South Georgia’s Rio Piedra Plantation is widely recognized as one of the best quail hunting destinations on the planet. The likelihood of seeing abundant coveys of hard-flying quail during your hunt is about as high as it gets. But there is much more to the lodge’s reputation than just the shooting. Here are five other things that make a visit to Rio Piedra an outstanding experience.
The Dining Scene
One of the most well-known chefs in the wingshooting industry is Dirk Flachsmeier, and he oversees every meal served at Rio Piedra. Appetizers, seafood dishes, steaks, desserts . . . Chef Dirk has the Midas touch for all of it. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking forward to the incredible meals just as much as you do the amazing quail hunting. And, yes, quail will be on the menu.
Fires—Inside and Out
The high season for Georgia quail hunting is winter, which is also the high season for enjoying cozy fires. Evening cocktails and morning coffee are best enjoyed beside a warm fire, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to partake at Rio Piedra. Crackling fires can be found in the lodge’s elegant great rooms, and there is a wonderful firepit on the back patio for those who prefer flame-gazing in the open air.
Visits to Thomasville
Among the handful of South Georgia towns that serve as catalysts of the state’s “quail culture,” the most prominent is Thomasville. The quaint city is home to myriad historic sites, museums, fine-dining establishments and shopping. Speaking of shopping, the number-one Thomasville attraction for visiting wingshooters is Kevin’s Gun Shop, at 111 Broad Street. This elegant shop is filled with the absolute finest wingshooting gear and apparel and features one of the top gunrooms in the world, making it a mecca for visiting shooters, and Rio Piedra staff are happy to coordinate a private tour of Kevin’s gunroom for guests. Thomasville is less than an hour from the lodge, and the best way to enjoy a visit is by taking a half-day either before or after a quail hunt.
Checking Out the River
Rio Piedra’s property abuts the Flint River, which flows 344 miles through much of Georgia. Fans of Gone with the Wind might recall the Flint being mentioned as the river that borders Tara, the fictional plantation on which the novel is set. The river is a stone’s throw from the lodge and can be accessed via a walkway. It is the perfect destination for those who like to do a little exploring during their down time. And, depending on which part of the plantation you’re hunting, you might cross the waterway by boat to hunt the other side!
Relaxing in a Rocker
A typical day at Rio Piedra is packed with fast-paced quail hunting, memorable meals and pleasurable time spent socializing with fellow guests and amiable staff. Of course, it’s important to work in a little rest and relaxation, too, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to grab your favorite beverage and settle into one of the rocking chairs on the lodge’s front porch. From there you can survey the serene South Georgia landscape (including glorious live oaks and longleaf pines) and reflect on the highlights of the day as you recharge for the pleasant job of making even more memories.
Rio Piedra Plantation is a full-service Shooting Sportsman Endorsed Lodge. To learn more or to make a reservation, call 229-336-1677 or email [email protected].
Lodge photographs courtesy of Rio Piedra Plantation.