The Pitman family came to Macon County, Alabama in 1983 to follow a dream of creating a facility that would host guests from all over the world in a beautiful, natural setting while incorporating the philosophy of respect for the land, the game and the guests. Over the course of the following 18 years, a virtual paradise has been carved from this former farmland. Year after year some of the finest wildlife in the U.S. is produced while integrating timber use, recreational opportunities, aesthetics and environmental quality. Following this format has set the standard for other hunting and shooting resorts in the nation and has earned this facility the reputation as one of the premier hunting lodges in the Southeast.
White Oak Plantation
The plantation encompasses a total of 2,800 acres with another 16,000 acres of leased land that is utilized for hunting and is managed for all types of wildlife. For year round enjoyment by all types of guests, there are six fishing ponds with a 10-acre pond in front of the lodge stocked with largemouth bass and bream. An Eco Tour, birding stations, butterfly gardens and lily pad ponds are being developed under the guidance of Auburn University.
The quality of the deer herd has been maintained over the course of 18 years by a strict adherence to a Selective Harvesting Program which was developed with the advice and guidance from private wildlife biologists, Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Auburn University. Since White Oak’s inception, the young bucks have been protected and allowed to mature while hunters have been encouraged to take more does and a limited amount of mature bucks. The numbers of deer taken are mandated by game and fish officials.
A Smart Place To Hunt
Tremendous strides have been made in the education of the general public in the past few years in the many benefits of taking does from the herd. As a result of consistent criteria on harvesting of deer the ratio of does to bucks has dropped to 2 Ω to 1. Therefore hunters may expect to see as many bucks on White Oak land as anywhere in the Southeast.
In addition to controlling the harvest of both deer and turkey, planting is done for the wildlife on a year round basis. Perennial grasses and clover are planted in 10- to 15-acre parcels and bahia crops have been planted in smaller openings. Over 3,000 sawtooth oaks have been planted lining many of the pine plantations. Stream side Management Zones have been left in all clearcut areas with hardwood areas surrounding the pines that provide corridors and mast crops for wildlife. The plantation now encompasses over 194 acres of planted pines and 145 food plots from Ω to 15 acres in size.
FAQ's TO WHITE OAK Below is a list of 21 of the most frequently asked questions the folks at Whitet Oak receive. You cansave this list, and use it to compare them when choosing a destination for your next hunting vacation. White Oak will not fit the needs of every hunter, but we try to describe honestly what services we offer and how we run our Selective Harvesting Program. By doing this, the hunter has the facts he or she needs to make their decision.
1. WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATIONS DO YOU HAVE? White Oak ‘s completely modern lodge with air conditioning and heating accommodates hunters in double occupancy bedrooms, each with a private bath. If space is available, a hunter may arrange to stay in a private room for an extra fee. Red Oak’s bunk house style accommodates four hunters per bedroom and twelve hunters per hunt. Daily maid service is provided at both lodges.
2.HOW MANY ACRES DO YOU HUNT? White Oak and Red Oak combined have control of 16,595 acres either owned or on a long term lease, all private land; no public land.
3.WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF TERRAIN? Located along the Opintlocco River, the terrain consists of rolling hills, pine and hardwood forests, and farm and swamp land.
4.WHAT STYLE OF HUNTING? During deer season there is only stand hunting. All hunts are “fair-chase” . There are no pens or high fences. During spring gobbler season, hunters are assigned a guide and an area to hunt in which they may stalk or still hunt.
5.ARE THERE FOOD PLOTS FOR THE GAME YEAR ROUND? There are more than 450 acres of food crops planted specifically for the wildlife year round. Mineral supplements are available. There are more than 15 acres of Sawtooth Oaks, with perimeters of red and white clover.
6.HOW MANY STANDS ARE ON THE PROPERTY? With a combination of hunting houses and ladder stands, there are more than 500 stands located on the property. Many are large enough for two hunters if needed.
7.HOW ARE THE HUNTS CONDUCTED? Hunts are planned to give the hunter a maximum amount of time in the woods and thereby the most success. There are two hunts per day, a morning and afternoon, with each hunt averaging four hours. A hunter can request to stay in the woods all day without a noon break.
