Hunting for Some Hunting News? Just Click!

Macks'd out!

check out this load of Toms! Email me with a guess about where these gobblers were taken! Will post answer next blog.

My cousin Macks and his hunting buddy “Dr. Joe” had a pretty good hunting trip to close out turkey season. You will never guess where these birds were taken!!

Well, Unless you predator hunt, hog hunt or shoot skeet, your hunting options are limited this time of year. However, planning, even scheming and dreaming, can be good ways to scratch your “hunting itch” when it is 90 degrees outside and September seems like a year away across a hot desert that is another Alabama Summer. Now, I do like to fish and I will have a few good trips to put some fish in the freezer. But, I never stop thinking about the other three season that all rank ABOVE the one we are currently embarking upon.

So one of the best places for me to spend some time that could be of benefit to me when hunting season rolls around is to diligently surf the web for local, state and regional hunting opportunities. I recently found one that might interest some of you guys who own or have access to enough land that you could offer some hunts to other hunters from different locations. Find out more on this interesting web site called They offer a way to offer hunts or swap hunts with other folks. Their web address is

Maybe you got that big buck last year and want to see where he might rank in the Alabama Whitetail Records so you can brag to your buddies. Maybe you have spotted a “goodun” on one of your game cameras and want to see where he might score.

Whatever it is about looking at big bucks you want to see from Alabama, check out this site to see those big Bama bucks check out .

If you are looking for a club, and many of us are, this site has some listing across the state that might just have your next hunting club! Look at this site,

For a great read anytime about some of the best hunting in the blackbelt and Wilcox county outdoors information, the Horn Swamp News is a favorite of mine! See what I mean at:

Hope these sites help you make it through another summer. Go fish, go scout, just go outdoors and enjoy the life! Watch for the bugs and the snakes!


Until next week,

Postoak.. outdoors..



AWF, What a Great Asset to our Area and State!


Want to learn about Hydrangeas? Attend the presentation at AWF on June 1 !

Summer time for me means more outdoors but, in my case it is outdoors work! Yard and pool both keep me tied down like a calf on a date with a branding iron! And I enjoy it about that much as well !

Now, my wife is the one that loves the yard work and making all the plants and flowers grow to beautiful maturity is a passion of hers.If you have a wife like that, she may be interested in the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s upcoming Hydrangea Presentations coming to Lanark here in Beautiful Millbrook!

Hydrangea Presentations at the Alabama Nature Center June 1

The Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook will be open to the general public on June 1, and a special “Hydrangea Fest” educational program will be on the agenda. Discover more about the unique, natural history of these floral beauties. Learn how to grow, prune, root and dry the flowers for crafts during the hydrangea demonstrations. Bring your hydrangea gardening questions for expert advice! After hearing about the hydrangeas, enjoy a guided walking tour of the hydrangeas beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Lanark Gardens will also have a plant sale Saturday with proceeds benefiting the gardens at the Alabama Wildlife Federation. A limited amount of dried Hydrangeas and Hydrangea wreaths will be for sale.

Schedule of events   

9:30 A.M. – 10:30  A.M. – “Let’s talk about Hydrangeas” by Maria Pacheco-West, Lanark Grounds Specialist

8:00 A.M.-12:00 NOON – Plant sale: Lanark plants with the proceeds benefitting the gardens (Hydrangeas will be for sale along with other Lanark plants.)

10:30 A.M. – A guided tour to see the Hydrangeas.

All visitors of the Alabama Nature Center must check in at the Pavilion Outpost located inside the Lanark Pavilion before hiking on the trails or attending programming. General Admission is $4 per person/per day for adults, $2 per person/per day for ages 4 to 12, and children under 3 are free. The Alabama Nature Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. 

The Alabama Nature Center, a hands-on outdoor education facility located at Lanark in Millbrook, Alabama, is a joint project of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and benefactors Isabel and Wiley Hill. The Lanark property, State Headquarters for the Alabama Wildlife Federation, contains 350 acres of striking forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of trails and boardwalks including a tree top viewing platform. The Alabama Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs including Lanark Field Days events for youth and school groups, Expedition Lanark Summer Day Camp for children aged  5 – 15, and monthly weekend events for the general public. For more information about the Alabama Nature Center and the Alabama Wildlife Federation, call 334-285-4550 or visit

AWF is a great organization we are blessed to have in The River Region and that are doing a great job educating our children about being good stewards of our natural resources! Check out this recent work at Prattville Primary School!

Prattville Primary School Students who participated in the Outdoor Classroom.

These PPS students got some great lessons in outdoor Education from the AWF, Outstanding boys and girls!

