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SMITH: Covey Rise

It would not require any genius to conclude that the name of this agribusiness enclave had to have been connected to a female when city founders were choosing the town’s name deep into yesteryear.  In fact, when Camilla was incorporated in 1858, it was named for the granddaughter of Revolutionary War general Henry Mitchell.

Camilla is the seat of Mitchell County.  Thus far there is nothing controversial about the names except, perhaps, that the land was ceded to European descendants by a treaty signed by the Creek Indians. 

Thirteen miles east of here, you will find Covey Rise Plantation. The centerpiece of this spread is a handsome lodge for hosting hunters who have a bent for the outdoors and appreciate a relaxed and contented atmosphere when they retire for the evening and quail birds are sleeping which they do by standing on the ground tail to tail.  (Yep, that’s right. You can look it up.)

A good friend, Patrick Jones, a South Georgia magna cum laude businessman coordinated an outing that was hosted by Robin and Brian Singletary, father/son owners of Covey Rise. The guests included Jim Rollins whose expertise is real estate and Greg Higginson whose expertise is finance.  Then there was Fred Barber, once the toughest running back in Southwest Georgia and his two sons Fred Jr. and Downing, the latter, the founder of Barberito’s — happy to stay out of the kitchen; Jimmy Walker and his son, Jim, and one who couldn’t shoot straight.

The lodge, with hardwood floors which bespeak elegance, bucolic woodwork and framed birddog scenes better than anything you find in Field & Stream and Garden & Gun. If there were a hitching post outside, it would be a perfect location for filming a few episodes of Bonanza. Steaks that make you think of Swift & Sons steak house in Chicago were among the menu choices. When the wine was poured, you close your eyes, and you might think you are in Saint-Emilion.

A first-class operation such as Covey Rise would not be attractive to seasoned hunters if there weren’t fields and woods for the best in quail habitat.  And, guides who never give birddogs the back of their hand. A covey of birds flush explosively from the brush, marksmanship is askew and your guide can tell you where a half dozen quail feathered their wings and settled down.   A setting sun brings about a repairing to the lodge where prime time hospitality continues. The Covey Rise experience means that you think about returning before you depart the premises.