Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Reflections on the outdoors

Every year, I think back to my past hunting experience. I started hunting at the age of 12. I didn’t come from a hunting family, but friends from school took me hunting and been hooked ever since.

While I was in junior high had a friend who came from a family of trappers, so I caught the trapping bug. I saved up my lunch money to buy my first set of traps. One day another friend and I were walking a trap during an ice storm. I slipped on the ice and landed on a trap. I jump up yelling, trying to get the trap off my behind. My friend was laughing to hard too help. The next day he fell on the same trap and caught his arm. Well, I didn’t help him. I was laughing just like he did to me. The next season I learned about this trap called the Conibear, and bought a few for taken muskrat. On my first trip out I didn’t mark the  traps in the water. That night it rained. Next day the water was muddy and had this bright idea to stick my hands in the water to feel for the trap chain. That was a big mistake. I was caught by one of the traps by the wrist and my dad heard me yell while he was sitting in the car waiting for me.

While I was in the ninth grade my parents gave me an H&R single shot 20 gauge. That gun was stolen from our van right after a hunting trip a few years ago. I really miss that shotgun. During my tenth grade year I started hunting with an old .22 bolt action rifle my dad gave me. Once I shot a squirrel with it at 40 yards on a full run.

I had a dog named Duke who was part beagle and basset hound. He could tree a squirrel and then retrieved it. He only lived for one year and a half before he died of Parvo.

After finishing high school I kept on hunting, mostly going out alone. I lost contact with almost all my old hunting buddies from high school. But I did run into an old high school friend named Ray. We started hunting together again, and, boy what an experience that was. One night we were out camping and this buck came up to his side of the tent during the night. I said, “Ray look!” He raised his head up and started screaming, then ran out of the tent. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t stand up. I was I had a video camera with me. Another time we went to the Dolly Sodd wilderness area to do some bear hunting. He climbed a tree full of rotten limbs. I warned him about it but he climbed it anyway. He stepped on a limb and it broke. He fell, but one of his feet was caught in the fork of the tree. He was hanging upside down just out of reach of the ground. In the mean time I was watching this bear in front of us. I was trying hard not to laugh for fear of scaring off the bear.

During one fire season I worked in Montana as a contracted wild land firefighter. After the season a friend of my family had this dog, a Lab/Great Dane mix pup that was in bad shape. My friend lost his home and had no way to take care of the dog, so we brought the pup back with us to West Virginia. We didn’t think the pup was going to live long at first, but he surprised us. . I trained for hunting the best I could. His name is Jake, and he loves to go hunting. I learned never drag out the hunting gear in front of him the night before a hunting trip. Once, I did, and he jumps in the bed and barked almost all night. My wife yelled takes him hunting now! This was 3am, but we left and were at the Greenbottom WMA by 4am. I really love the outdoors. It’s like another home to me. I’d never will give it up for anything


Saturday, June 29, 2013

 Sorry I haven't been posting for a long time due to illness for the wife and I. Now I am ready to get started again so please stand by for more news.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Progress

I am currently writing two books called MisOutdoor Adventures and a novel Firefighters Strike at Dawn. As I sit in front of the computer sipping on my favorite wine while puffing on my favorite cigar getting the ball rolling. I hope to have both books done sometime in 2012. I will keep everyone updated on the books.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fly Fishing for Panfish

Walking along the banks of a lake casting my 5wt Bamboo fly rod catching a few bluegill. Its a real blast catching them when your not trout fishing to keep in practice. Fishing small farm ponds can be fun by catching hand size bluegills. Small flies from number 10 to 18 works really well. My favorite is the Elk Hair Caddis. Very easy to tie for a dry fly. Cast it and let the fly drift on the surface and give short jerks. This make the fly to be alive. The other favorite is the Deer Hair Beetle. Use them in deeper water with hard jerks. I use the same hook size like the Elk Hair Caddis. Fish around logs , lily pads , shallow water. During the spring during spawning cast into the next and wait for the bluegill or crappie take the fly and spit it out away from the nest. Try a wet fly and let it sink in the nest, that drives the fish crazy. A Hair Ear Nymph size 12 works well for that. Always release the fish during spawning. Swim right back to the nest and guard the eggs from predators. Summer time the best to go in the evening few hours from dark. Pan fish will be feeding on the surface. Good time to use dry flies like the Royal Coachmen, Mosquitoes, small poppers and the list goes on. Fish them the same way like the Elk Hair Caddis. Be sure to take along some bug repellent to keep the biting bugs off. The Autumn I use nothing but wet flies such as small streamers size 14 and a stone fly nymph works really well for pan fish by jerking the fly hard but not real hard. The fish going deeper when the weather gets colder. Fish feeding like crazy getting ready for winter.

