First row, from left, are Greg Nowell, Tyson Stribling, Jake Moody, Kent Stribling and Eric Clark (MDWFP); second row, Trent Stribling, Rep. C. Scott Bounds, Gordon Adkins (MDWFP), Paxton Sharpe, Dewayne Sharpe, Curtis Gandy (MDWFP), Larry Higginbotham and Bobby Wilder (MDWFP); and third row, John McNeil, Bruce Threadgill, Truett Robertson, Toby Pinson (MDWFP), Jacob Breland, Steve Breland, Calvin Fulton, Chris Clark (MDWFP), Mike Tinsley and Thomas Tinsley.
First row, from left, are Greg Nowell, Tyson Stribling, Jake Moody, Kent Stribling and Eric Clark (MDWFP); second row, Trent Stribling, Rep. C. Scott Bounds, Gordon Adkins (MDWFP), Paxton Sharpe, Dewayne Sharpe, Curtis Gandy (MDWFP), Larry Higginbotham and Bobby Wilder (MDWFP); and third row, John McNeil, Bruce Threadgill, Truett Robertson, Toby Pinson (MDWFP), Jacob Breland, Steve Breland, Calvin Fulton, Chris Clark (MDWFP), Mike Tinsley and Thomas Tinsley.
Grilling 40 steaks for a group of hungry men might seem like a difficult task to many, but not Dewayne Sharp, especially if he is at "Lone Possum Hunting Club" just over the Kemper County line.

And, yes, that is how the club spells opossum!

Each year, members and their guests invite area game wardens over for a big supper, complete with all the trimmings.

Dewayne is the chief cook!

While they used to serve fried deer steak or stew, in recent years they've preferred steaks, served with French fries, green salad and rolls. What's more, there is a variety of appetizers served prior to the meal including barbecued grilled link sausage, fried duck nuggets and sometimes, stuffed mushrooms.

"I'm the chief cook even though I'm not paid," Dewayne said with a laugh. "I'm also the chief clean up."

Dewayne has always enjoyed cooking, especially on the grill. He has enjoyed it even more since retiring last year from AT&T.

He is known throughout the camp for his big breakfasts, which include sausage, scrambled eggs and grits. He tops the meal off with Pillsbury biscuits and an abundance of homemade syrup.

Cooking at the deer camp is not a hard task for Dewayne because the kitchen is equipped with all the essentials starting with a set of black skillets in various sizes, from the very small to the very large.

"We operate on the principle that if we have the black skillets, plenty of aluminum foil and paper towels then we have a sterile kitchen!" he said.

The camp consists of about 12 members, Dewayne said, in addition to the younger generation referred to as "the boys."

Dewayne acknowledged that other members are always willing to help out at meal time.

"One person can't do it all," he said.

When he's not at the deer camp, Dewayne enjoys spending time on his farm and caring for his numerous cows.

"I like farming," he said. "And we have some timberland."

He and wife Judy have two children. Daughter Cindy and her husband, Kyle Kennedy, live in Quitman with daughters, Dees, Lynna Clair and Lynzie Caroline.

Their son Jody and his wife, Arrah, live in Philadelphia with sons, Paxton and Peyton.

Dewayne has shared his most popular recipes that the guys at Lone Possum Hunting Club enjoy.



DEER MEAT AND GRAVY

5 pounds tender deer meat

2 large cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cups water

Brown deer meat lightly in a black skillet. Add deer meat, soup and water to crockpot. Cook on low for three hours. Serves six to eight.



PAN FRIED POTATOES

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

2 medium onions, diced

In large black skillet place 1/4 cup oil

Heat to 375 degrees for 10 minutes in oven. Add potatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. After 30 minutes, stir. Return to oven and cook until potatoes are done. Serves six to eight.



OVEN BAKED OKRA

1 large bag breaded okra

1/4 cup oil

Put oil in large black skillet. Preheat oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Add okra to skillet. After 30 minutes, stir. Cook until brown. Serves six to eight.



DEER ROAST

1 medium deer hindquarter, washed and cleaned

Sear deer in large Dutch oven with 1/2 cup oil

Add two cups water and two cans beef consommé and two beef bouillon cubes

Cut up one large onion and place on roast.

Cook on low heat for 4 1/2 hours. Serves eight.



CROCKPOT

BLACK-EYED PEAS

In a large crockpot place one pound bag of dry black-eyed peas

Add ham hocks or bacon for seasoning. Cover with water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Serves eight.





DEER CAMP

CORNBREAD

2 cups self rising cornmeal

1/4 cup self rising flour

3 large eggs

1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, diced into small bites

Combine meal and flour and add eggs and then pepper. Stir in enough buttermilk to make pourable. Heat large black skillet with 1/4 cup oil at 375 degrees. Add mixture and cook until browned. Serves eight.



LONE POSSUM DUCK NUGGETS

Cut 10 fillets of duck breast into lengthwise strips

Cut across the grain and into squares. Soak in Dale's seasoning for three to four hours. Drain, flour and deep fry.