Summer Scene 2024- Celebrating Our 50th Edition

As I began writing Summer Scene 2024, it suddenly occurred to me that this will be my 50th edition of our summer newsletter. I wrote the first one in 1974 following a devastating fire that destroyed our original main lodge, office and 80% of our old single room lodging accommodations. I had intended to write only that first newsletter to let our faithful guests know that we planned to be in business by the fall. My opening words were “with chaw in jaw” referring to chewing tobacco. Hopefully, my writing style, as well as my sophistication, have both improved a lot since I was 25 years old at the time.


But enough of my reminiscing; so, let’s jump right into spring and summer activities. As always, the beginning of the next hunting season coincides with the end of the last season as we perform our controlled woods burning on about 50% of Riverview. Along with about a hundred other responsibilities, Jerry is in charge of this critical task. He and his fellow pyromaniacs achieved an almost perfect burn which was also aided by beneficial rains when we finished. I think that Jerry’s original goal in life must have been to own a fireworks stand, because he lit up the world. General Sherman also felt that way since he warmed his butt on the heat from our Georgia plantations homes. With apologies to all my dear friends who live north of the “Smith and Wesson” line, I just have to say that I believe General Sherman is warm where he is now.


Since most of our mammalian predators were confined to the 50% of unburned habitat, we unleashed Casey with our trapping program. The egg eaters such as coons, possums, skunks and the much-hated armadillos are among the worst, but Casey enjoys catching the exotic critters such as coyotes and bobcats the most. Casey is a true throwback to a bygone era. He believes that fast food is hitting a deer at 75 miles per hour.


After the burning crews finished up, the conservation crew consisting of Ronnie, Will and Corey began planting feed patches. We plant only Pearl Millet these days since it is resistant to the dreaded Texas Sugarcane Aphid which practically wiped out 70% of our feed patches 5 – 8 years ago. Switching to Pearl Millet just made common sense. Of course, common sense is like deodorant. The people who need it the most, such as politicians, never use it! But, I digress. Our food plots have also benefited from rain and are looking great. Not all our conservation work deals with food plots. Some of it involves invasive species such as briars that we do NOT want to see growing on Riverview. Jerry discovered, years ago, a very effective chemical to control briars called Garlon. Of course, any time Andy Hay catches Jerry away from the chemical room he tries to sneak in and water it down to sell more briar proof hunting pants. Of course, Andy Hay also refused to stand on the X in lines during Covid. When I asked him why, he informed me that he had seen what happened to Wiley Coyote when he stood on the X during the Road Runner cartoons.


Also, in the area of conservation, Andy Moss is using our heavy equipment and while reworking our network of woods roads and cleaning up a few places that provided the quail with a little too much escape habitat. Andy Moss is one of the few male chauvinists who has not been crucified yet by liberal feminists. He thinks that loading the dishwasher means getting his wife drunk.


As we have done for the past decade, we have purposed more folks and resources to our dog training program. Andy Moss and Andy Hay are in charge of this important task. David and Willie also work in this department. These men have tunnel vision focus on their mission. The reason that men and dogs bond so well is that they can both pee on the same tree.


Our legal tax shelter write-off this year, also known as our agricultural division, was led by Greg with the competent help of Matt Seabolt, Matt Burke, Bo, Clyde and Emma. We produced a beautiful crop of blueberries and blackberries for the grocery store chains. We had a good market on each for about ten of the thirty day picking season. After roughly the tenth day, Mexico flooded the market, and our prices collapsed to about break even. It seems that our government wants to help everyone except its own citizens. We continue to give billions of dollars to countries who hate us when they would gladly hate us for free. Greg’s crew will also grow several hundred acres of milo under center pivot irrigation to sell to neighboring plantations while putting 15,000 – 20,000 bushels in our own grain bins for supplemental feeding of our quail.


Well, let me get back to the income producing division, and meander on over to the main lodge. When I got back from Canada with my friend, Carol, there was a lot of activity at the main lodge. The front deck was being ripped up and will be replaced. Cader IV also told me that our folks will be painting and performing repairs on several cottages. I’ve always affectionately called this outfit “The Close Enough” construction crew since any time that I watch them working, I will inevitably hear one of them say, “That’s close enough. Nail it!” You must remember that all of this crew was born and bred in South Georgia where most of the houses have wheels while the cars sit on concrete blocks.


However, it was most difficult to concentrate on what Cader IV was telling me due to the aromas emanating from Retha’s kitchen. The smell of jellies and fig preserves cooking would make a rabbit spit in a bulldog’s face. Before getting to my closing random thoughts, I should mention that we are continuing our very popular holiday/family discount programs. During the following dates, we will discount our base rate by 35% to encourage family participation.


Holiday Hunt Dates

November 27 – 30 | December 20 – 21 | December 27 – January 2


As has been my custom for years now, I would like to close with a few observations I have gleaned from watching my fellow man:

  1. 96% of scientists agree with whoever is funding them while 4% of them will lie on any survey.
  2. With apologies to my lawyer daughter, I fear that I’ve watched too many trials lately, and have concluded that most lawyers consider their clients innocent until proven broke.
  3. We live in a time where smart people are silenced so that stupid people can talk.
  4. If your college education doesn’t produce enough value for you to pay it off, it sure as hell doesn’t have enough value for ME to pay it off.
  5. Finally, this is my favorite observation of the current state concerning many parents and their high school and college age children. I think that I can unequivocally say that the “time out” generation has not produced as good of citizens as the “ass beating” generation did.

Since Cader IV is not paying me by the word, please allow me to close by saying how much we appreciate and value our loyal guests. May God bless and keep you and yours safe this summer!