Madison Retriever Club



(Revised 9/25/2013)


The Madison Retriever Club was organized in the early 1950's. The club was originally located in the Westport area north of Madison. In 1964-65 the club moved to its present location with the purchase of 22 acres of land on the shores of Hook Lake. Members tore down fences, moved boulders, cut down brush and helped build a road into the new property. In subsequent years several digging projects took place to develop a very fine water training facility for retrievers. The clubhouse, a former Truax Air Force medical building, was moved from the Westport location to its present site soon after the land was cleared. Several major remodeling projects have transformed the building that was almost torn down in 1990 into a decent facility. The club purchased an additional 45 acres of land in 1987. This property is located along Hauge Rd and is commonly called the Stoughton Property. Since purchasing the land more than $50,000 worth of digging and other improvements have been completed and plans have been drawn for future water additions. In 1997 a fence was placed along the road, a garage and shelter were constructed and pond construction took place. In January of 2000 forty acres was purchased off County A and Gallagher Lane. This property is commonly called the Gallagher Property. In the summer of 2001 $23,000 was spent putting a road into the property. Ponds were dug in 2003 giving the club a third water training area. A gravel road was also constructed around the property at this time for a total expenditure of $30,000. This property is scheduled to be paid off in January 2010. In 2009 a Conservation Easement was negotiated between the club, The National Heritage Land Trust and the Wisconsin DNR. This easement restricts development of the Hook Lake property through a carefully developed Conservation Easement and a Land Management Plan in exchange for about $250,000. The NHLT helps the club keep up it’s Easement Agreement with annual oversight. Through this partnership the club was able to raise funds needed to acquire additional grounds. During the summer of 2012, 55 acres of land containing a two acre shallow pond was purchased east of the Stoughton property near Interstate 39/90 for $250,000. Presently referred to as the W property, development plans will include road and pond improvements.


The headquarters for the Madison Retriever club is located east of Oregon, WI off from Rutland Dunn Townline Rd at the end of Labrador Road. At this location our clubhouse, which is situated on 22 acres of land bordering Hook Lake. This is an excellent area for training of retrievers over water. The clubhouse includes a kitchen, restrooms, dining/meeting room area and a full basement that is used for the storage of our boats, tractor, cushions, oars, decoys, etc. These grounds also include freezers in the basement for dead birds, an incinerator for the final disposal of birds used at our events, and a bird pen for live birds.

The property called “Stoughton” and located off 138 and Hauge Rd. has 3 different water areas plus rolling land and round hay bales. The grass is kept mowed by volunteer club members and is available year round for training.

The property called “Gallagher” is located off County Highway A and Gallagher Lane. It also has land and water available for training.

The property called “W” is located off County Highway W. It has rolling land and round hay bales for training. Water is being developed for future training.

When using any of the properties:

  • Always lock the gates when leaving.
  • Do not start training or shoot any guns before 7:30 a.m.
  • Absolutely no shooting of clay pigeons on any land or over any water.
  • Absolutely no target practice on any land or over any water
  • No fishing in any water
  • Drive very slowly on Gallagher land. 5-10 mph should be the max
  • Be careful not to shoot towards any buildings
  • Do not trespass on any neighbors land



The Madison Retriever Club’s properties and their usage are governed by agreements with the Township in which they are located. The “Stoughton” property has an agreement with the town of Dunkirk. The “Gallagher” property has a conditional usage permit with the town of Rutland.

It is the responsibility of every member to read these agreements, become familiar with their contents and to read and become familiar with other sections of this booklet dealing with the usage of our properties. If we are found in violation of our conditional usage permit we could lose the use of our property. One potentially serious violation of conditional use permit with the town of Rutland occurred sometime during 2003 when a member or members engaged in target practice on the Gallagher property. A neighbor reported this activity and very concerned that it had taken place. Please help the club avoid violations such as this in the future.



  • The subject parcel shall not be further subdivided as long as the parcel is zoned RE-1
  • The subject land will be utilized as dog training grounds with the following used permitted unless otherwise approved by the Town of Dunkirk.
    • Year round dog training and dog competition events utilizing shotguns and pistols with blank loads and typically 30-50% of the time using shotguns with live shot loads for the purposes of training and testing dogs.
    • Dog training and dog competition events utilizing dead and live birds per current State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requirements.
    • Competitive dog events (typically a maximum of eight annual events) which will be open to the public.
    • Private club events which will be held for the purpose of dog training or competition.
    • Dog training and dog competitions will only be held during daylight hours.
    • Typically a maximum of one-hundred and twenty vehicles will be parked on the subject lands for any given single event at one time.
  • Prior to any transfer of ownership and/or sale of the subject parcel in whole shall be rezoned back to A-1 (agriculture exclusive)
  • Any further expansion of the subject land to adjacent lands for purposes of dog training and dog competitions will at the prior approval of the Town of Dunkirk, including long term leases and/or purchase of adjacent lands for these purposes.
  • The Town of Dunkirk reserves the right to have ready access and inspect the subject land up notification to a Madison Retriever Club officer.
  • The Town of Dunkirk will have the authority to be the enforcing agent of this agreement.




1. The Club will not, by sale, lease, gift or otherwise, transfer in whole or in part, the ownership of the parcel without first applying for and pursuing in good faith, the rezoning of the parcel to A-1 (exclusive)

2. Not withstanding any permitted or conditional uses for A-2 zoned lands enumerated in the zoning ordinance, the Club will limit its use of the parcel exclusively to the following

    • Operation from 7:30 to sunset
    • Dog training and dog competition events, utilizing shotguns and pistols with blank loads or approximately 30-50% of the time, utilizing shotguns with live shot loads for the purpose of training and testing dogs.
    • Dog training and dog competition events utilizing dead and/or live birds within any then current Wisconsin DNR requirements, restrictions and guidelines.
    • Competitive dog events not to exceed four (4) in any twelve (12) month period, each of which will last no longer than four days, which may be open to the public and not limited to members of the Club. For each such event, the Club will provide the Town Clerk with written notice thereof not less than ten days before its scheduled date.

3. The Club will provide sufficient parking facilities on the parcel and will refuse admission to any person who fails to park his or her vehicle on the parcel.

4. Any agent designated by the Town, upon twenty-four hour notice to a Club officer shall have access to the parcel for purposes of inspection.

5. The parcel shall not be used as a trap, skeet, shooting range or any other type of target shooting area.

6. No buildings or residence of any kind shall be constructed on the parcel.

7. The driveway to the parcel shall be maintained to allow easy access by ambulances, fire trucks, and

other emergency vehicles.

8. Boundaries to adjacent lands are to be clearly marked to limit accidental trespass.

9. Any proposed improvements to the parcel shall be approved by the Rutland Town Board.

10. The town may enforce this agreement by any legal means including injunction.

11. Changes to this agreement may be made upon mutual approval of the Madison Retriever club and the Rutland Town Board.

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