Guest Policies

Check-in time is 3pm and check-out time is 9am.  Please observe these times so that we can fully prepare for you and our other guests. Early arrival or late departure will be assessed an additional charge.

Please fill out the reservation form and mail it with the deposit shown per cabin per week. Deposits can be made by personal check, money order, VISA or Mastercard and must be received within 10 days of making a phone reservation. Your reservation is automatically cancelled if deposit is not received within 10 days.

If you bring your dog with you to Bowstring Shores, you are required to bring leakproof bedding to cover our furniture. Pet fees are $30/day or $175/week. Those bringing pets must keep a credit card on file for any additional damages. If we have to pick up after your pet, there will be a $50 charge for doing so. Dogs must be leashed at all times outside cabins. We love dogs, and what kind of a vacation would it be without them? We understand!

All rental rates subject to 6.875% Minnesota sales tax and 3% Lodging Tax.

Two night minimum stay required. Three night minimum stay required during holidays.

Bowstring Shores Resort Policies

  1. Check-in/Check-out

Spring (Walleye Opener – June 1st) Normally, check-in is at 3pm.  If you need an early check-in, please speak with management to see if your cabin can be ready early. Check-out is normally 9am, but if you’d like to stay longer, please speak with management.  Late check-out is 12pm, and it is acceptable during walleye opener, any other dates must be cleared with management. If your cabin is booked “back-to-back”, you will need to check-out no later than 9am.

Summer (June 1st – 3rd week of August ((dates may vary))) Check-in is 3pm and check-out is 9am.  We understand that many of our guests drive a long way to get here and it’s not always easy to judge how long that will take.  Unfortunately, we only have six hours to turn over the entire resort and make it ready for the next group of guests.  13 cabins, docks, boats, groundskeeping, and any maintenance must be completed within that six hours, so we cannot accept any guests on the property until 3pm and we must insist you vacate your cabins by 9am sharp.  Failure to leave by 9am will incur an extra half-day charge to your credit card on file.

Late Summer (3rd week of August ((dates may vary)) – September 30th) Normally, check-in is at 3pm.  If you need an early check-in, please speak with management to see if your cabin can be ready early. Check-out is normally 9am, but if you’d like to stay longer, please speak with management.  Late check-out is 12pm, and it is acceptable during walleye opener, any other dates must be cleared with management. If your cabin is booked “back-to-back”, you may need to check-out no later than 9am.

Fall (October 1st – end of deer season) Normally, check-in is at 3pm and check-out is at 9am.  For deer opener, you may check-in as early as 12p. We usually have your cabins available in plenty of time.  We do ask that you adhere to our normal check-out time of 9am, but if you need a late check-out (12pm), please ask management if that is possible and we’ll do our best to accommodate you without any extra cost to you.

Winter (seasons vary depending on ice conditions, please call or check social media for exact dates) Check-in is at 12pm and check-out is at 9am. If you need a late check-out, please ask management.  We will do our best to accommodate you as long as your cabin isn’t booked “back-to-back”.

Rented watercraft – Your watercraft must be returned by sunset the day before you check-out.  Please speak with management if you would like to request early morning use of our watercraft on the day of check-out.

**Unapproved late check-out will incur a half-day of charge (specific to your cabin) or $100, whichever is more, to your credit card on file. This includes watercraft not returned on time.

  1. Cleaning your cabin before check-out

Here in the Northwoods, the majority of resorts are classified as “mom and popresorts.  This means there’s no big corporation that owns it. These types of resorts ask that you clean your cabin before leaving. We will do the deep cleaning and all the bedding.  It doesn’t have to be spotless when you leave, but it does have to be clean. Any extra time our staff must take to clean your cabin will be charged at $100 per hour.  All the tools required to clean your own cabin are provided. Please do not leave dirty dishes, stoves/ovens, refrigerator, microwave, floors, sofas, picnic tables, or surfaces.

