Thu07282016

Last updateThu, 28 Jul 2016 9am

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King George woman arrested on manslaughter charge

The King George Sheriff's Office last week arrested a King George woman and charged her with involun...

King George Fire Department responds to fire at landfill

A fire of undetermined origin erupted at the King George landfill on Bullock Drive Saturday. A King ...

GEAR UP students, parents attend national NCCEP conference

Two Washington & Lee High School GEAR UP students, Hazen Shryock and Destiny Crockett,

and their ...

Benefit scheduled for Colonial Beach's Vickie Coffman

Benefit scheduled for Colonial Beach's Vickie Coffman

Friends and customers of Vickie Coffman, who owns High Tides Restaurant in Colonial Beach with her

hu...

Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins coming to Dahlgren

King George will be getting a Dunkin’ Donuts in Dahlgren on the vacant parcel next to

McDonald&...

Beauty salon to honor Colonial Beach teen killed in 2014 crash

Beauty salon to honor Colonial Beach teen killed in 2014 crash

Her dream was to become a hairdresser and open up her own salon.

From there, she hoped to branch out ...

20160323cctower

 

King George

SETTING

VCLA Tutoring celebrates move to new location

Thursday, 28 July 2016
VCLA Tutoring celebrates move to new location

VCLA Tutoring celebrated its move into a new location across from the King George courthouse

on Route 3, 9508 Kings Highway, with a ribbon cutting and open house on July 15 with teachers,

county officia...

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Colonial Beach

SETTING

Wildlife Center educates and entertains children at Colonial Beach library

Thursday, 28 July 2016
Wildlife Center educates and entertains children at Colonial Beach library

Wilson, a box turtle; Quinn, a great horned owl; and Delphine, a blind opossum were the star attractions at the

Cooper Library in Colonial Beach last week as the Wildlife Center of Virginia introduced ...

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Westmoreland

SETTING

Stratford Hall Teachers learn about Virginia early history

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Historic Stratford Hall, the Westmoreland County plantation that was home to the Lee family of Virginia, last

week hosted more than two dozen high school teachers from across the state and from far awa...

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Sports

SETTING

W&L's Wild gets ready for football

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Josh Wild, Washington & Lee High School's new varsity football coach, has only met with his players for a few moments since he was hired.  But he already has at least one clear goal for the s...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

King George County obituaries

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Elsie C. Grimes , 96, of Warsaw departed this life Sunday, July 17, 2016, in a Kilmarnock

hospital.

She is survived by two daughters, Deborah Bass of Warsaw and Mary Henderson of Hartford,

Conn.; and two ...

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Columnists

SETTING

Outdoor Report for July 27

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The heat finally took a bite out of the fishing, but it is mostly the people not fishing instead of

the fish not biting.

Rappahannock River

Ken’s Tackle in Spotsylvania reported that anglers are fi...

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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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