Monday, February 28, 2011

Great Chance to Beat the Winter Time Blues

Here is a great chance for everyone to beat the winter time blues with a little fun and games. My buddy JM from Something's Fishy gave me the heads up today that he is participating Scavenger Hunt/Give-Away. If anyone is interested I listed the information below. It starts tomorrow on Ben G. Outdoors. Good luck, I know I'll be there..

Snow swirls outside, making the world look like vast tundra. Venturing out for a carton of milk or some bread seems a daunting task in the bitter chill. The only other alternative to adventuring outdoors is staying indoors, which can be as much, if not more so of a challenge. But fear not, friends! The cure for your cabin fever is here!

Ben G. Outdoors, along with a handful of his best blogging compatriot buddies have teamed up to provide some entertainment to break this cabin fever that plagues so many of their chilly readers. The rules are simple if you’ve ever taken part in a scavenger hunt.
On March 1st, Ben G. will be posting the first clue. Once a participant finds the answer within his blog, then he or she will be directed to the next blog; so on and so forth. The following blogs will be participating in this scavenger hunt give-away.
The contest will conclude on March 10th. Winners will be announced on the 14th. The prizes are as follows:
  • 1st place: Magnum boots Work Pro Ultra WPI CT , $50 Bass Pro gift card, The Complete Trail Food Book - 300+ Recipes for Campers, Canoeists and Backpackers, and two packs of jerky from House of Jerky*
  • 2nd place: Flat Deerhead XL wall graphic of the winner’s favorite photo, a Flat Deerheads camo cap, $25 Bass Pro gift card, SEEMZ Scent Elimination and two packs of Jerky from the House of Jerky*
  • 3rd place: 3 Trout lures and 3 Bass lures From Fish Creek Spinners, Catch of the Day - 200+ Recipes for the Everyday Angler and a some great Jerky snacks from the House of Jerky*
Happy Searching and Good Luck!
Rules and Regulations:
  • Participant must live in the US and Canada to participate.
  • Contest begins March 1st and concludes March 10th, EST
  • Participant must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Only one entry per contestant.
  • Participant MUST leave comment with answers on starting blog.
  • Only participants that have provided an answer for each of the blogs may be eligible to win the aforementioned prizes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Random Ramblings: III

Well this isn't want I had planned on posting this weekend. I had this wonderful idea of taking everyone with me along on my  trip to get a new toy (ok, it's not a toy and you may already have a clue what it is), and then testing it out. This would be all well and good, except that fact that I didn't get even as far as leaving my house this weekend. I was hit with my own personal version of the plague, I will spare you the details, but it reminded me of those college mornings you swore you weren't drinking again, only I didn't drink the night before.

  • If you hadn't gathered it yet, I have a few post planned here in the near future with my new purchase, well once I get the time to go get it now since I wasn't able to this weekend. If you haven't guessed it yet, I'll give you a clue, go look at what I did last weekend and the question I asked.

  • I haven't forgot about the product reviews I had promised everyone either, they're still in the works. I have actually played with part of the stuff and am working on a write up for it. Just like most of you know, real life takes over sometimes. 

Image Credit:
Noise on the Line

  • Don't forget you can always find us on Facebook at our Fan Page or on Twitter at @FoggyMtnMeander. The twitter account is lock, but request to follow and I'll be sure to accept it soon there after.

  • And lastly with this post, either late tonight or sometime tomorrow morning, Foggy Mountain Meanderings should hit 5,000 page views. This is insane for me to think about that it has only been two months since I submitted my blog to the Outdoor Blogger Network, and I have already reached this milestone. Thank you all who visit and participate with this blog.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

GreenFish ~ Promoting a lifestyle of sustainable fishing - Writing Prompt

I had been contemplating if I should do the latest Outdoor Blogger Network writing prompt, they have partnered up with GreenFish, I decided to go a head and attempt it. I love to fish for anything from trout to bass, well actually that's about all I fish for around here. Throw in a few catfish, bluegill, and crappie and that's about all I'm going to catch in a year. The trout get stocked for close to five months, January through May, the bass have always been in the river behind my house, and the catfish, bluegill and crappie are in the farm ponds we fish in the summer. As you can see, sustainability hasn't always been the foremost thought in my mind when it comes to fishing.

