Fri08292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Hunters’ ranks grow with more women participating

As a schoolteacher I get to see and meet a number of people, particularly young people. When I first started teaching in King George I attended a hunter education class with my wife. Hunter education classes serve several purposes. First, the class is an excellent course that teaches new or novice hunters the safest ways to hunt effectively. Typically the all-day course goes over everything from basic firearms safety to basic hunting techniques as well as ethics and morals while in the field. We have an excellent cadre of instructors in our area and they do a great job of getting the material across to students of all ages. Second, the class serves as a qualification for those seeking a concealed weapons permit. Third, many adults take a refresher course as I did while mentoring a young person or novice to hunting.

Read more: Hunters’ ranks grow with more women participating

Small game cooks up into tasty soups and tacos

Small game seasons are still going strong and judging by the number of squirrels visiting the area around my chicken coops and bird feeders, their numbers have increased or they are hard up for food.
Squirrels and rabbits make up most of the small game interest in our area and both are very tasty and easy to prepare into various meals. Perhaps the toughest part about cooking these fine meats is the field dressing and pre-cooking effort.
When I field dress my squirrels, I always skin them and then simply quarter the meat. There is little meat on the ribs so normally I won’t bother with it. Rabbit on the other hand can easily be skinned and quartered and the backstrap of a rabbit, particularly a large rabbit, is well worth a few extra cuts with a sharp knife to carve it out. That strip of boneless meat is prized at our house and is the first one to disappear.

Read more: Small game cooks up into tasty soups and tacos

Father-daughter hunt ends in a smile and meat in the freezer

The last day of deer season dawned a bit chilly, but it did nothing to cut into the excitement of young Casey Sanders. She was in her father’s truck, headed to a piece of property he hunts with family and friends. The duo was taking part in a few man drives for deer on a local property and they were hopeful that Casey would be able to be with her dad when he tagged a deer.

Read more: Father-daughter hunt ends in a smile and meat in the freezer

Rare deer harvested in King George County

Dec. 23 dawned quite chilly with the remains of the previous week’s snow still covering the ground in many places at Lambs Creek Farm. The cold did not deter Rabah Sbitani from climbing into a deer stand that he had taken the time to hang on his father’s farm.
Sbitani, an educator at Massaponax High School, had taken the time to do some shooting with a slug gun the previous week and was determined to get a deer. He had done some scouting to find out exactly where to hang the stand and be within range of deer crossings. His homework paid off.

Read more: Rare deer harvested in King George County

A day on the boat, reeling in freight trains

The salt air blew across my face as porpoises eased out of the water at the inlet near Rudee’s. Little did I know that less than a few hours later I would be horsing in a freight train on a reel the size of a bass-casting reel.
Our captain, Ryan Rogers, normally charters out of Smith Point, Va., but takes his boat down to Virginia Beach each June to put clients on tuna, amberjack, dolphin, spadefish and whatever else suits him. This trip I was invited on had a rendezvous with an aquatic freight train. I will never forget the trip as long as I live.
The crew included friends of Captain Rogers and his first mate, Kenny Nance. The group had fished with each other before and although I was the newcomer to half of them, they welcomed me as if I had

Read more: A day on the boat, reeling in freight trains

Subtle changes can make better results

Who would have ever thought that slowing down a retrieve on a small jig tipped with a curly tail grub would result in twice as many fish caught? I know that changing retrieve speed can help you catch more fish — but twice as many?
Last week I had to get some photos for a magazine article, and I ducked into Old Mill Park for an hour to get some shots. While there I carried my ultra-light spinning outfit with a few jigs in my pocket. The shad were running hard and hot and I wanted some roe. The first few casts resulted in nothing. I saw fish breaking and swirling, and I noticed one other guy catching some, so I knew they were willing. After 20 minutes of casting and taking only one buck shad I knew I had to change things up. On a random whim I cut my retrieve speed in half. Every two to three turns at half speed I put a twitch in the jig and WHAM! The second fish of the day was on. That big roe shad was hefted into the bucket and another cast was quickly made with the same results. Within minutes I had seven fish in the bucket and was either getting a hook up or a fish on nearly every cast. Just to prove to myself it was not a change in tide, sunlight or whatever, I sped up the retrieve keeping the twitch in it and was back to getting plenty of arm and hand exercise. Switching back to half speed earned an immediate strike. Interesting!

Read more: Subtle changes can make better results

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