Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trail Cam Tuesday - November 5, 2013

With the rut starting anytime the deer are starting to go nocturnal. This along with the time change is all something to keep in mind while trying to plan your peak rut hunts. I have not been seeing a lot of movement on the select days I've managed to get in the woods this fall. However, after checking my trail camera this past weekend, I found at least one reason to keep myself glued to my stand a little longer. 

A new 8 Point that showed up on camera this week!

It does not matter what size bucks they are, they have all gone nocturnal. 

That is unless they are a yearling button buck still hanging out with their mothers. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day Late and a Doe Short

The first dusting of snow on Foggy Mountain this year.
Due to unseasonably warm weather earlier in the season, last weekend (10/19) was the first weekend I made it out to hunt. With that first day filled with rain and a lack of movement due to a full moon; my first hunting trip of the season wasn't great. That in mind and a cold front was moving in mid-week, that had brought the first snow of the year, I took off Friday and planned to hunt all day Friday and Saturday.

Without having my trail camera running I did not know what to expect. Slightly exciting, but really unnerving to not know what time to  expect movement. I went with that I knew from years previously and went to get into stand a little before day break. I knew the only issue I would have would be if deer decided to bed down in the thicket to the right of my stand. 

As I walked in it was a very cool (28º) and calm morning, the kind where you could hear a bird's wings flap. I made it within eye sight of my stand when I heard what I had feared, a deer stand up. I heard one stand then multiple deer run, at that time there was nothing I could do. I continued to make my way to my stand in hopes they had not went far. I ended up seeing the doe, across the hillside, that I believe that was bedded by my stand. Once it was light enough to see everything, I could see the beds of where the deer had been in my stand. They were bedding in a different location normal, but still not out of the ordinary. I continued to hunt all morning without seeing another deer. Around lunch time I had plans to meet up with Jared and hunt the double set we hung this year for an evening hunt, but we decided to change locations and have another type of adventure.

The property that I was invited to hunt ended up being two huge green, lush hay fields right beside the river, a virtual honey hole. This property is located next to Jared's wife's grandparents and had produced great deer for decades. The one catch, you knew there had to be a catch to make this an adventure, they normally only rifle hunt this area and adjoining hillside. That means no treestands, no ground blinds, nothing. We were going in blind and trying to hunt from the ground with a bow. This is something I had only done once but loved; so I figured it was worth a shot.

After a brief discussion of where we were going and how we planned on hunting it we took off. We went across a creek and headed towards the road that ran parallel to the fields. We were going to walk the road to were the two fields are divided and and cut across the 75 yards of swampy woods that separate the field from the road. We managed to jump up two different does walking in the road and knew that it was going to be a good evening. We needed to find a location and get set up quickly. We went into the field and started walking the fence line down to find the best location for a possible shot and adequate cover to hide us from the deer. We found a spot that had a large tree that I could stand behind with decent brush cover on both sides and two shooting lanes. Jared was 15 yards away with similar cover.

Can you spot Jared?
It didn't take long after settling in to start seeing deer. Around 5:15 PM we spotted two deer slowly feeding across the other field. It was not to long after that I spotted four deer feeding 150 yards away off a point in fence line to my right. We watched them for more than half an hour as they slowly began feeding up to our location. I could not believe it, it was going to work, first night at a new location, a new style of hunting and we were seeing deer walk into our shooting range! This would be a great first story if it were not for the farmers that tended the field needing to get hay for their cattle. They ended up almost pushing the deer into shooting range but the deer ran off to the opposite side of the field.

