Opening Day

As the old Roman philosopher once said, “Tempus Fugit “, or “Time Flies” for those of you who didn’t have to endure three years of Latin in high school as I did. Well, for me, it’s fugiting a helluva lot faster than it once did. We will open our 2023-2024 hunting season this Sunday, and I will be in the mountains of north Georgia for a two day trustees meeting. I feel somewhat like the old coal fired locomotives in the cartoons. The coal is stoked, steam is pouring out, the wheels are turning, but they aren’t going anywhere. That would be me, but I take great pride in my son, Cader IV, and the organization that I left behind!


Most of you have no idea what goes into opening an operation that has been dormant for six months. The kitchen and housekeeping crews come in the first week of September to begin a deep cleaning while the guides begin exercising their dogs in mid September. After a couple of weeks of exercise, they actually begin shooting birds over their dogs. Dog strings are assigned by Andy Moss and Andy Hay. Each guide has a certain amount of kennel numbers consecutively, and many of these dogs have never been kennel mates. Dogs are very much like people. Some dogs just absolutely don’t like their new kennel mates. Our two Andys practically have to live at the kennels for 5-10 days to switch out kennel mates until all are compatible.


We begin going through all of our jeeps in August. We begin with the wheels, and take it all the way to the engine and repainting those Jeeps that were mistaken for a quail and shot which is our primary reason for only having two hunters on a Jeep unlike many of our competitors who routinely place 3-4 guests on a Jeep. I’ve never quite figured out why many hunters have yet to figure out that 4 hunters on a rig with only 2 down at the time is a rip off when each hunter is charged the full rate.


Andy Moss and Clint have spent weeks on heavy equipment making our roads as smooth as a baby’s butt while Retha has finished putting up all of our jellies, preserves, and pickled tomatoes.


Then the week before we open, we go through several simulated opening days examining those exercises for any glitches ranging from airport pickups, meal preparation (all of the guides and staff enjoy a steak dinner), all the way down to our bird cleaning operation. Once we are satisfied, you can bet your bottom dollar that we are MORE THAN READY TO OPEN !


Now that I’ve shared why you should feel so comfortable if you are our first guests of the season, please allow me to close with a few observations from a brain that may be wired differently from many folks:


  1. Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  2. What is the speed of dark versus the speed of light?
  3. When a dog food is new and improved, who tests it?
  4. What do you say if you are talking to God, and He sneezes?
  5. How in the hell am I supposed to fold a fitted bottom sheet? I have yet to figure it out.
  6. And finally #6-The most powerful nations on earth can’t stop a virus from spreading, but they claim to be able to lower the earth’s temperature if us suckers will only pay more taxes. GO FIGURE!


We are ready to go. All that’s missing is you ! Cader IV told me today that available dates are becoming quite scarce. If you’ve yet to make a reservation, I would encourage you to call now. I pray that you and your families enjoy a pleasant fall, and may God bless you!