The hunting chronicles: archery opening day and serpents in a Ford


By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff Correspondent 

Opening day of archery season in Alabama is something I have looked forward to for 34 years. Make sure and study up on the upcoming season. Alabama has created two new zones. Some areas in Cullman, Franklin, Lawrence and Winston counties make up Zone D, while some areas in Barbour, Calhoun, Cleburne and Russell counties make up Zone E. These two zones will open the archery season on October 1. Make sure and visit and take advantage of enjoying an opening day two weeks prior to Zones A, B and C, which will open October 15.
I’ve always had a tough time getting sleep prior to opening day morning. The one thing I don’t enjoy about opening day? Snakes are still slithering around. I do not like snakes or bugs. Yes, I know that certain snakes are not as bad as others. I ascribe to the philosophy that if God took their arms and legs, He must have wanted me to chop off its head! Which, of course, this leads to a story.
We had an old dump truck that stayed parked at our house for an extended amount of time. One Saturday I took out the old battery and drove to the local auto parts and got a fresh new one.
I installed the new battery, sprayed a little ether in the air intake, hopped up on the seat and fired that ole Ford 9000 up. She purred like brand new, and I was grinning from ear to ear with my head held high and my shoulders thrown back like a man that had accomplished his task.
Then it happened.
From under the dash, a snake poked his evil little head out. I won’t repeat what I said because my momma would not be proud, but let’s just say that Bobby Dale abandoned ship. I walked around that truck a few times trying to figure out if I had suffered a heart attack, stroke, nervous breakdown or something of that nature. Too shaken to speak, I texted my dad and my partner on the truck. What was their advice?
“Set the truck on fire, let the snake have that truck and be glad you’re not dead.” This from two of my lifelong friends and confidants.
We’ve still got that old truck, and whenever I get in it, I still remember the fear I felt that day.
Be careful out there and watch your step!
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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