Thursday, November 26, 2015


We are a seasonal business, and three of our major holidays come during our hunting season. Years ago we recognized that we could not afford to close down for all three of them. We are open for business on Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve and Day, but we shut down for a solid week for Christmas. Christmas is about the mid point of our season, and that long break allows all of the guides,dogs,kitchen/housekeeping, and management to come back refreshed for the last half of season.

So, since we are open on this Thanksgiving Day, we have guests and all of the Cox family arriving this evening for Thanksgiving dinner at The Lodge. There will be 16 Cox family members here, and I feel sorry for any guests who are late arriving to the buffet line tonight. My crowd will range from almost three years old to almost 14, and they will be a lively bunch. Thank goodness for private dining rooms and well insulated walls.

 As I sit here, I decided to list just a few of the things that I am thankful for today. While this list, by no means, encompasses all of my blessings, I just wanted to list a few:
I am thankful that I worship a God who is in charge and has a plan, although I wish that he would share it with me as this old world has me very confused at the moment.
I am thankful for my wonderful family--wife,children,grandchildren, and in-laws.
I am thankful to work with the best group of folks in the world.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to grow up and work on one of the prettiest places that God ever created.
I am thankful for good health which we all too often take for granted.
 I am thankful for the best group of friends that a man could ever ask for.
 And I am very thankful and appreciative of the guests who have visited and hunted with us over the years, and who have become a part of the Riverview family.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day !

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Random Thoughts

President Dwight Eisenhower once said," The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it's usually lousy". Evidently my drill sergeant never read this quote because I can still remember him standing about an inch from my face and screaming, " Trainee, you WILL HAVE good morale". That was about the time that I decided that I should have entered basic training at 18 years of age rather than at 21 years old because by then I had a brain, and realized that you could not force good morale upon anyone.

 At Riverview, we work and function more as a family unit than a rigid reporting structure. Each employee has the same goal from bottom to top--making certain that our guests have a world class hunting experience. In order to achieve that mission, each employee is encouraged to offer suggestions and advice on how to improve the Riverview experience.

There is no doubt in my mind that the introduction of our English Cocker flushing and retrieving dogs has been a game changer here, and I will be the first one to admit that I fought this suggestion harder than anyone. I'm now a committed believer in this program. Our hunting is safer, and more challenging because of the Cockers. Also, we are not losing nearly as many dead birds. If there is a negative aspect to this program, and I do not see it as such, we are not killing as many birds as we have in the past because these little dogs encourage a greater covey burst, and we sometimes can't mark any singles down; so we find ourselves having to go hunt for another covey.

We are also having to check our guest's luggage carefully as almost every guest who hunts with one of these lovable dogs wants to take the dog home with him. We intend to keep building this program, and plan to expand it to market these dogs to our guests and friends in the future. We may have a few puppies to sell now due to the fact that we have about all of the English Cockers that we can get trained for Riverview in the pipeline at the moment. Later on , we plan to offer sales, boarding , and training. If you are interested in one of the few puppies, you can contact Jerry Cooper by email. His email address is:

In closing, please allow me a personal moment to say that Rivevrview lost a great friend and guest this week, Pat Fallon. Pat had hunted with us for over 16 years, and we will all miss his quick wit and bright mind.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hunting weather

As Noah might say, " It came up a cloud this weekend", and before that cloud passed we had received more than four inches of rain at Riverview. The nice thing about this deluge was it started Saturday night , and ended just after day break on Monday morning. Since we do not hunt on Sundays, this was the perfect time to receive a monsoon if you are forced to be on the receiving end of it. But the great thing about this rain is that it has been followed by some blessed cooler weather which has been way overdue on a historical basis. Our high temperature yesterday was 57, and our high today is forecast to be 62. Now that is quail hunting weather !

Speaking of hunting, I watched a very interesting UTube clip the other day. It actually had much more to do with shooting than hunting. In this video a shooter lines up some trap machines and positions them so that the clay targets are coming directly at him at a high rate of speed. Before actually stepping in to shoot, the video shows an outline of the shooter, and the location of the impact of these clay targets should the shooter miss a shot. Suffice it to say that, should he miss a target, he will be singing soprano for the rest of his life. He then steps in and pulverizes single and double incomings without ever missing a target.

I asked myself," could or would I have attempted this in my prime?" The answer to that is"NO". I think that lines up well with my philosophy that I have no desire to hunt anything that could hunt me if I missed it. If quail had small anti-aircraft missiles under their wings, I doubt seriously that I would be a quail hunter. However, I did have a quail drop a liquid bomb on my hunting cap once years ago. Evidently that particular quail was not impressed with my shooting prowess, and expressed his feelings in a very personal way.

Hunting season is off to a grea start as we enter our third week.Come see us this season !

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hunting season

Well, since my beloved Georgia Bulldogs lost to the hated Florida Gators on Saturday and we have not scored a touchdown in 8 quarters, I think that I can safely turn my attention to the real dogs--the hunting kind !

We are beginning our third week of hunting season, and the quality of the quail hunting has been excellent. We are continuing to receive rave reviews from our guests who have been exposed to our English Cocker flushing and retrieving dogs. I have yet to figure out how the big pointers and setters are satisfied to do the hard work of finding the birds, and then allow these little dogs to flush and retrieve the quail. However, they seem to be working together as a well-oiled team thus far.

