You can never have enough Ptarmigan buckets
My name is Bobby Dale Welch. I was born and raised in East Gadsden by Bobby and Pat Welch and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1988. My sister, Deidra Holland, works for the Gadsden City Schools System. My wife Tracie and I live in Ashville with our two sons, Daniel (age 18) and Dawson (age 16). My dad took me hunting when I was just a small boy, and it started something in me that I still enjoy.
It is turkey season in Alabama, and I’ve heard the COVID-19 virus has been rough on the turkeys. It seems that folks having some extra time has provided time to get outdoors and pursue the Alabama Eastern Turkey. I’ve learned that having a friend to call for me is much more effective than my calling him. The farmer that’s been nice enough to allow me to hunt turkeys on his place recently asked if I had considered the local Piggly Wiggly!
I started taking Daniel and Dawson hunting with me when they were three or four years old. As I was preparing this article, I went through some pictures and saw some of me and the boys having some memorable times hunting. I’ll cherish every moment for the rest of my life! Going through the pictures made me think that although it’s turkey season in Alabama, it’s ALWAYS story season!
I love to hunt. Spending time in God’s great creation is a way for me to get closer to Him and to learn about myself. I love the stories, and each one special. The friendships built and strengthened through our outdoor adventures is something special for me. Sure, it’s enjoyable to harvest an animal you’re after. But the stories? Well, I tell you what – they’re always in season, and I love a good story!
Get outside. Go hunting. Go create a story. And when you see your friends, tell them that story! Please allow me to share one.
In April of 2012, a friend and I were in Port Alsworth, Alaska, hunting Brown Bear. It was an amazing sight to behold. We were forced to move our camp due to rising waters on a nearby river. While setting up camp, the outfitter suggested we take the snowmobiles and a .22 rifle and hunt “some” ptarmigan for dinner.
It was fantastic – a pair of Alabama rednecks cruising the snowy tundra in search of dinner! After hunting for a while, we returned to camp to retrieve a bucket or a basket to put our dinner fare in. The outfitter and guide asked if we had any success.
“Yep,” I declared in my best southern lingo.
“Why do you need something to carry them in?” the outfitter asked.
Then it hit me.
“How many buckets do we need?” I asked.
“About six to eight,” he responded.
That Alaskan outfitter learned a valuable lesson. When you send two Alabama rednecks out for dinner, you should probably be more specific than “some!”
Bobby Dale Welch was born and raised in East Gadsden and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1988. He is the founder of and partner in BD Welch Construction and currently lives in Ashville with his wife Tracie and sons Daniel and Dawson. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.