As I sat back and thought about all the things that it means to have sustainable fishing and what it takes for a fisherman (or woman) to promote a sustainable style of fishing, all these ideas started flowing in. This list had everything from picking up litter along the shore to helping the biologist collect data on the last group of stocked trout. The shocking part as I started to write down some of these ideas, I started to realize I do a lot of these things.

1.) Litter - The simplest thing of picking up garbage, this helps immensely with stopping the pollution of our waters and helps keep everything healthy and able to thrive. One of the simplest things is making sure to take out the garbage you brought in, it is always overlooked by most people.

2.) Stocked Trout -  Another simple one, if you're not eating it, you're not keeping it (stocked trout). Now you may be wondering how I consider this helping, I know that I am taking fish out, but normally this is only done with the stocked trout that are put in the selected waters for this reason. Also there are a few other things that go along with this, we always make sure the trout is able to survive after being caught (if not, it looks like you're having trout for dinner), if it's a wall mounter, there's normally a pass given on the aforementioned rules, but I've yet to find any for my wall. Haha

A West Virginia Native Brookie
3.) Native Trout - This one ties back to number two. Native trout are off-limits, no it's not that we don't fish for them, it's that we want to keep fishing for them. We always try to find new native streams to fish so that we don't over fish or harm the streams.

4.) Bass, Catfish, Crappie, and Bluegills - All these are normally just caught and released since we fish mostly the same ponds and we always need to have that time to kick back, relax, and catch the next monster.

5.) Teaching - The biggest part of creating sustainable fishing and helping the hatcheries, at least in my eyes, is teaching everyone from the old timers to the next generation about conservation of our resources. And yes, I consider fish and the beautiful places these fish live as a resource.  I want to help people understand they don't need to bring home a stinger full of fish to make them feel good, going back and catching those fish again in two months is just ad fun.

These are a few of the main points I think it takes to have sustainable fishing, they may not be the most earth shattering or scientific, but I'll do whatever I can to make the water ways that I fish sustainable for years to come. Oh, and to define what I believe sustainable fishing; it is as simple as making sure, people know, understand, and appreciate fishing for many generations to come.

This blog entry is my submission for the GreenFish
 and Outdoor Blogger Network Writing Prompt Giveaway

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Don't Know Trout

Did you know a Brook Trout is actually a Char? I didn't. Earlier this month I was browsing through Trout Unlimited's website when I came across this quiz, You Don't Know TROUT! This quiz is what enlightened me to this fact. I suggest if you have a spare moment today, go take the quiz and see if there's anything on it that you didn't know. You will have to enter your e-mail / sign up for TU's Newsletter, but it's a good read and they don't flood your inbox, plus the quiz will enter you in to win a dream fishing trip for two at Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort in Montana, the 2010 Orvis Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year. The winner will also receive an Orvis fly fishing package that includes two personalized Orvis Access rods, one Mirage Large Arbor II reel, and one Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack.

Here is an answer to one of the quiz questions: Although commonly referred to as “trout,” brook trout, bull trout and other members of the Salvelinus genus are actually char. The easiest way to tell a char from a trout is by observing the light spots on its dark skin. Trout, on the other hand, often feature black spots on light-colored skin.

Note the dark skin with the light spots.
As much as I'd have liked to have played this one off like I knew, I didn't. I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't know this, but I'm glad I have learned this and am able to pass this information onto everyone else out there. 

**Note I am not a member and/or sponsor of Trout Unlimited**

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Feb. 22, 2011

Last weeks installment of Trail Cam Tuesday brought you a sow and her cubs, Brain of HeyBJK remarked how he had rarely saw cubs on camera. That got me thinking about other animals I had captured with my trail camera, of course I have pictures of deer, turkey, and as you have seen, bear. There aren't many other animals I've had the chance to capture. Let me take a step back for a moment and say, when I first got my trail cam I was ecstatic just to get anything on camera, hell even a crow in flight even got me excited, but I started out with hopes of catching everything that wandered through the woods. I quickly learned that although I was excited to get pictures, you can only look at the same doe with the same 37 flies on her back so many times before you want to see something more exciting. This is when I sat out to try to get imagines of different creatures. After branching out to turkeys and bear, I've now started on my top three animals to capture on Bell Hill (Foggy Mountain). It didn't take long to chip one off the list, but I've only managed to get two imagines of this animal and he has yet to come across my camera again.

