By Dan Geddings
Outdoor summer columnist
The morning air was cool and pleasant. There was not a cloud in the sky, and bright sunlight bathed the land. When I got to the door, they were waiting for me.
Andy Hood introduced him: “This is Prince; I consider him a member of the family. He’s been with me for a long time.” I reached out to meet his outstretched hand. “Pleased to meet you, prince,” I told him. Of course, he knew Andy and Dean, but he had never met Prince. It turned out to be quite a character.
We were there to put up road signs. Andy and Dean were new members and had been tasked with creating some road signs and installing them at our hunting club. I had offered to help them install the signs. Prince had come to help.
Most hunting clubs have maps of the land they hunt. Many times, the paths are marked on the maps. In general, the roads have names; sometimes they are not.
A typical exchange might look like this. “Take that road down through the bean field to the power line. Then turn onto that little dead end road to the swamp.” Wouldn’t it be better if those paths had names? They could be marked on the map and better still some road signs could be installed.
There is a certain amount of turnover in hunting clubs, and road signs could make it easier for new members to navigate and learn the road network.
The Lowcountry club I hunted at for years had road signs at every intersection. There were some interesting names. Lovers Lane, Shoot Yo Leg, Turkey Pen, and The Horseshoe to name a few. Names had been developed over many years and for many reasons.
The hunting club I’m in right now is in High Hills. We have maps of the land and some of the roads are named, but we have added some new land. Some of those paths were named; some were not.
I was the first member to explore the new land. Logging had destroyed some of the road signs and some roads were unnamed. I made mental notes of the terrain and began to think of some possible road names. A couple of our current members offered road names.
I got a big map of the county and marked all the roads on the map. We came up with some great names like The Blue Line, Connector Road, Shingle Mill Road, and Hump d Hump Road. Now we had road signs and we would be installing them.
We started just inside the gate. He knew that the ground was very hard there. We had set up a login kiosk a while back and had a hard time getting the post in. It took a tractor-mounted auger and quite a bit of effort to pull off. Now we had to put up a road sign, but we could be a bit more selective in choosing a place.
Prince chose a spot near the road and went to work with the diggers. He had brought a pitcher of water and poured a small amount into the hole he had opened. The water softened the ground a bit and he managed to dig the hole for the post fairly quickly. We packed around the post and backed up to look at it for level and straightness. He then moved on to the next location.
We take turns digging and packing, setting the poles and keeping them straight. It was a group effort, and it went well. We were all in good spirits and had fun doing the work.
Andy, Dean and I are lifelong hunters. Prince is not a hunter, but he has helped Andy on numerous hunting-related projects. Prince said that he had never shot a deer or anything but a few squirrels. He did a good job with the road signs, made us laugh and we were happy to have his help.
It was a nice day outside even though we weren’t hunting. Now our club has road names and signs to inform all members.
Contact Dan Geddings at email@example.com.