Upcoming Outdoor Events To Help You Get Through The Summer!


The Quest for one of these starts with the right mix of location, preparation, and luck! start now! ~postoak~

IT was over 100 degrees when I climbed in my truck to go home after another day at the office. It must have been about 72 in my office right after lunch and I was starting to sweat! …. Well, just kidding!

I used to work outside many years ago and it was tough in the summer heat! I did air conditioning and electrical work and the summers were brutal! Our work load was always heavy and every day or two we had some extra emergency repair work that pushed us into a ten or twelve hour day. I remember coming home to the cold AC and a cold beverage and relaxing by thinking about how many more days it would be until Labor Day. Labor day was our official close to summer atleast in our minds. Even though we still had plenty of hot weather repairs to perform, the worst of the summer was over! Every year we had an end to summer celebration and often we had a BBQ or fish fry to symbolically bury the old “heat monster” with a big cooler of iced “products” and the feel that hunting season was almost here brought grins to most of us.

We had a lease over over 1600 hundred acres of river bottom land and our annual pursuit for the biggest buck got underway the week after labor day. At that time, there were no trail cams in common use and we relied on scouting to determine what our chances might be for taking the best buck on the property before our fellow members did. Trails, tracks, browse lines, early season rubs and plain old observations by spending time up in the box stands and tree stands were the standards for finding bucks and figuring a pattern that might bring you in bow range early in October.

I was not the most ardent bow hunter back then, after working in the heat all week the last thing I wanted to do was to sit in the hot woods of an early fall day and try to spot a buck in the heavy cover of the full foliage out in the bottom land woods. Spotting deer in the pine hills is much easier than the hardwood bottoms and the mosquitos, snakes, biting flies, gnats were all a real hassle in the scouting processes of the “old days” of the sixties, seventies and even the eighties.

In the early nineties, I bought my first trail cam and it cost over $300. I put it out on our lease pointing down a good trail and when I came back later to retrieve it since you had to take it back home and download to your PC, I thought I had lost it. But, after more than an hour, and spotting boot tracks in the mud, I realized it had been stolen! I was so mad, I waited two years to buy another and the price had dropped to less than $200. I use a small cable with a lock for extra theft protection, but as best I could tell, no one ever tried to steal it. I did get a photo of the two crooks who stole my ladder stand as they walked by the trail cam’s location and I thought it would be enough evidence to get them prosecuted. The local deputy advised me that I was watching too much TV if I thought I could get a prosecution from a trail cam photo and that was the last of that issue and my $300. double ladder stand!

Oh well, I have lost, misplaced, worn out and had stolen, more outdoor gear than I can even remember ! The upside to that is that I have the money to buy new outdoor stuff! And each summer there are several great outdoor expo events to enjoy, buy new gear, book new places to hunt, meet new people and have some more good times in the outdoors! I am ready for fall but, first I am ready forthe big outdoor shows of summer to help me get through to another fall in the great Alabama Outdoors!


The Alabama Gun Collectors Summer show will be at the BJCC on July 12th and 13th in a show that has more guns for sale than you can see in most places and the show’s theme for this date is Guns of the Cowboy Era. Check out the following link for more information! http://www.algca.org/showdates.html

The 31st Annual World Deer Expo is coming to the BJCC in Birmingham July 17th, 18th and 19th and it is an absolute monster of a show! Gear Guns, Hunting Trips,Outdoor Celebrities and more will be found there again this year! For more info check out;http://worlddeerexpo.com/

Hopefully you will get to enjoy one or both of these July events to help you cope with the long hot Alabama Summer and help you make it to another fall hunting season!



Hunting Lease info is Here!


Time to find a big buck is by finding a good lease, or a good club! Links to those below! ~PostOak~


I just leased my second tract of hunting rights for next spring’s turkey season and I am always left wondering ” Did I lease too soon?”  The real answer is that I will never know.

Every Year, I lease turkey rights from two or three smaller deer clubs or I join a club that offers turkey memberships only. The process has worked well for me over that period but, I always “second guess” my choices. Some years more than others. My latest lease is in east Alabama about 75 miles from my house and I swore I would not exceed my 60 mile self imposed range. Time and gas burned both take a toll on me since I am far from being a “jake” or the proverbial “Spring Chicken”. My mind tells my body to do things like I did in the past but, my body says “not happening!”