Please empty your trash before you go. There are fenced-in trash areas behind cabin 10, behind cabin 7, and in the circle drive behind cabins 3 and 4.  There is also a dumpster located between the lodge and trailer parking. We do not recycle.  The cost of recycling has exceeded the profitability for our local recycling plant, so it is not an option.

We know that it gets hectic packing up and leaving, but please do a complete walk-through to check for items left behind.  We have a $40 charge for driving to town to mail something back to you plus shipping.  We are not responsible for any items left behind, lost, or stolen. 

Please do not leave food or beverage items in your cabin at check-out.  If you brought it in, please bring it back out.  Excessive food/beverage items left behind will incur an extra cleaning/disposal fee.

Please clean any unburned trash out of your firepit before you leave and check the grounds around your cabin for trash.  This includes any tobacco remnants.

Please keep our pavilion clean.  If your children are spending a lot of time there, please make sure they haven’t left a mess before you check out on Saturday.  You must stand at the line on the floor for playing darts and you may not stick the darts in the walls.  There is a camera in our pavilion and any destructive behaviour or damage will be addressed by management and may result in replacement of damaged items billed to your card on file.  We want you to have fun, but please be respectful.

No shoes, food, or drink inside the bounce house at any time.  If management witnesses rough behaviour, your child may be asked to leave the bounce house at any time and wait for a turn alone. One or two adults may accompany their child(ren) inside the bounce house to supervise play, but the bounce house was not built for adult play.

Watercraft – the same cleaning applies for rented watercraft.  Please do not leave tackle, fishing line, or trash in the boats.  If you spill something or you run over your fishing line (this does cause a lot of problems with the motor!), please tell us.  If you have an accident in your rented boat (however minor), please let us know immediately so management can go over the damage with you and the cost of fixing it.  If you do not speak to management, we reserve the right to charge your credit card on file for time, parts, and labor without you being present.  Please respect our watercraft so everyone can enjoy Bowstring Lake.

  1. Extra charges

Outside guests that visit your cabin will incur a charge of $40 per person each day they visit.  NO VISITOR PETS ALLOWED.  If you have a visitor who brings a pet, they will be asked to leave the premises. We can manage a relationship with a guest pet, but we cannot manage relationships with guests’ guests’ pets. We understand that you may have friends or family nearby, but the wear and tear on cabins rated for four people, for example, now containing eight people becomes expensive and unmanageable.  Please report any guests on the premises. We reserve the right to charge for undeclared guests.

Damage to cabins, Bowstring property, or watercraft – We reserve the right to charge the credit card on file for damages to any and all Bowstring property.  This includes but is not limited to: broken blinds, stains on rugs or furniture, pet damage, appliance damage, fixture damage, missing items from cabins, linens (cost listed below) any and all watercraft damage, damage to grounds or landscaping, damage to docks or lifts, or any damage not listed above.

Linens – Our linens are counted and inspected after each guest.  If you have an accident with our linens, you must pay for them to be replaced.  Any bodily fluids on our linens means those linens must be thrown away, especially considering COVID-19.  Our linens are white.  If we find any marks or stains, they most likely won’t come out and we wouldn’t want to offer them to our next guests anyway. Therefore, your credit card on file will be charged retroactively for soiled or missing linens that we discover after you check-out.  Please check that you didn’t accidentally take our pillows! This happens more than you would think. Once you have taken a linen, accidentally or otherwise, you own it.  Do not send it back.  Part of the reason that we can claim a high level of cleanliness is because we are in control of our linens at all times.  Once it leaves the premises, it cannot be returned.

Dish towels can be traded in for clean ones, just ask a staff member to help you.

If you forget bath towels, we can provide you with them.  Bath towels are for drying your clean body after you shower only.  Please do not use our towels to remove makeup. It will stain and we will have to charge you. Please do not take your towel out of your cabin. You may not use our bath towels at the pool or for use during fishing. Please do not use our bath towels to clean. We have provided a roll of paper towels for that purpose. Any stains, dirt, or foul odors on towels will result in disposal of the towel and a charge to your credit card on file.

