Hunting for the Best Sporting Dogs
Hunters in the Black Belt are justifiably proud of their dogs, those who work the fields and woods with them. With these great dogs in mind, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is sponsoring another online photo contest – “Best Dogs of the Black Belt” – with the goal of putting the spotlight on the great dog hunting opportunities available in the region.
The contest is open to photos of all hunting dogs. Lap dogs are great too, but this contest is NOT for them. We want photos of dogs in the woods, on point, in action, or posing with their retrieved bird or game. Photos can include the owner or family members as a sidekick to the main star – your furry friend and hunting partner. A general snapshot of your canine in his comfy bed, hanging out on the porch or anything else other than showing off his hunting skills will not qualify.
The winner will be the photo that receives the most votes by our deadline of March 31, 2020. The top vote-getter will receive a Filson Game Mesh Vest (valued at $145) perfect for the Black Belt’s mild winter seasons and designed for upland bird and small game hunting, donated by Quail Forever, one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations, plus three varieties of Sure Shot game calls – the Yentzen Classic (the original double reed duck call), the Rascal 7-in-1 call for duck, quail and turkey hunting and the Speckle Belly Goose Call along with the LANYARD (valued at $125). Total prize package is worth $270. (Photo at left by Logan Hinners.)
Upload your entry to AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures.org/bestblackbeltdogs.
ALBBAA promotes and encourages ethical hunting and fishing practices. Its contests were created to further educate the public on the abundance of natural resources found in Alabama’s Black Belt region.
The Perfect Christmas Gift: Black Belt Bounty
The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association’s new deluxe hardcover coffee table book, Black Belt Bounty, was introduced at a November press conference at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center and is the perfect gift for anyone who loves great artwork, spellbinding prose and the Black Belt.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of ALBBAA, Black Belt Bounty is 228 pages of words and images from award-winning photographers, artists and writers – plus, it includes amazing recipes from some renowned Alabama celebrity chefs: Stacy Lyn Harris, Chris and Idie Hastings and David Bancroft.
The book can be purchased for $49.95 at AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures.org/blackbeltbountybook or at the following retail locations: 905 Gallery, Selma; Black Belt Treasures, Camden; Caliber, Homewood; Gibson’s Home Center, Union Springs; Goat Hill Museum, Montgomery; Vinson Market, Montgomery; Monroe County Museum, Monroeville; Montgomery Visitors Center; Orrville Farmer’s Market, Orrville; Sweet Creek Farm Market, Pike Road; Superior Pecans, Eufaula; and The Mustard Seed, Demopolis.
Deer Season Soon to be in Full Swing
The bowhunters have had the Alabama Black Belt woods to themselves for about a month, but gun season opens Nov. 23 – the Saturday before Thanksgiving. If you haven’t already reserved a spot at one of the great lodges in the Black Belt, there still may be time. Just visit our website at this link to find a lodge or outfitter that interests you.
Bow Season Is Upon Us
The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that it’s going to be just a little warmer than normal this October, so you bow hunters need to remember to hydrate because starting Oct. 15, it’s time to hit the woods. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources splits the Black Belt into two hunting zones, but both start bow season on Oct. 15.
Check the map, if you’re not sure (www.outdooralabama.com/deer-season), but generally the northern portions of several Black Belt counties are in Zone A. Bow season in Zone A is Oct. 15-Feb. 10. In the southern counties – Zone B – the first 10 days of the season (Oct. 15-Oct. 24) are for antlered bucks only. Either sex deer are in season for bow hunters from Oct. 25 until Feb. 10.
ALBBAA Founder Earns Top Honor
Thomas A. Harris of Montgomery, the founder and chairman of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, has been honored as the Conservationist of the Year in the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s 2019 Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards.
Mr. Harris worked to create the ALBBAA to spotlight the wonderful outdoor activities available in the Black Belt region of the state, to ensure outdoor tourism was a leading economic driver for the area. In order for his idea to take hold, landowners in the Black Belt had to make conservation a priority and with his leadership – and that of others – they have.
Fine Fishing Spots Abound in Black Belt
Many of us have spent quality time in Alabama’s beautiful Black Belt forests in pursuit of turkeys and deer or quail and then retired to a relaxing cabin or lodge to relive the memories. But we can also think of no better places to spin some fish tales than in the Black Belt.
