Jimmy Benefield is Lanier County’s guru of hunting. If you want to learn about guns, equipment, good hunting locations and just about anything else he’s your “go to” guy. He has taught many youngsters about gun safety and care, hunting rules and etiquette and the conservation of both animals and woodlands. Jimmy, a retired banker, and his wife Sue, live in Lakeland where his favorite hunting is for water fowl and birds and they often treat their friends and neighbors to game suppers. A favorite dish is Jimmy’s duck casserole. You really need to try his recipe. (See page 21). Jimmy also enjoys hunting deer and his black lab sidekick, Gunner, is famous throughout the region for tracking and locating wounded deer.
Hunting is not just a man’s sport – it is very popular with the ladies also. JoNan Holbrook can hardly wait to climb into that tree stand on opening day of deer season. When turkey season comes around you will find her in her blind waiting patiently. JoNan, a retired kindergarten teacher, and her husband, Wesley, live on a farm in northern Lanier County near the Alapaha River.
Many couples have found that hunting together is a great way to share time together as well as providing delicious meat for the table. Daniel and Melinda Fowler live in Tifton and lead very active and busy lives. Daniel is a Land Specialist with Whitetail Properties and Melinda is a pharmacist with CVS Pharmacies. They like to spend their free time together and enjoy bow hunting. Melinda also enjoys hunting with her camera. The third member of their hunting family is Huckleberry (Huck), their ten year old Boykin Spaniel.
Wild hogs have become a big nuisance to the farmers in the area as they can destroy fields and crops. Hog hunting has become not only a popular sport but a necessary harvesting of the fast growing wild hog population. Zach and Layne Lee are young folks on a mission and are successful in helping to rid the southern part of Lanier County of some of the hog population. Zach and Layne live with their parents, Alex and Kristie Lee, in rural Lanier County.
Hunting is a sport for everyone and is enjoyed by many folks in South Georgia including the very young. Slaton and Anne Harvey live with their parents, Jason and Katy Shaw, in rural Lowndes County and enjoy hunting with their Dad, and granddoc, Dr. Harvey Miller. Jimmy Benefield was also very instrumental in teaching them the basics of hunting and hunting safety.
From the beginning of time, hunting has been the means of providing food for the table. It still does that and much more. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting in a deer stand watching the sun come up or go down – beauty from the hands of God. Whether you hunt with guns, bows & arrows or cameras – go out and enjoy hunting in the Piney Woods of South Georgia.