Apiary Opening Is Highlight of Festival
About 300 guests visited the Alabama Nature Center on April 14 for the Plants and Pollinators Arts Festival in Millbrook. The highlight of the event was the grand opening of the Alan Johns & Anne Gunderson Apiary with live demonstrations and honey tasting and extraction from the beehives on site. The ANC beekeeper, Kristen Irions (at left), led several fascinating demonstrations throughout the day. Kristen also collects the “Lanark Honey” sold at the Center.
Festival Day also included plant and gardening demonstrations, specialty vendors and the annual Lanark Plant Sale. Fred Bassett shared a hummingbird demonstration, Donny Tomlin presented a Japanese maple grafting demo and Maria Pacheco-West taught visitors about composting. Continue reading
Quail Forever Visits Black Belt
During the final week of February, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources brought together some of the top experts in quail habitat restoration to the region for a first of its kind discussion about the livelihood of the Northern Bobwhite Quail both regionally and nationally – and to discuss the importance of quail hunting as a viable economic development tool for the rural communities.
ALBBAA hosted the top leadership of Quail Forever, a national quail conservation organization, as well as their media team. Joining the group were other outdoor media from outlets such as Realtree, Land Leader TV and Covey Rise magazine. They experienced our quail hunting opportunities first-hand and enjoyed our Southern hospitality.
Big Buck Contest Prize Deadline Approaches
We have a spirited competition going on for a couple more weeks in our Big Buck Photo Contest on Facebook. More than 70 photos are in the running for a prize package worth more than $3,000! The deadline is Feb. 14 – the Wednesday following the end of the 2017-18 deer season on Feb. 10.
Thanks to some great Alabama Black Belt vendors – and some from outside the region – the prize is one of the most attractive we’ve had in our six years of spotlighting the great deer hunting we have in our 23 counties. The prizes awaiting the hunter whose photo gets the most “likes” on our Facebook page are an Alabama Hog Control Thermal Hog Hunt for three, a Winchester XPR 270-caliber rifle from Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Selma, a $300 cash donation from The Management Advantage in Helena, an American Hunter 200-pound Tri-Pod Feeder and a $50 gift card from Rountree Outdoors in Selma, a $250 cash donation from the Southeastern Land Group and a Lifetime Alabama Wildlife Heritage License. Continue reading
Big Buck Contest Prize Now Worth $3,000
Alabama Black Belt vendors have joined in our effort to bring attention to hunting in the region by contributing to our Big Buck Photo Contest prize package, which brings its total value to more than $3,000!
The new prize package for the contest, which started with the opening of bow season in October and runs until February 14, 2018, a week after this season’s close:
- An Alabama Hog Control Thermal Hog Hunt for three, valued at $1,800. alabamahogcontrol.com
- A Winchester XPR 270-caliber rifle from Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Selma, valued at $550. Facebook.com/centralfarmerscoop
- A $300 cash donation from The Management Advantage in Helena. themanagementadvantage.com
- An American Hunter 200-pound Tri-Pod Feeder, valued at $129, plus a $50 gift card from Rountree Outdoors in Selma. rountreeoutdoors.com
- A $250 cash donation from the Southeastern Land Group. selandgroup.com
More Bowhunting Acreage Available
The 1,500-acre East Zone addition to the Forever Wild Land Trust’s Old Cahawba Prairie Tract in Dallas County is now available for bowhunting each Thursday through Sunday until Feb. 10, 2018. No gun deer hunting will be allowed, but bow and arrow, crossbow and spear hunting is allowed.
Gun deer hunting is permitted on the tract’s West Zone, but it is limited to shotgun with slugs or muzzleloader. Bowhunting is also allowed within the West Zone.
When in season, other hunting opportunities on the Old Cahawba Prairie Tract include feral swine, waterfowl and Eastern wild turkey. Continue reading
Big Buck Facebook Photo Contest launches
With the opening of deer archery season on Oct. 14, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is launching its sixth annual Big Buck Photo Contest on Facebook. The contest runs through the entire 2017-18 deer season. This year’s winner will receive a lifetime Alabama Wildlife Heritage license, which offers great benefits to Alabama hunters and helps manage lands and sustain habitats for the many species in our state.
“We are incredibly honored to sponsor such a fun contest again this year,” said Pam Swanner, executive director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association. “We love seeing people who are encouraged to venture outdoors for hunting – especially those who may not have hunted in the Black Belt before. We usually get a lot of entries from young people on our Facebook page and it’s exciting to see our great hunting tradition being carried forward and passed down from generation to generation.” Continue reading
Celebrate National Hunting & Fishing Day
The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is proud to play host to a press conference on Sept. 19 in advance of Saturday, Sept. 23 – National Hunting and Fishing Day. NHFD celebrates the efforts of those who hunt and fish and through their purchase of licenses pay for most fish and wildlife conservation programs.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Director Chuck Sykes will be joined at the event by Bee Frederick, ALBBAA Advisory Council member and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Southeastern States Director and William Crawford, Director of the University of Montevallo President’s Outdoor Scholars Program.
“We’re honored to play a role in National Hunting and Fishing Day,” said ALBBAA Project Director Pam Swanner. “Because the Black Belt region is such a wonderful hunting and fishing destination, it’s appropriate that we are helping put a spotlight on encouraging more people to take part in outdoors recreation.”
The press conference will be at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club (watch for more details on our Facebook page).
Watch for new ALBBAA videos
Keep your eyes out for new TV commercials from the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association featuring legendary outdoorsmen Ray Scott and Jackie Bushman airing on Raycom Media networks across the nation and online. Thanks to Dr. David Bronner these new spots, promoting outdoor recreation in Alabama’s Black Belt region, will air on 58 stations in 18 states.
Find the perfect Father’s Day gift
Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? We know where you can find it – in Alabama’s Black Belt. For the dad who has everything, pick out a one-of-a-kind hunting trip for this fall or winter provided by one of the great outfitters and lodges in the Black Belt. They offer all-inclusive services including lodging, meals, guide service and game prep. All you have to do is create lasting memories with dad. Many public hunting grounds are available in the region, as well. You can find info on all the above at this link on our website. Continue reading
Pickens County teen wins Big Gobbler Contest
Kacy Noland, an 18-year-old senior at Pickens Academy in Carrollton, is this season’s winner in the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Big Gobbler Photo Contest. The photo of Kacy’s big bird, taken on family property in Pickens County on March 25, received the most “likes” on the ALBBAA Facebook page and earned her a framed mount from Will Foster’s Taxidermy in Montgomery, valued at $150.
Kacy said she’d never forget the hunt with her father, Barrett, that produced the winning entry because it was the last turkey hunt for her for a while. During next year’s turkey season, the softball standout at Pickens Academy will be playing collegiately at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The prize-winning photo came from Kacy’s only turkey hunt all year, as well.
Hunting in the Black Belt is a family affair, Barrett Noland said. All three of his children – Kacy, 15-year-old Clark and 10-year-old Lizzie – join him on hunting trips. All three have bagged deer and the two older children have harvested turkeys, too. Clark called up a turkey on his own for the first time this year.
Make plans to bag a turkey next season in Alabama’s Black Belt! Continue reading