The birds are a mixture of wild and early release quail. Covey rises range between half-a-dozen birds and twenty, but there are the occasional covey rises of 50 or more birds. Hunters can follow up singles if they wish, but there are plenty of birds which makes following up singles a choice.
Honey Lake Plantation is a licensed shooting preserve which means that Opening Day is on October 1 and the season finale is on March 31.
Lodging, all meals, skeet/trap/five stand warm ups, licenses, guides, dogs, eye and ear protection, transportation from Tallahassee Regional Airport, and on-property transportation.
Honey Lake Plantation is 4,865 acres of rolling hills, fields, lakes, and ponds that run along the Little Aucilla River.
Honey Lake Plantation has a humid subtropical climate, with long summers and short, mild winters, as well as drier springs and autumns. Northern Florida is warm in early October and in late March. November through February offers daytime temperatures between 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hunters are transported through the courses in a number of
different ways. The comfortable Bird Buggy 1 is a custom designed hunting vehicle built on a Suburban frame that includes a bench seat and four elevated Captain’s chairs for up to six hunters. Dog boxes carry up to ten English Pointers, English Setters, and English Cocker Spaniels. Shotguns are tastefully stored in two covered gun racks that are built in to the vehicle’s frame.
Another option is the Bird Buggy 2 which is a customized trailer that is pulled behind a Jeep. This option accommodates five hunters, six pointing dogs and four flushing dogs, and is a perfect choice for hunters who prefer not to climb in-and-out of a vehicle.
A third option, Bird Buggy 3, is a Polaris six-wheeler that transports five hunters, six pointing dogs, and two flushing dogs.
A final traditional touch is that hunters may ride horseback instead of on one of the hunting wagons. Guides ride Tennessee Walking Horses in front of the buggy and work the dogs throughout the terrain. When the pointers lock up, two hunters step out of the vehicles and take up a position on either side of the guides. When all are ready, the flushing dogs are put down to work through the cover and get the quail in the air. Depending on the birds’ behavior and the scenting conditions, the hunters may re-position a time or two until the covey is located. The shooting party rotates as identified by the guests, with most changes occurring after a covey rise.
A Typical Day of Quail Hunting:
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - Pick up by guides
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Morning Hunt
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Lunch and a Short Break
2:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Afternoon Hunt
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Hour
6:00 p.m. on - Dinner
Our Sportshooting complex was recently expanded to include a 100-shot sporting clays course. Other clay target games include Five Stand, Trap, and Skeet.
An abundance of non-sporting activities are available for non-hunting spouses. For those interested in a cast-and-blast, fishing for trophy largemouth bass and bream on the 80-acre spring-fed Honey Lake or on one of the six other smaller ponds can be arranged. Horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, and a full spa with workout facilities are available.
There are four different lodging options. Groups may choose the
3600 square foot Honey Lake Lodge which has 6 luxury king guest rooms, each with private baths. The heartwood pine floors and cypress walls are gorgeous and there is a full kitchen, breakfast counter, wet bar, leather couches, and fireplace.
Adjacent to the lodge is an 800-square foot premier suite that features a private kitchen, bar, living room, and master bedroom.
Another option is the Five Pines and Two Oaks Cottages which offer two suites, each with private baths and double queen beds. There is a common living room that separates the suites.
The Pansy Poe Cottage is a 3-bedroom, 2000 square foot cottage that is part of the original plantation and is situated on the shores of Honey Lake.
Finally, the Equestrian Lodge provides 24-private suites and a series of common rooms allwithin a few minute walk from our Equestrian Center. The 24-bedroom Equestrian Lodge is perfect for larger groups. Each room offers a private bath and a choice of either two King or two Queen beds.
Our Plantation Chef has spent over three decades in the culinary industry, and his experience has helped to create what he calls Plantation Elegant cuisine. Chef is a firm believer in the “farm-to-table” concept, so guests will enjoy some of the freshest foods available. Quail, venison and fish are harvested on the property, as are five types of lettuce, two varieties of greens, vegetables like squash, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and broccoli.
A plethora of spices are homegrown as well, and eggs are gathered daily from the Honey Lake Chicken Coop.
Plantation Elegant cuisine adds a new twist to favorite Southern classics. Breakfast ranges from eggs any style to omelets or French toast. At lunch, a Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich, Southern Fried Chicken or a gourmet Elk burger are a few options. And for dinner, try a bone-in filet mignon, andouille-stuffed chicken, lamb chops with a pomegranate reduction and smashed turnips, or an herb-roasted pork loin with roasted apples.
Sportsmen come to our plantation for a wide variety of seasonal activities. Quail hunting runs from October through March and fishing is a year-round activity. Florida offers a tremendously long deer season, a spring and fall turkey hunting, three different Fall dove seasons, and winter waterfowling set by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Gear selection for a hunt is simple. Lightweight brush pants, a shooting shirt, a comfortable pair of boots and a shooting vest are all that are necessary. Blaze orange is a requirement. A fleece vest may be worth bringing if you’re hunting in the winter months, and you’ll probably remove it by mid-morning.