This East Alabama lease also cost me more than I intended to pay and it seems like everything but, my salary is in an upward flight faster than a covey of quail used to leave from underfoot back when you could actually find them! So I now have reluctantly agreed to a couple of new leases to go with an older one that I keep swearing to myself I am going to get out of ! Is this the symptoms of an addiction?!? I think I know the answer but, don’t want to verbalize it! Anyway, I only got just so many Springs and Falls to enjoy the hunting experience that I am sure I have spent my money wisely even if my common sense says otherwise.

You say you have not gotten your lease yet? not even joined a hunting club for this upcoming season?!? Then friend, you are MISSING OUT!  Check out a few of these web sites and spend some money to join a club or lease a tract of hunting land for your own! The dollar is getting worth less every day and your money is shrinking!

http://www.afoa.org/hunt.htm -AFOA is a great site and has listings for hunting tract leases and current hunting clubs looking for members.

http://www.plumcreek.com/recreation/hunting -is another timber company with a few leases left around the state. They had a bunch early this year but, many are now gone.

http://www.westerveltwildlife.com/hunting-leases/lease-services.cfm is a huge land holding company with leases and hunting membship information for many clubs in West Central Alabama.

http://www.rayonierhunting.com/ is another good resource for hunting leases around BAMA and may have just what you are looking for!

http://resourcemgt.com/hunting-and-recreation/AL/350/AP-185 Resource Management generally has tracts to lease and sometimes hunting clubs looking for members.

If you are looking for an out of state lease, this next one is in Missouri and I have no info as to how good it is but, the prices are not bad all! http://www.saracinifarms.com/recreation/hunting-leases/

Find your place to hunt soon so you will be set for the fall season! Life is short you need to hunt more than you do! You know it, so what are you waiting for?




An Outdoor Dad is a Special Blessing!

Double Bucks in Greene County! Velvets up and antlers growing!! ~Postoak~


With today being father’s day, I am often reminded of the blessings I received because my dad was an “outdoors loving” dad! If there was any type of hunting in season, we were in pursuit! Except doves, Daddy would not shoot a dove and always chastised us for wanting to shoot doves. He said the dove was special ever since the days of Noah’s ark and they should not be killed. Us boys respected that until we got old enough to hunt alone and then we figured if everyone else was going to shoot them, a few more from us wouldn’t hurt. Daddy later found out and all he said was “don’t bring any home”. So we always gave ours away or grilled them at a  friends house.

All other games animals however, did not enjoy the “untouchable status” of the dove and daddy was truly an outdoorsman of some renoun in our area of west Alabama. He killed on the biggest and perhaps very first deer killed in Tuscaloosa county when they reintroduced deer to the area in the 1930s. He and his hunting buddy, Bill Wedgeworth, were hunting rabbits early in the fall that year when a nice 10 point buck jumped up out of a brush pile where the beagles were sniffing. Both Daddy and Bill were expecting a rabbit when the big buck exploded from the cover!  Daddy said they were both momentarily stunned since there were no deer in that part of Alabama at that time, having all been killed out by market hunters and depression desperate families. All they ever found to hunt back then was squirrels and rabbits, with rabbits being the preferred meat so it was their main prey at that time.

Well, when the buck jumped up he ran to the crest of the hill, about 50 yards away and then stopped and looked back. Big Mistake! Daddy sent a 22 long rifle into the bucks right eye and he dropped in his tracks! For some reason, back then everyone would cut the deer’s throat so it could “bleed out” and they told us that would make the meat taste better. So daddy got out his pocket knife when he reached the old buck and laid down his 22 rifle. He straddled the deer, reached down and picked the deer’s head up and about that time the old buck proved he was far from dead!

Daddy intinctively grabbed hold of the buck’s antlers and it took off down the hill side stumbling and falling into trees and bleating at the top of his lungs! Daddy was yelling at Bill to shoot him! and Bill was yelling back “I can’t! I might hit you!” Daddy said he still had the small pocket knife in his left hand and he proceeded to stick it in the buck’s neck several times until the old deer collapsed about 75 yards from where the wild ride began! I would have loved to have been there! But that was 25 years before my birth. I did hear the story over and over on many camping trips my dad carried me on. Along with a “ton” of other strories of his hunting and fishing adventures in his youth.

