Monday, January 31, 2011

I got an award?!

That's right I got an award, you read that right. I couldn't believe it either when Glynn over at A Reel Lady (if you have checked Glynn's blog out yet, you need to!!), tweeted me telling me she had mentioned myself and a few others on her blog early last week. To my surprise I find out that she had awarded all of us this award :

There are a few duties that the recipient of this award need to perform:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. 
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Give the award to 15 recently discovered worthy bloggers.
4. Contact them to make them aware of the award.

Seven Random Facts:
  1. Surprisingly enough, and I do have victims friends to back this up, I am a great cook. You'd never guess it considering Cassie does 95% of the cooking anymore, but I still love to get in the kitchen and pretend to be Bobby Flay now and again.
  2. For most of my college years I never thought I wanted or needed a girlfriend or would ever want a wife, but come to find out, I was really wrong. Happily, I have someone moving in with me this spring. Wish me (and her more so) luck!!
  3. With #2 wrote, I'm also inheriting a Boston Terrier named Buster, never thought I could like a small dog, but he's growing on me. You can see a picture of him (and all of us) in the bottom picture from "How I spent my Saturday"
  4. After being out of college for almost two years now, I'm heading back to my Alma mater, West Virginia University for a Master in nothing close to what my Bachelors is in.
  5. I started this blog as a half witted idea and never thought I'd take it serious or have it last more than a week or two. Well, that was back in the beginning of September, and with the support I'm getting from friends and family, and the new friends I've met on here, I don't think I'm going to be able to look back.
  6. I have worked as a Daycare/Summer Program teacher before, and currently work in the Finance Office. (Grew up with both parents being teachers, apple couldn't fall to far from the tree)
  7. I never seem to take the easy road when it comes to the outdoors. I started hunting, I chose to start back into it bow hunting. I started fly fishing, I only wanted to us my own flies I tied. The funniest one, I wanted to learn how to can, so I asked made my mom teach me how to make blackberry jam and can it. **Bonus** - I love PB&Js, hence the blackberry jam.
Now on to the 15 awards I need to give out.. Most of these, I'm sure, are going to be repeated by now (sorry for that, I'm a little late on this post). But here they are anyways. Most of these are ones I either read daily or have influenced me in one way or another.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How I spent my Saturday

Yes, I know this sounds like some kind of Monday morning, second grade book report style question, but it's not, I swear. It's actually just a few pictures of, well, what else would you do with a foot and a half of fresh snow outside? No, I don't ski or snowboard, that just normally ends in painful evenings and weekends. So have you guessed it yet?

That's right, we made a snow man...

Say "Hi!" to Bow.
That's right, Bow got his name because I used a broken arrow for his nose.
The name was a joint effort between Cassie and I
That's right, I got a picture of Cassie in her camo!! She's still wearing those
dumb Uggs, but I'll take what I can get.
But I think this was the best picture of the day.
L to R: Cassie, Justin, Buster, Bow
Sometimes it's the small things, like taking time to build a snow man, that can make memories that last forever. I didn't see one person who saw it, not have a huge smile on their face. Plus it's always nice to spend a little extra time with Cassie, considering she doesn't see me much from October through December due to Deer Season. Haha. She's a great sport about my hunting, fishing, and outdoors addictions and even joins in for a good part of them. So you might be see more of her in some post once the weather warms up and we start fishing more!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is it Turkey Season Yet?

Turkey Season is going to be here before we know it, April 25th for us here in West Virginia. It even seems like sooner if you could hear half the conversations that Jay and I have been having lately.  It's been a mixture of trout fishing, shed hunting, and turkey hunting - the joys of the outdoors never seem to stop. Anyways, Jay sent me some trail  cam pictures from earlier this week, he has his trail cam set out trying to get  last minute pictures of  bucks that have yet to shed their antlers. However, to our surprise it looks like we're in for a treat during turkey season, now just to do some scouting to see where they are roosting.

Look at those spurs!!

That'd be a nice double opening morning.

I'm counting four with at least two long beards, maybe more!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Thousand Already?!