8.WHAT IS AN AVERAGE DISTANCE SHOT? When hunting over green fields, a 100 yds. is an average shot, but it could be much closer if hunting in the swamp or on trails. Rifles 243 or larger are recommended.
9.ARE THERE GUIDES? Professional guides are in residence during the entire deer and spring gobbler season. One on one guides may be arranged during deer season at the cost of $50.00 per morning or afternoon hunt. During spring gobbler season, one on one guides or callers are provided in the cost of the hunt.
10.WHAT IS THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ON THE PLANTATION? There are specially constructed four wheel drive vehicles designed for hunter comfort and safety, a nine-passenger Suburban.
11.WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER AND WHAT CHARGES WILL I ENCOUNTER? White Oak guides will skin, quarter and package game at no extra charge. Red Oak guides will only field dress at no extra charge, but quartering and packaging are extra. The hunters are responsible for taxidermy fees and shipping costs. Alabama hunting licenses are available at the lodge. Any trophy buck after the first is $750.00. The only other extra fees are trophy fees of $200.00 for a button buck and $500.00 for any substandard buck.
12. IS THERE A COOLER TO STORE GAME? There is a large cooler located at White Oak that will hold your game until your departure.
13.WHAT IS THE NEAREST AIRPORT AND IS THERE TRANSPORTATION? Montgomery, AL is one hour to the west and Atlanta, GA is two hours to the east. Transportation to and from the airport is available at an extra cost and is contracted through a limousine service. Cost (NOT TIPS) may be included in your invoice at White Oak. Tuskegee, AL has a 5000 ft. paved, lighted airport for private planes.
14.ARE MEALS PROVIDED? Three southern style meals are served per day. At White Oak, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar are available after the afternoon hunt and fruit, cold drinks and snacks are available at all times. At Red Oak, hunters are expected to provide their own favorite libations, setups & snacks. During the spring and summer, White Oak’s dining room prepares delicious meals seven days a week. Reservations are required.
15.WHAT SIZE RACKS CAN I EXPECT TO SEE? There is a Selective Harvesting Program at White Oak & Red Oak. White Oak hunters may take only one trophy buck during their stay and two does per day. To be considered mature, a buck must have either 8 points or a 16 inch spread. Several deer taken from the plantations last year scored over 151 Boone and Crockett points. Pope and Young quality deer are not unusual. Red Oak has a “Trophy Only” area, from which only one mature buck and two mature does may be taken and a “Hunter’s Choice” area from which a second buck may be taken.
16.WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SIZE OF THE DEER? Bucks range from 150 to 220 pounds, with the average 2 Ω year old buck weighing 160 pounds.
17. IS A KILL GUARANTEED? Hunts are fair-chase, there are no high fences and no pen raised game. We do not guarantee that you will take a mature deer. (See question 18)
18.WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS RATIO? Over the past 18 seasons the success ratio on bucks and does during gun season averaged 100%. The ratio on mature bucks has been as low as 27% and as high as 38%. Bow hunters average 70% success ratio on bucks and does. Red Oak’s success ratio has been slightly lower than White Oak. Spring gobbler success ratio on mature gobblers has run a low as 78% and as high as 128%. The ratio of does to bucks is 2.5 to 1.
19.WHAT SIZE ARE THE TURKEY GOBBLERS? Turkeys average 18 pounds; spurs average 1 inch (plus or minus) and beards are usually 8 - 12 inches. Many double and triple beards are taken each season.
20.HOW MAY I TALK WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS HUNTED WITH YOU? There are lists of prior hunters that we supply on request.
21. AT WHAT TIMES OF THE YEAR ARE THE LODGES OPEN? White Oak is open the entire year. Deer season opens mid-October and ends January 31. Preserve quail from October 1 to March 31 and Spring Gobbler from March 20 to April 30. During the Spring and Summer months guests enjoy overnight stays that include sporting clays, fishing, birding, and simply relaxing. Red Oak is open ONLY from after Christmas until the end of January.
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