Where is your lodge located?
Pine Hill is located in South Georgia quail country about an hour north of Tallahassee and 3½ hours southwest of Atlanta. Most of our guests flying commercially fly into Tallahassee because of its proximity. Guests flying private aircraft fly into Bainbridge (BGE), which is only 20 minutes away from our lodge.
What bird species do you offer, and what is the limit?
We are first and foremost a classic quail destination that specializes in mule-drawn-wagon hunts for bobwhites. We strive to put hunters in front of big coveys of very hard-flying birds, and we try not to shoot more than three or four birds per covey. During the waterfowl season, as an optional add-on to the quail hunting itinerary, we also offer early morning wild-duck hunts on the lakes and ponds on the lodge property.
What is your hunter-to-guide ratio?
We go to the field with hunt parties of four shooters per wagon to provide personal attention and the best-quality hunting. Three experienced guides (a huntmaster, a dog handler and a wagon driver) accompany each party. We shoot with two shooters down and two shooters observing and alternate shooters with every covey find. We can run up to four or five wagons simultaneously on different parts of the grounds using this system.
What are the terrain and cover like?
We have access to 6,000 acres of carefully managed habitat of classic longleaf pine forest with wiregrass understory. The cover holds thousands of birds and allows for relatively easy walking, so hunters can concentrate on their shooting instead of navigating difficult terrain.
Do you hunt with pointing or flushing dogs? Can a hunter bring and hunt with his or her dog—and if so, where will the dog stay?
The bird finding is done by well-trained English pointers. Four pairs of pointers generally will cover about 250 acres in a day while the huntmaster and guests follow from horse and mule-drawn wagons. In our wild habitat, once they are pointed, the birds are generally going to flush from our walking pressure. If the birds are in extremely thick cover, we may use a flushing dog to roust them out. Retrieving of downed birds is done with loveable English cockers and Labs. Most of our hunt groups are private groups, so hunters are welcome to bring their own dogs. It doesn’t get extremely cold at night this far south, so most hunters elect to keep their dogs in their vehicles.
Do you welcome non-hunting spouses—and if so, what is there for them to do?
We commonly have non-hunting guests at our lodges. Some choose to follow along on the hunt on horseback, while others like to relax at our lodges, from which they can take hikes or fish and canoe on our lake. We also can arrange for shopping trips to Thomasville.
How is your lodging managed?
Each of our guest groups has their own private lodge where you are served by a chef and hospitality assistant(s) that are serving only your group. All meals are served in your private lodge by your dedicated private house staff. We have four highly appointed private lodges of varying sizes that can accommodate from 4 to 16 guests in a single lodge where each guest has a private room with en-suite bathroom. For groups of more than 16 guests multiple lodges can be reserved.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF PINE HILL PLANTATION