Soiled/Missing Linen charges

Pillows – $35.00

Pillow Cases – $5.00

Pillow Liners -$5.00

Set of sheets (flat and fitted will be charged as a set) TWIN – $30.00 FULL – $40.00

Duvet Cover – TWIN $40.00 FULL $50.00

Duvet Insert – TWIN $45.00 FULL $60.00

Bath Towel – $10.00

Bath Mat – $10.00

Kitchen Towel – $5.00


  1. Pet Policy – We LOVE dogs! But we have some rules…
  1. Your pet must be well behaved. People come to Bowstring for peace and quiet. We will lose customers if your dog disturbs our other guests.
  2. Absolutely no pets on our bedding. Dog hair will not wash out of our bedding.  Pet hair on our bedding will result in a charge for replacing bedding.  It is ruined once pet hair works its way into the fibers. If you must sleep with your dog, you must bring your own bedding.
  3. Accidents/shedding – If your dog has frequent accidents, it’s best not to bring them. If cleaning staff has to spend extra time on pet stains, there will be an extra charge. If there is excess pet hair everywhere, there will be an extra charge for cleaning.  Remember, vacuums and dust mops are provided! If you need a cleaning product for a pet accident, don’t hesitate to ask! We have dogs and we know it can happen from time to time!
  4. Barking dogs will not be tolerated. We understand a few yips during play or when someone comes home, but it you leave your pet in your cabin all day and it continually barks, your pet will be asked to leave.
  5. Aggressive dogs are not welcome at Bowstring. If a staff member deems your dog aggressive, your pet will be asked to leave.
  6. Leash your dog at all times. Having dogs off leashes can create all types of problems. You will be given one warning, then we’ll have to ask your pet to leave.
  7. You must clean up after your pet. Even on the road outside Bowstring Shores. The entire Bowstring community walks on the road.  There are dog poop bags on trees all over the property.  In front of the lodge, behind cabin 1, and by the boat ramp. Please be considerate and also remind children walking dogs of this rule.
  1. Breed Restrictions – There are certain breeds that are aggressive or too large to accept in our cabins. The largest breed you may bring into our cabins is a Labrador retriever.  No Great Danes, St. Bernards, Bull Mastiffs, or other very large/hairy breeds that drool excessively.  We know that pitbulls are a misunderstood breed, but we can not accept them at Bowstring for insurance purposes.
  2. Leaving your dog outside/in your car In the past, we have been asked if dogs can stay outside or in your car to avoid pet fees. The answer has to be no for several reasons.  One, there are predators in the area, this is the Northwoods, and it’s not safe for your pet.  Two, we think it’s cruel to leave your pet locked up in your car or on a chain while you’re on vacation just to save on pet fees or kenneling costs.  Three, your dog could get loose and you wouldn’t know, putting other dogs, people and your dog in danger. They’re part of the family too!
  3. If we ask your pet to leaveThis will probably mean that someone must take your pet home. There will be no financial compensation for cutting your vacation short.  It is a tough decision for us to make.  We want everyone to have a great time at Bowstring, but if it comes down to one guest being unhappy or all guests being unhappy, we’ll have to choose one guest.
  4. No dogs in the lodge office – you can bring your dog anywhere on bowstring property except the lodge office. This is because our dogs are frequently in the lodge and they are not on leashes inside.  They are all very sweet, but if they are surprised by another dog, they may run up to that dog (while barking) to say hi and spook that dog. Doggie introductions are best made when everyone is under control and on a leash.
  5. Not declaring your dog – If you failed to tell us you have a dog, you will be charged for one. If we forgot to charge you for one at check out because neither of us noticed that it wasn’t on your bill, it is within our rights to charge you retroactively. Cleaning staff does have to spend quite a bit of extra time cleaning and deodorizing after cabins with pets. 
  6. Number of pets – we limit the number of dogs to three. In cabins 1 or 9 (one bedroom cabins) the limit is two small dogs or one larger dog.
  7. Pet fees – here’s how we charge. Very small dogs (under 10 lbs) we will charge ONE pet fee for TWO dogs.  They’re much easier to clean up after. Dogs over 10lbs are $30 per day or $150 per week.  If you have one large dog and one very small dog (like a chihuahua or yorkie), we may only charge you for the large one. Be sure to discuss it with management.  We try to be very fair and accommodating.
  1. Privacy Policy