Prattville Primary Outdoor Classroom Certification
Prattville Primary School is the first school in Prattville to be a part of the prestigious group of schools across the state to become Alabama Outdoor Classroom certified. This has been a two-year process but the finish product is well worth the wait. There are close to three hundred schools in fifty-seven counties enrolled in the Outdoor Classroom and to date forty schools have achieved certified status.

Prattville Primary’s outdoor classroom is an exceptional example of how combining gardens, root grow boxes, bird houses, a pond­­­­­—and topping it off with murals painted by the kids­­­­­—allows them to form a connection and respect for the outdoors. Second grader, Jadyn Seamon was excited about what she was a part of and said how pretty it was and couldn’t wait to watch it grow. There has been a dramatic change from a sand pathway to dreaming, planning, great sponsorship and hard work leading to volunteers working together alongside the youth to create this space to make learning fun. Prattville Primary School’s Principal Jim Abraham said, “This is a great educational opportunity for the kids where they will have the opportunity to not just read about science but to see it and touch it. It is a good day for all of our kids and kids to come.”

The Alabama Outdoor Classroom program is a project of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and offers on-site help and support to teachers, administrators and students who wish to create a sustainable wildlife habitat on their school’s grounds. To learn more about the Alabama Outdoor Classroom Certification program, visit If you think this is some great experiences and you want to give your kids a great outdoors summer, contact  Marla- and sign your kids up for the great slate of summer events at Lanark and the AWF!

Another great organization here in Central Alabama for us “Big Kids” is the Alabama Black Belt Adventures organization and they are STACKED with some great summer fun events for the outdoors across our area. Check out the winners of this past season’s turkey hunting photo contest, the World’s WIDEST YARDSALE  a great street festival in Selma including the Billy Atchison Memorial Catfish Fry. (Billy was a good friend) White water rafting on the Chattahoochie and much more is listed here;

More next week…. including a turkey picture you will NOT believe!!

Enjoy Summer, go dig some dirt!

Post Oak… OUT…. doors..






For Us Hunters, The Wait for September is ON..


still strutting!  ..postoak

2013 is in the books but, this old Alabama Tom is still strutting around! (postoak)

With the close of spring turkey season comes the saddest day of the year for us “gobbleraddicts” We have to come to grips with the fact that this is the longest space of wait time we must endure until next March 15th. However, if you are like me, the analysis never ends and the scheming for a better season has already began. I am trying to determine if  should quit my current leases and my hunting club membership to pursue new places to hunt so that next year will not disappoint like 2013.

I have been on a lease for several years that has produced some very good birds, but the area is well known as one with the most hard-headed gobblers in Alabama. I invited my brother in law, who is a confirmed gobbleraddict and he declined saying them “Mantua (the location) turkeys is all stone crazy”. While I reluctantly agree with that assessment, It is hard to let a lease go unless I have another lined up. The hunting club I joined this past year in Dallas county was sort of a bust since I only took one gobbler off it, but I did pass on gobblers opening weekend and the season was an odd one, so maybe it will be better next year. Oh well, I got some time to think about it and maybe a new hunting lease or a great club will turn up that I can switch to for 2014.

In the mean time, Some folks I know had a good spring so I have some pictures to share from them. Check out the awesome 4 bearded gobbler killed in Union Springs area by Montgomery hunter John Marsh took. John had a good year, taking four nice gobblers and this 4 bearded Tom is at the taxidermist! Good hunting John!

A four bearded trophy Tom taken by John Marsh in the Union Springs area.







Mike Midkiff, another central Alabama hunter took a couple of huge Gobblers in Nebraska and shared a photo of one of them with me for you to enjoy! A Huge Merriam Gobbler! It scored in the top 10 gobblers for Nebraska!

What a huge Nebraska Merriam! A top 10 scoring Gobbler taken by Mike Midkiff!








Brandon Parker, A “natural born killer” in the turkey woods, said he had to fight off the snakes and mosquitoes to get to where he could get a shot on this old swamp tom from Elmore county.

Brandon Parker said the biggest challenge to take this gobbler was fightin off the snakes to get to where he was so he could get that shot!









Hats off to all you turkey hunters! and lets endure the wait until dove season cranks up.

In the summer we can still do some Coyote and Hog control if you just need to hunt something! They both are running wild in the Alabama Woods and competing for the deer and turkey! Go get you some of that action this summer!

Next Week, Go FISH!


Turkey Season Ended on a Sweet Note in Kentucky

Now that the 2013 spring turkey season is in the books I am ready for some relaxation on a nice quiet farm pond reeling in some big copper-nose bream and some of those F-1 tigers. Hopefully I can do that right after my three page “honey-do” list, yard work, and handling my job which always ramps up in the summer.

