2016 Autumn Destination Feature: M&M Hunting Preserve

By on July 5, 2016

Story by Tom Keer

An excerpt from Upland Hunting in the Garden State: M&M Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays…Ask a bird hunter how he’ll invest his money and you’ll get a wide range of responses. Some will buy new gear like chaps or a pair of new boots, while others might save for a new pup of lineage specific to his hunting style and tastes. Triggers might be pulled on a new shotgun or two or even a new vehicle. Regardless of the purchase, our choices are personal investments based on the cornerstones of being a bird hunter. Passion and commitment drive our choices, and you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Recently, a major investment of a similar mindset was made by the Matarese Family, the owners of M&M Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays. Their facility is tucked away along the Delaware River in Pennsville, New Jersey. Although the town lies in proximity to the major cities of Philadelphia; Wilmington, Delaware; and Baltimore, there are many incredibly rural areas in this southwestern area of the Garden State that stand in sharp contrast to the northeastern part of the state.

M&M is a sporting venue spanning three generations. In Delaware in the 1960s, patriarch Isadore Matarese launched a guide service offering goose hunting on leased property and lodging in nearby farmhouses. In the early 1980s, son Anthony Matarese relocated the guide service to New Jersey and expanded his operation by adding upland bird hunting to the existing waterfowl program. As waterfowl populations declined in the mid-1980s, Anthony Sr. created a secondary business, duck rearing. This new venture proved to be successful and expanded throughout the new millennium, and to this day, M&M raises and sells over 180,000 birds per year. Many of the marquee shooting venues that offer flighted mallard programs buy M&M ducks.

In 1991, grandson Anthony Jr. joined the family business as a 7-year-old tyro. Competitive clays shooters will recognize Anthony Jr. from his years of industry involvement. He’s been a member of a variety of teams such as the All-American, USA Sporting Clays and USA FITASC. At 32 years old, he’s won so many awards that he became the youngest inductee to the National Sporting Clays Hall of Fame. M&M has been selected on three occasions to host the prestigious U.S. Open of Sporting Clays. Anthony Jr. and his associates also operate A.I.M. Shooting School on-site for both wing shooting and sporting clays instruction.

Over these three generations of time, M&M Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays expanded to a 1,400-acre property focusing on upland bird hunts, flighted mallards and sporting clays.

Read the rest of the story in the Autumn 2016 Issue of Upland Almanac.

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