That's right, Foggy Mountain Meanderings got it's 1000 pageview of all time yesterday, I know for some of you that isn't that great, hell to some of you, you get that in a little more than a week, but this is at least a start for me. :)

Really it's kind of funny I am doing this post, just yesterday the Outdoor Blogger Network did a post  "The State of the OBN: 100th post", I swear I'm not copying you guys. This post has been in the works for a few days now, it really is funny this blog started as a way for me to track my hunt and outdoor adventures and I didn't really care to have anyone follow me or read it, just my own little sanctuary. There is proof of this I only have 150ish pageviews from Sept 2010 - Dec 2010. I was not disappointed by those totals as they were mostly family and friends just following along on my random postings. It wasn't until the beginning of this month that I decided to try and take it more serious and submitted my blog to the OBN, created a Twitter account, and Facebook Fan Page for FMM to try and promote it more. To my surprise and some help from an amazing family and girlfriend, a great group of hunting/fishing buddies, and some new great outdoor bloggers I've met in the past month, I've managed to get 850+ pageviews and 16 Blogger followers in the past month alone. So this is my THANK YOU post to all of you out there for meandering along with me on this journey!! If there is anything I am doing that you love, let me know so I can keep it up or do more of it.  Even if there's something that you hate on here let me know so that I can quit or change it up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You know it's cold..

..when you put your trail cam out and the batteries "die" in a little over 12 hours. Not to mention, my ol' Moultrie Trail Camera two of the four clips, that the bungee straps clip to, had broke off. I'm not sure how they broke off, it could  have bee the temperature, the age, or the few times the bears used it as a back scratcher, or a combination of all three. Who knows? It has been a great camera, actually Jay's dad had an original, all-black, 4.0 mega pixel, which in turn helped me make my decision on my trail camera a few years back. Since both my and his father's cameras had held up so well, Jay purchased a Moultrie D-55 IR, this past season, that thing works great. So anyways, back to what I was saying after that little side trip. When Jay went to get my camera he was shocked that I only had 49 total pictures in the two and a half weeks that it had been up, come to find out that the cold had drained the batteries in around 12 hours, but once it warmed up, it had 95% battery life left. It did manage to get a few good pictures while it was out, which was the main point of this post, so instead of me continual babble, here are the pictures. I do have a small disclaimer, we do feed corn and you can see it in these pictures, it is legal in West Virginia and it helps us get better pictures in the off-season.

One of the first pictures we got this year of a buck that already shed his antlers.

A little spike that still hadn't shed his antlers.

The spike again with I'm not sure if it's a spike that's shed his antlers or a doe,
but it looks like it has some scaring on its face.

I'm not sure if this is the same buck from the the first picture, but if you look close at the back you can see him.
As you can see the ol' Moultrie is still doing a fine job, now lets just hope I can get a new casing for it so that I can continue to getting everyone pictures.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Long Weekend and Late Birthday Presents

This weekend started in a firestorm of things to do. We had to run back to my house to get some things done and to get some things for this weekend. Then had to high-tail it back to Cassie's apartment in Morgantown, so that we could get some sleep before headed out to Parkersburg, WV, to spend sometime with her family and to have a late birthday dinner for me with her parents. With fishing season right around the corner and with me out growing my beginners fly tying kit and materials, I started searching for a local fly shop. Lucky as I could be, I found out that there was one in Parkersburg, and even more so that Cassie's father knew the manager at Angler's X Stream, an official Orvis dealer. Of course they had no problem showing me where the shop was, and of course I had to explore and pick up some new items. To my surprise, they knew I wanted to get a new fly tying vise, so they surprised me with one at the store as I was getting some new tools, materials, and hooks.
Some of the goodies I picked up this weekend.
Then today was topped off with a WVU basketball game (and a victory!!) this afternoon with Cassie, her brother, my dad, and uncle. I didn't get much done outdoors wise this weekend but I was able to pick up some new fly tying equipment, and had enough time to bust a few new flies this morning, man am I rusty. It looks like I need to practice a little more before the products come from Montana Fly Company to review, but hey it's all in good fun. Guess I'll just have to banish myself to my fly tying table for a few nights this week to knock off the rust. Haha. Even though it was a long weekend, it was an enjoyable one. Next weekend looks like it's going to be very low key. Hopefully, that means that I'll get some more interesting post of up for you guys and some more flies tied. I'm also hoping that the stuff comes for the product review so that Jay and I can get together so we can get that write up done for the Outdoor Blogger Network.

