a brief history
Preston Mann was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1918, however circumstances caused by the Great Depression led the family to relocate to Detroit.
He was fortunate to be able to spend summers at his uncle’s hunting and fishing camp in the Missouri Ozarks, where he cut his teeth training dogs, hunting squirrels and quail, and burnished a lifelong passion for the outdoors. Though he didn’t know it at the time, Preston’s summer vacation experience would someday save his life.
As a young man, Preston thought he’d try his luck at college, but found that Pheasant hunting was interfering with his studies. World War 2 was raging, and Preston felt called to serve his nation and put both academics and hunting on hold. When he enlisted, the Army recruiter inquired about his skill set, Preston scrambled for a reply, saying, “I’m a dog trainer, Sir.” He was shipped to Fort Robinson, Nebraska – home of the Army’s Cavalry Post and K-9 Training Program. Preston was at home amongst the Military’s resident jockeys and cowboys. That fateful assignment put him out of harm’s reach and paved the way for his future career.
When the war ended, Preston found himself back in Michigan. He founded the Preston Mann K-9 School, where dogs were trained in obedience, protection, and most importantly - hunting. Pursuing a spark of passion for game bird hunting, and with a stroke of entrepreneurial genius – Preston lobbied state lawmakers to expand what was at the time, a very limited season for bird hunting. Under the new legislation, folks could now hunt stocked game preserves for nine months of the year, versus the few weeks allowed on public lands. Preston’s hunting dog training operation was well primed for expansion.
Preston founded the Metamora Shoot in 1958, just a few miles down the road from Hunters Creek Club. In 1964, he partnered with Ed Wilson, son of Charles E. Wilson - former President of General Motors, and Secretary of Defense under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Together they established Hunters Creek Club at its current location, and the club has remained under ownership of the Mann family to this day.
Charles P. Mann succeeded his father as Proprietor in 1993, and has proudly carried on the tradition of training world-class hunting dogs, and providing unrivaled opportunities for bird hunting on the club’s 1500 acres.