Corbin Park: Exclusive hunting preserve
Union Leader Correspondent Stephen Seitz contributed to this report. 12/07/04
CROYDON - Corbin Park, or the Blue Mountain Forest and Game Preserve, [also known as the "Blue Mountain Forest Association" and "Corbin's Park"], is a private, enclosed shooting preserve with a very limited membership.
The 24,000-acre preserve was founded in 1890 by Austin Corbin II, a Newport native who grew to prominence in the late 1800s as a founder of modern American banking.
Corbin used his fortune to buy up as much land as he could in the Croydon-Grantham area to establish a gigantic hunterís playground, Originally, it was stocked with bison, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, mule deer, European red deer, bighorn sheep, moose, antelope, caribou, Himalayan mountain goats, pheasants and wild boar from the German Black Forest.
The bison, deer, elk and boar all flourished, but the pheasants flew over the fences and the rest of the species proved unable to survive. Corbin Park once had the largest bison herd in the country, and supplied bison and deer to refuges, parks and zoos all over the U.S.
Corbin wanted to keep the park in his family, and the 60 shares in Blue Mountain Forest Association were divided equally among him, his wife and their four children when the nonprofit corporation was established in 1891 to manage the park. Shares can be acquired either by sale by a member or through inheritance.
The park features a barn and a lodge, called Central Station; horses walk around freely. The park offers members and guests stocked ponds and trickling brooks. The park is licensed as a regulated shooting area for boar, elk and deer, which exempts members from state requirements for hunting licenses and bag limits for just those three species. State laws apply when any other game is taken inside the park.
President Theodore Roosevelt shot a boar at the park in 1902, and author Rudyard Kipling visited once, among other notables.
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