Top 3
1. Bobcat
2. Fisher
3. Coyote

Well, which one do you think it was I got lucky enough to see first?

I'm not sure, but it looks like he's trailing something.

Yes, that's right Mr. Wile E. Coyote.
I'm not sure if how rare it is to get a coyote on a trail camera, but either way I found in pretty interesting. Anyone else have any good or interesting trail cam pictures of coyotes or any of my top three for that matter?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cabin Fever Anyone?

The warm weather of this past week, at least here in northern West Virginia, has everyone thinking spring, but sadly enough there's snow in the forecast for this coming week. I don't think I'm ready for the snow to comeback, but it doesn't look like I have a choice. Considering this past week felt like I should be fishing, of course I wanted to try and get some in this weekend, but with the drastic temperature change, the snow melt off raised the creeks and rivers and turned them  muddy and murky (or as I like to call it, chocolate milk). After some deliberation, we decided to put off our fishing trip for another week, with still have a severe case of cabin fever we headed to the woods instead. Even after the melt off there are still some pockets of snow left in the mountains, but the best part was after having to park at the top of the mountain last time and walk in, we were ecstatic  to be able to drive into the hunting property. 

We did the normal things anyone would do during this time of year when you have Cabin Fever. We started with checking our trail cameras, swapping the memory cards and checking the batteries, thankfully this time the weather didn't wreak havoc on my camera . Then, by default, we are in the woods after season, so like any good outdoors man (or woman) would do, we went shed hunting for a while. We mainly covered the core areas we do every time: mine and Jay's food plots, the trails in between our two stands, and then the trails leading to and from one of their feeding field and bedding thicket. But no luck yet again, I think the next time we go to check on the trail cameras and shed hunt we are going to have to hike around the majority of the property to check the trails, feeding and bedding areas. Plus about that time, the ramps should be popping through the ground giving us a start locating new ramp patches. 

After shed hunting we still didn't have all the Cabin Fever out yet, so what else could we do? Jay suggested we go golfing. Haha. Not really, but he doesn't miss many chances to bust out his clubs and get a few swings in. Another friend of ours came along for this trip, and wanted to play with his new Christmas present, a new Glock 17 - 9mm. Of course we all had to take turns playing with it as well, there will be pictures below. If you follow me on Twitter, you now understand why I was asking peoples opinions on Glock. I have been wanting to get a hand gun for a while now, but haven't had the spendable income to get one, nor could I make my mind up. After shooting his Glock this weekend, I think I've made my mind up, I know I won't drop a bear instantly with it, but I think it's the best of both worlds (personal defense and a back up weapon while bow hunting). If you have any opinions, negative or positive please leave them below.

Our redneck targets, since this was a spur of the moment idea.

Jay taking aim and popping off a few rounds.

Getting accustom to the idea of owning my own hand gun.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

U.S. Marshal Remembered

It's a tragic when anything of this nature happens, but when you hear about something like this taking place only 45 miles from your hometown it seems to hit home a little harder. Like most, I was interested in listening to the news, to see if all the Marshals were ok, but as the day wore on at work, I let it slip my mind. But when I went on break, I found out I was wrong, the distance wasn't the only thing that made this hit home a littler closer than I'd have imagined, come to find out that a relative of mine was involved in the shooting. Not only was he involved, he was one of the two Marshals that were rushed to Ruby Memorial for emergency surgery. Derek was 24, my you find peace with your father on the other side and know that we will always be grateful for the duties you and your fellow Marshals preform day in and day out. May your thoughts and prayers be with the Hotsinpiller family, as well as the other families that had Marshals involved in this tragedy.

U.S. Marshal Remembered

By all accounts, 24-year-old Derek Hotsinpiller was full of life when he was shot and killed while serving a search warrant in Elkins Wednesday.

Hotsinpiller, a U.S. Marshal, was entering a home where Marshals planned to arrest 50-year-old Charles Smith.  Police say Smith fired several rounds at Marshals when they opened the door.

After an exchange of gunfire, two Marshals were injured.  Smith was shot dead, and Hotsinpiller was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital for emergency surgery.  A short time later, Hotsinpiller was pronounced dead.

To continue reading about Derek, click here.

One U.S. Marshal Killed, Two Injured in Elkins Shooting
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 ; 10:04 AM
Updated Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 08:32 PM

ELKINS, WV -- Authorities with several different law enforcement agencies were called to the scene of a fatal shooting in Elkins.

