Friday, December 14, 2012

Deer at the Lodge

This morning was an interesting morning at the lodge.  I always look out across the pasture for wildlife when I get there but this time I walked over to the well house and  I saw a deer laying beside the lodge.  How did he get there and what was he doing?  He was a yearling buck.
When he saw me he immediately jumped up and tried to run through the fence.  He was crazy and I was afraid he might damage the heat pump or something else so I went around to the other side of the lodge in hopes of turning him. 
He was determined to go through the fence.  He tried everything he knew to do to the point that he had bloodied his nose on the wire and had broken some of the wire.  I finally got him to turn and run to the other side of the lodge where I had left the gate open,.... 
but he didn't go through the gate, he went behind it and started again trying violently to go through the wire.  I climbed over the fence at the north side of the lodge and started around and toward him.  He really tried hard to go through the wire.  As I got closer to him he finally turned and ran by the well house and this time he jumped the fence and ran by the large oak with the swing and off to freedom.  It looked as if he had been in the fence all night by the beds in the hay and how the leaves around the fence were shuffled.  He had enjoyed the ryegrass that the cows could not get to but I bet he will be more careful the next time he comes to visit at the lodge.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Multiple Use Forest and Prescribed Burnning

 Our forest is a multiple use forest.  What better way to use the forest, as our granddaughter would agree, than playing in the pine straw on a cool late fall day.

Another use of our forest is to provide a Christmas tree.  I went out and cut one this morning that was growing in our longleaf pines.

The tree is in the lodge waiting to be decorated. It smells so good, just like Christmas is supposed to. 

Last week the Alabama Forestry Commission put in firebreaks to burn this tract of two year old longleaf pines.  This is where I took the deer a week earlier.  We seem to get some good bucks in these young stands of longleaf pine for some reason.  This tract is to be burned next week.

Last week I burned under the loblolly pines at our home.  I got a good burn that cleaned up under the stand real well.  This was the second time this stand has been burned since they were thinned.  Having a water tank on the four-wheeler is a great tool when doing a prescribed burn.
Slowly backing off the firebreak
Cleaning up!
The last of the fire as it starts to burn together that evening.
The results: a clean stand and wildlife habitat that deer and turkey love.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


The day after Thanksgiving was a good day of hunting.  I watched deer from 10 minutes after getting in the stand until I climbed down, 35 minutes after I shot this buck.  I saw two spikes, a doe, a 4 pointer, a 6 pointer, and another 8 pointer.  The deer weighed live weight 210 lbs., one of the largest weight bucks I have ever taken.  It was like watching a hunting video.
We have lots of young bucks on the property this year.  I have already seen eight bucks this year and finally one that was a shooter. Every day hunting is a good day but this day was special!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deer Season Has Started, Lodge Finished

The hunting season has started with things being kind of slow.  We have seen several does: a 4, 5, and 6 pointer, and three coyotes.  Abby slowed one of two down Saturday morning.  Pawpaw was able to climb up in a tripod on the first morning after his stroke.  That was the best thing so far this season!
We are 98% complete on the lodge with most of the work left to do is landscaping on the outside. This weekend while we were there a hawk landed in the tree next to the lodge.  I think he was saying he was keeping an eye on things while we are away.  He just posed for his picture while we made several shots of him.  He was showing off his sharp beak here.
In this picture you can see his powerful claws that he uses for hunting.

The lodge has been decorated for Thanksgiving.
The handrail is made of hickory that we cut off of Dewberry Lands. 
The deer racks make it feel like you are in a hunting camp.  Most of the racks came off of our property. 
The table is made of wood salvaged from downed trees on Dewberry Lands, compliments of April 27th storms.  The trees were Mountain Chestnut Oaks and the table is made of the heartwood from those trees.  It was made into lumber, planed, and I built it for the lodge.  It is beautiful wood.
....and oh, this is the view from the porch. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Hits

It was great to see Dad back in the woods this weekend as we checked on and made repairs to our tree stands.  It has been about two months since Dad had his stroke.  He is a little slow but getting ready for hunting season is good therapy for him.

Last post I had a tree oddity on our property with a huge burl.  This post I have included another on our property.  Are these two trees joined by a root or a limb? Click on the picture to see it better.

