Hunt Distination: Richmond Hill, Georgia, May 16
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By virtue of its upland and coastal habitats located only 20 miles from the city of Savannah, Richmond Hill in Bryan County, Georgia, offers an all-season destination for the visiting sportsman. Boating and fishing activities dominate the Summer months while Fall brings deer, wild hog, alligator, waterfowling and upland game hunting followed by the state’s nearly two-month-long turkey season in the Spring.
Although located in a historic area, much in the way of cultural features was lost during the Union occupation during the Civil War, and most of the areas’ rice plantations failed to survive. Many of them in what was to become eastern Bryan County (established in 1880) were purchased by Henry Ford who established saw mill and truck-farming operations as well as offered educational opportunities to area residents.
The county is now dominated by Ft. Steward, a 300,000 acre military base, which offers public hunting on areas that are not actively utilized for training. Between Richmond Hill and the coast, there is a state WMA and Ossabaw Island has annual quota hunts for deer and wild hogs. The deer hunt success rate on these quota hunts was often over 100 percent in previous years, but now that hunters may also take an unlimited number of wild hogs, the deer success rate has diminished.
Arthur McAuley of the Bryan County Historical Society gives a cultural overview of the area and The Rev. Kenny Edwards of Fox South’s Chasin’ Beards N Bones TV show provides hunting information. The show also includes a turkey hunt where a hen was called to within 7 yard, a trip in the intercostal Waterway for sharks and a description of some of Hovey’s many hunts on Ossabaw Island.
Rice is a staple of coastal eating from North Carolina to Texas. Spanish Rice, often made with shrimp or other seafood, is commonly served throughout the area. This dish is flavored with bell pepper and onion, is tomato rich; but not made spicy hot. It freezes well, and any excess may be used for later meals. Although this could be a side dish, it is robust enough to be a complete meal.
1 cup whole grain or white rice, 1 green bell pepper finely chopped, 2 large Spanish onions finely chopped, 1 pound pealed shrimp (or other seafood), 1 diced Roma tomato, 2 14 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon margarine
Cook rice according to directions and set aside to steam. Saute onion and bell pepper in pan with butter. Add shrimp and diced tomato. Cook until shrimp are just to the point of being done. Remove immediately and mix in larger pot (or Crock Pot) with stewed tomatoes and rice. Allow to slowly heat while stirring to keep from sticking. Add water as necessary to cover contents. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Catsup or tomato paste may be added to adjust color and give a small amount of acid bite to the dish.