Bill Sewell aka. MyAuburn in the field at Crooked Oaks. (photo by AubTigerman)
Everyone needs a pastime, a hobby if you will. And the more avid you are about that hobby, the more enjoyment it will bring. Webster defines pastime as something that amuses and serves to make time pass agreeably. After college football season is over, nothing is more amusing to me than the pursuit of that great southern game bird, the Bobwhite Quail.
Nearly all my life I have had two passions. One is Auburn Football and the other is quail hunting. Recently I was able to combine both near the east Alabama town of Notasulga.
I met my friend Bill Sewell on a Friday afternoon at Coach Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve. After getting checked into the lodge, Bill and I were treated to lunch with Coach Dye and a group of other hunters from across the state.
We then were introduced to Chico Canady, Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve Manager who put us with two of the best guides I have ever hunted with – Trey Trussell and Conni Sikes. Trey and Conni took us on an afternoon hunt; showing us a good time as the dogs were energetic and the birds were fast.
That evening, back at the lodge, we were joined by Track ‘em Tigers Founder and Publisher, Jay Coulter for another great meal with the coach. It didn’t matter that there was only the three of us; Coach Dye always serves as the host whether his guest are composed of a large corporate crowd or just a small group of friends. We had a great time talking Auburn Football and reminiscing with Coach about those great teams he had on The Plains.
The next morning started with a southern breakfast of grits, eggs, bacon, country jam and biscuits. After which the Coach, who is an expert on Japanese Maples, took Jay on a tour of his Quail Hollow Gardens Tree Farm while we went out on another day’s hunt.
Quail hunting has been called the gentleman’s sport but for me it’s more about being in the woods with friends and family. It’s about riding on a trailer through the woods on a crisp cool morning while the dogs yelp in anticipation in the box behind you.
It’s watching the dogs work in cooperation with the guides as they run with nose in the air searching for a scent and then suddenly freezing in a mili-second to point the place of the quarry. It’s the rush of excitement at the explosion of a covey of quail as they are flushed and burst into the air, flying in different directions. There’s just nothing else like it on God’s green earth.
But perhaps the best part of the quail hunt is the camaraderie of family and friends. And of course at Crooked Oaks, there is the added benefit of sharing your meals and stories of the day’s hunt with Coach Dye.
The rest of the guys had to leave early after Saturday’s hunt yet the coach still graciously took time from his work day on the tree farm to fellowship and share my last meal of the weekend.
I have hunted different places through out the south and I can say that if you’ve ever thought about taking in a quail hunt – there is no better place to enjoy a day or two of fellowship, great food , and the great outdoors than Coach Dye’s Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve. However, if you want to go this year, you better call Chico today … there’s only about seven weeks left for this season.
Reservations can be made by calling Chico at 334 524-1593.