Woods-N-Water Owner Makes Family, Friends And Kids An Annual Priority

Brad Gill | February 28, 2020

Sometimes you just have to flip over the sign on the front door to “closed.”

Blaine Burley, owner of Woods-N-Water Hunting and Fishing Adventures, and long-time sponsor of GON’s Youth Big-Buck Contest, knows the importance of good juggling in the whirlwind of life. For more than a decade during the three-day MLK January weekend, Blaine doesn’t book a hog hunting trip, he doesn’t go out of town on business, and he makes sure his honey-dos are all caught up with his bride, Conni.

He reserves a cabin on Woods-N-Water property and invites his family and some good friends and their kids over for three days of fellowship and rabbit hunting with beagles.

Blaine Burley with Woods-N-Water enjoying a January 2017 rabbit hunt with his niece Daci Burley (center) and family friend Rileigh Gill.

I received an invite that very first year, which best I can remember was about 2009. At the time, I had a pack of hounds. I was fortunate to be present when both of Blaine’s sons, Brandt and Brock, killed their first rabbits a decade ago in front of my dogs. Since then, I can’t count how many kids have been on their first rabbit hunts and slung a load of 6s at cottontails. Blaine does a great job of bringing in a few new kids every year so they, too, can experience the blessings of the special camaraderie that goes with a rabbit hunt.

Cohen Herrington, 8, of Dudley, killed his first rabbit on Jan. 20, 2020 while attending the annual Wood-N-Water rabbit hunt for family and friends.

Equally memorable to me is the life-long bonds that have formed between myself and some of those who have attended this annual sabbatical in the briar patch. I’ve watched little squirts kill their first rabbits, join us for three or four more years, get involved in other things and now maybe we see them every third year. However, those bonds never break. Pretty cool how life works that way. All from an annual rabbit hunt.

Although Blaine could easily fill his lodge with hog hunters wanting to enjoy January hunting weather in search of pork chops, he doesn’t. He flips the sign to closed and checks out of life for a three-day weekend. He gets it.

How is your juggling?

Editor’s Note: To speak to Blaine about booking a turkey, hog or deer hunt—or a trophy bass trip—in Johnson, Washington, Laurens or Wilkinson counties, call 478.864.9108  or visit

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