SouthWind Plantation honored with 2017 Orvis Wing-Shooting Lodge of the Year award

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2017

World-class hunting is right here in Decatur County’s backyard. So says the Orvis sporting company.

Out of 26 Orvis endorsed wing-shooting lodges in the U.S., SouthWind Plantation was awarded the 2017 Lodge of the Year. The high-end fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods store evaluates the qualified lodges based on the quality of their hunt, accommodations, customer survives, dining and guest feedback.

SouthWind Plantation owner Tim Smith has been working toward this honor for 25 years since starting the now 3,000-acre plantation in Attapulgus, he said.

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“The self-satisfaction of being recognized as the number one lodge in the world is a great testimony on (not only) how hard I and my family have worked, but all my key people and the people that are like family to me,” Smith said. “We have reached the top of the ladder, and to be a part of that is a team effort.”

Credit for this honor travels from the top showrunners at SouthWind Plantation all the way down to the ones cutting the grass, Smith said. Every aspect, detail and accommodation added up for the plantation to win the 2017 award.
Smith equated it to winning the national championship in hunting.

“We are really proud of our team,” Smith said. “To be recognized in that capacity is a really phenomenal accomplishment.”

SouthWind Plantation Marketing Director Joseph Sunday, who has been working there for 12 years, said it felt great to receive recognition from one of the world’s top sporting brands.

“Just to be affiliated with those guys is really awesome,” Sunday said. “It’s really cool to have that affiliation with them. To have that clientele from all over the world is amazing.”

SouthWind Plantation received the award in Mizzoula, Montana, at the Orvis Guide Rendezvous on April 28, where endorsed lodges, outfitters and guides from around the world gathered.

Last year, SouthWind plantation was endorsed as a dog facility as well. One hundred and seventy dogs are living and being bred there now. Smith said SouthWind is working toward build-ing the same reputation in the dog business as in the hunting business.

SouthWind Plantation offers fishing, hunting, clay shooting and comfortable lodging for guests year round. The plantation has been endorsed by Orvis since 2005.