The Third Deer Hunt: 1953
[Editor’s Note: Stories from our company’s archives provide a glimpse into a bygone era, offering a unique perspective on how we have embraced and evolved outdoor recreation over the decades. To maintain the authenticity of this storytelling voice we do not rewrite these stories, but edit relevant content on occasion, usually to fit space.]
On December 18, seventy-five hunters, including twenty-five pulpwood dealers, assembled at Ingram Spur as guests of Gulf States on the deer hunt conducted by the company this season, on its 8,000-acre game preserve.
At 7:30 a.m., Forestry Manager Vance Miles, on behalf of Gulf States, extended a cordial welcome to the hunters who had come from all parts of Alabama with high hopes of getting a buck deer. After the rules of the hunt were given and the stands were drawn, the hunters were transported to their stands. At 8:20 a.m, forty dogs, followed by some twenty drivers, were turned loose at seven points and the hunt was on.
The weather was perfect, with a frosty nip in the air-not enough to discomfort the hunters, but just enough to make the hounds run at their best-and they did! Mr. Otto Weeks could brew us a pot of his delicious coffee at camp, several shots were fired and dogs were running deer in all sections of the hunt area.
Leo Loper (Jack’s brother) of Hueytown, Alabama, and Forester for T.C.I., made the first kill of the hunt by bringing down a 132-pound three point buck after being on his stand only 20 minutes.
Honors for getting the biggest buck of the day, a seven point 251-pounder, went to Richard Holman, of Albert Holman Lumber Company, Northport, Alabama.
John McQueen Jr., of McQueen and McQueen, Attorney, Tuscaloosa, and Phil Banks, of Banks and Company, Eutaw, Alabama, tied for second place honors, each getting a 200-pounder with eight and nice points respectively.
Curtis Eatman of Mantua (Greene County), got a nice ten-pointer that tipped the scales of 172 pounds, his second kill on the “Ingram Day” Preserve in as many years.
Messrs. James Dockery and Norman Jones, of Aliceville, Robert McBride and Henry Baldwin of Cochran (Pickens County), also got bucks weighing 109, 136, 115 and 133 pounds respectively.
The hunt ended at 11:30 a.m., with a total kill of nine deer weighing 1,458 pounds and measuring a total of 51 points, for an average of 161 pounds and 5.7 points per deer.
After a delicious lunch of barbecue and Brunswick stew, the unbiased court of the Honorable Judge John D. McQueen, Sr., was declared to be in session with Judge Verdo Elmore of Gordo, as “Prosecutor,” Vance Miles as “Baliff,” and Mr. Claude Loveless, of the First National Bank of Birmingham, as “Executioner.”
Deserving “sentences,” were given Mr. Frank Smith, Director of Fayette Experimental Forest, Mr. Clayton Newton, Pulpwood Dealer of Bleecker, Alabama, and Mr. D.B. Dorris, of Aliceville for “missing,” and to Finance Manager Amos Schuster and Chief Accountant Harry Mitchell for arriving late and disturbing the hunt and being improperly “attired” for a deer hunt. Conservation Forrester Virgil Willet and District Ranger Frank Jones administered one “lick” to each other as a result of perjury penalties-Virgil had the edge by giving the last lick.
The proud hunters who killed their first deer were: James Dockery, Leo Loper, Richard Holman and Henry Baldwin-and were their faces “RED”!
In the writer’s opinion, and further substantiated by the numerous favorable comments of the guests, Judge McQueen conducted one of the finest Kangaroo Courts ever held on a deer hunt in this section of Alabama.
Gulf States extends thanks to the hunters for their fine display of sportsmanship and fellowship and also to all of the people that helped to make this one of the most successful hunts of the season. Special thanks go to Messrs. Ira Colvin, Johnnie Johnston, Reynolds Welbourne, Bob Argo, Lester Colvin, Steve McBride, Robert McBride, Taylor McDaniel, Norman Jones, Bill Shepard, as well as Cook Thompson, Alvin Croswell, Culley McMullen and Rich Dunn, our friends, for furnishing dogs and making such an excellent drive; which, as all good deer hunters know, is one of the primary requisites for a good hunt.
All of the guests expressed their sincere thanks to Gulf States for making this hunt possible and extended their best wishes for continued success on future hunts.