We will not share your information here at Bowstring Shores.  When you give us your personal information, we will only use it to send you the occasional flyer or email. We would never sell it to a third party.

When it comes to putting your credit card info on file, there are a very limited number of people who have access to our software.  If you would like us to take your credit card info out of our system upon checkout, just ask and we’ll be happy to do so.  Often times it is easier to keep it on file for future reservations and quick check-in.

  1. Watercraft Rental

For a full list of terms and conditions, please look for our watercraft rental agreement on our website.  Here are the basics:

  1. You must keep our boats on our lifts when they’re not in use.
  2. You may not tie your boat to the dock. High winds and rough lake conditions will damage the boats and docks.  If this happens, you are responsible for damages.
  3. You must crank up your lift to the maximum height. Storms come in out of nowhere and the waves can lift boats up right off the lift and send them out to sea. If you are having trouble cranking up your boat, please ask for assistance.
  5. Tell us if you hit something or run over fishing line. It can be more expensive if damage is left undeclared and gets worse.
  6. Tell us if your watercraft isn’t working correctly. We may be able to swap it for another boat or fix it quickly to resolve the problem.  Letting a problem get worse can be expensive for all involved.
  8. Curfew is sunset. No night fishing allowed with rental boats.  If this rule is ignored after being warned, your rental will be terminated.
  9. Clean out your rental boat frequently. Do not let trash fly out. Do not leave old fishing line lying around in the boat.  Please clean out your boat thoroughly before checking out.
  10. Boats must be in by sunset on Friday night. On Saturday morning we begin cleaning boats for the next round of guests. Please ask permission from management if you would like to use your boat early Saturday morning before checkout.
  11. If you book a “week” for watercraft rental, you are actually only paying for 5 days. The extra 1.5 days is the deal we give you for booking your entire week’s stay.  It is not exactly seven days.
  12. You may not rent a watercraft without signing a rental agreement and waiver of liability at our lodge office. That rental agreement is available to read on our website.
  13. If you have never operated a boat before, or you are unfamiliar with a tiller motor and have rented a boat with a tiller motor, please let a staff member know and we will have someone at the dock show you how to operate one.
  14. It is your responsibility to read your rental agreement before signing. You are entitled to a copy of your rental agreement.  We will be happy to provide you with one upon request.
  15. Make sure the “Master Power” switch is OFF and the KEY IS IN THE OFF POSITION every time you leave your boat. If you leave the key on and drain the battery completely, you will be responsible for the cost of replacing the battery.
  16. Make sure your life vests and throwable cushion are within easy reach. Accidents can happen out of nowhere and life vests save lives. Also, the DNR may stop you to check for these items.
  17. Please do not drink alcohol while operating a watercraft. Designate a sober driver.
  18. Please use the same boat lift that you were assigned at check-in during your entire stay. If you forget which is yours, please ask. Using a different lift can force the whole resort to wonder where to park.
  19. Many guests forget to lock in their trolling motors before taking off. This can cause the trolling motor to fall back into the water at a high speed and break. Please please please make sure your trolling motors are locked into place before you take off. If you do this, your credit card on file will be charged for any repairs, also you may lose use of your watercraft while repairs are being made if no other watercraft is available for use in the interim.