At about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, deputy U.S. Marshals were trying to serve an arrest warrant on Charles Smith, 50, at his house on Central Street, according to officials.

When they entered the home, Smith shot U.S. Deputy Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller, in the neck. A second deputy was shot in the shoulder with a shotgun. The third deputy received facial injuries from shrapnel from the shotgun, Federal Magistrate Judge John Kaull said.

A deputy marshal and a state trooper returned fire, killing Smith, state police officials said.
Hotsinpiller and one of the other deputies were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, where they underwent surgery. Hotsinpiller died at the hospital, according to officials. The other deputy made it through surgery and officials with the U.S. Marshals said they hope for a full recovery. 

To continue this story, click here. (Excuse the comments on this site, at best some of them can be described as disgusting.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who doesn't love big racks on Sunday? - Sunday Hunting: Part 2

I went off on a little tirade earlier this week about Sunday hunting. Now that I have talked to some people, saw opinions left on the comments sections of the previous post, and just took a deep breath and realized I get annoyed with this topic more often than I should; I decided to sit down a do a little more research.

After a little research I found a map (shown below) that details the states that permit, prohibit, and limit Sunday hunting. Personally this map looks a little disturbing to me, it looks like the there are only a handful of states that are still holding on to these Blue Laws.

Image Credit:

As you can see above, there are only seven states that don't allow Sunday hunting, then there are also some that either allow it in limited counties or instances, while there is only one state that allows Sunday hunting on private land. States have taken into consideration many different opinions to attempt to please everyone, but it isn't working out as planned.When 78% of the nation is allowed to hunt on a given day, yet that other 22% can't because it is Sunday, because this Sunday isn't the 3rd Sunday of this month, or because you aren't fortunate enough to own or have access to private land; it just doesn't seem to be valid enough reasons to me.

There are a few major points that stick out drastically in this topic. The first one being the government intervention in this topic, yes we are all governed by they same laws, but what happens when you move from New York to North Carolina? This instance actually happened to Lisa, at Hunt Like You're Hungry, stated that "I've been able to Sunday hunt since I started hunting. When I moved to NC, I was shocked that Sunday hunting, except for bow (which I do for the majority anyway), is illegal... The government shouldn't tell me when I can or cannot hunt...  ...hunting on Sundays should be legal- if our forefathers told citizens that they couldn't hunt on Sundays, they would've starved." These are all great points, and the first part of her commentary shows how much one hunter will take up for another.  The fact that an avid bow hunter, still allowed to hunt on Sunday's, doesn't believe that it should be legal to limit anyone's ability to hunt, rifle or otherwise says a lot about the hunting community. Her parting statement about our forefathers, is absolutely right! I understand that we live in a society today where there are government agencies to help people, however, who is the government to tell someone trying to help themselves and their family by providing meal without assistance, they can't because it is Sunday?

While Lisa's comments and opinions are taken from a more personal micro aspect on Sunday hunting, Owl Jones raises a few more great points from a macro view of the government and their regulations on hunting. He stated that "It's hard to say "the government shouldn't tell us when we can or can't hunt." It's actually hard for me to understand the thought process behind that - no offense, but the government already tells you what weapons you can use, when you can hunt what type of game, how you can hunt it, where you can hunt it...etc. That said, I don't think the government has any business telling you that you can't hunt on Sunday or Tuesdays or any specific day." The same general consensus, Sunday hunting should be allowed. Owl brought about some interesting opinions about the restrictions, as hunters, we face on calibers, hunting seasons, and bag limits. In my opinion, these topics are also somewhat of the government infringing on our right, but at least these can be explained and backed up with more scientific reasoning and data. Where as Sunday hunting is a continuation of the Blue Laws that have continued to be repealed for many, many years. Blue Laws have yet to be explained besides the usual responses of that's how it has been for years.