Don't forget you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spicy'n'Sweet Deer Jerky

As I said in the previous post "The weekend that wasn't", I made some great deer jerky, if I do say so myself. I've had a few family friends give me recipes and  I've looked up a few on the internet, but over time I have changed it back and forth and created new ones. I personally like spicy things so my jerky is indicative of that, at least this one. It can be made without the things that spicy it up and it is still delicious, I promise. So here is a list of all the ingredients that you'll need and then a step by step process of how to make it. It's not really that hard, but hey, if I didn't also how to tell you how to make it, this would be an extremely short post.

  • 2 Lbs. of Venison cut into strips

Wet Ingredients
  • 1/3 C - A1 Steak Sauce
  • 1/4 C - Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 C - Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Tb. - Liquid Smoke
  • 1Tb. - Sriracha *
  • 1 t - Franks Red Hot

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 t - Paprika
  • 1 t - Garlic Powder
  • 1 t - Chili Powder*
  • 1t - Ground Sage
  • 1 t - Black Pepper
  • 1.5 Tb. - Seasoned Salt
  • Sprinkle (or more if you enjoy the heat) of Crushed Red Pepper*

*These are the ingredients that make the jerky more spicy, they do not have to be added to the jerky.

Step 1: Kill the deer or acquire some venison. Have it cut into strips, I prefer to keep mine around 2"-4" long and 1/4"-1/2" thick.
Step 2: Make sure the venison is thawed and place it in a contain to be marinated.
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients (Noted Above) to the venison, make sure that all the venison is covered.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients (Noted Above) to the bowl, this is where it can get fun. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, make sure that all the strips of venison are covered. After this is done, you can sprinkle in the crushed red pepper.
Step 5: Seal the container and let the mixture marinated for 12 to 24 hours. I normally let it marinated for a minimum of 24 hours, but I make sure to mix it up at least once if not more in that time frame.
Freshly Mixed.
After 24 hours.
Step 6: After allowing the venison to marinade remove the strips from the marinade and put them directly onto the drying rack of the dehydrator.
Step 7: Turn on the Dehydrator and let it do its magic. The time for this can vary depending on the unit you are using. Mine can take anywhere from four to eight hours.
Step 8: Make sure all strips are cooked throughly, then kick back, eat and enjoy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Random Ramblings

Today's post is a hodge-podge of thoughts, happenings, and things that just quite didn't make it to be a full post or even thought in my head for that matter. Instead of inserting a bunch of filler right here and making you read more nonsense that what is about to happen, I'm just going to cut to the chase. I'm going to do this in a bulleted list, it seems to me the most clean cut way to break up these ideas. You can run now if you want to remain safe, I won't blame you. Haha.. 

  • First and foremost, I promise I will finish with the Deer Jerky recipe tonight, it seems like I've been promising this for a week now (oh wait I have been), but there were a few things that took longer this week so, it should be up tomorrow.

  • Sometime today, Jay said he'd be kind enough to run and retrieve my trail camera that we had set up close to my tree stand still. I'm hoping for one the bears didn't get to it again, but with all the snow I'm guessing they didn't. Two, I'm anxious to see what kind of pictures there are on there, maybe one of a buck with a half rack or even half of it just hanging on or maybe we'll start getting some early turkey sign considering we're going turkey hunting on this property for the first time this spring. Either way you guys are going to be seeing some trail cam pictures here in the near future.

  • Anyone else sick of the snow, I don't mind it, but when there's no sun and it just snows, that's what I get tired of it. So guess what The Weather Channel is calling for tonight more snow!! Another 3"-5" tonight with more tomorrow. I'm thankful Jay's getting that Trail Cam down now before I can't get to it again.

  • As you all know I've been part of the Outdoor Blogger Network (OBN) for a few weeks now and have been reading it for months. They recently had a post on Facebook and increasing you traffic on your blog and how to create a Facebook page for your blog, I had been contemplating this idea for a while and with the gentle nudge of this post I decided to finally break down and do it. It's still in the infancy stages and most of the likes are friends and family, but I'm working on trying to understand everything more with it, so bare with me. If you would like to visit the Foggy Mountain Meanderings Facebook page you can find the Facebook Box in the column on this right side of this page or click here. If you really like it and are a member of Facebook you can go ahead "Like" it!!