Snare Trapping

Back in my younger day I remember carrying steel traps over my shoulder and carrying my catch. After a while, it can get tiresome . Just recently I seen my very first snares at a hunting and fishing show. I bought a dozen for $19.00. I was excited about how cheap they are to set up and very light weight so you can carry more in your pack without getting a hernia. You can carry 150 in a 5 gallon bucket with no trouble. I like to see someone do that with steel traps. If there set right wont harm or kill the animal. The snare relax when the animal is not struggling trying to get free. So if someone pet was caught just release them with no problem. One day I had a chance to see a snare set for the first time. I met Willis Bentley has 150 snare traps on his trap line. Mr. Bentley showed me in his shop how to make snares from 3/32 steel cable that has 7x7 stands. Here in West Virginia snares have to have relaxing type lock system with a breaking point of 350 pounds or less. Must have a stop with a minimum loop diameter of 2 ½ inches to keep any deer from getting caught. The snare is used only one time. Then replace the wire each time you retrieve your animal. After a short lesson, its off to the trap line. This was the first time I ever drove a 3 wheeler threw woods. After checking a few traps, I seen a very nice coyote caught, it’s a female weighing 35 pounds. After taken the coyote out of the trap, Willis rig up another snare in the same location. Since 2004 Willis trap 58 coyotes , 20 raccoons and 62 fox using wire snares. If you are interested in using snare check with your fish and game commission for rules. Also contact state trappers association for classes and seminars.

Bear hunting during the gun deer season

Seven counties. Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Monongalia, Morgan, Nicholas (private land), and Raleigh counties will be open for bear season during the deer gun season November 21 to December 3rd with out the use of dogs. The management objective is the need of additional bear harvest goal. With the concurrent buck-gun and bear season will occur when the maximum numbers of hunters in the woods. With the spotty mast crop this season will have the means that hunters will be successful will have to find in areas where the bears are feeding. All or parts of 24 counties will be open to hunt with or without dogs, from December 5th to the 31st. and all or parts of 37 counties will be open to hunt bears with out the use of dogs. Any hunter harvest a bear should submit a premolar tooth. Female bear harvest should save the reproductive tract or all entrails be kept cool and contact the nearest DNR District Wildlife Office to arrange pick up. Beer tooth can be sent in with an envelope hunters can pick at all checking station. Data from the tooth and entrails will help track the bear population monitoring

Juvenile Cited For Killing Buck

A Bridgeport youth has been cited for illegally taken a trophy buck along Medowbrook Road near Bridgeport. On November 4th investigation started from a Harrison County Taxidermist. Natural Resources Officer Sgt. Waybright examined the head and recovered a bullet from the 10-point buck allegedly shot with a rifle prior to deer rifle season. The field tag also identified the suspected shooter. Officer Waybright and Officer Randall Kocsis set up a meeting to talk with the youth and family soon after. The youth claimed he was bow hunting during the opening day of Archery season. When officers ask about the bullet the teen admitted to have been hunting with a 30/30 during the youth deer rifle season that can only take antlerless deer. He checking in the deer as a bow kill then taken it the taxidermist. The juvenile was cited for the following killing deer during closed season, illegal possession of wildlife, and improper checking of game. Since the deer determined the neck size and the measurement of the antlers of 15 inches made the 10-point buck to have a replacement fee of $1,000.00. The youth could face additional fines. The case is pending in the Harrison County Court House.