Sadness, Fond Reflections Around Woody’s Campfire As Woody Coffee Mourned

Taxidermist Woody Coffee, founder of Woody's Campfire Talk message boards, died last month.

Daryl Kirby | March 1, 2009

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Coffee Jr., 66, of Alto, died of a heart attack in his home Saturday, Jan. 24.

Woody was born Aug. 22, 1942 in Habersham County. He founded the Chattahoochee Bass Club and was a member of the Walkinshaw Hunting Club in Richmond.

Woody was known to thousands of sportsmen through his business, Woody’s Taxidermy in Baldwin, and through Woody’s Campfire Talk, an Internet forum of message boards Woody created that has become one of the most-active outdoor-related message-board forums in the world.

Woody was recognized by Georgia Senate Resolution 92, honoring his life and memory and expressing the Senate’s “appreciation of his many contributions to his community and the state of Georgia.”

This photo of Woody Coffee was taken at the place his daughter, Danette Heflin, said he loved the most, the deer camp.

Woody began his Campfire Talk in 2001 at the same time GON was closing down an early version of an Internet message board, and Woody graciously invited former GON members to his board, so they could continue to have a place to communicate online. With the help of volunteer moderators, Woody’s vision of a clean, respectable place for sportsmen to share ideas flourished. It grew so large that the servers required to run the forum became a large expense, and two years ago Woody approached GON to help keep the site going.

Jim Thompson, a long-time administrator of Woody’s Campfire, said, “Woody was far and away the best mentor and father figure a man could ask for. He was a great friend that is sorely missed by family, friends and even folks who never met him. I only had the good fortune of knowing him for 10 years, but it was a great 10 years that I wouldn’t trade anything for. Thanks for all you did Woody.”

Marvin Poe, a moderator since the beginning of Woody’s Campfire, said, “Woody was a strong, silent leader until his input was needed, and he gave that input and direction in an effective and respectful way. I had a few deer mounted by his shop in recent years and always looked forward to those trips up there to drop off and pick up the mounts. Woody and Greg would make every customer coming into that shop feel as if he or she were the only customer they had.”

Moderator Clifford Lunsford said, “The forum and what it stands for speaks volumes about a man who was kind, polite — a loving person who enjoyed hunting, fishing and the outdoors. Mr. Woody saw a need for a family oriented, G-rated site on the World Wide Web for people like himself and others who enjoyed the same things, a place where everyone was welcome.”

Dustin Pate, also a moderator, said, “It amazes me every day to think of how such a small start with a web board has turned into a truly massive force in the outdoor community. I don’t think Woody would have ever dreamed the depth the forum has reached. With members across the country, and even across the world, it is more than a place to share tips. It is a place where friendships are formed, help is offered at a tip of the hat, and everyone’s bond of the outdoors grows.”

Moderator Tim Rowe added, “Woody was your friend the first time you met him and the same good friend every time you saw him. He was as good and humble of a man as I have ever met. It is amazing to me the way he touched the lives of so many people that never had the honor of meeting him.”

As Woody’s daughter Danette Heflin said to her father on a post at the message boards the day of his death, “Please keep the embers going till we meet again.”

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.