Jared and I had a conversation while setting up (in the field/swamp area) about how well we blended in to the surroundings. Our questions were answered quickly. The farmers drove within 40 yards of us with a tractor and a truck and did not see either of us. That made both of us feel better about hunting that location and the ability to blend in, but it did nothing for having our deer scared completely out of the field. After they left, we still have 45 minutes of shooting light so we sat tight to see if we could get one back in range. We stuck it out and have a handful of does and yearlings come back in, but none were in range. Still this was a great night and a confidence booster to keep trying to hunt from the ground. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trail Cam Tuesday: Trail Camera Sets & Scent Control

Close encounter with a black bear.
As with most hunters, hunting season never really ends, it just progresses to the next year. That is no different here; even in the “off-season” there are still a thousand and one things to do to prepare for the next season.  And that only amplifies when the spring turns to summer and the realization that hunting season is only a few months away. That means a lot of hunters are starting/in the process of hanging, checking, or moving stand set and are continually scouting their hunting area to become more ready for the fall. With scouting there are many things and strategies to consider. One of my favorite tools are trail cameras. There are a wide variety of brands, types, and uses but mainly this is a tool that can be used to help the hunter find what deer are in the specific areas, what, if any, kind of pattern they are on, and another added feature is it allows you to keep “hunting” all year long.  As is to human nature when it is getting close to the season starting, we begin to take short cuts. But could taking shortcuts this summer while setting trail cameras and checking end up hurting you this hunting season? This is something most hunters know can happen - “blowing out” your hunting area and the corridors that lead to and from it by over hunting or having excessive travel in the areas during hunting season, but have you thought about it in summer while checking you cameras?

There is something that you can be doing that takes very little effort and time to help prepare. I do it and won’t lie – I need to do it more as the season gets closer!  At this point you may be wondering what exactly I am talking about…

Think this buck might have smelled something on the camera?
I am talking about the advancements in scent control technology! Specifically, scent control of your trail camera and surrounding area.  For those you that aren't doing this yet, let me ask you a question. Would you go out opening day of season wearing your t-shirt you wore to workout in last night, your blue jeans that are covered in grease, oil, and gas, and those old pair of shoes that you use to cut the grass in? I wouldn't either! Our trail cameras are no different. Our natural scent is plastered on our cameras every time we touch them and the wildlife can smell that something is/was there.

The hunting industry as a whole has greatly advanced over the last 10 to 15 years in scent blocking.
One of the leading and continual changing products is scent protection and elimination lines. It is agreed upon that the best situation is to know how to read the wind and use it to your advantage, but like many other hunters I don’t always have the time to wait for Mother Nature to help me. This is where I have started to use a simple yet systematic approach to check my trail cameras during this valuable time of the pre-season.

I know as soon as I said systematic that it turned a few of you off, but really I promise it is simple! First off, you already know the area you are hunting and using your trail cameras in. Most of you already do this but if you don’t, map out the area(s) where your trail cameras are to allow for you to enter and exit on the quickest route and with the least amount of disturbance to the area and wildlife. Now that’s the first half of my systematic approach, pretty simple this far, right?

The other half does require a little forethought and/or planning. If you are like me you just need an empty spot in your truck to leave the gear. Now you may be asking what gear you are going to need to check a trail camera. The obvious answer is a new SD card to switch, new batteries, and possibly some minerals and food to refill your feeder(s) if your state regulations allow it. That is a good start but that isn’t everything you’ll need. To help with the scent control, I like to keep a few items in a backpack in the back of my truck for whenever I get the chance to check my cameras. A list of the items and explanations are as follows:
  • Rubber Boots - These have been proven time and time again to help reduce the scent.
  • Latex/Rubber Gloves (x4) – This to help reduce the transfer of scent when handling your trail cameras.
  • Scent-Free Field Wipes - These are great to have if you are randomly checking your camera after work or school and are sweaty, wearing cologne or even if you are just waiting to be cautious, wipe down with these and help mask your scent.
  • Clothes - This might sound like a little bit of over kill, but its summer and I like to wear shorts, shorts and briers don’t mix. I have a pair of old light weight hunting pants I can slip over my shorts and a “scent-free” long-sleeve shirt to throw on also. This helps protect you as well as help cover your scent.
  • Cover Scent / Scent-Free Spray – This will pull double duty, this will be used to spray yourself down as well as the area the camera is in as well as its strap.
  • Tools – I like to keep a small folding saw, pair of handheld pruning shears, and a folding shovel with me while I am checking trail cameras. These are a great help when trying to clear the view for a camera, establish a better staging area for the deer to cross in front of the camera, help with last minute touches on clearing shoot lanes, or lastly when it’s time to start making those mock scrapes (look for this topic to be covered in a later article).
  • Backpack – This might have been a given, but I like to have it for multiple reasons. It is nice to have everything together and easy to grab, but it also is great to use while check the cameras. I like to throw in some extra batteries (even with have estimated timelines I like to know I can replace them if need be), extra SD cards, my tools, the Cover Scent / Scent-Free Spray, field wipes, latex gloves, and a bottle of water or two as if can be a length walk at times.

