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Hunter#039;s festival draws crowd

Dove season opens Saturday at noon.

The Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce ushered in the new hunting season with its third annual Hunter's Appreciation Day last Saturday in the Town of Rutledge.

Organizers said the crowds were good, the food was excellent and the entertainment was delightful.

"We had the best crowd ever," Chairman Steve Holmes said. "Mayor Joe Dexter Flynn and I estimated the crowd at over 500 throughout the day."

Last year, around 250 to 300 hunters were on hand during the event. Holmes said he was pleased with the turnout.

The Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce along with Big Daddy's Outdoors teamed up two years ago to host the hunter's appreciation day in hopes of helping promote hunting as a tourist industry in Crenshaw County. Holmes also said many hunters begin preparing food plots and setting up tree stands on their hunting land as well as holding work days with hunting clubs around the time of the event.

The event began with an invocation by Donnie Burns of First Baptist Church of Luverne, the Pledge of Allegiance and an hour-long Native American demonstration, which will include dancing and music.

The Chamber of Commerce sold Barbecue chicken plates throughout the day, which were prepared by members of the Crenshaw County Chapter of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. Lawhon's Brunswick stew and Pepsi Cola products were also sold during the event.

"Many thanks to all of our speakers and guest. James Key is always a crowd pleaser and always does a great job. Just about everybody won a door prize and we thank everyone who helped in the preparation in food especially the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association."

Ed Haas, owner of Rackmaster of Mobile, which sells bio-stimulant, growth hormones for food plots; Johnny Broadway, professional hunter and manufacturer of a complete line of game calls, will give a clinic; FLW professional bass fisherman James Key of Troy each gave clinics during the event.