One Saturday night in early August, I’m relaxing with the family and my phone rings, as it had seemingly 1000 times that day. I look at the time, it’s a little after 9:00pm and my wife gives me one of those looks like “Do you HAVE to take this call?”.

Not recognizing the number I picked it up anyway and proceeded to talk for the hour and half with who is now my good friend, Frankie Marshburn. Frankie is one of those guys who is always on the go. On a recent hunt my buddy Van and I laughed our britches off because as we dropped him off at his stand we noticed he had 4-5 hour Energy drinks in his backpack’s mesh pocket. He says it helps him focus…well I guess so. Frankie puts the pedal to metal in everything he does and this conversation was no different.

He was interested in a tract of land in Halifax County, he must have asked a 100 questions, I could tell his passion for hunting and for the outdoors. We made arrangements to meet at the tract later the following week and he was fired up to see every square inch of it. We met the following Wednesday, armed with a bushwhacker and an aerial map we started off into bush and within about 30 minutes we both were bleeding through our shirts! We picked the thickest trails and pushed our way through what seemed to be every cat claw briar in the state.

This place was perfect for him, a creek, good cover, plenty of browse, and fantastic topography. The view from the upper section of the tract made you feel like you were in the mountains, a big sweeping valley below you and a sunset ridge to the west. After a bit of wheeling and dealing we struck a deal on the property and Frankie went to work. Hiring our good friend Connell Purvis to do the ground work, he took a week off work and began to totally transform this piece into what is now called “The Sunset Lodge”. He began by pushing a road around the entire perimeter and x-crossing some shooting lanes around the lower sections. He put up some feeders, set out game cameras, planted some food plots and built several box blinds in some strategic locations. He then had a septic field put in, water and power supply, as well as a new gravel driveway with a fence and a gate. To boot, he also added an outdoor sitting area and fire pit, very nice! All he needed to do was to pull the camper in and he was ready to rock and roll!

My man Frankie had done it, in one week and countless hours of blood sweat and tears he had accomplished his goal. Frankie did it right, he worked hard, he found the right place, he took the advice of professionals and created a dream location he’ll enjoy for generations.

Don’t forget to take a kid into the wood with you this Holiday Season, they’ll love you for it! Merry Christmas!

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