I just finished teaching another hunter safety course with the Alabama Game and Fish.  Officer Rowell is seen here teaching part of the course.

About two weeks ago we had fifth graders out on our property for 2012 Classroom in the Forest.  They were good students and really paid close attention to what we had to say about the forest.  Mattie, our granddaughter loved sharing her forest with the boys and girls.
She is only two but she thought she was as big as the fifth graders. 
Thanks to all the volunteers that made this day a success! 
Alabama Forestry Commission and the Clay County Forestry Planning Committee

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Random Shots

One of the trees on the property with a huge burl.  I found another strange tree growth last week and I am going to make a picture of it and add the picture soon.

Power line right-of-way bush-hogged and planted for wildlife.  Not all the right-of-way is cut in order to give wild coveys of quail cover.

This is the results of a summer planting of Lab-Lab under the power line.  The deer constantly are eating the leaves off the plants only leaving the stems.

My grandson and I found this pick on our property where the old railroad bed is that goes through our property,  There was no wooded handle left but the metal pick still survived.  This railroad was built close to 120 years ago.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Field Days

You could have a field day here on Dewberry Lands but this was not the type of field day I am referring to.

Felicia and I attend the field day on Mr. Bobby Jennings property.  It was well attended and very informative.  It was sponsored by the Natural Resource Outreach Committee of which I am apart of.

The next day we were at the Treasure Forest Association State Meeting in Centre.  We stayed at the Chattokee Plantation owned by Harlan Starr.  Harlan serves on the Board of Directors for the Wild Turkey Federation.  This is a beautiful place Harlan has put together.
At the ATFA banquet that night one of our own from Clay County received an award, Nic Jordan with the Alabama Forestry Commission.  Nic was well deserving of this award.  He is the best of the Alabama Forestry Commission, we are lucky to have such a fine young man in our county.

Some of our speakers at the meeting spoke about quail habitat.  On this stand of five year old longleaf pines we saw two coveys while finishing up planting green fields.  It is amazing how quick changing the habitat can bring back the quail. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Work

 We have been busy preparing our fall wildlife openings.  Jay and Abby have really helped me out this year with food plots and in firelanes.  This lane is next to forty acres of longleaf pines that are one year planted and fire will be run over them this winter.  We are seen some good bucks in areas that are planted in longleaf pines.  

Happiness is riding the four wheeler and playing in the branch while mom and dad are working. 

The sawtooth oaks and mountain chestnut oaks are dropping acorns now and the wildlife are really enjoying this.
The ground is covered with acorns.
There are lots of caps on the ground where the acorns have been eaten by the deer and turkeys.

Saturday we found this tree that a buck had worn out.  He had pushed the tree over and had rubbed it all over.  You can tell he has a sticker rack because his antlers really chewed the tree up.  Good one!

This is another sighting I found.  This buck had already made a scrape and broke the limb off above it.  This is really early.  I first thought it was turkey scratching but with further observation and looking at the limb above it confirmed it was a scrape.  It looks like a good season coming up!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Random Shots

Doe this morning at the lodge watching us unload supplies.  I also saw two large bucks this afternoon while checking on property.  They are enjoying the hint of fall in the air

Pawpaw pulling a cedar log out for use in the lodge construction.

The kitchen in the lodge where some of the cedar off of  Dewberry Lands has been used.

A castle I built out of wood for Selah.  She and Mattie really enjoyed playing with it.

Some baby turtles we rescued from dirt at the lodge where we were working on landscaping.
They were released at a small stream just below the lodge on Dewberry Lands. 
The top of the cell tower being installed on the land.  This is the light that will be on top.

It was finished today, 320 feet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I was surprised yesterday when I checked the mail.  I had this publication in the mailbox that goes out to all Tree Farm owners in the U.S. and I always open it up and see what articles are in it and read many of them. I hastily flipped through it and there next to the last page was an article about "Keeping the Forest in the Family".........
and there was a family of five generations pictured in this publication that I knew.  There was not any mention  of our names just the article.  I thought this was so neat that we were the family they used to stress the need for our government to do what it can to help "Keep the Forest in the Family".