Memphis Commercial Appeal

 

Site A Hit With Hunters

November 01, 1998

By Larry Rea, The Commercial Appeal Outdoors Editor

Page a labor of love for its creator

Lucy, Tenn. - You'd think a guy who has spent more than half his life as a systems programmer for Memphis-based Federal Express would have had his fill of computers. Not so, says Dennis Goldsby.

Since late July, Goldsby, 39, has spent countless hours in front of his home computer, programming, editing, and designing what he says is Tennessee's only Web site devoted entirely to deer ~ www.tndeer.com.

The site has received almost 15,000 hits, or visits, from all over the United States and as far away as Puerto Rico. It is averaging about 250-300 hits a day with a high mark of 486 the day after Goldsby was quoted in a national news article.

"When I started my goal was to provide a site for deer hunters across the state where they could go for information and talk to other hunters, a sort of one-stop shopping fourm," Goldsby said. "I think that's what I'm doing. It's a lot of work, but it's fun, too."

So fun that Goldsby has been willing to give up time he normally would be spending in the woods to keep track of the Web site and make sure it's running smoothly and includes new information.

The site's 27 categories includes about 200 pages of information on such topics as moon phase, state wildlife agency press releases, a talk forum and venison recipes. The chat room has become on of the site's most popular destinations, Goldsby said.

"I just love to sit down and see who's chatting and what they're chatting about," Goldsby said as he scanned the list of chat room visitors on a recent day. "Somebody told me we needed a chat (room). Now we've got chat.
Lots and lots of chat.

Week nights are the chat room's busiest time, Goldsby said. It's not unusual for four or five people at one time to be chatting on subjects such as Tennessee's two-buck rule and how best to trail a wounded animal.

"Just the other night we had a guy who's in the service stationed in Puerto Rico," Goldsby said. "He couldn't wait to get home for the Christmas holidays so he could go deer hunting." Goldsby said he has received "nothing but positive comments" about the Web site, which, he said, took about 60 hours to design and get "up and running."

Tim Speck, 20, of Brighton, Tenn., is a frequent Web site visitor.
"Tndeer.com is the best hunting site on the Internet," Speck said. "I love the site so much I have made it my home site."

Goldsby's incorporated a little of himself into the Web site.
If his hunting friends think there's something familiar about the Web page's camo design, they're right. He used the camo design on his favorite hunting shirt as the background for the category designation form.

It's also not unusual for Goldsby to wearing that shirt when he's at his home computer. The computer is located in what used to be the family living room in a house that stands on land where Goldsby used to rabbit hunt.

His three children - Daniel, 13, Jeremy, 11, and Rebekah, 10, often check the Web site.

Goldsby debuted his second Web site three weeks ago: www.msdeer.com.

"So far, it's not flying like tndeer," Goldsby said. "It's only had about 300 hits so far. But it's just getting off the ground. It looks like it's going to take a little more time to catch on than tndeer."

Does this mean that other sites are on the way?

"Who knows?" Goldsby said with a laugh. "These two are keeping me pretty busy. They're already cutting into my bow (hunting) time. I definitely plan to muzzleload hunt...computer or no computer."

 

The Commercial Appeal