The hunting chronicles: Campfire stories and hoofin’ it by the cooler


By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff Correspondent 

Hunting has allowed me to meet new people and cultivate friendships. As I reflect upon my experiences and attempt to put thoughts to words, I continue to be thankful for the relationships I have been blessed with.
A lot can be learned when you spend hours looking for a wounded deer. When the trail ends with success and the work begins, the teamwork of friends makes it more enjoyable to pull that buck up that hill and through those briar patches.
I’m reminded of the time we were preparing a deer for the cooler at a good friend’s place. A college student who next door was unfamiliar with the process.
“Can I have a hoof?” he inquired.
The college student left with said hoof and walked back towards his place. Minutes later, the screams of girls and boys came screeching from the neighbor’s house. When we looked to see what was happening, we saw our new friend chasing his friends around the place with the deer hoof! Glad to meet you dude – enjoy the fun!
Meals and stories shared around the campfire sure do make the hard work of preparation worth it, such as the time we sat around a warm fire during one Alabama fall night. A fellow hunter was loosened up from a few…ahem. At any rate, he was talking a bit too loud. Someone told him that the neighboring camper may not appreciate his sense of humor and might come out and whip us.
Our slightly inebriated friend giggled for a few minutes.
“He better not,” he eventually stammered.
Forrest Gump made the statement that, “shrimping is HARD work.” Well, so is hunting!
Over the years, I’ve come to enjoy the hard work of planting, road clearing, stand placement, bush hogging and the many other tasks it takes to prepare for the upcoming season. Opening day arrives and the sun rises. I hope I never lose the appreciation and the enjoyment of the outdoors. Appreciate your blessings, strengthen those friendships and make some good stories.
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

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