History of The Lafayette county Reserve starting in the 40s, wolves Deer and Livestock

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by DufferDan, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. DufferDan

    DufferDan Well-Known Member

    I mistakenly said the Wolves in the Springhill area were killing the livestock. This is more of the story. In includes some history from my childhood... The wolves as it seems were just becoming more numerous because of the introduction of Deer into "The reserve" in the 40s and the new folks moving to those areas from outside the Springhill area... The employees at the Springhill Paper Mill reached about 3500 sometime in the late 40s and 50s .... It was the largest Paper mill in the World.. Springhill had only about 500 residents when the Paper Mill was built.. it had dirt streets... it quickly grew to 10,000 residents in the Springhill-Cullen area.. the surrounding area also had exponential growth.. Taylor, Bradley in Columbia and Lafayette County Plain Dealing, Sarepta, Cotton Valley, Shongaloo and even Haynesville. Those people needed work and then need meat to feed the family.... That's where the Livestock thingy and the Deer in the "reserve" came about..
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  2. Allenn

    Allenn Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Now all them towns are dead again. Did get a good lake out of the deal though.

  3. DufferDan

    DufferDan Well-Known Member

    Correction... just read my notes from back then... The wolves were after the Livestock and newly imported Deer.
    The year was about 1943 just after the Mill opened in Springhill ( 1934 or so)
    In 1942 about 16 bucks, 21 does and 120 unknown sex deer (total 157) were relocated from Arkansas county (Sycamore district) to the counties of Calhoun, Howard, Jefferson ,LAFAYETTE, Lafayette Game Management (affectionately called The Reserve")
    Washington and White counties.
    In 1943 ...145 deer from Howard county, and again the Sycamore district AND Wisconsin (the famed "Blue Deer" we have all heard about were relocated to 15 counties in Arkansas .....including Lafayette....
    Same thing in 1944 (287 deer) .... from Sycamore area...
    Same thing in 1946 (470 deer) (Arkansas and Sycamore district)

    My correction is ...... the wolves were killing the Livestock and the deer just recently introduced to "The reserve" ... There were just about zero deer in South Arkansas and North Louisiana... and lots of new livestock brought in by the new residents. to help them put meat on the table.

    The Employees convinced Int Paper to help with the reintroduction of Deer for recreation etc>

    "The Reserve" in Lafaytette county was International Paper Co. Land and the Warden "Charley Fish" was an IP employee... He was said to have arrested his mother for poaching in "The reserve". This wasn't true but Charley Fish made the Reserve work... When the Hunting season opened in South Arkansas ...There were several camps located around "The reserve" in the early 1950s.... Hunters would be walking the Line ( Reserve barrier line) towards their stands at 4:30AM and Charley Fish would be coming out of the Reserve wet up to his waist... to check their Hunting License.. ( He would spend the night in the Reserve listening for gun shots and poachers vehicles) ... Next day he'd do it again.. Daddy said he would check everyone in the line... Then be there at Noon when they came out. The "Reserve Line was some 10-20 miles around... He covered it all....

    Of note.......
    Most of the Members in several of these camps were IP hunters.... Barely 1000 folks lived around the Taylor, Arkansas and Springhill, La. area when the mill began in the early 1930s
    This quickly grew to 10,000 then approached 20,000 in the 20 mile circle around Springhill.

    This is just History and not in book form ... it's just for Information as told and lived by me...
  4. JB Weld

    JB Weld Well-Known Member Supporting Member

  5. twiceborn

    twiceborn Well-Known Member

    I grew up in magnolia and my granddad used to tell me about hunting down around Canfield and how there were lots of wolves down there. He died in 1967 at 82 years old so he was hunting that area well before the preserve. They would take wagons down there and camp for a month in the fall, hunting ducks in the bodcaw bottoms.
    I’m 71 and he told me lots of great hunting stories, I wish I had written them down.
  6. DufferDan

    DufferDan Well-Known Member

    I was just lucky enough to remember some things because my Dad let me participate............ some

    Then I would look forward to it more the next time

    My Father and his hunting Buddies seemed to do it the right way.