Overall this might sound a little cautious, but it has helped me pattern deer better over the last few years and if this can help anyone this fall I am glad to share it. Does anyone else do this or are you going to start? And if you already do this, what essential gear or tips did I miss?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Oven Roasted Wild Turkey Breast

After shooting a turkey, I learned there is an important decision to make after taking a picture with it and checking it in. Are you going to pluck the bird and roast it whole like on Thanksgiving or are you going to break it down? One risk you run in to breaking down the bird is drying out the meat while cooking it as it no longer has the skin and fat on it to help seal in the natural juices of an already very lean bird. I chose the latter of the two and very quickly broke down the bird. One reason I chose to do this was because over the past few years I have accumulated many different recipes and ideas of how I wanted to prepare/cook my first wild turkey. I was able to get an abundant amount of meat from this bird which supplied me with enough meat to try a variety of these recipes.

Never preparing wild turkey before and hearing some of the horror stories I asked a few friends and did a little research to find out what the easiest and tastiest recipe would be for my first with this bird. With any recipe I get, I had to tweak, change, and just never leave well enough alone so this is my variation of oven roasted wild turkey breast.

  • 1 – Whole Turkey Breast
  • 8 oz. – Italian Dressing
  • 1 Cup – Butter
  • ½ Cup – Olive Oil
  • Camp Dog Cajun Seasoning (Creole Seasoning will work also)
  •  Ground Black Pepper
  • Ramp Powder (Onion/Garlic Powder will work also)
  • 1 –Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag (Small)

Place turkey breast and the Italian dressing in a container or Ziploc bag to marinade overnight. Make sure the breast is fully covered with the marinade, if not you will need to turn the breast so that both side have had time to marinade. This step is used to help keep the breast moist while cooking it and to provide a flavoring throughout the breast after it is cooked.

After the breast has had time to marinade, remove the turkey breast from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade as it will not be used for anything else.

At this point this point the turkey breast should still have some marinade on it. There are two methods that can be used. The Camp Dog, pepper, and ramp powder can be sprinkled on the top of the breast for quick application. The second method is to mix the seasonings together in a bowl and then to rub down the entire breast with the seasonings to make sure there is maximum coverage of the turkey breast.

Once the breasted is seasoned, transfer it in to a Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag.

Before sealing the bag, melt the butter and mix it with the olive and then pour it in the bag also.
After adding this seal the back and place it into a cake or loaf pan, use whatever size you see fit for the amount of turkey being cooked. Make sure to read the cooking instructions for the cooking bag you are using.

Finally bake the turkey breast at 350⁰ for an hour to an hour and a half.

As I said before, it is just that easy! It might not be culinary masterpiece, but it sure will impress your friends and family!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Trail Cam Tuesday: June 25, 2013

With the first day of summer only a few days behind us and my Facebook and Twitter blowing up with trail camera pictures, it made me want to revive an old favorite of mine. If you have been following this blog for awhile, you know about Trail Cam Tuesday (TCT), a series of posting regarding interesting trail camera pictures I have been taken and am currently receiving from Foggy Mountain and the surrounding areas. Though I had not been writing with the same frequency recently, I have not forgotten about my trail cameras. I still run them religiously; the only difference is they are not getting checked as frequently, yet this could be good thing. Over winter a few interesting pictures had surfaced, but nothing that made me think I have to post a new TCT. This past week, I found the set of pictures that made me think I needed to revive this series.

