Most South Georgia hunters prefer deer season, but not Braxton Harris. He has another love – duck hunting.

Braxton Harris, a 2019 graduate of PCHS, has heard the call to “go west young man!”

But, he isn’t traveling west for gold, fame or fortune, and he has no plans to saddle up and move ‘em out. Harris aims, rather, to be a duck hunting guide. He’s headed to the wetlands of Louisiana, teaming with ducks and geese, to pursue that dream.

“I have heard that call … go west young man,” Harris says, laughing. “I’m basically just chasing a dream right now. I’m going to chase it as long as I can.”

Many of his classmates are packing their bags and heading off to college or the military in coming weeks. Harris will pack up too, load down his pickup truck and drive west  — to the Honey Brake Lodge in Jonesville, LA. where he’s been accepted for a two-year apprenticeship program.

“I always thought I wanted to do something in this field, not necessarily the dog training part of it, but waterfowl hunting and guiding people (on trips),” Harris says. “Luckily I’ve gotten the opportunity to do it at one of the best places in the country. I’m going to be working for the best people in the world … kinda like going to the best college in the country for two years.”

Harris won’t be alone on his journey west. His silver lab, Goose, will make the trek, too. Goose is finishing up his bird dog training now at Mossy Pond Retrievers in Offerman.

Hunting is a “family thing” for Harris. He’s grown up in a family of outdoorsmen, and while he enjoys all types of hunting and fishing, waterfowl hunting is his first love.

“(Duck hunting) has a lot of moving parts, and I don’t like just sitting in a deer stand,” Harris explains. “Duck hunting is just a whole different ball game.”

But, Georgia doesn’t have the variety of ducks and geese that states further west do. Harris knew he’d have to travel to pursue his dream career.

He can’t believe his good fortune in landing this apprenticeship at a five-star lodge and hunting resort. Honey Brake even has its own show, “Honey Brake Experience,” on the Sportsman Channel. Harris is grateful to Mossy Pond Retrievers owner and longtime friend, Brad Arington, for helping him connect with Honey Brake.

He isn’t entirely sure what all the apprenticeship will entail, but with 20,000 acres of wetlands to manage, dozens of hunting blinds to move and maintain, and hunting trips to organize, Harris is certain he won’t be bored  — especially during peak waterfowl hunting season from November to January.

This apprenticeship is just the first step in Harris’ ambition to pursue a career in habitat and wetland management, but he wouldn’t mind at all if the lodge offered him a full-time gig as a hunting guide when his two years are up. Or, maybe he’ll keep traveling west in search of the next unforgettable hunt.

Harris is the son of Stan and Misty Harris.