  • One more social networking tid-bit as well, I'm sure you saw the Twitter feed under the Facebook box, if you are interested in an live updates on my adventures, random thoughts and ideas, or my commentary on WVU sports, you can follow me @foggymtnmeander. Not to mention there are a lot, I mean A LOT, of other great outdoor bloggers to follow on twitter also. Just to give you a few to follow: Tommy from "Following Ghost", Kari  from "I Don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods", and Dennis from "Adventures... with Dad". There are a few to get you started, sorry if I left you out. I'm planning on doing a whole post on Twitter related stuff and the random characters on there. If I didn't get you this time, be warned I'll be sure to get on the next one. Haha. 

Thank you everyone for hanging in there on the first post of this nature, I'm not sure if I like yet or not. It'd be great to hear everyones opinions and thoughts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What a way to start the week!!

Normally starting the work week is sluggish and mundane, nothing really changed that one until I checked out the OBN on my lunch break. Monday is normally the day they do the featured bloggers of the week and announce the winners of the product reviews from the week previous. This past weeks was from Montana Fly Company (MFC), now fly fishing and fly tying is still something I am a novice at and actually made a goal this year to improve these skills, so I thought I had a slim chance to review one of the three package, but if I did it would only aid me in my learning. So come to my surprise I actually won, that's right I get to review some of the great products from MFC. As ecstatic as I was that I got chosen, I had to call and tell Jay about this, because he has been messing around with fly fishing longer than I have and was actually one of the reasons I got involved in it in the past year or so. It looks like now we're going to have what we refer to as a fly tying party. Really it's just us sitting around having a few ice cold refreshments and tying flies on a random night, talking about what and when we're going to go fishing next. Now you're going to get two people to review this, we're still not sure what we're going to be tying up yet, guess that also  get determined on what kind of thread we're sent. I know the basics and Jay knows a few more advanced ones than I do, so who knows where we'll end up, but I do know Rebecca over at OBN has put in an order, so I'll be sure to get on that one first. Anyone else need anything? Haha. I would like to say thanks again to the Outdoor Blogger Network and Montana Fly Company for this opportunity, and keep your eyes peeled for my review here in the near future!!

Right there I am under Package two.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Closer look at the Final Harvest Totals for the 2010 Deer Season

W.Va.’s other deer seasons suffered, too

January 15, 2011 by John McCoy

West Virginia wildlife officials announced the final harvest totals for all the state’s 2010 deer seasons, and I examine those numbers in this week’s column:
Well, at least the results were consistent. When West Virginia wildlife officials announced the 2010 all-seasons deer harvest in a Friday release, the bottom line almost perfectly matched the buck-season bottom line: A 32 percent decline.
The buck kill, announced last month, declined 31 percent. This latest announcement hits antlerless-deer hunters, bowhunters and muzzleloader hunters with similar force. The antlerless kill dropped 37 percent. The bow kill dropped 26 percent. The muzzleloader kill dropped 35 percent. To continue this story, click here... 
I was reading through this article and thought that it was a great article to share with anyone who is from West Virginia or hunts in or around West Virginia. This would also help to explain the dismal hunting season many of us had around here. Hopefully, this just allows for the bucks to grow larger.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The weekend that wasn't..

..anything but relaxing, well for the most part that's true. After a week away from my house due to snow and deciding to stay the week with my girlfriend, it was time to head back there and relax. So that's exactly what I did; I'm kind of ashamed to admit I didn't even make it into the woods or river this weekend, but with the amount of snow and the warmth of my house, I didn't think it was the best idea to brave it. Haha. Even without having any great outdoors news for you there are still a few updates, well if you want to call them that.

This weekend did allow me to get started on the project of reclaiming my house from the last  few months (Deer Season) of dirty clothes and dust, well I should rephrase this, it allowed Cassie to start on this and me to help her. But I guess if she going to start moving her stuff in soon it means I need to start getting rid of the 329084352394 t-shirts I have along with those pants that I haven't fit into since high school. Either way this was a good project for this weekend, for one I got a start on another part of my 2011 Goals List, and two it really just needed it. Of course we are no where near the end of this, but the hardest part is always just starting. Plus, I am finding hunting and fishing stuff that I had forgot I bought or couldn't remember where I put it strategically placed to find at a later date, so it was like Christmas morning all over again. On a  serious side, tomorrow after work I will have three to four bags of t-shirts and clothes to drop-off at Goodwill. This is at least a good start for now.