Speaking of quail, I always have been a fan of statistics, and we keep quite a good bit of internal records here such as number of birds killed per hunt, number of shells shot per birds killed,etc. Suffice it to say that as we head into the third week of the season, the quail are winning the statistical battle right now. However, our cover is always a little heavier in the fall prior to a series of heavy frosts, and this is not unusual.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons I have always enjoyed hunting quail so much in the fall. Not only is it a shade more challenging, but I have a lot more ready alibis for why I missed a bird. I also can fall back on that "tried and true" line we hear so many times in the fall," I know that I killed that bird, but the dogs can't find him".Any of us who have ever guided a hunt has spent hours over the years hunting for dead birds that we were certain had kept flying, but the customer is always right. I have often wished that our dogs could talk since maybe they could convince a guest that he had not cut a feather on a particular quail.

Oh well. I do love this business, and I love people. I think that quail hunters are the finest folks in the world. Y'all come see us !

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


We will officially open our 58th hunting season this Sunday, and I have been blessed to be here for 44 of those 58 openings. When I finished my military obligations, the month was December, and I was accepted to Law School for the following September. Martha and I were already married, and the only person who would hire me knowing that I would be a temporary employee was my Dad. I never had any intentions of making a career here because I just did not believe that my father would ever relinquish control of the business that he and Mom had the vision to found. But, he surprised me by doing so fairly quickly, and eventually sold the company to me. In the process, I learned yet another of life's valuable lessons from my father.

I realized a couple of years ago that it was time to make another transition from me to Cader IV. I could still remember how it felt to be ready for the reins and wonder if you would ever get control; so I got ahead of the curve and we made that transition a couple of years ago. It was the right thing to do, and I'm very comfortable with it.

Just as my father did, I will always feel like Riverview is mine, and plan to be active in the company as long as God grants me good health. I will say that it's nice not to have to be sweating all of the fine details of the last week's check-off list. Martha always said that the week before we would open a season was the most difficult week to live with me. However, I have been very relaxed this week. I just sit back and take pot shots at the management from the cheap seats. I learned this technique also from Pop.

 We are excited about this hunting season, and look forward to showing everyone all of the improvements that we have made over the spring and summer!

Friday, October 9, 2015

2015-2016 hunting season

Well, today will mark the end of the first week of running our dogs daily for a half-day, and actually shooting some quail over them. According to all reports that I am receiving, both the dogs and the guides attempting to kill a few quail have improved a lot from Monday through today. Our winter grass has all been planted, and the lodge grounds are really looking good.

All of the staff, guides, and housekeeping received their flu shots on Wednesday of this week. Since I am officially the only old person on the payroll, I got both a flu and pneumonia shot. My precious four year old granddaughter, Caroline, was at the office when this was taking place. She felt that it was important to hold my hand so that I would not cry. She even went the extra mile, and let me hold her precious stuffed animal, Babel, while I got my shots. She held my hand and patted me the entire time. Shots do not faze me in the least,but I thought that her gesture was very touching. However, after watching some of our macho guides, I concluded that Nurse Caroline might have served better by administering to them.

Next Wednesday, we will have our kick-off steak dinner down here for the guides. This is always a big evening at Riverview as we go over our goals and expectations for the coming season. We will officially open the 2015-2016 hunting season on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 18th, and we are all very excited about beginning our 58th year in the quail hunting business.

Fall is arriving right on schedule for us. The mornings are cool, the humidity is leaving the air, and the gnats are beginning to go wherever in the heck that they go. Personally, I wish that they would go to either hell or Syria. My beloved Georgia Bulldogs have pulled their annual folding act, and were trounced by Alabama last Saturday; so now I can concentrate on the quail hunting business.

Thanks to abundant rainfall, the woods look as good as I have ever seen them, and the birds are plentiful. As we say in the south, " Y'all come see us" !

Thursday, October 1, 2015

This & That

Fall is definitely rolling into South Georgia this weekend following some beneficial rainfall for the past couple of days. My peanut farmer neighbors who are trying to pick their peanuts probably are not as happy with the rain as we are, but these rains have fallen on Riverview at a very opportune  time. We just planted our winter rye down the sides of the lodge road, and are in the process of planting our winter grass around all of the cottages.

This week we also began working all of our hunting dogs into playing shape. Each guide is taking his string of dogs out for two and a half hours in the morning , and is supposed to be shooting a few quail over them. I used the word "supposed" since unconfirmed reports have some of our guides shooting "AT" birds. However, it seems that a number of birds are failing to cooperate by falling dead, and our retrievers are grinning and relaxing. Next week we will move up to running the dogs for an entire morning. Dogs, like any other athletes, have to play themselves into shape.

The kitchen and housekeeping staff began work last week going through all of the cottages with a fine tooth comb. It always amazes me how everything is working when we shut down in late March. Somehow during the summer months, the gremlins perform their magic in almost every cottage. Our plumbers, electricians, and heating and cooling folks are having a field day fixing items that were working great six months ago.

Oh well, it could be a lot worse. I could be President Obama, and not have a clue how to deal with Mr. Putin. I'm fairly conflicted about what we should do in Syria. President Obama drew his famous red line in the sand for Assad which he crossed with impunity while we did nothing. Now geo-politics is not my strong suit, but I think that Assad is now fighting ISIS. ISIS is nothing more than a bunch of barbarians while Assad is a butcher of his own people. Whose side should we be on ? Why isn't the best policy just to vacate the region, and let them all kill each other. I can almost guarantee you that they will turn on their Russian allies when they have no one else to fight. I would not want to send my son or daughter over there for a bunch of folks who hate us.

I have about decided that the line to the old country music song summed it up best when it said, "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy". This is a crazy world that we are living in these days. If you want to escape it for a while and see some of the most beautiful woods and best quail hunting in the world, come see us !!