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King George Ruritan Club honors county veterans

The King George Ruritan Club’s annual Veterans Day program proudly recognized five King George...

Mayoral candidate DiRosario remained in jail throughout the election

Mayoral candidate DiRosario remained in jail throughout the election

Wayne DiRosario, wearing a faded blue Northern Neck Regional Jail jumpsuit, remained in jail this we...

Blunt wins Colonial Beach mayor’s race; Montross councilmen reelected

Eddie Blunt, a Colonial Beach councilman and local marina owner, was overwhelming elected the Potoma...

Stratford Fire Substation fundraising continues in November

The fundraising committee directing the efforts to raise funds for the new Stratford Fire Substation...

King George School Board honors its longest-serving bus drivers

Four senior school bus drivers for King George County Public Schools were honored for their excellen...

King George limps into playoffs after 35-13 loss to James Monroe

King George limps into playoffs after 35-13 loss to James Monroe

King George will play at Eastern View in the first round of the 4A-East VHSL playoffs after a frustr...

The Agency 1x3 class display 20161123

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King George

SETTING

Colonial Beach

SETTING

Colonial Beach's JarretThor Gallery to present Small Works Exhibit

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Beginning this weekend, Colonial Beach's JarretThor Gallery will present the Mid-Atlantic Pastel Society's "Small Works" Show. The show will run this month and through Dec. 18.

The Mid-Atlantic Pastel ...

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Westmoreland

SETTING

Blunt wins Colonial Beach mayor’s race; Montross councilmen reelected

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Eddie Blunt, a Colonial Beach councilman and local marina owner, was overwhelming elected the Potomac River town’s mayor in the Nov. 8 balloting. Blunt won 64 percent of the vote, defeating fell...

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Sports

SETTING

King George football season ends with 42-14 playoff loss to Eastern View

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Coach Jeff Smith’s King George Foxes, a powerful team that began the season with six wins in their first seven games, lost in the first round of the 4A-East playoffs Friday night as they went do...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

Obituaries, Nov. 16, 2016

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Henry E. Goerlitz, 72, of King George passed away on November 9, 2016. Henry was born and raised in King George and was a member of Round Hill Baptist Church.Henry was Vice President of the Northern Ne...

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Columnists

SETTING

Outdoor Report for Nov. 16, 2016

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Fishing appears to be quite good for those that get out. Hunting has been hit or miss. Some days the deer appear to be moving and others they are not moving at all.

Rappahannock River

Now is the time to...

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Office-for-rent Jrnl Bldg 20130925

A few reminders for Muzzleloader season

This coming Saturday starts one of the most exciting times of the year for hunters. Muzzleloader season in our neck of the woods coincides with the pre-rut and the rut. Deer are very active during this period, and the woods are a very exciting place to be. Not only are turkey and squirrel scrounging for food before winter hits, but deer are feeding heavily, does are coming into heat, and bucks are starting to spar and chase does. Ifthere is a period of two weeks to be in the woods waiting on a chance at a nice deer, this is the time to do it.

If you have not sighted in your smokepole by now, you may be too late. Area stores are selling muzzleloader supplies like mad, and there are mere days left to get the job done. Some hunters, myself included, have at one time or another forgotten to fire out that last load from the previous season. Remember, safety first. Treat all firearms as if they were loaded. The year I left my rifle loaded (no primer on it, of course!), I checked it with my ramrod and realized I had indeed left the bullet seated in the barrel. Fortunately, I was able to back out the breech plug, and the power charges fell out and then I was able to push out the bullet safely. Upon doing so, I was so glad I did not fire it out. The barrel forward of the bullet was fouled with lots of orange rust. There is no telling how that might have ended if I fired the bullet out. In fact, when I ran a cleaning brush through the barrel, I watched the rust fall out of the barrel in a continuous cloud of rust dust. I had a pile of it on my floor in the basement. The lesson here is to not leave your smokepole loaded, and if you do, unload it carefully.

Do check your muzzleloader point of impact each season. Things change. No sense missing a great buck or a good doe for the freezer because you did not check the point of impact.

This season when you head to the woods, wear or at least carry some blaze orange with you, even if you don’t feel the need to wear it. During firearms deer season, we are all required to wear blaze orange.

However, during muzzleloader season, we are not required to wear it, but certainly it would be good to wear or at least have.

Last season I was hunting a piece of property that had not been hunted legally for years. An access road was located on the eastern side of the property near the property line. Unknown to me, hunters on the neighboring property were using it and trespassing. During opening week, one morning I was sitting on that side of the property when a huge BOOM rang out, scaring me it was so close. Because I did not have any orange, I was afraid to approach the trespasser for fear of being shot. I came back later to find a fresh gut pile as a thank you for the trespassing and poaching. Later that same year, I caught a guy in a tree well on our side of the property line who came from the other side of the property. He claimed he did not know he was over the line until I walked him back to HIS POSTED signs, keeping me out of HIS property. Later, hunting the same location, I noticed hunters running away from me as I approached with my blaze orange cap on, more than once. They ceremoniously put on their orange caps AFTER they ran to the property line as I approached. My blaze orange hat may have saved me from being shot. I suspect anyone who will break the law and trespass might not be the safest person to be in the woods with. So, consider wearing blaze orange at least on your way in and out of the woods.  And if you have continuous trespassing problems, hide a small trail cam out of sight like I have done to record the lawbreakers, and then deliver the goods to the conservation police officers.

Remember that muzzleloader bullets can do a lot of damage. They can travel a long way. Keep those shots in safe directions with solid backstops in mind beyond the deer. The bullets can go through the deer and keep on going. No skyline shots!

With the rarity of acorns this year, the deer are definitely foraging on other greenery. Keep that in mind when hunting. Keep safety on the top of your list and expect to see the deer moving more than normal to find food. Make sure what you are shooting at is indeed a deer. Let’s keep it safe out in the woods and enjoy the incredible temperatures and scenery as we partake of America’s oldest outdoor tradition.

Mark Fike

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