The second major part of this debate is the religious/sabbath aspect of Sunday hunting. This could be a sensitive subject to some, and I am not intending to offend anyone, if I do, I apologize. But with that being said, Jay, from The Naturalist's Angle, and I both share similar opinions on this. Jay stated that "...this is a strange mingling of church and state in my opinion. The laws are clearly a result of Christian observance of the Sabbath. I imagine in WV and VA it's all about making sure that the sounds of gunfire don't disrupt any worship services. It's absolutely ridiculous. I don't think Christians should have any monopoly on peace and quiet for their worship. Other religions (and even certain denominations) observe the Sabbath on Saturday, but they apparently don't get any special treatment." There isn't much more I can add to this. Another fact that I find a bit disturbing, Jay touched on this also, but that anyone (of legal age) can buy buy beer or wine after 1:00 PM on any given Sunday. By law I am not allowed to go sit in my tree stand with a weapon and have the possibility to take any game. Yet, I can go to the local grocery store, which is less than a block from my church, and buy a 30 pack of my favorite beer. I know this is comparing apples and oranges, it is still something that has always taken me back. Swamp Thing brought up the point that some people may believe that it could be the killing that people don't think is proper on Sunday, but then again shouldn't this also prevent people from fishing? I'm not saying in the slightest I think that fishing should be prohibited, just as hunting shouldn't be.

Lastly, the third point that arose from this discussion is how the absence of Sunday hunting affects the next generation of hunters. Swamp Thing also wrote that "If the states want to generate more hunters (which they do - for revenue alone), they will have to adapt to the 21st century reality that dads and moms can't take their kids out hunting on most saturdays. Kids are involved -and WANT to be involved - in activities that are all scheduled for saturdays. Want to grow the next generation of hunters (and voters who won't vote against hunting and gun issues)? Allow sunday hunting. Stop thinking the world is going to rewind to 1955, because it's not." This is more true than I could ever reiterate. Strangely enough though, LB, at Bullets and Biscuits, said that in Delaware, children are excused for two days of school, rather than just allowing them to hunt on Sundays. This just seems a bit ridiculous to me, a day that they already have off, they aren't allowed to hunt, yet they are allowed to disrupt a day of school. Sadly enough, this trend is starting to be true, I'm not saying this due to fact that Sunday hunting is still prohibited in the majority of the counties in my state. There was an article released in the past few days, that talks about the decline in deer harvested could be directly related to the decline in hunters in the state.

The state of West Virgina is trying to move forward in allowing Sunday hunting, in 2001 West Virginia enacted legislation that allows Sunday hunting on private land, but each county can hold a referendum to ban Sunday hunting. There are currently only 14 counties that allow this, but there is still the outside chance that my county may allow Sunday hunting sometime in the near future. As far as Pros and Cons go, there are  many pros as you have read, but as for cons, I haven't found many that can be easily avoided or manipulated a little to please both parties. If you haven't gathered this yet, I do not believe that Sunday hunting should be prohibited. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Feb. 15, 2011

First off let me apologize, I am normally pretty good for having a post to put up on Monday, and especially since I had planned to have Part 2 of "Who doesn't love big racks on Sunday?" to post this weekend and then postponed it till yesterday, but as most of you, sometimes life takes over. So I promise Part 2 will post tomorrow, as long as everything goes to plan. I hope everything had a great Valentine's Day with their loved ones, even if it is just a greeting card holiday.

Since this week has started off like a bear for me, I figured, what would be better than to digging through my archives and finding some interesting bear pictures to show show everyone. These are taken on Bell Hill (Foggy Mountain), where there are an abundance of black bear, except during bear season, of course. Anyways these are just pictures of a sow and her cub(s), so no hunting for her anyways.

Momma watching over her cubs.

The little guy couldn't resist playing with his new toy.

Ok, that was short lived.. He's found something else that caught his eye.
Yes, they look cute and adorable in these pictures, but you must remember, if you ever come upon a cub and sow in the wild, you must ease out of this situation without causing any perceived threat to either of them. And more importantly, if you come upon a cub by itself, remember its momma isn't far from it, so stay alert and look for where she is, and try to remove yourself from any danger. For more tips on preventing and what to do if a bear attacks, click here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Unexpected Family Time & New Toys

This weekend start out with high hopes of fishing, the end of the weekend supposedly reaching near 50°.... Well the temperature got there, but I didn't. But I wouldn't change this weekend for much of anythng.

Friday after work Cassie and I headed out to send some time with her family, this of course, was a good time as always. Saturday we were able to spend some time and have dinner with my aunt and her kids. This is a rare accomplishment for all of us (my parents, aunt and her kids, & Cassie and I) to see one another as she lives in Washington D.C. metro and get togethers are normally reserved for holidays. Then the weekend finished with having brunch with my parents this morning. Yes, it seems like a busy, hectic weekend, but sometimes that's what it takes to have a good one...