  1. Fishing Possession Limits (as of 2021, please check current regulations with MN DNR)
  2. Crappie – Possession limit of 10
  3. Perch – 20 per day and 40 possession
  4. Walleye – Possession of 6, 1 over 20”
  5. Northern Pike – 22”-26” IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 10 possession, 2 over 26”
  6. Bass (large mouth and small mouth) – combined possession limit of 6


  1. Pool
  1. Pool Hours are 9am to 7pm. The pool will be treated with unsafe levels of chemicals outside of those hours.
  2. No child under 13 may swim unsupervised
  3. We love to see kids having fun; however, we ask that they refrain from screaming for two reasons. One, we cannot tell the difference when kids are in distress or when they’re having fun if they’re screaming.  Two, cabin 5 is right next to the pool and they deserve the peace and quiet of lake life too.
  4. No running.
  5. No diving.
  7. We ask that guests be polite to all other guests while at the pool. This includes children.  Any hostility or bullying will result in removal of pool privileges.  Please be respectful when other guests would like to use the pool.


  1. Our cabins are non-smoking

We don’t mind that you smoke, but please don’t do it in our cabins.  If you do, we will have to deodorize your cabin and we will have to charge the card on file according to how bad it is. Also, please don’t throw your cigarette butts on the ground.  Put them in a receptacle outside your cabin and throw them in one of our trash cans in our trash areas before checking out. This policy includes our ice houses.

  1. Lodge Hours

While we strive to accommodate your needs, we do not have the staff to sit in the lodge all day.  Our lodge hours are approximate and there is usually a staff member’s cell phone number on the door.  If you need something, please flag us down, text us, or give us a call on the cell phone.  We’re almost always nearby and we’ll be happy to help you with anything you may need.

  1. Bait and Ice

Here in the Northwoods, we go by the honor system.  There are sheets in the bait house and inside the ice machine with cabin numbers.  PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF YOUR CABIN NUMBER BEFORE YOU MARK ON THESE SHEETS. Simply put hash marks next to your cabin number according to what you take.  One scoop of minnows refers to the small square plastic scoop, NOT the big net.  Ice goes by the bag, NOT the sleeve of 6 bags.

  1. WIFI PASSWORD: fishrelaxrepeat

Please try to refrain from streaming or online gaming while staying at Bowstring.  There is limited bandwidth and others may need to use the internet.

  1. Where to Eat

There are three nearby options on where to eat, it all depends on what you’re looking for.

We’ve included menus from all three nearby places.

  1. Riley’s Cannibal Junction – cheapest and closest, very small bar
  2. Gosh Dam Place – bring your own fish for them to fry, large bar with larger menu
  3. Timberwolf Inn – the best food within easy driving distance in our opinion, homemade bread and salad bar!


  1. Nearby Medical Care

The nearest Emergency Room is Essentia Health Deer River.  For major emergencies, always dial 911 and you can be airlifted to Duluth from the airport next door.

  1. Nearby grocery stores

If you just need something small, the Bowstring Store may have it.  Bowstring Store is on Rt. 6, only a few miles from the resort.

There is a small Super One Foods grocery store in Deer River.  There’s no meat counter or bakery, and there’s limited produce, but they have the essentials.

There are two large Super One Foods grocery stores in Grand Rapids.  This is where you would go for major shopping and specialty items not found in Deer River. The meat counter carries fantastic steaks.

S&S Meats in Grand Rapids is where you want to go for 20 different kinds of bratwurst, a tomahawk steak, or the hundreds of other meat products you’d want to throw on a grill or a bun.

  1. Where to buy Alcohol

Nearby Bars

Riley’s Cannibal junction is close by and can sell you domestic beer to take home. Small bar with a small pool table and a juke box.

Hayslips is only 5 minutes further than Riley’s and is bigger.  They sell beer and liquor to take home.

The restaurants mentioned above also have bars.

Liquor Stores

S&S Bottle Shop in Deer River is your closest one.

Next is Miner’s Super One liquors in Grand Rapids.  They have the best selection and prices.

You can buy off sale (meaning you can take it home) at Riley’s.

You can buy beer and liquor at Hayslips, which has a small store next to the bar.






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