Old club finds new venue

Old club finds new venue

By John Criner

Times Outdoors Columnist Most hunters and fishermen enjoy eating the wild game they collect while enjoying the outdoors.

Hunting camps have some of the best meals, especially that big bodacious breakfast after coming in from the hunt. A good afternoon hunt and returning to camp for a nice bait of deer tenderloins and duck poppers in front of a real fire shared with friends can not be beat. It’s the wrong time of year for hunting camps, but good wild game can still be enjoyed with friends.

The Crittenden County Sportsman’s Club met for a frog leg supper last Thursday. This wild game eating club was founded in 1966, and the first restaurant was Bill’s Grill at Marion. A few of the members go back to the first meal. No one remembers what was served, but it must have been good because the club is still going strong. When Bill’s Grill closed the club bounced around to several places and finally settled at Uncle John’s in Crawfordsville, about 15 years ago. Uncle John’s recently burned and the eating club was homeless. Fortunately a new restaurant opened just north of Uncle John’s for breakfast and lunch and will soon be open full time. They catered the frog leg supper complete with hush puppies, slaw, and all the fixings. It was exceptionally good and the Sportsman’s Club has found a new home. The membership has been stable with 25 hunters and fishermen with the members alternating furnishing the “meal of the month”. The club enjoys duck, deer, dove, coon, fish, and of course, frog legs. Many years ago there was the Wild Game Gourmet Club that started in the Wonder City Restaurant and then moved to Bill’s Grill. After Bill’s Grill closed it met in different restaurants in Memphis. Papa Duck was president of it for a couple of years and has since lost tract of it. Several members belonged to both clubs enjoying the wild game. A long time ago, Fred Jolly owned Jolly’s Linoleum Company on south 4th Street and around Christmas time, Fred would have an open house “Coon supper”. Fred was a serious coon hunter and the shop was packed with hungry hunters. Jolly could fix the coon “right” and it was delicious. A good fish fry will happen on Monday, July 23rd, at Manly Monday for men and boys at First Baptist Church on Missouri St. in West Memphis. All men and boys are welcome for an evening of Christian Fellowship and good food. It starts at 6 p.m. and the cost is $5.

The summer heat has really slowed the fishing down with just a couple hours after day light and before dark being the prime times. The catfish have been biting well in almost all the lakes and rivers with several very large cat caught on heavy duty rods and reels. The limb lines and trot lines are producing many fish in the 2-10 pound range. It takes special equipment to catch the big boys.

As Papa Duck was writing this story (article), I noticed it getting warm but not too bad. Colleen came in and asked if the air conditioner was working. Everything appeared to be set correctly but the air was hot so I checked the outside unit and it was frozen with ice. It pays to have service people you trust, so it was a May Day call to Scott Burkett at Southern-Air. On a 95-degree-plus Saturday afternoon and within a couple of hours, Scott arrived and fixed the problem. His bill was surprisingly reasonable. If A/C problems occur, call Scott at 901 603-5895. You can trust him.

Quite a few fishermen from this area go to the hill country to catch trout and enjoy the cool waters. Papa Duck does not have any contacts in trout country, so when you go, please send me pictures and stories. If there is a hot spot or a very good guide service, let me pass that on to our readers.

Ask The Game Warden needs some question to ask Warden Andy who is glad to give “the” answer.

Take the kids with you. You will make memories for the future. Lakeside Taxidermy is slow this time of year and we can get your trophy to you quickly at a fair price and we do a great mount. Even if the mount has been in the freezer for a while, we can probably make it look great.

Papa Duck Lakeside Taxidermy 870-732-0455 or 901-4823430 jhcriner@hotmail.com

John Criner

You reap what you sow, and you eat what you catch — Members of the Sportman’s Club lined up last weekend for fried frog legs and all the fixin’s.

Photos by John Criner

Chance Lung shows off his first duck, a trophy mounted by Lakeside Taxidermy.

A young osprey — also called a fish hawk — gets ready to leave the nest out at Midway Lake.

Turner Southard of Bauxite nabbed this gar while visiting with the Bonds family out at Horseshoe.

Jaden and Maleha Ferguson enjoy some quality time out at Tilden Rodgers Park with Almeda Hines.

With the heat index in the triple-digit range over the weekend, there were only a few diehard fishermen out at Horseshoe Lake, as evidenced by just a handful of trucks in the parking lot at Bond’s Landing.