It had been a while, a long while, since I chased quail. About a dozen sprang from a clutch of brush. Researching Classic Sporting Lodgesour forthcoming book profiling dozens of the best hunting and fishing lodges in the U. Located about 30 miles north of the Florida line, Live Oak devotes about 1, acres—roughly two square miles—to bobwhite habitat.
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Swaths of low grasses and tangles of vine are punctuated by knee-high fans of bright-green palmetto. Most is shaded by tall pines.
On alternating years, the cover is burned to keep it low and paths are mown through it for easy walking. Bob and his pals played their parts to perfection. Along with quail hunts, Live Oak offers tower shoots for pheasants.
Each of ten gunners stands behind a fat bale of rolled hay arranged in a circle around the release tower. After ten birds are released, a horn sounds and shooters rotate to the next bale. Corporate groups shoot high-flying pheasants.
Established in the s by Life of the South Insurance Co. Butch Houston, Live Oak became a private quail hunting preserve in the s. It was acquired by present owner Jim Gresham in In addition to birds, it offers deer hunting and fishing for trophy bass in a dozen ponds. The lodge contains six bedrooms, each with a private bath.
An adjacent cabin holds four bedrooms and a full kitchen. One of the hallmarks of a classic sporting lodge is the attitude of the staff.
Live Oak does Mr. Bob proud. Kathy is an excellent cook and accommodates special diets with ease. Mary handles reservations and special requests promptly and professionally. Mickey sets out the birds and handles the dogs—well-trained setters, pointers, or Brits, as you choose.
Deer hunting was high on my agenda. Live Oak allows only 25 whitetail hunters per season, and I was fortunate that Max could squeeze me in. Alas, winter storm Grayson dumped two inches of snow on South Georgia the night before I arrived, the first time since The following cold front drove temperatures down into the 20s, with wind gusting to 15 miles per hour.
Adding to my ill luck, a big full moon graced the night skies. Come me. For more information on Live Oak Plantation, check out huntliveoak. Take some time during the off-season to go through your hunting and fishing gear. You never know what treasures you will find! Bub delivers a bird to Mr.
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