Daddy loved to camp, hike, hunt and fish. He loved to just go down on the farm and work on cleaning the  woodlines around the pastures, fixing fences, making swings and benches at random places on our farm for us to enjoy the solitude you can only find in nature.

I miss my dad, I miss camping, and I miss the solitude he taught me to savor. This morning in Sunday School, everyone was talking about their dads, I sat in the corner and enjoyed the memories of mine!

Take your children outdoors and teach them to enjoy the peace and grandeur of the wonders in nature. None of us, I believe can show our children a better glimpse of real beauty and a little bit of heaven.  Hope it is a great day up there dad!


Now Is a Good Time to Hunt Hogs, But…

Feral hogs! ain't nothin' pretty about em' ~postoak~

June and July is a like being stranded in a desert for us hunters. Just a stretch of 61 days to sweat it out until August when we can start to really get ready for the fall hunting season.

There is one species to hunt in the summer and that is hogs! They are multiplying at an alarming rate across central Alabama and you could do a great service to your own hunting tract as well as others that join you by taking some hogs off the property. Hunting, day or night, over piles of corn, by using hog traps, hog dogs, whatever! Just do your part and make a start, by killing some of these destructive swine!

Did you know that hogs are carriers of over 30 deseases and host to 37 different parasites??! They have infected livestock, people, our dogs and can be deadly to domestic swine through the transmitting of brucellosis. A feral hog’s blood, meat, feces and urine can all infect humans with the brucellosis bacterium. While there have been only a dozen or so confirmed cases in Alabama over the past few years, Just as sure as the hog population is rising, you can bet the number of cases will rise as well. Yet, I see hunters that lay on hogs for photos after the hunt, they butcher the hogs without using latex gloves and take other chances that are just not necessary to take! Now I have eaten wild pigs on various ocassions over the past 30 plus years and had no problems other than eating too much when it is good BBQ. But, in my younger days, I took some risks in handling game animals that I will not take anymore. Shoot some Hogs, But! be careful in handling them until they are cooked!

Have you seen the deer hunting season updates for this upcoming season? there are a number of them! Including extending deer season in more counties across south Alabama from the south side of US Highway 80. This will include most counties with the exception of some parts of Henry, Houston, Russell and Lee counties. When the new season dates info is posted on the ALDCNR web site, I will post it on an upcoming weekly blog.

If you want to get an alligator tag this year it will cost you more! The tags are free but, the application fee has gone from $5. to $20. to cover the costs to the conservation department as they administer the alligator hunting season. Gators also have to be a minimum of 8 feet long. The deadline to apply for an alligator hunting permit is July 16th and will now be limited to one application onstead of being able to make multiple applications.there will only only be 50 tags issued for the west central zone.

In other changes they have passed a new rule for trappers to be able to trap raccoon and opossums year round. This is good since these two omnivorous critters are also spreading due to lack of predators and hunting. They both kill birds and various reptiles in large numbers so to reduce the population is a good thing. Raccoons are particularly detrimental to birds, amphibians and reptiles, consuming many eggs each year. Not to mention the association of raccons and deseases such as rabies being transmitted to pets who have not been properly vaccinated.

Watch for news about the Birmingham World Deer Expo coming next month! It is a good way to enjoy some “hunting” fun in the middle of these long hot summers!

Post Oak….. Outdoors..


Some Got Away

Post Oak with a swamp buck

Hunting memories, Some get away! So make plenty while you can! ~postoak~

I recently purchased turkey rights to a tract of land and it was near a property I hunted about twenty years ago. I had posted an ad wishing to purchase turkey rights and when the young man called who hold the lease called me, I immediately started to work towards getting the “deal done” and got just a little frustrated when he postponed our meeting several times over a six week period.  I was a bit concerned when I finally met him, as he did not represent himself all that well and left me considering opting out before we even got to the property. Things are however, not always how you envision them and I have dealt with a wide range of folks while leasing properties through the last 40 plus years. When we got to the property and I saw the location was near my old lease, I knew it was a lease I had to take a chance on. The old property was 2200 acres of the best turkey hunting I have had the pleasure of enjoying over a six year period and this property was 500 acres less than a quarter mile from the border of the “old tract”.

