September 6, 2016 Newsletter
If you know a student who has a passion for the outdoors and a desire for a college degree from a great school, check out the University of Montevallo’s President’s Outdoor Scholars Program. This program – the only one in the nation like it – provides scholarships to students who have a passion for wildlife and conservation. Students can earn their degree while taking an active role in preserving our state’s natural resources and learning through outdoor classroom experiences. Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is proud to be a partner in this unique effort.
Current and future students may receive scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per year for four years as long as they maintain a 2.5 grade point average. The program’s website says, “Scholarships are made available through the UM Foundation for students who have distinguished accomplishment in outdoor sports and demonstrated a personal commitment to conservation.”
This program “serves to provide scholarships for non-traditional students as well as first-generation college students.” In its first year, the President’s Outdoor Scholars Program awarded more than $20,500 to eight students and funded several experimental learning opportunities, including a redfish fishing trip to Louisiana and a quail hunt in the Alabama Black Belt’s Soggy Bottom Lodge in Linden.
Hunt Doves on Black Belt Public Lands
Dove season in the Black Belt (except for Barbour County) begins Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 30, then from Dec. 8-Jan. 15. In Barbour County, which is counted in the South Zone, the season is Sept. 17-Sept. 25, Oct. 8-23 and Nov. 12-Jan. 15.
Lots of hunters take advantage of great deals at the many lodges in the region, but remember there are public hunting grounds located in Forever Wild Land Trust areas, Wildlife Management Areas, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Corps of Engineers lands.
Alabama also has a Hunting, Fishing and Shooting Trail for People with Physical Disabilities, with several sites in the Black Belt region. Those sites include the M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area, the Marengo Physically Disabled Hunting Area, the Prairie Creek Physically Disabled Hunting Area, the Macon State Forest Physically Disabled Hunting Area and the Turnipseed-Ikenberry Place Physically Disabled Hunting Area.
Crooked Oaks Lodge, owned by legendary Auburn University football coach Pat Dye, is an Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association partner and a great place for quail, deer and turkey hunters. Crooked Oaks is also ideal for special events, such as weddings and corporate retreats.
The Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve, located in Notasulga, offers several packages that include lodging for Auburn football weekends, cottages and “Barn Bedrooms.” Professional guides lead the hunts, and Coach Dye, who lives on the property, says he looks forward “to being your host at mealtimes, social hours and the inevitable ‘bull’ sessions.”
For more information, contact the lodge at 334-524-1593 or email email@example.com.
Bishop’s Barbeque Is a Black Belt Favorite
If you’re traveling on Alabama Highway 110 between Montgomery and Union Springs, you might want to do yourself a favor and check out Bishop’s Barbeque in the historic John E. Hall General Store. The General Store has a long history and was, until 1986, the post office for Cecil, Ala.
Now, the restaurant and general store are hoping to make history with tasty food served in the friendly, Southern style. Bishop’s serves barbecue beef brisket, pulled pork and Conecuh sausage along with sandwiches with marinated slaw, homestyle burgers and Mae’s Famous Camp Stew. You can stop by for breakfast, too, and Mom’s Poundcake is one of a kind.
Visit bishopbbq.com or call 334-270-7772. The address is 15668 Vaughn Road, Cecil, Ala. (Located on Highway 110 east of Montgomery between mile markers 11 and 12.)
Vote Yes on Amendment 2
Alabamians have a chance on Nov. 8 to ensure all the funds earned at the parks will stay with the parks. For the past five years, Alabama’s Legislature has raided the State Parks System’s budget in order to plug funding gaps for other agencies. This Amendment, if approved, would end that practice.
There are four Alabama state parks in the Black Belt – Lakepoint in Eufaula, Chewacla in Auburn, Lake Lurleen in Tuscaloosa and Blue Springs near Clio. Three others in the region were forced to close as a result of system cutbacks. Most of the money used by the parks comes from park visitor fees and payments from vendors. With the passage of Amendment 2, the parks will be able to reliably budget for the future and make much-needed renovations and repairs.
Visit the Alabama State Parks Partners website for more information, and remember to vote yes on Amendment 2!