Portland Landing Is Special – October 2018
Portland Landing Is Special
The newest Special Opportunity Area in Alabama is Portland Landing in Dallas County, about 5,000 acres – with 4,000 more to be added next year – called by Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes, “some of the best land in the state, some of the best dirt, some of the best genetics. It’s just one of those special places.”
The new SOA was recently purchased in a joint effort between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the Forever Wild program. The acreage is great for wildlife, according to a news release from WFF, because of the great diversity of land. The land includes creek bottoms to river frontage to upland hardwood stands to mixed pine to cedar glades.
Sykes told David Rainer in his post at OutdoorAlabama.com that the property is not large enough to open to general public hunts. “This place is perfect for the SOA system,” Sykes said. “The person who gets drawn [in the application process] and one other hunting partner will have 300 to 500 acres as their own hunting area. That way we can keep it low pressure. Everybody gets a good experience.”
Portland Landing will accommodate eight to 10 people per SOA or Adult Mentored Hunt. Visit outdooralabama.com/hunting/adult-mentored-hunting-program for more information. This year’s SOA deer hunts have already been drawn, but hunts for small game and turkeys are still available. Go to outdooralabama.com/hunting/special-opportunity-areas to apply.
Young Angler Wins Best Fish Contest
A young angler from Homewood, Ala., captured this year’s Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Best Black Belt Fish Contest title. William Booker, a 9-year-old third-grader at Shades Cahaba Elementary School, won $100 worth of fishing gear as the top vote-getter in the Facebook contest.
“I can’t believe I won!” William said. “I can’t wait to use my new fishing gear.”
William usually fishes with his mom and dad, Deidre and George Robert Booker, and his grandparents, Jule and Terry Booker. The big bass that won the contest was caught in William’s grandparents’ pond in Orrville in Dallas County.
ALBBAA Director Pam Swanner said, “We had a great cross-section of photos, including largemouth bass, bream, catfish and crappie from the Black Belt. As always, we had some really nice photos of young people enjoying the outdoors while taking pride in their catch, whether big or small fish, and sporting huge smiles.”
New Quail Forever Chapter Banquet Set
The Inaugural Banquet for the Alabama Black Belt chapter of Quail Forever will be on Nov. 7 in Union Springs at Greenway Sportsman Club, 2621 Highway 223. The banquet will be from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m.
Tickets for the banquet are $75 for a single and just $100 for a couple. Tickets include a one-year membership in Quail Forever. Please contact Brent Boswell at email@example.com or 334-322-7243 for tickets or if you’re interested in joining the new chapter.
This new Quail Forever chapter was formed last winter as a result of a visit to the Black Belt by members of the Pheasant Forever/Quail Forever staff. Discussions about the conservation efforts supported by Quail Forever helped inspire people in the Black Belt to come together to create the new chapter.
Bow Season Is Upon Us
You probably don’t need to be reminded, but bow season for deer hunting is right around the corner. Alabama’s Black Belt has land in both Deer Season Zone A and B, so be aware. You can start stalk hunting with bow and arrow on Oct. 15 in Zone A for either sex deer with a season-ending date of Feb. 10, 2019. In Zone B, bow and arrow stalk hunting for antlered bucks only is Oct. 15 through Oct. 24, and bow hunting for either sex deer is Oct. 25 through Feb. 10, 2019.
Visit outdooralabama.com/hunting/seasons-and-bag-limits to download the 2018-2019 Hunting and Fishing Digests for more information – or pick up one at your local probate office, license commissioner or license agent.
Eight Black Belt counties have portions in both Zone A and B: Barbour, Dallas, Lee, Macon, Montgomery, Perry, Russell and Sumter. The counties wholly in Zone A are Greene, Hale, Pickens and Tuscaloosa. Counties wholly in Zone B are Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Lowndes, Marengo, Monroe, Pike and Wilcox.
A MESSAGE FROM GREAT SOUTHERN LAND
Line Creek Plantation Is Premier Black Belt Property
Agent Eric Leisy is a top-producing agent with Great Southern Land, specializing in land sales throughout the Black Belt of Alabama. Eric has a diverse background in corporate finance and investments as well as real estate appraisals and developments. An avid outdoorsman, Eric has a passion for fly fishing and hunting. His broad expertise, along with his extensive knowledge as a land Realtor, has made him a leader in the industry. Eric prides himself in doing business “the right way,” with his clients’ interests always at heart.
Here Eric shares a narrative about the Line Creek Plantation property in Montgomery County that makes it seem that you’re there with him.
Line Creek Plantation is an exquisite opportunity for whitetail deer hunting enthusiasts (see the photo of the big buck taken on the property with this article). This premier property consists of 465± meticulously managed acres in the heart of the Alabama Black Belt. My personal history with Line Creek Plantation dates back to the 1980s when I owned a deer processing plant that would average 1,500 deer annually. Each year the largest bucks brought in to the plant were those from this tract. They were easily distinguishable by their giant bodies, heavy antlers and exceptional genetics. I also have had the privilege of personally hunting this property for the past 10 years and being witness to its “deer phenomenon” first hand.
What makes Line Creek Plantation deer grow so big? I believe there are two main factors. The first is what I like to call the “River Effect.” Just as river bottom land has extremely rich, fertile soil from the water moving to the floodplain leaving sediment and diverse organic matter; I believe that the two major creeks running through Line Creek Plantation produce similar fertile soil. Additionally, this tract has been primarily bow-hunted, which results in limited harvesting throughout the years. Along with its extraordinary whitetail population, Line Creek Plantation has a very good turkey population and is ideal for quail hunting and waterfowl. The waterfowl love this property, in part, because it has floodable areas that are perfect for planting a crop and then flooding. It has levees in place to hold the water – making prime duck holes.