There are lots of lodges that offer great fishing spots in the Black Belt. Just visit our Outfitters and Lodges page on our website to find one that suits your needs. You can also stay on public waters and haul in plenty of fish – and big ones at that!
For example, Lakepoint State Park on the “Bass Capital of the World” Lake Eufaula is an amazing spot for the serious angler as well as for the casual outdoorsperson who wants to spend some time with the family. Lakepoint offers a full-service restaurant and lounge, a marina, hiking trails, a modern campground (with 192 improved campsites), tennis courts, a swimming complex and playgrounds. You can book a room in the Lakepoint Resort Lodge and Convention Center or make reservations for one of the 29 cabins or 10 lakeside cottages. Handicap-accessible and dog-friendly units are available, too.
Roland Cooper State Park, 285 Deer Run Drive in Camden, offers some of the best fishing in southwest Alabama on the Dannelly Reservoir – probably best known as Millers Ferry. The park provides great boat launching facilities. There are five furnished, two-bedroom cabins at Roland Cooper.
Make Your Turkey Hunt a Success
Now that the spring turkey season is in full swing, it’s a great time to refresh yourself with some great turkey hunting tips. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Ron Eakes wrote a comprehensive article about the steps necessary to bag a big gobbler.
Click on the photo for a video from OutdoorAlabama.com by Ron Jolly on sighting your shotgun, a critical step in preparing for a successful hunt. And, here are a few of the great tips from Ron’s article that should pay off once you’re in the woods.
Because wild turkeys have such keen vision, camouflage is almost a must to avoid being seen. This normally includes a camo suit, cap, facemask and gloves. Don’t forget to wear dark colored socks so that they don’t show when you sit down. Always remember: Controlling movement is most important regardless of how well you are camouflaged.
Notasulga Third-Grader Wins Big Buck Photo Contest
The seventh annual Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Big Buck Photo Contest drew more than 8,500 votes this year, with Brolen Hornsby of Notasulga emerging as the winner. The 9-year-old third-grader at Reeltown Elementary attracted 2,238 votes in the contest that ran throughout the 2018-19 deer season on the ALBBAA website. His buck was taken on Camp Creek Hunting Club property in Lowndes County.
“Once again, we’re happy that our contest was able to spotlight some of the great hunting opportunities we have in the Black Belt,” said Pam Swanner, executive director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association. “Brolen and the many other young people whose photos were entered in our contest show that there’s a bright future for hunting in the region. It’s a great family activity that builds lifelong memories.”
The 169-pound, 5-point buck was Brolen’s first. He bagged a doe last season, said his father, Brandon Hornsby. “He is beyond excited to win,” Hornsby said. “He told me he couldn’t believe how many people had voted for him.” Brolen’s family shared his entry on their social media channels and heard from people from Wyoming, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Kansas and Colorado who said they had voted for him. Continue reading
The Flush TV Features Black Belt’s Quail Hunting
The Flush, airing on the Outdoor Channel, spotlighted wingshooting at its best in Alabama. You’ll be inspired to flush a covey while quail are still in season as you watch the show that made us proud! (Check it out atop our video links page here.)
Quail season on public lands runs through Feb. 28 while the season on preserves ends on March 31. Visit our website at alabamablackbeltadventures.org/outfitters-lodges and view the “quail” column to see which outfitters provide this experience. Several styles of the gentleman’s adventure are offered; from the traditional mule drawn wagons, horseback, quail buggies, to walking the sagebrush terrain. We hope to see you soon!
If you have an interest in quail conservation join up with the Alabama Black Belt Chapter of Quail Forever by emailing Justin Clark at email@example.com or the Tombigbee River Chapter by emailing Sydney Broadway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Continue reading
Last-Minute Black Belt Gift Ideas
Time is running out for procrastinators with an unfilled Christmas list. Never fear, we have some ideas for you that will make the outdoors person in your life happy on Christmas morning.
Click on this link for lots of Made in the Black Belt gifts, such as Mama Nem’s Pepper Jelly, made at the Rural Heritage Center in Thomaston. The jelly comes in 4- and 8-ounce jars and is made from red or green peppers.
You can also make your favorite hunter happy with a lifetime hunting or fishing license – or just purchase their license for them for a year. You can learn all about the many options at this link.
Gift cards from some of the food and beverage establishments in the Black Belt are great stocking stuffers. Visit our BBQ & Brews page for a list of some of the best places to stop while traveling through the Black Belt. Continue reading