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
Preparation for each hunting season is a major event. The first season each year has always started on the second Monday in November. For many years we had a meeting of the camp members one week in advance of the season at Edwin’s Service Center located at 204 Main Street in Augusta. No invitations were ever mailed, nor were any telephone calls made. The call of the wild, I suppose, was enough to bring the hunters together on the appropriate Monday evening each year. During the meeting, we planned all the details for the upcoming hunt concerning groceries, dogs, boats, fees, etc.
We usually established camp the day before the opening of deer season. In past years, the day of pitching camp was filled with the raucous noises of barking hounds and gunfire by hunters testing their rifle sights. I always wondered if we might be running all the deer out of the state before we even had a chance to step into the woods on opening day.
Prior to the mid-fifties, the wooded areas south of Augusta had been used for raising hogs. During our first few years of deer hunting, there were still quite a number of the half-wild hogs running free. For several seasons, I think we had more dog races involving hogs than deer. Though we never shot the hogs, we frequently had to come to the rescue of the frightened animals when our dogs would catch them. Eventually, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission required the owners of the hogs to remove them.
During the 1952 hunt, we camped in a tent. In 1953, however, we took a cabin boat down the river and tied it to the bank across the river from the location of our present campsite. One night during the 1953 hunt, it rained so hard that a Crisco can filled with rain water and overflowed. Edwin Jimerson and I got tired of waiting at the cabin boat, so we put on our rain gear and walked across the woods to a landmark known as Whiskey Bottle Junction. I don’t remember seeing any deer on that journey, but I do recall that we had to wade water over our hip boots in order to get back to camp.