Another great thing about a lazy weekend is getting to lay around and watch football and basketball, WVU played a great game and beat a #8 ranked Purdue team today, but really that wasn't were I was going with this. It was suppose to talk about how I spent half my weekend trying to find all my fly tying stuff after entering the newest Gear Review Opportunity at OBN, if you haven't checked that place out you should. After scouring my newly cleaned house I realized I knew where the equipment was (still on my desk), it was the materials I was lacking, so this means a trip to Cabelas here in the new future. Really, this just gives me more time to review some new flies I'd like to try and make on Troutrageous! and OMG It's Fly Tying!, just to mention a few.

The weekend wouldn't have been complete without some of the amazing brownies Cassie made (Thanks!!) or the Deer Jerky I made, yes that's right folks, I can cook (when I really, really need to that is). But you guessed it, I'll be posting the recipe and the step my step process of how I make my Sweet'n'Spicy Deer Jerky, so there's one post to look forward to this week. And with Jay making a quick trip back home from work in FL, I'm hoping we're going to be able to start hitting up the streams soon as well. But here's to everyone having a great week ahead!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Are 4 Places to Many to Call My Favorite? - Photo Prompt

For the first writing/photo prompt and even some of the ones before I joined the OBN, I instantaneously had an idea and have the blog wrote before I take my first breath. With this one, it has actually took me a while to think this one through, or if I was even going to try this one. Not to mention the fact that, at my house there is close or over two feet of snow, so therefore I am staying at my girlfriend apartment in Morgantown, WV where I work, so that has taken a slight toll on my blogging, not her fault, just my excuse to be lazy. But the best way I could think to do is do favorite spot for certain seasons, you will have to bare with me because I don't have my picture archives with me.

Gandy Creek, Randolph County, WV
In the late winter and early spring they stock trout in West Virginia,  so therefore this means lot of adventures, but one of my favorite places to go is a grouping of streams: Gandy, Laurel Fork, and Glady Fork in Randolph County, WV. Normally, these are all day trips which always makes for great stories and memories, so I'm not sure if it's the place or the experience, but it is also a beautiful place.

Cheat River along Rt. 72
As the spring start getting warmer and the trees start to bloom, the waters we fish start to expand. There is a private organization that stocks Cheat River along Rt. 72 between Rowlesburg and Kingwood. I might love it for the fact I grew up fishing this stretch or that fact that it is less than a five minute drive from my front door.

Just a normal day at the Beach
Of course summer is a time to relax and I'm kind of torn on this one, because we have a small three acre parcel of river front campground that I spent many of my childhood summers explore and learning about the great outdoor there, but who doesn't love a good beach trip. With my parents recently purchasing a new beach house at Ormond Beach, FL, this only make this a much cheaper and easier escape. Because there will be many, many post involving "The Meadow" (our river front property) this spring and summer, I'm going to post a picture of the beach for this one.

My view of a sunset in the middle of Bow Season
Of course the fall should be a no-brainer here, it's of course my tree stand, and Bell Hill, the 93 acre hunting grounds that my grandfather has owned for years. There's a thousand and one reasons I could post why I love this place, but this picture I'm sure can explain a few of them.

Of all my favorite places though, most of them tend to revolve around one place, my town. There is normally a family hike once every fall to the top of Cannon Hill to see the town and foliage at its best, but it's also just a great excuse to just to spend sometime with my family. It may be funny or a little to predictable, but there is to much to love about the place I grew up and now live to not have it be one, if not, my only favorite place.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 WV Hunting, Fishing, & Outdoor Sports Show

Image Credit: WVFHOSS
It's always around this time of year you start to hear about the outdoor shows and at least I start planning on which ones I'm able to attend. Granted I never get to attend every one I want to or even then, all the ones I had planned to. But the West Virginia Fishing, Hunting, & Outdoor Sports Show is one I have been attending for quite a few years now. Maybe it's easier to attend because it's only a short drive from my house or maybe it's because most of the vendors are local and I tend to favor the local guy over the box store, well at least in most cases. This event has grown over the years now, I've been there when maybe 40-50 vendors would show up, to  last year there were over a 100. If you're in the area that weekend and you love the outdoors they have seminars, kid areas, and just everything outdoors, it may not be the best or biggest one you've been to, but it will sure be worth your $6. Even if you're not in this area, start keeping your eyes peeled for your local or state hunting and fishing expos, they're gonna be here before you know it.

Note: I have no affiliation with the West Virginia Fishing, Hunting, & Outdoor Sports Show, I am just giving my two cents worth on it, and love to see stuff like this promoted and succeed. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Time to start Meandering..

