Gray Horse Branch Hunting Club
Gray Horse Branch Hunting Club was founded in 1985 and began as a 1311 acre hunting club with 10 members, all of which were from Monroe County. The sign-in area was a box on a post with a lock and heat was provided by a 55 gallon drum as the fireplace. Even back then, several of the founding members had a dream of being bigger and better. That dream carries on now, more especially the “better” part. Beginning with the 1987 season, GHB entered into the Sate Deer Management Program (DMP) program and began harvesting does and gathering weights, etc. as part of the program. Gray Horse remained in this program until the state opened its doe season and no longer required tags, etc. The sign-in had expanded to a small lean-to shed, solar light (1) and a fuel tank converted to a wood heater, compliments of Donnie Barnes. My Dad was the main fire builder in those days and when the heater arrived, written on the side with soap stone was “Merry Christmas John”. Dates escape me but around 1989 - 1990, we moved the sign-in to the dead end road behind “Rayford McNeil’s” house. We had lost part of our lease in a land sale to the adjoining landowner but had added additional lands. The new sign-in room arrived late one summer afternoon after being constructed on a trailer frame at Billy Barnes shop by a group of club members. Along about this time, the club was comprised of about 3000 acres and growing. In 1995, the clubs sign-in again changed faces as what is now known as the “Fort” arrived in Fountain. The Fort, a 44 foot dry-van was converted to a camp with kitchen, shower, 4 bunks and a toilet. The construction was done by 5 or 6 members on Wednesday nights each week at Donnie Barnes house in Monroeville. After all this time, we had power and water – we had hit the big time. Gray Horse was now a +- 4500 acres club, which had gone through the improvement stages of deer management from no spikes to forked fork to what is now referred to as 14.17.100 (Must have: -a 14” > spread or 17” > main beam or a $100 fine). As time went on and members acquired tractors rather than a borrowed tractor and all members slinging seed and fertilizer all day long, summer crops were planted over the club. Remember bigger and better, we were still trying to get there on the better. We now lease +/- 5400 acres, plant summer crops, have covered feeding stations, mineral licks, some good deer and a great group of members. Not sure if it can get better than this.