On second thought, let me reminisce for just a little while about the ”dearly departed” turkey season. It was about the worst season I have had in this my 52nd year of chasing gobblers. The turkeys just did not exhibit typical spring mating behavior except in “spots”, a day or two at the time. Yes, the weather was big part of the trouble in my opinion, but I can’t recall the weather being that big of a factor in previous years where it was too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, etc.

I email lot of folks across the web and on fB since I am an fB junkie like more and more folks, it is better that most of TV these days, so I spend a hour, or two on it many nights looking at turkey photos, deer photos and reading posts or emails from many hunters like me who wonder why it was so bad. If you have any thoughts you want to share with me about why it was bad, or not, if you killed a limit, drop me an email to my gmail account.  and I would love to hear from you about how you did. I also love turkey photos so send them on as well.

I did wind my season up on a fun turkey hunt in Central Kentucky with a good friend of mine, AL, he is in a very nice hunting club on a beautiful section of rolling hills along the Green River. The property is a private tract owned by a doctor who has had it in a cattle farming operation for many years and it is a magic place with beautiful pastures, hill tops covered in old, pristine hardwoods where you can see 200 yards through the woods in some places and not a pine tree in sight. Huge Oaks, Hickory, Sycamore, Poplar, Ash and Hackberry interspersed with some equally impressive old Red Cedar trees and huge boulders. The woods were in a stage of spring foliage that we had last month in Alabama where they are very lush, new, and that bright Chartreuse green hue. It was gorgeous!

The turkeys in Kentucky are of course “Easterns” same as here but, they have some distinct differences that are very exciting! The average gobbler and hen are approximately 20 % larger than what ours average in size. For the most part, they are about 50% more vocal and 50% less stubborn!  We drove up with the plans to hunt four days, five if absolutely necessary but, the weather once again was as bad up there as it has been in Alabama this spring so we only got to hunt two days.

The neat thing up there was that the turkeys are almost as much fun in the afternoons as they are in the mornings! Including Wednesday afternoon when we arrived, we got in five good hunts and both took one nice gobbler apiece. The old gobbler I harvested was a field boss that I had spotted after the Thursday morning hunt as I was coming out of the woods. He was strutting out in a pasture with several hens, two jakes and a few dozen cows. As we ate lunch, I told AL that I want to hunt that gobbler and he agreed it was a good choice.

He dropped me off the farm road around the curve from the field and I slipped up a cow trail along a wooded bottom between two pastures and using cows and a couple of very vocal and curious burros for cover I was able to slip along to a good vantage point just past 900 cow patties and a watering hole full of patty makers, wow! What a smell! I got almost to where I wanted to “set up” and then I saw several turkeys in the field and I could not get across an open spot about 50 feet wide so I decided to just sit and wait for the afternoon to get a little later in hopes they would become more receptive. Since I could not see the old gobbler but, did see several turkeys under a large cedar at the other side of the field, I decided to call and see if he was interested in coming my way. After a couple of yelps he gobbled, but it was over to my right, down under the hill in a strip of wood between two other pastures. He was interested though, VERY interested! and he came up the hill gobbling and gobbler yelping very excitedly and was within 20 to 30 steps in just a few moments!

The only problem was, he was not visible since the pasture had a deep cow trail rut in it where four of the pastures intersected at the gates just to my right. I was in a spot in some briers against a tree and was hidden marginally but, I could not move, so I sat in a contorted position that was HE## on a 58 year old back side and held my gun up in a shooter position for more than 20 minutes while he strutted, wing beat the ground, like I have NEVER heard another turkey do! And, along with his gobbles and excited gobbler yelps, another thing most bama gobblers don’t do, He had me as excited in the turkey woods as I have been in years! As he was doing this strut, gobble, yelp, wing flapping, drumming just out of my view, I thought about just standing up and I was sure I close enough to shoot him if I could just see him over that rise. But a combination of twisted pleasure from listening to “his racket”, and a intense desire to not blow what could be my only opportunity to get a Kentucky gobbler on this trip, I just sat and prayed that I did not cramp up and be forced to move.

Finally, he stopped his thrashing the ground in his “mating dance” and walked back down the hill along with the several other hens and two jakes who had added their cackles, cutts, purrs, and excited yelps while he strutted moments earlier. I waited for about 20 minutes and stood up slowly, As I glassed the field and woods, not seeing anything, he yelped and then gobbled from a distance that assured me I could make a quick move. I left my brier patch hiding spot and quickly crossed over to the spot he had strutted in and found a good place to hide. On his next yelp, gobble combo, I answered him with a light, sweet little Alabama hen yelp and he triple gobbled and came gliding out of the woods across the field in a full strut!

