Black River Sporting Clays
Black River Sporting Clays began in humble fashion as the Tisdale home site and had been in the Tisdale family for several generations. When you drive up to the Black River Club you are instantly aware of the majestic live oaks than surround the cabin in which the Tisdale’s made a home. According to the current manager, David Holiday, never a day passes that he is not asked the age of those trees and his answer, derived from Mr. Johnson Tisdale who grew up on the site, is that they were huge when he was a little boy in the 1920’s.
The current owner is Mr. Johnson’s daughter Pam and husband Tony Williamson. According to David Holiday the Black River Club consists of several hundred acres of owned land and many acres of leased property. It began as a hunting operation for deer hunting with dogs in the 70’s as was the custom in those days and one of the few areas in the state that still accepts the practice. What is now the proshop part of the cabin was used as the deer hunting clubhouse and Mr. Johnson Tisdale who also owned the local Guerry’s store spent a lot of time at the club for the suppers and fellowship with the club members. He would also visit the pond stand [number 7 station unofficially designated as Johnson’s hole] and watch the wood ducks come to roost. That has been a lot of inspiration for some of Holiday’s presentations; to mimic the flight of the wood ducks, doves and quail abounding on the acreage.
Although the club is open for deer, turkey, dove, and quail, it is renowned for the duck hunting on site as well as the 500 acres of planted duck ponds leased in the area. There are several lodges on the property that can sleep 15 to 20 hunters and guests. Success is very high as there are plenty of wild ducks but they also release around 4500 mallards per season to supplement the numbers. There are approximately 20 membership slots as the club does not offer day hunts or lease blinds.
Holiday was hurt in a tree stand accident and as an early member of the hunting club was offered the range manager job and is very passionate about his guests having a successful hunt as well as setting clay targets. He has obtained his NSCA level one certification and currently coaches the Black River Clay Crushers, a nine member team that is bound to grow under Holiday’s tutelage.
Whether you are a wild game enthusiast or sporting clays aficionado, Black River Club offers every customer a quality experience with a low key down home environment that is heartwarming to all. One of the things that Holiday is most proud of is the food prepared for the club. He is sure that Mr. Johnson Tisdale would approve of the hearty dishes of low country cuisine that is offered regularly to patrons of the club. Holiday is gaining experience as a target setter and has developed the pond stations on the end of the course that provide the technical challenges that more seasoned shooters will appreciate along with a mix of simple to complex stations along the way. The ponds provide an absolutely gorgeous vista and shooting stands are placed in a way that you can almost imagine a speeding wood duck coming into view, hurtling, dropping before you! So be sure to put Black River Sporting Clays on your schedule and you’ll see what I know already; the experience will stay etched in your memory for a long time!