"The so-called Black Belt is a fertile plain about 30 miles wide and 300 miles long stretching across central Alabama and northeastern Mississippi. This is where White Oak Plantation and her nearby sister operation, Red Oak Plantation, are located. White Oak, situated on about 16,000 acres near Tuskegee, Alabama, offers upscale hunting for deer, turkey, quail and other game species. Red Oak Plantation, about 2½ miles away, offers the same hunting opportunities in a slightly less upscale environment.
"The Pitman family, who have operated both plantations for 21 years, manage the deer herd here carefully, allowing hunters to take only bucks that show at least eight points (all over an inch long), or any buck with at least a 16-inch outside spread. White Oak does not like to get into trophy scores, but bucks in the 120- to 140-class have been taken here, and up to a 150-class deer is killed by a patient hunter nearly every year.
"Because Alabama's deer herd continues to hover over 1.6 million, the Pitmans encourage hunters to take does. In fact one doe per hunting session is allowed. That means that on a three-day hunt (six hunting sessions) a hunter can take up to seven deer - one buck and six does. During January 2004, my party of eight people killed two eight-pointers, a nine-pointer with one missing brow tine and several does in two days.
"Hunters generally hunt twice a day. After breakfast, clients pick numbers that correspond to one of more than 500 box, ladder or tree stands. If hunters prefer a certain type of stand, the staff tries to accommodate the request. Guides drop off all the hunters before daylight with helpful instructions, such as, "Look to the field on the left. A big buck usually comes out about 9 am every morning." Hunters........(continued)