The potential for checking your trail cameras less frequently gives the animals less of a chance of patterning you and your behaviors while checking your cameras. This lets them move more freely and naturally throughout the given area without fear and or scent of humans. Yet and this this a big one, it also can have a counterproductive reaction if your camera(s) is placement wrong, is not seeing the activity you are trying to capture, the batteries die, or the overall pattern of movement has changed.  That’s where I was over a month ago; I have gone from checking trail cameras from at a minimum of once a week to now possibly once a month. I knew that the pattern of deer movement had changed some due to downed trees and other obstruction in the normal routes since last year’s “Super Storm” and surrounding properties recently being timbered. Finally a few weeks ago I decided I needed to move one of my cameras from a location it had been at for multiple years, since before the creation of this blog. Granted it only moved 50 to 75 yards away, but did it make a huge difference.

As I said before, my Facebook especially has been flooded with picture of potentially great looking bucks in velvet. I won't lie, I was hoping to find a few of those in my pictures since moving my main trail camera set, but that was not the case. As I switched out my cards and threw the old one into my camera to view it, I saw a lot of doe movement on this trail at various hours of the day. This was good to see, but still not what I was hoping for. I did not think much of and threw my camera into my backpack and carried on with my plans for the rest of the day. Not until I got home that night and transferred the pictures to my computer did I look at the pictures again and see what I truly had. One of the does that was walking though had something following it. Something small enough that I couldn't pick it up on the small camera screen. It was a small fawn, with its vibrant white spots. Although this is not a giant buck I can chase this fall, it might been in another few years or it may be just another doe to help repopulate the mountain top and keep the great deer herd thriving.

It’s not always about the antlers, sometimes you have to step back and enjoy the simple things in nature.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Montani Semper Liberi

westvirginia1Montani Semper Liberi is latin for "Mountaineers are Always Free" and is the state motto of West Virginia. This is something that many people from the great state of West Virginia know and take to heart. If you haven't guessed, I love my state and everything it has to offer; not to mention the people  are great and always welcoming. It was just yesterday I received an e-mail from a fellow Mountainteer saying he stumbled across the site and wanted to tell me that my blog looked nice and he was wondering what part of the state I was from. It is that kind of friendliness and unity that makes me love West Virginia. With that being said, today we celebrate the state's birthday. It was a 150 years ago today that we, the state that is now West Virginia, seceded from the state of Virginia, during the height of the Civil War. Below is a lengthy but great article that I found at the WV Gazette. The article is by Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Politics aside, he does a great job of  describing why so many of us from West Virginia love the state so greatly and want to share it with everyone. 

Sen. Jay Rockefeller: A tribute to West Virginia

Fifty years ago, I was on the outside looking in. A young man in awe of a state knit so tightly and beautifully -- a place whose people are so closely connected but who welcomed me and shared their treasured home.
A place where the mountains touch the heavens, and dirt roads lead to home. Suppertime is family time and neighbors always give with both hands.

Where summers mean 4-H camp and sugar maples glow in the fall. Winters test resilience and the sound of spring peepers bring us joy.

It's a place where glass is blown and handmade quilts get blue ribbons. Buckets of blackberries end up in cobblers. Ramps have their own festival and buckwheat does too.

Where doors are held open and smiles are shared generously. Where we call friends "aunts" and "uncles" because they're just like our own.

A state whose pride wells with the crack of the Mountaineer's musket. Who cherishes a university that grew strong out of impossible tragedy.

It's where John Denver sang of misty moonshine and Rocket Boys reached the sky.

Where we know the sound of train whistles and the smell of newly-baled hay in the sun.

Where we raft our rapids and fish our streams. Hike our trails and ski snow-covered slopes. Climb our peaks and camp in valleys.

