For the first year in nearly four decades, the Chitwood Farm didn’t host the sounds of musket and cannon fire due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of the Battle of Resaca reenactment, but there will still be plenty of shooting on the property this summer.

In an effort to help with the costs of preserving and maintaining the property for years to come, future bird hunts are planned, including the first of what will become an annual dove shoot early next month.

Located off of Highway 41 on Chitwood Road just below the Whitfield County line, the farm is a collection of land bought up by late local businessman Thurman Chitwood and his wife Martha beginning in 1936. The property remains in the hands of his ancestors.

“We’ve been working to plant the fields since earlier this summer, but plans for the hunt started last fall,” said Jesse Tennant, a great-grandson of Thurman Chitwood who lives on the farm.

The earliest sections of the now nearly 600 acres were gained in trade for bales of cotton and in the past has seen the growing of crops like cotton, corn and soybeans.

Nowadays, crops like Egyptian wheat, sorghum and browntop millet grow on the part of the property that will host its first annual dove shoot the first weekend in September, with a limited number of spots still available.

On Sept. 5 and 7, Labor Day weekend, members of the public will have the opportunity to spread out in a large, secluded section of the Chitwood Farm for a chance to bag some birds.

“They’ll be spread out on a section we call ‘the bottoms’ that is tucked right inside about a mile of Conasauga River frontage,” said Tennant.

The fee for the event is $100 per shooter, or $500 for a group of six shooters, and children under 12 are free. Included with the Saturday shoot is an 11 a.m. barbecue lunch and a hayride shuttle in and out of the field. The shuttle will be provided by an antique tractor club. There will be no lunch or shuttle for Monday’s shoot.

Shooting spots will be up for grabs via lottery and paid groups are allowed to stay together during the hunt. And since it is shooting event, social distancing has always been standard practice.

Along with conservation easements in cooperation with Gordon County, USDA conservation programs and the U.S. Forestry Service, hunts will help conserve the land for generations.

Work is currently underway to form Conasauga Outfitters, a family operated guided hunt service, as a way to welcome members of the public for private bird hunts throughout the year, including guided falconry hunts.

To reserve a spot for the September dove shoot, or for more information, contact Jesse Tennant at 770-881-1818.

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