Located off Highway 28, a few miles from Georgetown along New Hope Road, is a sprawling camp named Hole Hunting Club, so named for a thick, bowl-shaped depression of thick undergrowth in the midst of the camp's 3,000 acres of leased land.

Many's been the times harried deer have run down into this tangled thicket when trying to escape the camp's hunting dogs hot on their trails, and many's been the times huffing hounds and exasperated hunters have returned to camp empty-handed shaking their heads: "They went into that dadblamed hole, and dun got away agin!"

When I made my first visit to Hole Hunting Club back in 2002, the club's primary focus was on a canine contingency of large (mainly Walker) hunting dogs. On one of that year's hunts, member Dave Moffatt scored on a handsome 8-pointer that weighed in at 190 pounds.

On another hunt, Shane McGee scored on a nice 16-inch-spread 8-pointer.

However, when I returned to Hole HC recently for a follow-up visit, I discovered that the club had made some changes in both their leadership and their hunting focus. The new leadership no longer favors the big-running dogs that sometimes have a tendency to push the deer off the camp's land and onto the next camp, where it then gets harvested by a happy hunter next door.

Hole Hunting Club - led today by President Allen Shepherd, Vice President Robert Castle, Secretary/Treasurer Kenn Munn, Chief Huntmaster Dennis Taylor and Huntmasters Kevin Vaughn and Bill Brown and alternate Huntmaster Robbie Graves - now favors the smaller beagle and mixed beagle dogs that still keep the deer moving, but at a much slower pace, making it easier to judge the buck's rack (or even if it has one) and hopefully keeping the current deer population still current and around.

Most members, however, would agree that Munn is the most important member of the camp since he is the camp cook, and he happens to own the land the camp is on.

During my visit, I pigged out on Ken's great cooking, which included the following: breakfast - fried eggs, sausage, grits, biscuits and hot coffee; lunch - deer roast, corn, rice and gravy, yeast rolls followed by cinnamon rolls or sweet potato pie with hot coffee for dessert.

The next morning, we had my all-time favorite breakfast from my childhood: biscuits with tomato gravy and sausage and eggs. (I may have to stop writing this story and run back down to Hole HC for some more of Munn's great food!)

Hole HC members mostly hunt deer and rabbit, with a little squirrel hunting, too. The members pursue deer in many ways, including with gun, bow or muzzleloader and via dog-hunting and still-hunting. Minimum deer kills allowed are three points on a side for bucks and a minimum weight limit for does of 75 pounds. In a typical year, the camp will harvest about 20 bucks and 20 does.

Each member puts up two stands and performs his allotted chores on workdays preparing roads, stands and plots, and helping keep the camp area clean and functioning.

As it is in most hunting camps, Hole HC has its share of jokes, pranks and stories. One I heard involved a Paul Bunyan-sized member named Lynn who, I was told, is about 6-feet, 9-inches tall, weighing somewhere between 400 and 500 pounds. Lynn works as an offshore oil worker, and the members take on the increased oil prices is because the oil companies have to feed Lynn while he works offshore.

They also tell a funny (not to Lynn, however) story about Lynn getting stuck beneath his trailer and an old hunting dog crawling up beside him that kept licking Lynn's face, no doubt a helpful gesture on the old dog's part, but his bad breath only served to make Lynn puke. Finally, he was extracted from his predicament when some other members got him out.

Another story Robbie Graves relayed told about the time a skunk got stuck in the bottom of some old burn barrels in the camp. Seems those in attendance had some liquid lubricant after dinner, and got into a big discussion as to how best to remove said skunk, including "I'll hold the light while you step on its tail to keep its tail down so it can't spray us!"

Robbie finally decided, however, just to shoot the critter, which then proceeded to spray everything and everybody within spraying range. Some even tried pouring gasoline to remove the ensuing smell, and somebody's wife hit somebody with a broom. (All names withheld to protect all guilty parties as well as to protect this writer from the aforementioned guilty parties!)

In summary, I came away from Hole HC greatly impressed by both the camaraderie and "can-do" attitude of today's members. Many work chores were being done on the workday when I made my return visit as members were "sprucing up" the campground as well as their roads, food plots and stands. As I relate in my book, Mississippi Hunting Camps, the fact that we sometimes harvest game is incidental to all the fellowship, food, fun and family togetherness that is seen in nearly all hunting camps around the Magnolia State.

I look forward to a return visit with Hole HC sometime later this season, perhaps with one of my grandson's so that he, too, can learn to enjoy God's Great Outdoors and the fantastic folks who populate Mississippi Hunting Camps.

Hole HC currently has around 50 members with possibly a few openings left. If interested, call President Allen Shepherd at 601-842-4478.

Autographed copies of Bill R. Lea's excellent new book, Mississippi Hunting Camps, are available by sending a check or money order for $81 ($75 plus $6 shipping) to Bill R. Lea, P.O. Box 321023, Jackson, MS 39232.