February 2017 Newsletter: Troy Teen Wins Contest

Troy Teen Wins Big Buck Photo Contest

Congratulations to 15-year-old Graci Williams of Troy, this year’s Big Buck Photo Contest winner! The Charles Henderson High School student bagged a 9-point buck on family property in Pike County. The buck was the largest taken on the land all season.

Graci wins a $100 gift card from Bass Pro Shops as the winner of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association’s fifth annual Big Buck Photo Contest. This season’s contest drew 33 entries from 14 of the 23 Black Belt counties and a total of more than 2,000 votes.

The winning deer was the second buck and fourth deer that Graci has harvested, according to her father, D.J. Williams. He was accompanying his daughter on the hunt. “When she pulled the trigger, it fell like a sack of bricks,” he said. “I don’t think in over 25 years of hunting I’ve ever shot one myself that fell so fast.”

Graci, who spends a lot of time playing travel, recreation and high school softball, called taking the 9-point buck an unforgettable experience.

“Hunting is something me and my dad always do,” she said. “It’s our special time together. (When they saw the deer) I put my cross arrows on him and said, ‘I got him’ twice to make sure my dad didn’t take the shot. I was not worried about his antlers or looking at them. I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. The buck fell in his steps. I don’t know who was more excited. After we had made it to the deer and realized how big he was, I was even more excited and surprised.

“It will definitely always be a time with my dad I will never forget.”

Change of Seasons and Contest Is On the Way

Deer season is behind us and turkey season is upcoming – starting March 15 and running through April 30. It’s time to plan your trip to Alabama’s Black Belt region where plenty of big gobblers are on the roost! Don’t forget that hunting for quail is still ongoing until March 31 at commercial lodges in Alabama’s Black Belt. Check out our directory and give those lodges a call for a full-service adventure. Many outstanding public lands are available for turkey hunting as well.

We would love for you quail hunters to share some photos of you and your dogs – or just your dogs, because we all love those beautiful hunters, like Mabel (at left). Share them on our Facebook page!

And, speaking of Facebook, with the start of turkey season on March 15 we will again launch our Big Gobbler Photo Contest on the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Facebook page. Keep your eye on the page (facebook.com/AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures) for more information.

To enter a photo, send it to photocontest@albbaa.org. Photos shared via Facebook are NOT eligible. The contest is for turkeys taken in Alabama’s Black Belt region during the 2016-17 season. Include the name of the hunter and the county where the turkey was taken. The winner will be chosen based on the number of “likes” the photo gets. The contest deadline is May 5, 2017. The 2015-16 and 2014-15 winners are not eligible. As a reminder, the Black Belt counties are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.

Go Back in Time at Jefferson Country Store

Have you ever visited the Jefferson Country Store near Demopolis? If you have, chances are you’ve told all your friends to make a beeline to the awesome store and restaurant on Alabama Highway 28 in Jefferson (about 11 miles south of Demopolis and 10 miles up the road from Linden – actual address 26120 Alabama Highway 28). Hunters have known about the store for years, probably all the way back to its opening in 1957.

What can you find at Jefferson Country Store? Just about anything you need – especially if you need some mouth-watering cheeseburgers or ribs or chicken or hoop cheese or bologna. You can also pick up a Moon Pie and an RC Cola and all kinds of treats that those of us of a certain age remember from our youth.

The store, which was closed for about a year but reopened in 2013, has been owned and operated – or occasionally leased – by the Compton family for decades. Betsy Compton and her boyfriend, Tony Luker, run the store now. According to a Selma Times-Journal feature on the grand reopening, Compton’s late grandfather bought the then-10-year-old business in 1967 and her father, David, operated it until 1976. David and Betsy’s late mother, Connie, again operated the store in the late ’80s. Hattie Compton Morgan, Betsy’s aunt, ran the business until a few years ago and owns the store.

Betsy talked about the store to the Times-Journal: “It had become a gathering place for our community,” she said. “It was such a part of their routine.” People in the community obviously agreed and some even stopped by to help Betsy and Tony work to renovate the place before its reopening.

The Jefferson Country Store is open from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Breakfast and lunch is served daily and the pig’s tail is not to be missed! Call 334-289-0040 or visit facebook.com/jeffersoncountrystore for more information.

Game Check Is Mandatory for Turkey Season, Too

Don’t forget, turkey hunters, that the state’s mandatory Game Check system is now mandatory. Within 48 hours of harvest, you must report your turkey through the Game Check system. You will need the following information: 1. Date of harvest; 2. Type of animal harvested; 3. County of harvest; 4. Public or private land; 5. Hunting license number or H.E.L.P. number, if applicable.

There are three ways to report your harvest – which you MUST do before moving the harvested animal. You can report via your smartphone through the Outdoor Alabama app, downloadable at http://www.outdooralabama.com/mobile-apps. Or, you can report at www.outdooralabama.com/gamecheck. Finally, you can call 1-800-888-7690.

Read more at www.outdooralabama.com/sites/default/files/GameCheck2016-2017.pdf.

Clothe-A-Child in Bullock County

The Wild Hoggs Classic Car Club is sponsoring a car show in Union Springs with the proceeds to benefit the Bullock County Department of Human Resources on Saturday, March 4 (rain date, March 11). Admission is free to the public for the show, which is set to run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Car/truck pre-registration is $20 before Feb. 3 and $25 afterwards. Registration will include lunch.

The line-up begins at 10:30 a.m. March 4 at the Richard Stone Armory Complex, located at 21578 Highway 82 East.

Call 334-850-2715, 334-850-0416 or 334-695-3896 for more information.

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<p>Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox. Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox.

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