Through the years SouthWind Plantation, in Attapulgus, Georgia, has received a hefty dose of recognition for the effort and resources it has committed to creating one of the finest hunting destinations in North America. Included in that are honors like being named Orvis’s Endorsed Wingshooting Lodge Of The Year, an award made after a careful, comprehensive review of dozens of the country’s top lodges. SouthWind’s latest accolade might be a bit less monumental but nonetheless boasts an off–the-charts fun quotient: It has been recognized by Shooting Sportsman as having the Coolest Hunting Rig Of The Year—in honor of its new Land Rover Defender 110.
South Georgia’s quail hunting transportation options typically are jeep conversions and, where available, mule-drawn wagons. SouthWind traditionally has offered both but in recent years had been looking out for something new. “We are constantly looking for ways to give our guests an unparalleled experience,” said Sales Manager Joseph Sunday, “and we saw the Land Rover as a great way offer our hunters something fun and novel.” Sunday explained that, while the new vehicle brims with charisma, its functional versatility makes it a legitimate asset to SouthWind’s fleet of hunting rigs. It does everything a jeep can do but is more comfortable and seats more people. It also does everything a mule-drawn wagon does while being easier for hunters to get in and out of. “The extra room also makes it easier for non-shooting guests to partake in a hunt,” Sunday said. The Rover is mainly used on the same portion of SouthWind’s 6,000 acres that are devoted to its mule-wagon hunts. The target group size is four to six hunters, which can be led by a hunting guide or horse-mounted hunting staff.
SouthWind obtained the vehicle last winter from Classic Overland, a Macon, Georgia, company that specializes in refurbishing Land Rover Defenders for shooting, camping, tailgating and numerous other outdoor uses. Shipped over from the Winelands region of South Africa, the 1990 Rover is from Classic Overland’s Upland Series, which includes the following features:
• V8 3.5-liter engine with 5-speed manual transmission
• Seating for up to nine passengers
• Eight-dog crate capacity
• Padded gun box
• Front bumper seat
• Water tank
• Weather-resistant upholstery
• Open-fire grill
• Electric refrigerator beneath the bench seat
• Premium sound system and USB ports
Shooting Sportsman doesn’t have a Most Selfied Hunting Rig award, but if it did, SouthWind’s Rover likely would walk away with that one too. “It’s a really, really cool set of wheels,” Sunday said, “and we really look forward to taking folks out in it. Our guests have come to expect world-class accommodations and service at SouthWind, but this year we’ll have something that takes it up a notch!”