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The Devereaux Hunting Club was founded in 1975 by Rocky Evans, David Harrison, and Keith Henry. David Harrison had located a 1,500 acre tract with two ox-bow lakes, along the Savannah River. The three founders met and put a list together of potential members. They came up with fifteen new members for the fledgling club and decided on a dues structure of $100.00 per year. After negotiation with the owner, Coastal Lumber Co., they learned that Coastal required liability insurance that would take most of what they had planned to spend for the lease. Coastal later decided that they would like to have the "Devereaux guys" take care of the property, and leased the tract to them for $1.00. This enabled the club to do a little more. Shortly thereafter, Steve Brown offered the club the rights to hunt his family's property in Devereux, Ga. This was quite a bonus to the club. The Brown family offered five different parcels of land to the club, along with the opportunity to use his grandmother's former ante-bellum home as a clubhouse. Steve had even located some old no-trespassing signs that read, "NO TRESPASSING! THE DEVEREUX HUNTING CLUB" Thus, the name was established, although the club decided to spell the newly formed group," The Devereaux Hunting Club."
That same year, Rocky Evans asked Maxwell Vallotton if he would consider leasing his property in McCormick County, S.C. to the club. Maxwell also offered the new club hunting rights and asked for nothing in return, other than maintenance. The new club suddenly had three different prime leases locked in and had spent only $300.00 for liability insurance.
From this point, the club could seek dove hunting opportunities with the remainder of the budget. The club hosted several successful shoots that first year and still had a little left in the treasury that was un-allocated. Later that year, the founders noticed an ad in the Augusta newspaper, advertising a duck and fishing pond in Barnwell County that year. They met with the Bolen family and determined quickly that the club needed this additional property. They agreed to expand the roster to twenty members and increase dues by $25.00/year. This proved to be one of the best moves for the club yet. The owner agreed to also provide dove hunting and over the next twenty years, Norman Bolen provided some of the best shoots that the club has had access to. Fishing in the pond was exceptional, offering largemouth bass, bluegills, and shell crackers, with exciting fishing for redbreasts in the large spillway. The duck hunting was outstanding, offering fast paced shooting for Ring necks, Scaup, Wood ducks and even some Redheads and Canvasbacks. The club now offered its members hunting for deer, turkey, ducks, and doves, along with fishing in their seventy-acre lake. The Barnwell property also had a clubhouse that served as a great meeting place. No one knows how many ducks and doves were taken by The Devereaux Hunting Club and its guests in those first twenty-five years, but suffice it to say the Barnwell property served the club well over the years.
Rocky Evans served as club president for ten years before rotating out as an officer. Hap Harris was elected as president in 1985 and has served in that capacity since. Since that time, the club has added club advisors who are assigned a number of members to keep updated on dove shoots, etc. Scott Elliott was asked to served Dove Meister shortly after Hap was elected president, and Scott has served the club in that capacity since. Because of their fast paced dove shoots, and the diversity of the different properties, the Devereaux Hunting Club became one of the most sought after clubs in the area.
Membership increased over the years and the club located another property for deer and turkey around 1988. The Bailey Tract was leased to add Burke County deer hunting. With the Devereaux property over seventy miles away, members were quick to take advantage of the excellent hunting now found just forty minutes from Augusta.
To Date, the club maintains over 3,600 acres for deer, turkey, ducks and wild hogs. It boasts two hunting cabins, Spartan, as they may be, which allow members the opportunity for long weekends in the woods. The club maintains leases in Burke County and Jefferson County, Georgia and one lease in McCormick County South Carolina. To say the club has come a long way in twenty-nine years is an understatement. While the club has experienced growth in both size and budget, there has been one constant which has remained in place all these years. There has never been a firearms related accident on any Devereaux property. Safety is and will always be paramount to the members of Devereaux.
The membership has changed some over the twenty-nine year history of the club but the quality and diversity of its members has not. The club is still one of the most sought after hunting clubs in the CSRA. The roster now stands at forty-five members and a waiting list of potential members is still maintained. September still finds Devereaux members in its dove fields, seeking challenging wing shooting, and great food and fellowship at day's end. The deer season will always find Devereaux members gathering at the pin boards in the pre-dawn darkness, trying to decide which stand may yield a trophy buck or hoping that their pre-season scouting will pay off. While hunting was the reason the group formed and grew over the years, it is the fellowship and camaraderie of its members that will keep this unique band of sportsmen together for many years to come.