BRUCEH~2Bruce Hensley“I’ll try ‘em both at once,” said Charlotte, North Carolina resident, Bruce Hensley, and that was followed quickly with the one word that puts everything into motion… “Pull!” Within seconds, two bright, orange-colored clay targets sailed through the air from either side of the stand where Bruce was standing. Two sharp explosions from the 12-gauge shotgun in Hensley’s hand immediately turned both of the flying objects into orange dust in a show of excellent marksmanship!

This type of Sporting Clays action is duplicated daily from many stands and numerous angles that test even the best shooter. Thanks to owner and founder, Ralph Brendle, however, River Bend Sportsman’s Resort offers so much more. It is an upscale sporting resort for the whole family in Fingerville, South Carolina, featuring quail, pheasant, and chukar field hunts in picturesque fields and woods in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains. Whether it was an English setter or a German shorthair, watching the excellent work of the dogs and their handling by hunting guide, Hank Rogers, conjured up pleasant memories from childhood bird hunts with my father. German Shorthari, Paul, Points a Bird at River Bend.

German Shorthair, Paul, Points a Bird at River BendBesides the extremely challenging skeet and sporting clays courses that are scattered throughout the property near the Lodge, special tower shoots provide unbelievable action for larger groups, and duck hunting can be experienced, in or out of season. Both deer and turkey hunts can be arranged, and a rifle and pistol target range is located on the property. For those interested in piscatorial pursuits, world-class fly fishing with expert guides around nearby Ashville, North Carolina can be part of any package, and a special connection with The Cliffs, which is one of the finest golf venues in the South, allows one to test their skills on one of the most beautiful golf courses anywhere in the world. Competition caliber paintball can be both fun and serious, and one of the most highly acclaimed summer youth sporting camps in the Southeast is available. River Bend is also headquarters for the Paragon School of Sporting (, founded by World-renowned shooter and instructor, Daniel L. Schindler, and they feature Wally Schneider, one of the best women shooting instructors in the nation.

The Lodge at River BendThe Lodge at River BendLocated on 550 gorgeous, rolling acres in the foothills of upstate South Carolina, River Bend has a beautiful lodge that includes public and private dining rooms, a pro shop, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, a sauna, recreation room, spacious great room with fireplace, and a bar. It also has 14 modern rooms for overnight accommodations and serves three terrific meals each day that feature culinary delights by River Bend Chef Lee Whitehurst. Local, “master of all trades,” Gary Stiles is always on hand with a smile and a helpful hand to see that everything runs smoothly for each guest.

River Bend is perfect for corporate meetings or retreats, customer entertainment, incentive programs, or just getting away with friends or family members for day or overnight trips involving great outdoor camaraderie. Unlike many such camps, there are multitudes of nearby opportunities available for ladies and youngsters to enjoy. For me, however, it came down to the fantastic, old-time, Southern hospitality and service that seems to have been lost at so many resorts in the past few decades, and I would highly recommend River Bend to anyone!

For more information or reservations, call 864-592-1348, E-mail:, or go to their web site at:

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