By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: May 18, 2018 | 12:00 p.m.
SURRY – The Bacon’s Castle Hunt Club has been active in Surry County since 1942, and during that time, they have kept to “good neighbor” policies in addition to hunting regulations – both legal regulations and their own codes. Recently, the members got together and put a lot of man-hours into a major clean-up of the roadsides around the land they hunt. When asked why they do this, Jim Adams, President of the club said that the reason is simple.
“We want to give back to the community that tolerates our desire to enjoy ourselves through hunting,” Adams said. “We know that when we stop in the road to pick up our dogs, for example, it’s not always convenient for others in the community to have to stop, too, or drive around. So we try to serve the community doing things like comin in and cleaning up ditches around our property and such.”
L to R Jacob Cross, Rick Brady, Keith Blackburn, Alex Robbins, Keith Mueller, Dillon Pigfors, Tommy Pigford, Jeremy Cross, Richy McKeel, Gregory Mueller
Adams, who spent a Career in Community Service including working with the Newport News Sheriff’s office, has been with the club for 28 years, and has been President now for four years, and he said that he and the others in the club like to look for new ways to help the community.
“We’re about giving – doing what we can,” he explained, “and this clean up was a part of that. We had families, kids, out there cleaning out ditches, and got probably 50 – 50 gallon bags, and 20 tires picked up and taken to the dump here in Surry County. We just started this project last year and we wanted people to know we appreciate them putting up with us.”
“We have a plan in place,” he continued. “A management plan. We have size limits, guidelines. We try to manage what we have. We’re having fun, and at the same time we know that we’re doing what’s necessary to control the population. Without this, there would be so many accidents and deer dying of disease and malnutrition. We even had a Virginia State Game Biologist come talk to us about what we need to do and how to do it.”
Adams said that one thing they’re particular about is that, while a lot of people just bury carcasses when the deer meat is harvested, they came up with a better solution.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to find someone who will utilize it to make natural dog food. We freeze it – she takes it home and uses it. It’s a wonderful thing, because nothing is wasted or laying along the roadside.”
Keith “Santa” Mueller, a county resident who is one of the members of Bacon’s Castle Hunt Club, added, “We’re not trying to kill everything that moves. We have a certain size limit that we set ourselves on on shooting does and bucks. If somebody kills one less than size, there’s a monetary fine. And we know that controlling the population helps keep the deer from getting diseases that could deplete the entire deer population, and some of them can spread to other animals as well. Plus a whole lot of farmers are losing money from deer eating their crops. Population control helps keep them eating their natural foods, and not the farmer’s way to make a living.”
L to R Dillan Pigford, Joey Watterton,Michael Wolfe cleaning up the roadsides.
“We also eat everything,” he said. We give food away to some of the landowners. It feeds a lot of people. We do fundraisers for the club expenses, and we like to help in the community that way, too. Like last year we had a golf tournament and donated $500 to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. We’re just trying to get out and let the community know we’re trying to help them, as much as getting out there and having a good time. We know the hunting regulations and we have some regulations ourselves, and we have young kids who are getting into this, and grandkids, and we want them to be able to have this experience as well. We just want people to know we’re trying to give back and not just take.”