It's a state where weddings are planned around football schedules and prayers said every night. Kids catch bugs in mason jars and know the state song by heart.

Where friendly small towns make us proud and front porches have swings.

Where veterans are hometown heroes and patriotism means more than waving a flag.

It's a place where hard work is marked by empty coffee thermoses and coarsely stained hands.

Where coal lives beneath our land and underpins a way of life. Steel has been forged and helped build a whole nation.

Where struggle doesn't mean defeat; it inspires us to fight harder. Where tough times bind us together and we shout our successes from the mountaintops.

It's a peaceful place where the mountains hold us close and the view from our window reminds us we're part of a larger story -- of something special.

We ache for it when we're away. And we smile when the words "Wild and Wonderful" greet us at the state line.

On West Virginia's birthday, I am thankful for my state. I found myself at her potlucks and in her hollows. I found my life's passion, a call to public service, in her people -- work I am deeply grateful to have done for 50 of her 150 years.

I found my forever home.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spring Gobbler Season 2013

As I was sitting here typing up a few new recipe posts, I realized I never posted about how I actually got the turkey. If it was anything like last year's season it would have been from the frozen foods section, but this year was a different story. To be honest, this year I took a more lackadaisical approach to turkey hunting. In years past I have done a ton of prepping and scouting for the season. This year, not so much, I had to work the opening weekend but that wasn't discouraging due to the random weather we were having.

By the time I was finally able to make it hunting it was the second weekend. I met up with Jay early that morning and we headed out to a blind he had taken a gobbler from the opening day, nearly two weeks previously. The day started out amazingly, before we could even make it into the blind we had a few gobblers already gobbling coming off the roost. At that point we dove in the blind as quick as possible to prepare for whatever was coming our way. The gobbling soon quit and so did nearly everything else. Nearly an hour passed before we hear something coming from behind us. We were sure at that point and time it was  going to be those gobblers emerging from a creek bottom to our left. Much to our surprise it was a loan doe slinking through the woods looking for a snack. We watched this deer for a few minutes until it go spooked and slowly retreated back towards the creek bed. Even after we saw the deer leave the area we still heard movement behind us. This was we believed the gobblers were actually circling around behind the blind to enter into the area in front of us on a similar path we came in on. It took the group of turkeys nearly another hour to make their way around us. At that point Jay spotted a smaller gobbler moving in front of us from left to right. Before the lead gobbler could make it past, two larger gobblers came in behind him. These three gobblers came in quick and left just as quick. They never made it in closer than 75 yards ducking in and out of trees. They proceeded to head back towards the creek bed and serenaded us for a half an hour with continuous gobbling. After unsuccessfully trying to call them back in we decided to go run and gun, but that didn't provided to be successful either.

With the previous weekend's hunt ending without being able to get a gobbler in range we planned to hit the turkey blind again the next Saturday. With a little scouting done during the weekend we were hopeful but leery due to the terrible weather forecast we were seeing. The terrible weather came through earlier in the week than we thought, but still has the tail end of it last through Saturday morning. Even with the bad weather we still decided to head out and sit in the turkey blind considering we wouldn't get wet and still thought we might have a chance. Jay and I got the blind just as daylight was/should have been break, but due to the weather it was still dark and overcast. We sat there for nearly two and a half without even seeing a thing. At that point we decided to make a few calls and then come up with a new game plan. We had just began to talk about where to move to due to the rain letting up when Jay frozen mid-sentence saying that he hear something. At that point and time we both saw a lone hen streak across in front of us. With the movement of this hen we both were still silent when we hear the same noise coming back in, yet we knew it wasn't the hen because it hadn't let our field of view more than two minutes previously. Jay grabbed the camera to film whatever was coming in and I grabbed my shotgun in hopes that a big tom was strolling in. As the noise closed in we saw a singe head come into view and then another and another. All and all we had six Jakes come in front of us. At that point we figured it was the best time and opportunity to take my first turkey, plus I had been dying to get some wild turkey meat. Needless to say with the six jakes on the move, trailing the hen, I didn't have much time to choose. I only had a few second to choose and  one bird that was separating from the rest was the lead bird, so I put the head of the shotgun on it , pulled the trigger, and managed to take my first turkey.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Huntography's #DeerTour 2013 On Sale Now!

