Rebel, the pointer, was a fast, wide-ranging dog. While he ranged across the field, Tillie, a little Boykin spaniel, stayed close to us but kept a close eye on Rebel; her job would come later. When Rebel pointed, Tillie checked to make sure we’d seen the point. She anxiously paced towards the pointer and back to us, as if she was rushing us to get there sooner. Once we arrived, she sat at Mike’s side while he got us in a good position to shoot. Now it was time for Tillie to do her work.

On Mike’s command, “Flush ‘em out,” Tillie bounced onto the covey and a couple of birds exploded out. My shooting partner, Jerry McBride, and I each scored a bird and when my gun came down, I was amazed to see Rebel and Tillie sitting patiently awaiting further orders.

Mike gave Tillie the go signal and she bounded across the field and brought my bird back. She sat at Mike’s right ankle and he took the bird out of her mouth. Rebel watched the proceedings out of the corner of his eye but otherwise, he never moved. Mike then sent Tillie after Jerry’s bird and she repeated the process. There were still birds in the covey and, once again, Tilly was given the command to flush, the process was repeated to flush out the rest of the planted covey and during the whole ordeal, young Rebel never moved a muscle. Once Tillie had cleaned up the downed birds, Mike touched Rebel on the back of the head and he was off like the Millennium Falcon.

We were hunting with Mike Johnson, of the Clinton House Plantation, and these were the best upland dogs I have ever hunted over.

Clinton House Plantation and Game Preserve in Clinton, South Carolina is a full service game preserve. Game preserves provide hunters and shooters who don’t own enough property or have enough time to manage their property for upland game a chance for a quality hunts. Located just south of Columbia, Clinton House has sporting clays, duck hunting, deer hunting, turkey hunting and, of course, upland game hunting with pheasants, chukars, and quail. They’ve also just built a five-bay tactical shooting range and will be hosting action pistol, rifle, and shotgun matches soon.

The property is showcased by a new 15,000-square foot lodge and meeting facility. The lodge contains a great room, a 5,000-square foot room with 20-foot ceilings and a 10-foot wide stacked stone fireplace. There’s also an open mezzanine overlooking this room. In addition, the facility holds two private meeting rooms and a 1,000-square foot room for everyday leisure activities complete with a satellite dish and a pool table. There are also 12 private bedrooms with private baths for those who want to stay close to the action.

For smaller events, they have a 3,500-square foot adjacent building with a 16′ X 50′ great room with a gas fireplace. It has four bedrooms downstairs with a large private dining/conference room and its own kitchen. There’s also an adjacent four-bedroom building with a large wrap-around porch. The preserve grounds cover 2,000 acres and Clinton House can lodge as many as 60 people.

Rebel passed away a few years back with lung cancer, but Tillie is just as full of bounce as ever. I recently shot quail with Mike again and I instantly remembered how much I enjoyed walking the rolling South Carolina fields with Tillie bounding along and furnishing enough enthusiasm for a party of ten. Game preserves are a great way to entertain clients, train dogs, or experience family fun and Clinton House Plantation is one of the best.

Image by Dick Jones

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