The new property may be too near the rural suburbs that have sprung up around the area but, The row crop fields had numerous turkey tracks in the plowed ground and I found a couple of dusting beds as well. Knowing how the area used to be covered with gobblers, I jumped on in and paid the guy on the spot. I knew I would later second guess my decision but, It was one of those questions that won’t be answered until next spring. Sometimes you just got to take a chance before something “gets away”.

When I was informed the club I was in back then was giving up the hunting rights on the 2200 tract, I bid on it but, lost out to a more agressive bidder. I told myself the money they paid was far too much and that they would release it after a year or two. Now after twenty years, they still have it and are happy with the amount they paid!

Hunting leases are priced ridiculously high in my opinion but, others are paying the high prices and glad to get the leases. I was wrong before in my estimate of what others will pay so I let a couple of properties get away, that if I had a chance to bid on them again, they would be some of my favorite places.

Some get away! Whether it is good hunting properties, good hunting club memberships, good hunting trip opportunities, or any number of events that looking back, I let some get away and was wrong to do so. As I have gotten older, price is not as big an issue in the overall scheme of my hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, having the time and physical fitness to take advantage of my outdoor opportunities are the biggest obstacles to overcome in my quest for another great day outdoors to make memories.

Yes, sometimes the game or fish we are attempting to take do get away, but to tell you the truth, some of my best hunting and fishing memories are of the ones that got away! The big buck that I missed,  or opted to not take a shot at, or even worse, hit solid but, he still got away. Several old gobblers that I worked different mornings of various spring seasons that just did not come in close enough for a shot. A huge crappie I nearly “had in the boat”  that would be on my wall now before he straightenend out the wire hook over in Brush creek back in the 1970s. A largemouth that was easily over 10 lbs that my brother had in the net for me one morning on the Tombigbee river but, it gave a mighty heave and jumped through a hole in the side torn open by a bowfin earlier that morning.

Even though many hunting memories are of the ones who got away. They are still sweet! The “Some Got Away” I really hate is making the choice to not take that trip, not join that club, not lease that land. Not to  take advantage of the  opportunites that fade quickly in our short stay in this glorious place. I am of course talking about the OUTDOORS..


Summer is a great time for learning about Alabama’s Mammals

Mammals of Alabama, a new book that would make some great summer reading for any animal lover!

As that country song from a few years back stated, It is too hot to fish, too hot for golf and all the hunting seasons are gone, or something like that! Summer time is here and most of us hunters are marking calendars to the start of dove season, squirrel season, bow season, or some kind of hunting season.

ANY kind of hunting season is a welcomed diversion to help us “hunt-a-holic” types scratch the itch until we get through these 100 + days  that separate us from the fall hunting seasons.

I do some predator hunting at times, last year I shot hogs twice with some hog hunters and that was fun, but just too dang hot and sticky, even hunting at night ! I think that may be in part to me being of those “office dweller” types and just can’t stand the heat like I used to. I know it can’t be related to my age since I will only be a young”senior citizen of 60 years on my next birthday.

I have always found  trap, sporting clays shooting to be a very good outlet for my need to smell some gunpowder burn It is lots of fun and has given my sons and me a neat time to spend with each other.I bought a spring loaded trap thrower that really works well. Check out my friends over at Bass Pro in Prattville and they can show you how to have some fun “bustin clays”. For youngsters it is a great way to teach markmanship and gun safety. Be sure to wear hearing and eye protection gear!

We have access to a small piece of property out in Autauga county a friend owns and we have enjoyed several recent ventures. My boys also recently went to the indoor range in Montgomery and said it was really fun for pistol practice. It is located on the east side of town on Carmichael and is open 7 days a week. A buddy who is a retired law enforcement office told me last Sunday that he has been out to the Montgomery indoor shooting complex and it is a very nice place with a friendly staff of folks to help make your time spent there a fun and safe shooting venue. http://www.montgomeryindoorshooting.com/

Summertime is also good for reading and research to step up your performance and knowledge of the flora and fauna around Alabama. It is interesting the amount of outdoor knowledge you can gain by studying a good book written from field observations and research conducted by the very smart people who have graduated from both Alabama and Auburn. They may be rivals in many ways but, they really do work well on collaborative efforts to produce some great works about the plants and animals that make our state on of the richest in the diversity of any state, for your copy, contact www.uapress.ua.edu  or  jdwilson@uapress.ua.edu.