Line Creek is all about the amenities. The current owner has built an elevated road system that encompasses the vast majority of the property, providing access to most areas (even in the wet winter months). Each game plot is strategically placed, the fruit trees are bountiful and the mast producing trees in areas are massive. When you arrive at Line Creek, you forget you are only 15 minutes from the city. Time will seem to stand still. This premier plantation has hosted countless celebrities, including professional baseball players, country music legends and even a Hall of Fame quarterback – not just because of the incredible hunting, but because it is a rare, exquisite escape.
Find Eric on Facebook here.
Looking for Adventures? Ride Your Bike
If you’re looking for an outdoors adventure, check out Chewacla State Park in Auburn and get your thrills on the miles of biking trails that volunteers from the Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers and parks staff have put together. It is amazing!
Read all about the eight biking trails here then grab your bike and get there!
CAMP is just one of many volunteer groups that help make the Alabama State Parks great.
Back Roads Rendezvous
For our third trip in our Back Roads Rendezvous series, we’re highlighting a fantastic Black Belt festival for you to enjoy. The Peanut Butter Festival is set for the last Saturday in October – Oct. 27 – in Brundidge. This fun fest celebrates its 27th birthday this year and thousands of folks are expected to pack the town for some old-fashioned fun.
There’s more than just the festival to enjoy about Pike County, too. The Troy Trojans are playing one of those unconventional Tuesday night TV Sun Belt football games the week (against rival South Alabama) of the Peanut Butter Festival, so you should be able to find plenty of hotel space – and maybe you can book The Cottage, The Cabin, The Rose Room or other splendid accommodations at Kataluma Bed and Breakfast. Five miles east of Troy, the Kataluma – the Hebrew translation means a traveler’s resting place in a private home – is on 60 acres of both landscaped and natural land. Southern charm at its finest, call 334-770-0300 for more information.
Day One – Friday: No trip to Pike County is complete without a visit to the Pioneer Museum. Open Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the museum is located at 248 Highway 231 North in Troy. The museum is on 35 acres of landscaped land, including a boardwalk running parallel to the Conecuh River. You’ll want to call ahead (334-566-3597) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a docent-led visit. You’ll find an 1800s era steam locomotive, a copper turpentine still, a grist mill and many other artifacts – up to 18,000, as a matter of fact! – on the property. (If you can’t make the Peanut Butter Festival on the 27th, Pioneer Days at the museum are set for Oct. 12-13.) Admission is $12 for Pioneer Days, but regularly $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for students age 6 through college and children under 5 get in free.
Day Two – Saturday, 8 a.m.: Kick off the day with a brisk – or not so brisk – Peanut Butter Festival 5K. Run or walk, but get those juices flowing early so you can enjoy the whole day in Brundidge. Entry fee is $20. Call Ursula Bryant at 334-344-8752 for more information.
The free festival will feature live music, homemade arts and crafts, great food, produce, plants, furniture, jewelry and free activities for the kids. Be sure to visit the Johnston Mill Peanut Butter Museum and be sure to be there at 10 a.m. for a historic live presentation of Dr. George Washington Carver from Tuskegee University.
Two peanut butter mills in Brundidge were among the earliest in the Southeast and production continued from the 1930s until the 1960s. The festival pays tribute to the “foodstuff that sustained [Brundidge] through the Great Depression and to the little nut that continues to provide a giant boost to the local economy with the annual Peanut Butter Festival harvest and heritage celebration.”
For more Peanut Butter Festival information, call 334-344-0643 or 334-344-9427.
Lunch: Visit the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, 421 SA Graham Blvd., before 2:30 for a great meat-and-three meal with prices starting at only $5.99. (If you miss lunch, dinner is from 5-9 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat steak and seafood buffet for $16.99.
Overnight: You can spend the night camping at Blue Springs State Park near Clio or in one of the cabins the park offers. The park has modern and primitive campsites. Visit alapark.com for more information.
If you prefer resort living, head just over an hour away to Eufaula to Lakepoint State Park. Lakepoint offers camping, cottages and resort lodge rooms.
Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest Deadline Is Oct. 31
Entries for this year’s Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest – a joint project between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Tourism Department and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission – are being accepted until Oct. 31. The contest is open to state residents and visitors alike, but the photos must have been taken in Alabama.
One new category this year, according to contest coordinator Kim Nix, connects the celebration of statehood to the photo contest. “Photos in this category could include historical parks, forts, lighthouses, battlefields or archeological sites,” she said. “Our other new category this year is ‘Waterfalls.’ It’s been such a popular subject for photos in previous contests that we decided to make it a focal point this year.”
The contest is open to adults and youth. A total of 10 photos per person may be entered in the following categories: Alabama Bicentennial, Birds of a Feather, Bugs and Butterflies, Coastal Life, Cold-blooded Critters, Nature-Based Recreation, Shoots and Roots, State Park Adventures, Sweet Home Alabama, Watchable Wildlife, Waterfalls and Young Photographer.
More information may be found at outdooralabama.com/photo-contest. Entry is restricted to the online upload of digital images, which can be completed from a computer, tablet or mobile phone. First, second, third and one honorable mention will be awarded in each category. Winning images will be featured online and in a traveling exhibit across the state during 2019. Contact Nix at email@example.com or 334-242-3151.