October 2017 Newsletter

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.” 

Entries will be accepted ONLY via email to photocontest@albbaa.org from the opening of the bow season until Feb. 14, 2018. Photos uploaded to Facebook are NOT eligible. Include the name of the hunter, where and when the deer was taken. As a reminder, deer must be taken in the Black Belt to be eligible. Those 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.

Wildlife Heritage License holders enjoy the following benefits: hunting of all small game (except waterfowl) on any of Alabama’s 35 Wildlife Management Areas and Community Hunting Areas (free WMA permit is required); shoot at any of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ 12 public shooting ranges or archery parks; fish at any of the 20 state-owned public fishing lakes (daily permit required); and freshwater fish with a hook-and-line from the bank in public waters in all 67 counties.

Gun season begins on November 18. Check here for more information on hunting seasons.

Sister Schubert ads debut

Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association partner Raycom Media will be sharing a new advertisement for the ALBBAA on its Birmingham television affiliate, WBRC Fox 6 soon. The ad (watch it above) features Black Belt native Sister Schubert, Patricia Barnes. Barnes – who grew up in Troy – established the brand that features her name in 1989, bringing her grandmother’s recipes to a huge audience.

The advertisement brings the ALBBAA’s message to a wide audience, too. Birmingham is the 45th largest television market in the United States with almost 700,000 TV homes in the metro area, which also includes Tuscaloosa and Anniston.

Try this venison recipe from Stacy Lyn

Now that you’ll be stocking up on venison with the opening of the season, check out this cool recipe from the Black Belt’s own Stacy Lyn Harris. Stacy Lyn is an author, speaker, gardener, photographer and lawyer – as well as a wife and mother of seven. Her website – gameandgarden.com – offers many different great lifestyle articles and lots of recipes.

We’ve reprinted her Fair Day Venison Corn Dog recipe here. They look amazing!

Stacy Lyn’s Fair Day Venison Corn Dogs (serves four)


  • 8 pounds venison sausage links or 1 ground venison sausage
  • 8 cups of vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons for the batter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Special Equipment: 8 wooden sticks (found in the arts and crafts section of stores)
  2. On a griddle or cast iron skillet, cook sausage links until cooked through and lay aside to cool. If using ground venison or ground sausage, mold the sausage around the wooden sticks to resemble a link leaving 1 to 2 inches for the handle, then, thoroughly cook over medium heat on griddle or skillet. Remove to a plate to cool.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 4 inches. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
  4. Meanwhile, insert wooden sticks into the links. Place 1/4 of the flour onto a plate and roll venison sausage in flour to coat, shaking off excess.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour (1/2 cup), cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cayenne, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil then add eggs one at the time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk. Transfer some of the batter to a tall glass, filling it a little more than 3/4 full.
  6. Holding the end of the wooden stick, dip each sausage into the batter coating completely, working in batches. Carefully lower the battered sausage and stick into the hot oil. Using tongs, remove corn dog when the batter is golden brown all over, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer venison corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Repeat procedure with remaining venison sausage dogs and batter. Serve immediately with mustard.
  7. To re-heat: bake at 400 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes on a sheet pan.

Clyde May’s Whiskey returns to Black Belt

Conecuh Ridge Distillery is consolidating its operations in the Black Belt with an artisan distillery, rack houses and a bottling hub to be built in Troy. Conecuh Ridge CEO Roy Danis announced the company’s decision to build alongside a tasting and experience center at a ceremony attended by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Troy Mayor Jason Reeves and members of the May family. There will be a replica of the original still that Clyde May used when he first made his whiskey in the hills of Alabama in the 1940s.

Now a national brand and the “Official State Spirit of Alabama,” Clyde May’s Whiskey is ranked among the top 50 American whiskeys and is one of the fastest growing whiskey brands in the country, according to a company release. The $13.5 million development is expected to employ 50 workers within five years, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.

AL.com reported that following May’s death in 1990, his son, Kenny, took the recipe and Alabama Conecuh Ridge water to Kentucky for distilling. The finished product was returned to Alabama for distribution. Conecuh Ridge Distillery is now based in Long Island, N.Y.

Here’s a recipe from the Conecuh Ridge folks for a fine Alabama Slammer, that “combines two of Sweet Home Alabama’s best-loved flavors” – 1 cup (8 oz.) of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale, 1/4 cup (2 oz.) of Clyde May’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice. Fill a 16-ounce high rocks glass with ice. Add bourbon, lime juice and top with ginger ale. Stir gently. Enjoy!

Fall festival season in full swing

Now that it’s October and there’s a hint of autumn in the air, lots of Black Belt events are on tap. Check the Events Calendar on the ALBBAA website to see which fun festival or art show or concert strikes your fancy and head out!

Here are a couple of events in the next few weeks to consider:

Oct. 20On the Tracks 2017. The longest running food and libations trail in the Opelika-Auburn area is from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Opelika’s finest restaurants partner with historic Railroad Avenue retailers in the heart of the city to offer a delicious selection of small bites. Wine and craft beer enthusiasts are able to sample special offerings, too. There are food vendors, music and more.

Oct. 21Panola Day. Activities include food vendors, a parade, music and more. Located on Sumter County Road 34 and Panola Parkway.

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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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