Hopefully, between some fresh water fishing trips, a beach trip and some gulf fishing in August, or sooner, the summer will not be too bad. I think I just got a new NWTF turkey magazine that will help me make it a few more days…






Looking For a Place to Hunt this Fall?

Every year since I started doing this blog, I have gotten emails from folks asking me about finding a place to hunt. Several years ago I started saving links to various web sites that offer contacts for joining a hunting club or finding a tract of hunting property for lease. Since this is one of the best times to take a look at finding a new spot to lease or a new club to join hope you find one or more of these useful. And, if you find a real good place where they need a turkey hunter, send me an email!

http://www.aldeer.com/forum/ The Aldeer website is one of my favorite to interact with other hunters, find a club, trade, buy, sell, outdoor stuff and swap stories and photos with other hunters and fisherman around Alabama. It is a great site!

http://www.plumcreek.com/recreation/lease-land is a land leasing company offering tracts in alabama and other states across the country. They also have a search option where you can find clubs looking for members by state. I just found 8 clubs in Alabama seeking members on this site today!

http://www.afoa.org/hunt.htm Alabama Forest Owners Association is another great in state resource to find hunting tracts for lease and hunting clubs to join. Some good local parcels are listed so if your want to have your own lease this is a great site to check out.

http://www.westerveltwildlife.com/hunting-leases/lease-services.cfm For those who like to hunt the west side of the state, including some great blackbelt counties, Westervelt Wildlife corp. has thousands of acres and often have a number of tract you can lease! They also have a listing of clubs seeking members for the upcoming season complete with phone numbers for the club contact.

http://alabamahuntclubs.com/index.php This site has a county by county listing of hunting clubs seeking members all around the state. A good many in our local area is listed. Might be just waht you are looking for!

Hope you are able to use this information to get a membership or lease a tract of alabama Hunting Land this fall to bag a great buck or just go outdoors and have some great fun in the great outdoors of Alabama!







Success Next Hunting Season Begins NOW


The time to look for a beautiful tract of hunting land or a good hunting club to join is NOW! Don't wait! ~postoak~

We have all heard the various sayings and cliches such as success in 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Or, the one that says successis defined by preparation and talent.I like to think a good hunter has some talent for the sport but, the preparation and planning, strategizing and execution of the plan are what sets the good hunters apart from the guys who still get excited when a spike walks by.

Hunting preparation’s first task is to have a good place to hunt. This time of year is the time to address that part of your hunting plan for next fall unless you are one of a dwindling, lucky few who owns their own hunting property and has the resources to manage it well and through your “dilligence and dollars” you are set for many seasons to come.

Most of us are not lucky enough to have a big tract of good hunting land or even a small tract of good hunting land. I own a couple of  very small tracts in west Alabama but my relatives consider that I live over here so they “hunt it like they own it”. That used to drive my Dad crazy and I always told him there is nothing you could do unless you want to make your kin folks hate you and I prefer not to do that!

I am fortunate that I have some relative who own a very nice farm in Tuscaloosa County and I get to go over to hunt and fish whenever I want. To me, that is almost better than owning a piece of land. The two pieces I own just cost me money to pay the taxes and keep them bushhogged! There is a good solution however, lease a tract for hunting or join a hunting club. I used to prefer to lease a tract and have my own place to hunt but, now that I am older, my desire to plant greenfields and clear access roads is not as strong as it was just a few years ago.

The past 10 years I have leased turkey hunting tracts from deer hunters who hold the general lease and that has worked well. I am looking to do that again for 2015 spring season. This last season I did join a club as well to turkey hunt and was mildly surprised by how well I enjoyed hunting with a few other turkey hunters and everyone displayed good hunting etiquette and were alll gracious to share. IF you can find a good club where folks are nice, a club can be a great way to find quality hunting and lead you to a succesful deer and turkey season.

THE KEY IS TO START LOOKING NOW FOR A GOOD HUNTING CLUB. The better ones have few openings and they generally have a waiting list or they fill up fast. Start checking out local papers, The Bulletin Board, Craigslist and bulletin boards at local sporting goods stores. All are good resources to help you find a club to join that could spell success in taking a trophy buck or gobbler in the 2014-15 Alabama Hunting seasons.