If you remember back during last hunting season I had a guest visit me on Foggy Mountain, Rudy of Huntography. I was lucky enough to be selected to make an appearance on this past season's #DeerTour and be one of the two people representing West Virginia. This past weekend the new season of #DeerTour and a full Huntography store was released. The store has past season of #DeerTour, #ElkTour, and other great Huntography merchandise. Go ahead over and get your copy of #DeerTour 2013 and grab a shirt and hat while you're there too!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ramp Mashed Potatoes

Topped with fresh ramps
When cooking with ramps the ideas and uses are limitless, yet sometimes you have to get back to the basics. This re-creation of a classic recipe is something I ate growing up and I'm sure many of you have too. Yet I've made a few tasty alterations to include ramps into the recipe, I’m sure it will not disappoint. This is my twist on ramp mash potatoes; they are a great side dish to help introduce people to ramps. This recipe leaves the potatoes with a mild flavoring of ramps throughout the dish without being over powering.

8 to 10 – Red Potatoes
4 to 6 – Small/Medium Whole Ramps (bulbs, stalks, and leaves)
4 to 8 Tablespoons – Butter
½ Cup – Milk 

In a large pot put water on to boil while cutting / quartering up potatoes. Once the potatoes are cut, place them in the boiling water with a pinch or two of salt. Allow for potatoes to boil for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are soft.

While the potatoes are boiling separate the ramp bulbs and stems from the leaves. Once the ramps leaves are separated from the steams, finely mince the steams and bulbs and rough chop the remaining leaves of the ramps. Add one to two tablespoons of butter to a small skillet on medium heat. After the majority of the butter has melted, add the ramps (minced bulbs/stems and rough chopped leaves) and sauté.

By this time the potatoes should be soft enough to begin mashing them. To start this process the potatoes need to be removed from the heat and then drained. Put the drained potatoes back into the/a pot and run a potatoes masher through the potatoes until they are broken into small chucks. At this point add two to four tablespoons of butter and the ½ cup of milk to the mashed potatoes and stir/mix the potatoes. Continue stirring until they reach your preferred consistency. Now add the sautéed ramps and butter used to sauté them to the bowl of mashed potatoes; stir the ramps in until they are mixed thoroughly throughout the potatoes. If you like your mashed potatoes a little on the creamier side you can add a few more splashes of milk and then more butter to flavor. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

#DEERTOUR 2012 Teaser

If you remember awhile back #DEERTOUR made a trip to Foggy Mountain this past season. With hunting, nothing went as plan and it did not turn out as I wanted but it was still a great experience! Now for a preview of the entire #DEERTOUR 2012

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pulled Venison BBQ

Pulled Venison Sandwich with Pickled Ramps
For anyone that knows me or knows anything about the blog,  you know that I love to cook and I love to eat that much more.

For me and my buddies, food plays an important role when talking about deer camp or those all day fishing trips.

When cooking for these activities, there should be a blend between quick and easy and filling and tasty.  This is recipe fits that bill nicely. It can range from as simple as two ingredients for easy cooking in the field to a tasty dinner for the family. This is something that is a staple for us when hunting and fishing because  it is simple as can be. When in the field you need to do is open a quart jar of canned venison and warm it in a skillet and then add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. At this point, apply it to a bun and you are ready to eat. This is warm, great tasting, and quick outdoor meal.

This is not where this recipe ends, I have a recipe for everyone to try if you have more than a single burner Coleman Stove or in your kitchen. First it is important to remember that there is more than one way to achieve the pulled venison, there are recipes where it can be cooked in a crock-pot or slow-cooker  but I prefer to use canned venison that is pre-cooked. This method allows for this meal to be cooked in under 10 minutes.


