st we got engaged, we are both so happy we found each other, and get to spend the rest of our lives together enjoying the golden years, we hope to use our camper again lots this coming year.

We also spent 5 days at the Lake of the Ozarks, boating with family, got to watch the grandkids enjoy tubing and skiing and of course enjoyed relaxing and getting away for a few days.

And on September 5th was our Wedding day, it was an outdoor wedding, at Highland Hideaway Hunting, we were surrounded by family and close friends, music and delicious food and drinks.  We feel very blessed to have all of you in our lives, Much love and happiness to all and have a Wonderful 2016!

– Ron and Ruthie

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The Giannini’s

Ryan and Kate watched their family grow in 2015.  On December 1st, Nolan Steven was born; he was a healthy 8lbs 6 oz. 21.5” long.  Easton loves being a big brother and is very good helper.

Ryan-Family  Highland-Family

In 2015, Ryan was able to enjoy a Canada Fishing Trip with his Dad in June, and an Arkansas Duck Hunt in January.  Both of these travels were made possible by a few HHH clients and their hospitality.  Ryan also enjoyed expanding his spring prescribed burn business, and looks forward to the 2016 season.  Kate continues to work in the conservation/water quality field, which is quite the hot topic in Iowa.  Because of her efforts towards conservation, she was honored to receive two professional awards, and continues to serve as an elected Soil Commissioner, and board member of the English River Watershed Management Authority and the Clear Creek Watershed Coalition.  Gauge, their almost 13 year old german shorthair pointer has slowed down, but still enjoys hitting the field, and proved he still had it at the Giannini Family annual Christmas pheasant hunt.

We look forward to family time in 2016, and hope for good health in our families.

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Jason Vanderlinden

Jason-VThe 2015 season at Highland is rapidly progressing. We have surpassed the half way point, and looking back I don’t even know where the first half went. We are in one of our busiest seasons with various shooting and hunting events.   I still made time to waterfowl and pheasant hunt with my lab Bailey, and made new friends along the way. But two of the most memorable hunts this season was the opportunity to host two events which introduced youth and novice hunters to pheasant hunting and the outdoors.  It is very rewarding anytime you can teach the safe and ethical way of hunting and fishing, and ultimately spark the interest and passion in someone of the outdoors as much as I do.

As we move through late winter and spring, I look forward to our fourth season with the Highland High School trap shooting team, a great sporting clay season, habitat work, but most importantly spending time with friends and family hopefully in the woods and on the water.

I wish everyone a safe and happy new year.

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Upcoming Events:

  • February 13th – Family Ice Fishing Day
  • March 13-14th – Aiming for a Cure Foundation
  • March 26th – Cabin Fever Hunt
  • April 24 First 100 Target Sporting Clays shoot

Check out our Calendar for more detailed information on upcoming events.

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Remembering Ron

On January 21st, 2016 we lost a member of our family, Ron W. Rath.  Ron loved and was loved by many people.  He will always be remembered and will truly be missed among many.  We want to thank you all for the outpouring of love, support, letters, emails, gifts and donations during this difficult time.

Ron RathRonald William Rath was born September 14, 1945 in Riverside, IA, the son of Everett and Florence (Forbes) Rath.  He graduated from Riverside High School.  Ron farmed near Riverside and was the founder and co-owner of Highland Hideway Hunting.  On September 5, 2015 he was united in marriage to Ruth (Nisly) Statler.  Ron was a member of the Shiloh Church and Pheasants Forever.  He enjoyed hunting, reading, traveling, tinkering, and spending time with his grandchildren.  Ron never knew a stranger and loved visiting with people.

Survivors include his wife Ruth of Washington, three children: Darrin Doerres of Hills, IA, Melissa (Les) Holway of Tiffin, IA, Russ (Cyndy) Rath of Adel, IA, niece Shelley Rath of Davenport, IA, seven grandchildren: Carson, Carter, Claire, Mitchell, Brittany, Alysa, Wyatt, four step children: Jeremy (Kari), April (Clair), Brandon (Amy), Zion (Seth) and nine step grandchildren.

Preceding Ron in death were his parents and two sisters: Karen Rath and Reva Rath.

Charitable donations may be made in Ronald’s memory to the Aiming for a Cure Foundation.

Until we meet again, you will always be remembered.

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Don’t forget, the hunting lodge is available for rent for your next event!  Weddings, birthdays, reunions, getaways, employee or client outings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, scrap booking or quilting getaways.  Take advantage of our facility, services, and grounds for a relaxing, welcoming event.


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