Memories of Buckeye Deer Camp
As told to Herbert L. Lunday by Herbert H. Lunday in 1985
Comments and Epilogue by Dr. Herbert L. Lunday © 2017
Especially for Mom and Dad, Carol and Larry
In the late fifties, we moved the camp across the river to the Woodruff County side because of easier accessibility by automobile. Because of the move, however, we had to cross the river by boat to get to our best hunting woods. From the warmth and safety of my home, it’s now easy for me to nostalgically recall those chilling, pre-dawn 2 rides across the swift, fog-covered river. Trying to negotiate the crossing was challenge enough, even for the most experienced woodsmen in our group. Adding a pack of eager hounds to a boat made the crossing quite interesting, indeed.
We set up our first camp at Buckeye in December 1952. Deer signs were plentiful, and after five years of waiting, all of us were optimistic and full of enthusiasm. Deer hunting provided a new adventure very near the community of Augusta where many of us had been raised. In addition to me, the campers in that first Buckeye group included Dr. Frank Maguire, Fletcher Davis, Doc Brown, Tom Sullivan, Burl Beeman, Walter Jimerson, Gene McAlexander, and Billy Martin. Though we saw deer during the first hunt at Buckeye, none were harvested.
Many hunters joined the Buckeye group over the years. By the second or third year, we had 31 hunters and 35 dogs. Some men I can recall are John Berry Beard, Herman Kinsey, Meryl Stewart, Ben Burrow, Pat Rives, and Raymond Boyles. One of our mainstays, Edwin Jimerson, joined in 1953 and remains a devoted Buckeye camper today. One season, we were able to cover a line of deer stands from the edge of the river at Buckeye all the way to Hurricane Lake. The stands were marked with numbers cut from automobile license plates. Several of the markers are still in place today—deeply embedded in the trees where we originally attached them.
Some of my memories of Buckeye involve the dogs we brought to camp. Several of my own favorite hounds were Hunter, Shorty, and Trailer. Hunter was a thoroughbred American Coon Hound, and he truly loved to chase deer. Each season, when we turned him loose on opening day, we never saw him again until after the season. He was killed by a train while walking a trestle on one of his many independent hunts. Fletcher Davis had Ol’ Blue and Brownie. Gene McAlexander had a dog named Lucky. Then, there was the one named Salty who only chased bucks. It was well known among our hunters that if Salty was headed your way, it was wise to get your rifle ready.
Join us tomorrow to hear more memories of Buckeye!!