Fri04182014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Project Faith loses second round in court

Clark Leming, attorney for Project Faith, Inc., lost a second round in court last week on April 9 in...

In case you missed it

In case you missed it

The lunar eclipse, the first of four consecutive lunar eclipses, began around 1 a.m. and lasted well...

Safety on the minds of students

Safety on the minds of students

Several citizens, teachers and school staff turned out on Tuesday to speak at the Town Council meeti...

Town Council considers a .25 cent increase in real estate taxes

During a long budget work session held on April 15 the council wrapped up discussions after almost f...

W&L's Andrea Roane granted a continuance on DWI charges

The principal of Washington & Lee High School has requested and received a continuance of her We...

Montross and Westmoreland County Museum kickoff Student Art Walk this weekend

Montross and Westmoreland County Museum kickoff Student Art Walk this weekend

April 12 to May 10

The Westmoreland County Museum will be hosting a local student art walk from April...


 

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King George

SETTING

Healthy kids

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Healthy kids

Kids from throughout the King George community were excited to participate in the Healthy Kid’s Day Fun 1-Mile Run at the YMCA on April 12.

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Colonial Beach

SETTING

Safety on the minds of students

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Safety on the minds of students

Several citizens, teachers and school staff turned out on Tuesday to speak at the Town Council meeting on April 10 to compel the council to approve funding for the high school repairs.

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Westmoreland

SETTING

W&L's Andrea Roane granted a continuance on DWI charges

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The principal of Washington & Lee High School has requested and received a continuance of her Westmoreland County General District Court appearance on charges of drunk driving and use of a handhel...

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Sports

SETTING

Drifters overpower W&L Eagles

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Drifters overpower W&L Eagles

On Thursday, the Drifters won the first round of the annual Northern Neck war between the Beach and Washington & Lee, 17-0. Nick Graves went 3-3, with a grand-slam homer, a double, and a single th...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

Eunice V. Johnson

Friday, 04 April 2014

Eunice V. Johnson, of Alexandria VA, died on Friday, March 21, 2014 in Alexandria.

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Columnists

SETTING

Antiques Considered - April 16, 2014

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Antiques Considered - April 16, 2014

This Victorian chandelier hangs in an old Northern Neck home.  The owner writes that it is not original to the house, but was an estate sale acquisition many years ago for $100.  The glass i...

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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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