Most of you are already aware of the fact that there were two winners in the SportDOG “Work for Us” contest that was held a few months back. Well, I was one of them and couldn’t be more thankful to have had the opportunity to join the SportDOG staff at Sinkola Plantation. The journey east from Portland, Oregon was not easy: horrible weather, cancelled flights and long delays resulted in us arriving in camp a day later than planned. Thankfully, schedules were flexible and the hunt was shifted out a day so we could all have the full two days to talk product and experience all that Sinkola had to offer. Joining me on the trip was my buddy Steve de Moulin and the other winner Pete Edquist and his wife Cathy from TX. Both Steve and I have always dreamed of hunting “Plantation Row” for wild quail but for obvious reasons had pretty much resigned ourselves that it was going to be just that, a dream. Well, from the moment we arrived it was clear that this dream was coming true!
Day one found us mounting up on horseback to head into the pines. I for one am not a horse guy but thankfully these horses played a game of follow the leader through the plantation in pursuit of the English Pointers who were covering ground in search of quail. Once on point, we would dismount the horses, slide our doubles out of the scabbard and do our best to mentally prepare for the covey rise . The anticipation as we approached the dogs was almost unbearable, upstaged only by the eventual flush. Twenty plus quail exploding from the cover has no doubt etched a permanent spot in my memory!
Day two was equally as exciting with the dogs coming in contact with at least 15 coveys. By now however, the saddle felt like a
rock and I was in desperate need of some “wagon time”. Comfort and style pretty much sums up a mule drawn wagon while also affording me the time to take a ton of photos! As the final afternoon in the field was coming to a close I couldn’t help but reflect on how fortunate I was to have had the chance to experience such a hunt. My expectations for this trip were sky high but each and every moment far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Wild quail on a Southern Plantation was everything I dreamed of and more! A huge thanks to everyone at SportDOG and Sinkola Plantation for an incredible contest and ensuring that every detail of the trip was made perfect.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank each and every individual who cast a vote for Piper and I because without you there would have been someone else in the SportDOG “Work For Us” camp. Additionally, the support I received from the Boykin Spaniel community was truly humbling. You all are truly an amazing group of folks and I’m thankful that by bringing Piper into our home two and a half years ago I was able to become a proud member of that community. Happy Holidays everyone and thanks again SportDOG!
Mark Reilly is an avid hunter, photography hobbyist and SportDOG loyal fan. Mark took first place in our “Work for Us” video contest with this video featuring his Boykin, Piper. This is Mark’s second guest blog for us. To read about his first tick off the “Bucket List” read his first blog.