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The Christian Creek Hunting Club, a 1,500 acre tract in Butler County AL, was started in 1999 by Josh Webster. Josh and a few of his friends had the idea for a hunting club that would put an emphasis on Christian fellowship and mentoring young people. Josh has moved on to become the Youth Minister at the Florence Blvd. church of Christ, in Florence Alabama, but the club lives on and is now managed by brothers, Caleb & Trae Durden. Caleb is in his second year of college and Trae is the Pulpit Minister for the Tenth Street Church of Christ in Opelika, Alabama. The club started out with the total membership being made of up of ministers in the churches of Christ from all over Alabama. In the last few years, they have opened the membership to those outside the ministry. However, they still expect the membership to use the land to minister to others and to influence young people with a Christian ethic. Through the years they have made improvements on the land and have grown into a very close-knit group. Being comprised mainly of ministers in various churches, the club has no problem finding children in need of a little guidance or mentoring, and thatís where they concentrate their efforts. The club participates in Alabama's youth hunts annually. They also take great delight in hosting a National Wild Turkey Federation Wheelin' Sportsmen event on the second weekend of December. They hold an annual girlís hunting day, hosting young women for a day, arming them with a host, a 4-wheeler, and a video camera to capture wildlife on film. The girls have actually had more luck catching wildlife on film that the boys have with a gun. (Editorís Note: By the way, the girls CAN hunt with a gun, but have chosen the camera as their weapon of choice.) There is not a time throughout the season, that a member or two do not have a youngster with them, taking advantage of the benefits of the club. In all, the club probably has at least 50 or more children that visit. They get a fine meal, have an opportunity to see the effect of wildlife management, take advantage of a unique spiritual experience, enjoy the out-of- doors, and possibly harvest a deer or turkey. Christian Creek has implemented management practices that enhance the wildlife on the club. They have had outstanding success on all counts. After the first year, they implemented a management plan that restricted the buck harvest to six points and better. They have also encouraged the membership to take as many does as possible to keep the deer herd within the carrying capacity of the land. They have managed the club under the Quality Deer Management philosophy that is paying off, as you can see by the photos in the article. The wild turkeys on the area are also taking advantage of the wildlife management on the property, and provide some great spring outdoor sporting. The club has an outstanding set of rules that all members must meet to remain on the club. Obviously, things like obeying all game laws is listed, but they also have instituted fines for missing work days, as well as fines for harvesting deer that do not fit their antler restrictions. These are the kinds of rules that make a club work together to make wildlife management pay off. Being firmly committed to their Christian ethic and ministering to youth, no alcohol or tobacco products are allowed on the club. Hunting is allowed on Sunday, but only as long as it does not interfere with attendance of worship services. Being ministers, many of the members can provide a spiritual service at the club for the kids, and still have the opportunity to hunt that day. If you want to see the results of their efforts, or just learn more about the Christian Creek Hunting Club, visit their website at http://www.huntchristiancreek.com/ Hats off to the club! Great job with mentoring our children.