Jay searching for another shed
 Better late than never so here is the post I've been wanting to do since last weekend. As Luck had it this past Sunday was a beautiful day here in West Virginia, most of the snow had melted off by now and the temps were in the low to mid 40s at midday. Since Jay is preparing to leave for Florida till mid-April for work we decided with nice weather still, before the brunt of winter hits us, we should make a trip around our hunting ground one more time. This is always great time to do some late season scouting, inspect the safety of your tree stand or to tear them down, and if you're lucky (in our case) or practiced at shed hunting, you might even find a few. As luck had it, I was setting up my trail camera over looking my food plot and mineral lick when all of a sudden I heard Jay yell, "Holy Shit, come here and look at it," well with my back to him and Jay being a pretty excitable guy, I wasn't sure if I should both acknowledging him. Haha. Not more than 30 seconds before his screaming excitement, we had been talking about trying to start shed hunting. Neither of us were experience at this nor had we ever found a shed by ourselves. Boy was I glad I decided to pay attention to him this time, because as I turned around he was bending down to pick up his very first shed. It wasn't the biggest shed, but his first one is something special for one, and two we also have had pictures of this deer all year. It may just be me, but I always find it interesting to be able to watch a deer full cycle and the shed only makes it that much more of an entertaining process.

After finding that first shed, we were primed and ready to walk anywhere and everywhere to find more. It was a good mind set to be in considering we were planning to walk over to Jay's tree stand and food plot as well as head back towards the top of the property and find out how the deer entered the property from the fields. After we got to Jay's food plot we went over that area with a fine tooth comb in hopes of finding another shed, but no luck there though. Normally, this is where Jay would set up his camera, but with him heading out to FL for the next few months, he decided not to bring it up. Most of the deer had worked their way in behind Jay's stand in season and we wanted to do more investigating than we got to in rifle season. We started up a deer trail towards the top of the property. Close to the line we examined a Pine tree to hang a double-stand in next year so we could video each other hunt next year, not to mention it looks like a four intersections of deer trails. We decided after looking at the tree and the trails to head to the field to get some great pictures and do a little more scouting before we left. We didn't find much more that day that we hadn't known, but we did manage to find a decent sized, fresh buck trace on the walk back out. Now to leave you with a beautiful view that is simply described as why I refer to West Virginia as West "By God".

West "By God" Virginia

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And it has begun...

Well it actually started back on the 3rd of January, but who's counting. No, it's not the start of my New Years diet, even though I need to start thinking about that, dang no beer and wings tonight I guess. Anyways back to the point of all this, with everything going on recently in regards to joining the OBN, officially getting accepted into their "Everything Outdoors" section, and participating in their newest writing prompt, I haven't had a lot to say about what's going on outside of this blog. So time to catch you up on everything now, actually, not much has happened it's been a boring work week, but I hope to have a new blog up in the next day or two about my scouting and shed hunting adventure last weekend with Jay. Now that all that house keeping issues are dealt with (I know Cassie and my mother are laughing at the thought of myself and house keeping being the same sentence), I can continue onto today's post.

It's a New Year, with a lot of great new beginnings to look forward to, and one thing that my fishing buddies and I know is that come the first Monday in January, the state of West Virginia starts stocking trout in selected areas. There has been more than a few random trips, taking off at 4:00AM to find a stream that we had not fished before and all we knew was that it had been stocked yesterday and we had all day to find it and how to fish it. Those are some great, albeit cold memories (yes, I may have slip in, while not wearing waders, on my first trip with those guys). This isn't a trip down memory lane though, this is actually a post to say how thankful and how well of a job the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources does about stocking the streams and rivers of WV.

Here is an excerpt from the WV DNR page on stocking about trout, but they also stock maybe other types of game fish, please follow the link I provided for more information on this:
"Stocking appropriate sport fish is an important part of West Virginia’s fisheries management program that is used to achieve a variety of goals. The traditional seasonal trout stocking of more than 150 waters has expanded to provide trout fishing opportunities throughout the year."
"West Virginia’s hatchery facilities play an important role in the state’s fisheries management efforts. The DNR operates seven hatcheries and two warmwater hatcheries for fish production. The newest hatchery at Apple Grove in Mason County represents a major improvement in warmwater fish production. In conjunction with the existing Palestine Hatchery, the DNR’s ability to provide sport fish and fish for restoration and management efforts is greatly enhanced." 
From my personal experience they normally stock come hell or high water, and trust me I was wading that high water the next morning. Haha. There has only been a few times they have missed stockings due to snow storms and they then extended the stock period as well as the quantities they stock per stream.