And hell I managed to catch a fish even with the waters still being frozen over, despite the 50° temperatures today. The fish is pictured below, thanks Cassie!! So you may be wondering about the new toy. If you haven't figured it out yet, this post was wrote on my new Andriod powered phone.

Look for Part 2 of "Who doesn't love big racks on Sunday?" tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who doesn't love big racks on Sunday? - Sunday Hunting: Part 1

No, I'm not trying to be blasphemous with the title of this post, but who doesn't love to take a monster buck on a  beautiful fall Sunday morning? That's right, as for myself (living and hunting in Preston County) and the other 35 of 55 counties in West Virginia, I would love to have that chance, but its not an option. Sunday hunting is not permitted; from what I've read and understand this is not going to change in my county any time soon. This is a huge can of worms to open, I know. There are many people that believe this is blasphemous or that the deer and hunters need a chance to rest. Then on the other side of things, you have my argument: I work five days a week, get very little time off, and yet I am only legally allowed to hunt one day a week. What about the fathers who have young children in school and are trying to share their love for the outdoors? They only have one day to hunt because they can't be removed from school. This discussion has the possibility to go on forever, so as for now let me digress to explain how this mini-rant came about.

Imagine Credit: WV Gazette
During the middle of last week I was reading Mike Hanback's blog and he posted about "Virginia: Sunday Hunting Shot Down (Again)," being a neighboring state and a blog I read regularly, I agreed with his more current thoughts on this topic. I thought about blogging that next day about the very same topic, but my better judgement took over and I realized, on this blog I keep things very light-hearted and loose, there was no need to open this can of worms, plus no need to regw. But at last, I was wrong. I was catching up last night on a local West Virginia newspaper related outdoors blog, Woods and Waters (you can also find this in my BlogRoll), when I came across this post from this past Monday, "Fourteen-point buck justifies archer’s tenacity," it was talking about how a bow hunter took a 168" Green-Scored buck (see photo on right). This was a great story on how perseverance, proper scouting, a little luck, and time on stand paid off to take an amazing buck. As I was reading this, this great idea for a blog past started taking place about West Virginia's ability to produce Pope & Young quality whitetail deer, while the general population hadn't considered hunting this area. I know a little far-fetched, but it was going to be an interesting post and still may very well be, but as I continued to read, a more glaring fact came about in this article, it was the fact that he saw the this buck on Thanksgiving and then proceeded to chase this deer until it was harvested on Sunday of the same week. That's right, SUNDAY of that week! After I read the article last week about Sunday hunting and then restrained myself from writing a post on this, then to read a post less than a week later about a hunter harvesting a "buck of a lifetime" in my home state on a Sunday in one of the few countries that allowed Sunday hunting!

I took this as a sign, or an just an excuse to cover a more serious topic for once. Either way this is sure to generate some interesting opinions and conversations, but as you can read this is the first of a two part post. The first part, yes you are reading it now, is my rant, initial reaction, and some back information of where this idea and topic came from. This weekend I will post the second part of this series, which will include my personal pros and cons on the topic and more thoughts, opinions and facts. Please feel free to leave your opinions below and I will try to answer/respond to any questions or opinions left on this post with the second part this weekend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Look what I found on my Doorstep!!

Who doesn't love free stuff?....... That's what I thought, everyone does. (Sorry, this isn't a give-away, not to get anyones hopes up.) Well, maybe it's not free stuff, maybe part of the agreement was I do some product reviews.  I think that's a hard stipulation to follow, use some awesome new gear with the stuff I love to do and then blog about how it held up. Sounds tough to me, but someone's gotta do it. I know that it sounds like I'm gloating a little, and I may be, so excuse me for that, but I am just excited to have these opportunities. Back on Monday's post "Random Ramblings 2.0" I had hinted about some product reviews to come, so here are the products I received to review here in the near future...

These are the great products from Montana Fly Company that 
I got selected to review for the Outdoor Blogger Network.

This is a care package from Grabber Warmers for some of the snow storms we have 
in West Virginia and those late winter/early spring fishing trips.
Thanks Grabber Warmers and WebMasterJ - @grabberwarmers

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday - Feb. 8, 2011

With many of us already shed hunting and even a few of us having successful outings, such as Matt & Sarah Elder from The Outdoor Fever in the post "First of 2011", there might be a reason why some of us haven't been that lucky. It could be that the bucks have yet to drop their antlers, I know that this isn't a world changing revelation, but more of a helpful comment reassuring you that it could still be a little early to be finding those trophy sheds.

