Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center
There are two entrances into the Wildlife Center that are far apart, maybe a mile or two, so I imagined what was back there was large. It’s actually 6400 acres. I told my son Tim about it since he’s a Georgia hunter and fisherman. He knew about it and had been there several times to shoot and fish. There are shooting ranges, skeet, and an archery range as well as several lakes for fishing. It’s also a good bird watching place, hiking, biking, horseback riding and picnicking, meeting accommodations, conference center, banquet hall and programs for children and adults. It’s like a state park, only it isn’t.
I visited the information center and store and met Sue. Of course she sells t-shirts, but also ammunition and other hunting paraphernalia that I don’t know the names of, fishing stuff and BOOKS. I looked at the shelves then talked to her about my Little Beth Books, which seem to be a good fit for what they carry. She was interested, and I just happened to have samples in the car. (Well, of course I do. When I’m NOT on a book trip, which I wasn’t, I carry one of every book, my catalogue and business cards. When I’m on a book trip, I carry a lot of everything, which is why my husband calls my car “Deanna’s mobile distribution center.”) She also liked Amanda & the Lazy Garden Fairy, so I gave her the information, and I hope she’ll be carrying those little nature books.
By this time, I was really curious who Charlie Elliott is. Of course, I bought books. Dogs, Geese & Grizzly Bears, authored by Charlie Elliott, made me laugh. He’s an outdoorsman, a writer and author, and a humorist. Even though I don’t hunt grizzlies in the Arctic, I sure enjoyed his telling the story. I enjoyed this so much, I’m loaning it to a friend I met at the dog park who does do all these things. As soon as he returns from his fishing trip in Saskatchewan, I’m giving him this book. Then I’m giving it to my son. Then I might read it again.
The second book is An Outdoor Life, the Autobiography of Charlie Elliott. I’m nearly finished with it, and what I’ve learned is, I’d like to have known this man. One of Georgia’s great men, Charlie spent his long life in the outdoors working for Wildlife Management, Fish and Game Commission, NPS, writer for many outdoor magazines and editor of Outdoor Life Magazine. He was in his 80s when he wrote his autobiography in 1994. He hunted and fished with many men whose names are familiar and notable. Yet, he is a humble humorist who laughs at himself, and never took his life too seriously.
I recommend these books, and if you happen to get lost in middle Georgia and get lucky you’ll find the route to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, where you can have a nice day in the great Georgia outdoors.