  • 4 Cups (1 Quart) of Pre-Cooked Shredded Venison
  • 1.5 Cup - BBQ Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp - Molasses 
  • 1/4 Cup - Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp - Mince Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Step One: Add mince garlic to a lightly oiled pan and sauté until brown.

Step Two: Once the garlic is browned, add the BBQ Sauce and Molasses to the deep walled skillet and bring to a simmer.

Step Three: After the sauce is brought to a simmer, slowly add in the brown sugar until it is dissolved.

Step Four: Mix in the shredded venison and allow for the mix to warm and salt and pepper to taste.

After the venison and sauce and combined thoroughly and warm apply to a bun or roll. If you have any Pickled Ramps, they make a great topper for this sandwich.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Return to Foggy Mountain

It has been blatantly obvious over the last year or so I have been absent. For those of you have have been following along know I have been in school, getting married, and starting a new job and working. With this whirlwind of life bearing down on me, I blogged when I could, but that was very seldom. I did manage to throw in one of the many book reviews I have to do and the story of my buck in bow season, but other than that I didn't get on here much recently. At this point, I started to think if I just needed to call it quits on the blog. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't intended to be a pity, woe as me post, this is more of a back story to lead into the true aspect of this post. Between finally graduating Graduate School and falling into a rhythm with work and life and some serious encouragement from my wife, I decided to keep blogging. The last part of this was trying to move past writers block.

Moving past writer's block has been an ongoing struggle, I've been trying to write this post since the second week of December.  All the while I was still reading all my favorite blogs to try and spark some form of a post I'd want to write. The spark wasn't there and the old stand-by post just weren't what I wanted to put out there. Many of the post I was reading involved hunting season recaps, year end reviews, and previews of what's to come in 2013. When looking at that, as I said before I didn't have much to recap from hunting season nor did I have much for a year end review. I guess I could go the route of giving my goals for 2013 and what I have planned. That is what I'm doing that in a form but not completely.

What I started to think about was why do I blog anymore or at this rate why do I want to keep blogging? I had started this blog blind and the only guidance I had was trying and mirror other more popular blogs in hopes of attracting more of an audience. This lead to me writing post that where more about producing a certain quantity of post not the quality of what I truly wanted to post. This is something that also played into my writing block and not writing for a while. After thinking about it more, I realize I started this blog because I couldn't find another blog about hunting, fishing, or foraging in West Virginia and because I enjoy writing and sharing my adventures as well as giving and getting advice. Now with that being said, I may write on these topics, but by no stretch of the imagination am I an expert in any of these fields. That's what makes it fun in writing, as it is labeled in the header, these are my misadventures and will help me and hopefully anyone else that is reading, grow as an outdoorsman.

To bring this full circle, what I am saying with all this rambling is that I am not here to try and make this blog my gateway into the outdoor industry. I am here because I love the outdoors and everything it has to offer. All I want to do is be able to share my adventures and advice with everyone that wants to hear it and show a positive outlook on West Virginia. I feel like I got away from that and want to get that back. I am not going to list my goals that I have for this year to come, at least not now.

A thing at inspired me to start this blog was my love for blogs like Hank Shaw's Hunter-Angler-Gardener-Cook, Georgia Pellegrini, and author Steven Rinella. I am no where near as skilled as any of these great chefs/hunters, but I do love to cook, can, and preserve wild game, mushrooms, ramps, and other things found in the wild or garden. I'd like to and plan on having more posts concentrating on this topic. This is  the main area that I want to integrate into the blog more. There will still be content on what I am doing as far as hunting, fishing and everything that goes with that, but not as much of the filler stories just to produce a post. Trail Cam Tuesday will still exist  yet it will be on a much more limited basis, which I believe will actually make it better. This is not going to be a major change to the blog or the content, this is more of an update on the mission statement of this blog and to explain to everyone where I've been. Although I might not have the same regularity of post as before I hope the quality of the post will make up for that. Thank you all for following along and I hope everyone has a great new year to come!
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