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Hartselle Enquirer
A. Ray Lee ss

Deer hunting with the Post Oak Club 

By A. Ray Lee 

There were already a number of hunters present when Jim, Clint and I walked into the Post Oak clubhouse.  

Otis had built a fire in the pot-bellied stove. The smell of strong coffee, simmering in an old blackened pot perched on its top, permeated the room. The club chefs, Charles and Sam, had already begun their preparation for the stew that would be served to tired and cold hunters after the morning hunt was over. 

As others arrived, there was good natured bantering among the men. Deer hunting has a way of humbling the proud and those who have the audacity to boast of their hunting skills.  

Past failures were embellished and retold with zest. Each hunter was hoping today would bring success in getting the “big one.” 

Soon the hunt master and those who would be driving vehicles carrying men to the stand lines gathered around an old map tacked to the wall.  

When the area of the hunt had been agreed upon, stand numbers were written on small slips of paper and placed in a hunting cap. As it was passed around the room, numbers were drawn. Some hunters groaned, while others smiled broadly in anticipation. By now, most of us knew not all stands were equal.  

Eagerly we gathered coats and guns and climbed into trucks. Thirty minutes after parking on a logging road, I had placed my standers and reached the end of the line just as the hunt master blew the large cow horn carried around his neck on a lanyard, and the dogs were turned loose. 

During the morning there were several chases but none near Clint and me. In the distance several shots had been fired.  

When the horn sounded again, I retraced my steps to the truck, picking up the standers, who were required for safety reasons to remain in place until we walked out together. 

It was a relief to come out of the cold into the welcoming warmth of the clubhouse and a bowl of stew. A prayer of thanks was given, and we sat around the tables, too busy easing our hunger to do much talking. 

Although no deer had been taken on my stand line, it had been a successful hunt. Hanging from the skinning rack was a nice eight point and two smaller bucks. They would be left hanging for the afternoon to chill in the crisp air. At the end of the day, the venison would be evenly divided among all hunters, with the antlers going to those who had harvested them.     

Deer and big-game hunting has now evolved into a multi-million-dollar industry, totally changing the sport. The era in which the Post Oak Club existed has passed into history. But there remain a few grizzly old hunters who have like sentiments of Archie Bunker when he sang, “Those were the days.” 

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