This is a half rack 4-point that has been frequenting this location for a while now,
but we have been unable to find his other side.
Luckily enough, when Jay went  to move his trail camera,  he found a shed laying around the clearing.
This makes his second shed found this season.
As you can see see, this healthy 8-point has yet to lose either of his sides.
While the other buck (in the foreground) that has been running with the
8-point has lost his antlers long before we could document it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Random Ramblings 2.0

Mid way through January I did a post entitled "Random Ramblings," well it's about that time again. Time to play a little catch up and give a little look into the future.

Just like Momma made 'em, wait she did.. 

  • Shouldn't the day after the Super Bowl be a National Holiday, or at least a delayed start to the day? And no, before everyone thinks it, I didn't even have a beer last night, but more of a food induced comma is how I'd describe it. I hope everyone was able to send some quality time with their friends and family while watching the Super Bowl or the commercials and halftime show, which ever one you are really there for. As for my family, we were rooting for the Packers so it turned out to be a great night. We had some great food also, thanks to my Dad, that included everything from homemade shredded beef in enchilada sauce with Spanish rice, Texas Caviar (I'll be having a post on making this one in the near future), and Chicken Wing Dip to the amazing Sausage Dip, Cassie made. And my mom conquered the desserts with some cookies and Puppy Chow ( if you haven't tried this you need to!!).

  • If you guys like product reviews, I am planning to have a few coming your way soon! Everything from clothes to tackle and even some odds and ends, so you'll need to stay tuned for further updates.

  • I know that because I am going to say this now it's never going to happen, but Jay and I were talking this weekend about trying to fish. The waters were still a little to high to be braved this past weekend, but we are still trying to get out there and fish in the next few weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to catch one in February to be able to start working on another one of my Goals for 2011.

  • To end this a special Thank You needs to go out to JM over at Something's Fishy. He has a semi-regular post called the "Sunday Shout Out," and this past Sunday's was about myself and Foggy Mountain Meanderings. If you'd like to read his post you can find it here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One of the Best Times to Do Post-Season Scouting

Jay show the snowing
how the snow was.
Or would it be considered pre-season scouting already? Actually, that doesn't matter and is not even the point of this point. Today was forecasted to be a mild day, with light to no percipitation and temps reaching near 40 degrees. For this time of year in north central West Virginia, today was a day that you take advantage of, so Jay and I did just that. After having my trail cam near froze out of the woods the last time I had it out, we decided it was time to try it again. Neither of us knew, if we were going to be able to access the road to our property, but worst case scenario we thought we'd be able to make it inside the gate and walk in.

Random turkey tracks leading
 towards my food plot.
Well, of course, our worst case scenario happened to be true, and a little worse. The road had to be cleared out by a grader early in the week, and due to the fact that the road to our property isn't a driveway or a road leading to a home, it was blocked it. This lead us to do the only logical thing, we parked at the top of the mountain, and found the old log road that  I used as a youngin' to enter to property. It wasn't a bad walk, not much more than a half mile in, but wading snow ranging in depth from your shins to your knees, never makes for a fun or easy walk. But we will do almost anything for deer, that was actually our discussion on the walk in, how ridiculous we are at times about hunting and fishing, but then we wised up and realized we were really talking crazy then. After walking in we both agreed that it was a good thing we didn't brave it in a vehicle; for one, there would have been now way to have gotten back out even if we did make it in and two, we would have missed quite a few tracks and even a rub that we hadn't saw before. I only took a few pictures of the tracks, but we saw deer tracks, as well as turkey, coyote, fox and some form of a cat track.
I believe this a set of front paw prints of a coyote.
Another discussion topic today was one of how much more you learn when you scout during the winter with snow on the ground. I'll save the hour long dialog that goes along with topic, not that we disagreed on the topic, but that we both had points and reason why we believe it was better this time of year. I will leave you with a few pictures that represents why we believe this to be true, can you tell me the main trail they are using?
A view of the "highway" from a tree stand.
A ground level view of the "highway".