In the glow of the afternoon 6:15 sunshine, with his feathers literally gleaming! and accompanied by an entourage of six hens and two big jakes bringing up the rear, he was absolutely everything I hunt turkeys for! He stopped twice on the way to me to chase the jakes in a circle and I was afraid they would distract him from coming on in. After what seemed like a 20 minute strut across the pasture, punctuated by the loud bray of a burro to which he stopped again and double gobbled, he and his whole gang, finally were standing in front of me at 30 steps in a full strut!  I clucked to get him to raise his head for my shot and instead he just gobbled, beat the ground with with wings like he was demanding the hen to show herself!

Instead, I showed him a number four shot!

WOW! Kentucky put a sweet ending to an otherwise bitter disappointment of a season! One thing is sure, I will be hunting back in Kentucky again next spring! (Lord willing)

Post oak


AWF Press Release – Wild Game Cookoff

Alabama Wildlife Federation


Contact:  Marla Ruskin at 1-800-822-9453



April 29, 2013

Alabama Black Belt Adventures Win Best Overall at Tri-County Wild Game Cook-Off

House Cured Wild Hog with Jalapeno Cheese Balls, Seafood Gumbo and Spring Turkey Salad were just a few of the tasty dishes found at the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) / Alabama Army National Guard Tri-County Wild Game Cook-Off and Silent Auction last Thursday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Prattville! With 28 cook teams and over 750 members and guests in attendance, Alabama Black Belt Adventures captured the top prize of “Best Overall,” with their original House Cured Wild Hog with Jalapeno Cheese Balls.

Alabama Wildlife Federation is proud to have BlackRidge Land Company serve as the lead sponsor of five Cook-Offs to help raise funds and awareness for the conservation of Alabama wildlife and natural resources.

There is no doubt the judges had a difficult time, but in the end Alabama Black Belt Adventures, including Philip Davis, Pam Swanner, Jack Crosby, Lee Shaffer took home the top award. Kim Adams a Cook-Off judge representing Alabama Power Company stated, “This is my second year to judge this event and I love it! Some dishes are pretty creative and the skill level of the cooks is impressive. As a judge, I’ve experienced everything from catfish to bison. I can’t say I haven’t liked anything I’ve tried.”

Other winners included:

Fish Division: First Place – Marshall Design-Build, LLC including Terry Craft, Chet Marshall, Eric Robertson, Andy Davidson cooking Seafood Gumbo; Second Place – City of Millbrook/The Pines including Harold Hogan cooking Crappie Cakes with Pico De Mayo; Third Place – CoOp Cut Ups including Kirk Green, Jimmy Sims, Steve Baker, Randy Raines cooking Southern Bayou Pie.

Fowl Division: First Place – CoOp Cut Ups including Kirk Green, Jimmy Sims, Steve Baker, Randy Raines cooking Spring Turkey Salad; Second Place – Wildlife Trends including Andy Whitaker, Allen Deese, Larry Crisp, Pete Russell cooking Quail Gumbo; Third Place – Marshall Design-Build, LLC including Terry Craft, Chet Marshall, Eric Robertson, Andy Davidson cooking Shrimp Stuffed Duck.

Game Division: First Place – Alabama Black Belt Adventures including Philip Davis, Pam Swanner, Jack Crosby, Lee Shaffer cooking House Cured Wild Hog with Jalapeno Cheese Balls; Second Place – Peppertree Pit Crew including Jeff Verner, Drew Bass, Donnie Watkins cooking Donut Venison Bacon Cheeseburger; Third Place – Bullish Flavor including Matt Burns, Lance Brown, Todd Brown, Billy Atkins cooking BBQ Venison Sliders.

The Alabama Army National Guard People’s Choice Award went to Southern Orthopaedic Surgeons, LLC. The 1st Place Presentation Award went to CoOp Cutups, while Marshall Design-Build, LLC received Runner-Up.

In addition to the great food, there was a silent auction, raffle and entertainment provided by Sam Marsal. Guests also enjoyed the Firestone Racing Simulator sponsored by Gipson’s Tires and a little golf pitching competition sponsored by TrustMark.

The purpose of AWF Wild Game Cook-Offs is to supply a place for AWF members to interact, for non-members to learn more about AWF, and to provide the opportunity to raise funds to support AWF and its programs and projects.  The Cook-Offs also demonstrate that sportsmen/women utilize the wild game and fish they harvest and cook it with care, skill and expertise to produce great table fare.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization.  The mission of the AWF, a 501©3 non-profit group supported by membership dues and donations, is to promote conservation and wise use of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources as a basis for economic and social prosperity.  To learn more about AWF, including membership details, programs and projects, call 1-800-822-WILD or visit