    I got to walk the 2 miles into the Taylor deer club from hwy 160 down the line as a young teenager when the rains came and the roads got impassable,..
    Last time I drove by the old Taylor deer. Club ( built in 40s) the cinder blocks and camp looked good.
    my Dad bought his 1942 Jeep about 1956. $ 400
    Had road tires on front and mud tires on back. Most of the time the clutch or brakes were in need of repair. We only lived a couple miles from the mill because we moved from PineHill up town in 1959 across from the swimming pool.
    The Jeep was daddy’s way to the mill so Momcould work downtown and cart us kids around

    The Canfield deer was one of the old camps. In the NW corner of the Reserve. Wolves all over back then. Until the camps united and started hunting them.
    That wooden One lane
    gamagee bridge was neet
    Great deer killed in that area
    Sorry .... memories your post started
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  7. Allenn

    Allenn Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Dufferdan do you ever remember any stories of game and fish trying to introduce black bears into bodcau wma maybe around the 70’s . Around 2000 or so I was duck hunting at Rainey wells at the old (aggetator) pond I believe is what it was called . It was the last pond the black water from the papermill went into before it was dumped into to creek. I saw what I swore was two bears I told my friend and he thought I was crazy. We went back the next day and they both came out again (had to be bears) couldn’t really be anything else. Anyway I told my ex FiL and he said he thought he remembered them trying to introduce them back in 70’s but wasn’t 100% for sure. I had a few people tell me they had seen some at what’s called( Delafields) right up the road from Rainy Wells. I was just curios if you ever heard anything like that since you grew up around that area.
  8. R6mm

    R6mm Well-Known Member

    N. Texas
    Have a friend that's Grandparents had a small farm at Emerson (south of Magnolia). He hunted around that area for most of his life. He swears he killed a big wolf down there while deer hunting, in the mid to late 60's. Said it was twice as big as a coyote. He was an experienced hunter, & not one to exaggerate. I hunted down there with him several years...we killed several nice deer there, but nothing else. Never even saw a coyote while I was there.
  9. Allenn

    Allenn Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    That’s pretty much where I hunt. I’ve never seen a wolf so I don’t know if there are any left or not. It’s hard to think that all of them were wiped out.
  10. DufferDan

    DufferDan Well-Known Member

    The wolves got bred out diluted so to speak, you’ll see some characteristics
    Of wolves / coyotes spread around

    I killed one out at the Baker deer club
    (6 miles east of Emerson towards Atlanta) (Dec 67-68 up the high line behind the old camp.
    Bushy tail hair reddish but well over 40 pounds. Tried to drag it out but the smell and the weight.... I just gave up. Stink was not it, it stunk.

    Yep on the bears
    Mother and Father lived at sandy point on lake Erling from 1956–1980
    We had a house Dog “Duchess”
    Around 1960 while I was away at college and before thanksgiving....
    Mother was looking north out the kitchen window

    When about 10 am a mother black bear came thru our property with 2 cubs checking all the trash cans... went out of sight towards Butler’s camp. Several neighbors reported them.
    Mother let Dutchess out and suddenly all the house dogs in the neighbor hood formed a pack with some dogs mother had never seen before. Looked like 30 or more dogs.......This wasn’t a normal pack as the dogs were packed together shoulder to shoulder, going from trash can to trash can “bristled up”. No dog left the pack.

    Daddy said they had released several bears as an experiment in the reserve. They weren’t around long.

    About 2 years later she had a mountain lion come by the same way
    No dogs showed
    Dutchess wouldn’t leave the yard.
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  11. DufferDan

    DufferDan Well-Known Member

    When I told the story of the wolves being killed out there was a pack still up North of the Reserve. Eventually all were killed or left for the RedRiver

    Mike Cruz hunted at the Canfield camp. It hunted the area west of Bodcaw
    Gammagee camp hunted East if Bodcaw to Walkers creek

    Another camp met at a house up towards in the highlands (farmland area). They hunted to Mars hill and the Lewisville road crossing on a one lane wooded Bridge. Some of the men older than Daddy 1912-1997
    Told about the wolves and panthers

    Coyotes came later after the Deer dogs dwindled down due to new refs
    Wolves ran the coyotes down and killed them. Wolves gone coyotes back
  12. KemperCamper

    KemperCamper Select Member<br>2014-2015 Deer Hunting Contest W

    Very Interesting to read all of this from the past.
    I have hunted in the Cornie Bottoms near Atlanta for over 30 years now.

    In that time over the years we have killed a few coyotes that were much bigger than the other coyotes killed every year & have had bears in the area off & on since we started hunting that area.