Thursday, February 3, 2011

OBN Rendezvous - Who do you wanna meet? - Writing Prompt

When this writing prompt got released on Tuesday, I was tweeting back and forth with Rebecca, one of the Co-Founders of the OBN, and I told her how much I liked this topic and how my list might get a bit extensive. Well with some careful thought I think I've got it so I won't exceed the cap on mentions. We'll have to see how this goes..

I'm still relatively the new kid on the block, it seems that most of you have known each other for some time now, I don't  know why it seems like that because all of you have been very welcoming and helpful. Not to mention I feel like the little brother, as I am only 24, and everyone else seems to be old, like at least in their 30's. Haha. After a few conversations with Cassie, it looks like there might be a possibility both of us will be able to make it out to Denver to the OBN Rendezvous, we'll both just have to see about work, and the fact that it's looking like Denver might fall during our Florida Beach trip. As much as she loves the beach, Cassie said she wouldn't mind delaying the trip if need be, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work out.

Once we got out there, it'll be getting towards the end of July, and my mind will already be changing gears towards bow hunting and deer season. Sorry gurus of fly fishing (Mike at Troutrageous! and Owl Jones at Fly Fishing the Southern Blue Ridge), although I need to talk to you about my roll cast and my improper use of streamers, I think I'll have to have a sit down with you two later on in the day, no hard feelings. With whitetails and bow & arrows fresh on my mind, I'm sure I'll be trying to find the table with Al (The SoCal Bow Hunter), Lisa (Hunt Like You're Hungry), Kari (I Don't Wear Pink Camo to the Woods), Tommy (Following Ghost) Ben (Ben G. Outdoors), Brian (heyBJK), and Bill (Fall Road Archer). That table is bound to have some good, interesting conversations, as well as a few well placed personalities!

But of course, we can't spend the whole time talking about our hunting seasons coming up, because what fun would that be, actually.. Nevermind, must move onto fishing.. Now that I'm back towards the fishing side of things I'd need to go find the Fly Fishing Gurus (Mike & Owl) to get help with that roll cast and streamer problem I am having. I'd also want to find that crazy pier fisherman Josh (Something's Fishy) (That is if we don't meet up for a fishing trip before then), The Functioning Fishaholic himself, Ivan (Yukon Goes Fishing), and Glynn (A Reel Lady).

I know I am missing more than a few here, but this was a quick list off the top of my head. I hope everyone can attend the OBN Rendezvous this summer and I can get a chance to at least start putting some faces (and voices) with a blogs. Plus it should be a fun time for all!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waters & Woods: Trout stocking trucks run, even in winter

That's right folks, I'm mailing it in today. Not really, but after I posted "And it has begun..." back in early January, reading this article just reiterated my sentiments on this subject. I must say this article is music to my ears and is only making me more antsy to get out there once the weather clears up a bit. Below is part of the article with a link the to full article.

Trout stocking trucks run, even in winter

January 30, 2011 by John McCoy

With all the snow we’ve gotten this winter, it’s hard to believe that West Virginia’s trout-stocking crews have managed to stock all but five of the 52 streams and lakes on their January schedule.

It’s true, though.

“When the roads are clear, we really try to get the trout out to the people,” said Mike Shingleton, head of the Division of Natural Resources’ trout program. “We had some bad days this month, but when our crews were able to go they did a really good job.”
To continue reading, click here...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trail Cam Tuesday

In a brilliant plan I hatched this past weekend, I thought up the idea to start featuring trail cam pictures one day of the week. This thought stemmed from the fact that turkey season is coming up and I'm going to have a plethora of new pictures I'll want to share. So if I have to limit myself to one post a week involving trail pictures, it'll allow you guys only the very best content. This plan might be foiled once summer and fall roll around and deer start sprouting their antlers, but we'll see how much self restraint I have. Haha. Plus between Jay and I, we have two or three years worth of pictures back logged, and on top of that we constantly have at least one trail cam, if not more, running at all times. So, we're not at a lack of great trail cam pictures to feature. Now that I am done rambling about my thoughts (I know it was scary, sorry), we'll move on to this weeks Trail Cam Tuesday.

Guess who's back infront of the camera today, that's right our old friends that were featured in a previous post, "Is it Turkey Season Yet?". These long beards just can't get enough of the camera, granted, at the time of this video we were in the midst of getting 20"+ of snow dumped on us, and this is a common feeding spot for them. We might have found our perfect spot to set up for turkey season. 

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