Next week, I will list some other resources and ways to get your own tract of hunting property or find a good hunting club. Don’t wait until late summer! Most hunting leases are quickly coming up for renewal and club leaders are looking for Paid members now!


2014 Turkey Season was a Good One!

Postoak with a late season gobbler in 2014 ~postoak~
















Today wrapped up my last hunt of the spring turkey season and I must say this season was a good one for me. I took 4 Alabama Gobblers and a huge Kentucky Gobbler. The highlight of the season was my grandaughter taking her first gobbler in a very exciting hunt where we were over-ran by 9 or 10 birds with about 6 or 7 of them being some very agressive Jakes who were fighting with the big gobbler as he “slugged” his was up the hill to our position. Even after she shot him we found that he had a feather from one of the other birds clenched in his beak when we inspected him!

There were also some great stories many of you sent me or posted on FB that were extremely enjoyable and showed some great turkey footage from around the country of gobblers showing off for the camera and doing some “kung fu” moves on decoys and each other as they came to the hunters for the “final show”. My nephew killed a great mulitple bearded bird that he has sent to the taxidermist and I have my grandaughter’s in the freezer awaiting transport to Capps Taxidermist over in Demopolis. Other gobblers I have clipped feathers off for the NWTF Jakes Day event we will have in Fort Toulouse this June.

The Jakes event is a great one to introduce kids to the sport of hunting and to the great work the NWTF and it’s volunteers around the country do each year to benefit all wildlife, not just the wild turkey. I am always pleased to see the enthusiasm exhibited by all the young folks who come out each year to enjoy the event. We are looking for event sponsors who would like to donate to make the event a success again this year. The NWTF donations are tax deductable as we are a 501 C3 organization dedicated to conservation and preservation of wildlife and the hunting heritage. Please email me if you want to know more about the event or how you can donate- postoakman@gmail.com is my email address and i would like to hear from you!

Another organization that is working to help improve Alabama’s wildlife is the Department of conservation – http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/ Commissioner Gunter Guy, Deputy Commisioner Curtis Jones, Director Chuck Sikes and Ray Metzler, the acting Chief of the Wildlife and fisheries section have a number of updates on activities they have underway to improve our hunting future. Check out the information that have to make you a better informed sportsman in the great Alabama Outdoors!

This old Gobbler is "resting in the clover" as his season is over. Mine too! ~postoak~



~postoak~ OUTDOORS

Turkey Season is Almost Gone!


Season's Best Alabama Gobbler taken by my granddaughter! ~postoak~

The 2014 Alabama spring turkey season  will be history in 10 more days, now I am always sad to see it go but, this one has not been one of my best so I can live with it!

On the plus side, I got to enjoy a new tract of hunting land that is 4600 acres of pretty fair property. The down side was the timber company thought it was a good piece of logging land and they stayed on it the entire turkey season making a lot of noise and destroying things as the most often do. But, everybodys got to make a living and I know paper is a very vital commodity so I just live with it and get along with them.I met some good fellow hunters who were nice guys to help me learn the “lay of the land” and of course the best part of the season was I called in my granddaughter a big gobbler for her first turkey! Although that one is going to cost me over $600. to get the big tom mounted so she can have one like “her pop pop” has mounted in the den.. Well, maybe she will still have it long after I am hunting those “gobblers in glory” and remember with fondness the great experience we shared that perfect spring morning!

Another good thing was I got to take a couple of gobblers, so far just one in Alabama, a feisty 2 year old who came in gobbling and strutting like the king of the spring woods he was trying to become. The gobbler I took in Kentucky was an old 4 year old 27 lb heavy weight with one broken spur and another one that was an inch and a half of sharp, fighting tool. He came in slow and proud in a full strut that he would not break out of even when I tried several times to get him putted up for a clean head shot. I finally took a focused aim and laid him low without doing any unintended damage so I was very happy to have my Kentucky trophy for the year. The 2 year old that I called in the last monring there was fun to make gobble and I took delight in making him gobble many times as he answered every cluck and purr I gave, even when he was 10 yards away!

Well, If my season stands on what has already gone by, that is ok. But, who knows? I will conitnue to get out in the spring woods a few more days then sit back and wait for 2015. I can do it!