For anyone wanting to fish in West Virginia for trout or any other species of fish for that later, you need to check out the fishing section of the WVDNR website. If you are from West Virginia (and you're fishing for trout) here are some quick links to a few of my favorite features on their website:

  • Buy a License - This is the most important and first step you need to take if you haven't yet. Here are the 2011 Fishing Regulations (will open into a PDF file).
  • Trout Stocking Schedule - This gives you every stream, the country it's in, and the frequency in which they stock those streams. For those who would like the schedule for lakes and ponds click here.
  • Trout Stocking Map - It's an interactive map, it can take a minute or two to comprehend everything, but a very nice tool and provides you with everything from the regulation types to the stocking frequency when it is in identify mode.
  • Daily Stocking Report - It is updated every weekday at 4:00PM with the streams that were stock that day. There is a hotline that will give you the same information, the number is (304) -558-3399.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where is Foggy Mountain? - Writing Prompt

Since I recently joined the OBN, they post writing prompts every week or so. Since the current writing prompt is something I've contemplated blogging about before, where did my blog name come from, I figured I should make a good showing and do this one.

Some of the stories I've already read are far more entertaining or have more meaning behind them than mine, but here it goes anyways.
Original copy of the picture that my banner was made from.

I've spent all most (I forgot those college years, but don't we all) of my life growing up in a small river valley in West Virginia. Naturally this leads to a great deal of my mornings being consumed with fog, it is something you become accustom to. Not until others, not from this area, come in and comment, do you realize that it is always foggy here. Proof of this is the picture I used for my banner, it is a trail cam picture of a normal foggy morning that randomly tripped the sensor. That explains the foggy part of Foggy Mountain Meanderings.

Now on the the Mountain part. It's pretty plan and simple. I'm from "The Mountain State", everything I do involves them, some times are more fun that others when they're involved, like dragging a deer from the bottom to top, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Nothing to exciting about that part, but now you have the explanation of the mountain part.

Lastly is Meanderings, this one I'll have to admit, I had to ask my parents and friends if it sounded OK before I "officially" deemed my blog this, but there is actual thought behind this one I promise, no more obvious ones. Haha. This one is more of me trying to explain how I wanted my readers to feel while reading this blog, just like I did as I sent most of my youth. I was either meandering through the woods with my grandfather, splashing up and down the river banks with my parents, or spending the night huddled around the campfire with my friends and family. It was just a hope that I could translate half of the meaning and love for the outdoors, that was given to me, on to anyone meandering through my blog. Nothing to special, pretty simple now that I look back at it, but hey it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Well, it's only 4 days into the new year..

.. and I'm already checking an item off of my Goal List for 2011. No, I haven't managed to already catch four types of trout, with all of them being WV Citation size as well. I finally got up the nerve to submit my blog to the Outdoor Blogger Network. Now it's just a waiting game till I see if it gets accepted, if you guys from the OBN are reading this sorry about the mess up in URLs, but from what I've read about you two from your site, you're a pretty smart duo, so I'm sure you were able to figure everything out, Thanks again. Haha. But anyways it now looks like I've take my blog public and will start introducing my friends and family to this site, god help them. Haha, but I am hoping by doing this it will also hold me more accountable for posting on a regular schedule. For anyone reading this that has a love for the outdoors as well, and hasn't poked around the OBN website, you need to, NOW! It's a great site, with a lot of wonderful blogs and active bloggers.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Normally I would post a picture to celebrate the holiday, but considering I was out half the night last night, not to mention yesterday was also my 24th birthday, I'm sure you can imagine I'm exhausted. So today I wish you all a Happy New Year!! Now go enjoy the day doing whatever you choose. As for myself the couch is begging me to keep it company and watch some football with it. Hopefully I'll make it into the woods this weekend, actually I know I will, I already got the phone call and meeting time for tomorrow. So expect an update in the next few days and hopefully, if we're lucky, we'll find a shed or two along the way. But as couch is starting to beckon to me louder, I leave you with this quote to remember as we move forward into the new year.

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
 and let each new year find you a better man.  
~Benjamin Franklin
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