    We have had a few Mt. Lion sightings over the years as well, but not a single Squatch encounter
  13. storyhunter

    storyhunter Well-Known Member

    I hunted in the Morden Deer Camp just East of Canfield from 1969, when I was home on leave from the service until a few years ago. The camp joined the reserve on the North side and bordered Bodcaw. We had about 2600 acres on both sides of Highway 360 (i think that is the number) and were bordered by the Canfield Deer club on the West. The camp was run by Cohn Morden and John Gaton, some of the other members were Lawrence Wayne Hartsfield, Max Morden, Phil Hinds, Andy Clark, Hugh-Baby (don't know his real name) and Austin Collins, who was 96 years old the first year I hunted there. We were one of the only fully integrated clubs in the area at that time and had absolutely no problems.

    Never saw any wolves or panthers, but did see several bobcats. I hunted there until around 2010, when we only had a few members left, the others having died off or moved away or just got too old to be hunting. We gave up the lease and I don't believe anyone holds it now. There's so many hogs around that there's hardly anything for the deer to eat and they clear cut most of the hardwoods many years ago, killing the squirrel hunting. I would love to go back a few years and enjoy a campfire with some of those guys.
  14. Matthew.loftis

    Matthew.loftis Well-Known Member

    The old campfires with the old men and the old ways of hunting are being snuffed out. I'm afraid my children won't understand anything a/b it because I won't have anyone to show them with.
  15. I started hunting at Pickett Loop (Previously Gamage)in 2003. Have seen a lot of coyotes and bobcats. The hogs have returned after being scarce for about 3 years. No one has reported any bear or mountain lion sightings either live or on trail cams. We currently lease about 5600 acres, all South of 360, and along Laf 17.
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  16. Allenn

    Allenn Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I started to get in yalls club a few years ago.
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  17. twiceborn

    twiceborn Well-Known Member

    Exactly! There is not a lot of woodscraft required anymore. Still hunting is becoming a lost art.
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  18. We have a long waiting list to get on now. We have upgraded the club house area, and made some rule changes that make it better for all the members.
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  19. DufferDan

    DufferDan Well-Known Member

    Great to hear about the past Clubs in that area.
    I hunted the Bryan Deer club from 1982 until 1997 when my father was no longer able to hunt. The Bryan deer club bordered Canfield or Morden on the south with unofficial lines drawn along hwy 313.
    The Bryan Deer club was bordered on the South by 313, (Canfield) on the East by Bodcaw, on the West by Highway 29.... we had about 5 or 6 square miles. Some 3-5000 acres depending on the good old boys network.
    This club was a split off from a much larger Deer club "Walnut Hill ??" years before we started hunting there. I was told it was on both sides of highway 29.... and included Canfield...
    The Bryans were some great guys. We had some good hunting... the largest we ever killed in my time there was 145 or so... This was before the clearcutting happened in about 1995. The dogs were having a field day and the deer no longer had any place to feed or hide.. Just wiped them out in the December hunt... maybe 80 deer ( bucks and does) were killed that year... That's when one of the 145s was killed.. The next year our camp had no deer... just a bunch of deer dogs.
    Then about this time in the interest of improving hunting.... the club president and others dumped 12 hogs out just west of the camp.... just watched them run off ... bad move...

    We had nothing for the deer to eat with only hardwood bottoms back then so I planted my first food plot> We had a 160 area clearcut planted in pines. I planted about 20 acres of oats and clover on the right of ways September 1.... when we got a few good rains I went back and checked on the new growth.... Every thing was eaten down to the stubs. ... Dogs ended the food plot days by running everything out during the day and the deer were just nocturnal

    The area we are talking about was South of Lewisville and Stamps and bordered on the south by the Reserve.. Largest ever known deer killed in Lafayette county is a nearly perfect ten point 178 (squirrel season) the Billy Bland 171 7/8, the north Lewisville Upton pickup deer 171 1/8 and a 195 NT killed 2017 by James Kitchens... several others were killed but not scored.

    Just presented as best as I can remember.. the years are best as I can remember...

    Loved Dog hunting .. some of my best days were Dog hunting... the Leases stopped that..
    storyhunter likes this.
  20. Allenn

    Allenn Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I actually hunt there some where Billy killed his deer between 29 and Lafayette 36... lots of big bucks still.