Tag Archive: Virginia

So, You Think You’re Zeroed In?

Flash back to October 6th. Opening day of bow season and I’m in Blacksburg, VA with Field Editor, Zac Stovall, both of us were itching to get into the woods.  The start of the season was looking grim until the sun started going down and then sound of whitetail began filling the woods. I heard a noise behind me and spotted three does coming up the woods.  After watching them for a bit I thought to myself “why not take a shot, its opening day, you got this”.  I was wrong.  Letting my arrow fly only to miss a good piece of tenderloin.  All that practice and hurry to miss my first shot, I have to be the worst bow hunter ever.

6am in the morning a few weeks later, I decided to hit up the farm.  Hunting national forest is a love of mine but this morning private land was just too convenient.  Glazing at a doe in my head light while it was still dark, I was pretty sure it was a going to be a good morning.  At the first of the season I was excited and rusty.  About 3 hours into the hunt I was surprised by a small, basket rack 8 pointer.  This deer snuck up on my blind and got so close there was no way to miss, wrong again.  Who knows what happened, first buck of the year and I hold my record with a bow. Nada.

Finally, early muzzleloading season in Virginia opened up last Saturday.  I was trying to get to Asheville, NC that evening to meet up with Zac at the WNC Fly Fishing Expo and not sleeping well the night before left me with little time in the woods.  I was already up not so bright and early but I was intent on making the best of my day.  I headed out to my blind where I saw the basket rack the week before just wasting time; hell I didn’t even eat breakfast and forgot my facemask and gloves.  The sun was just coming over the hill when I heard a rustle and I perked up real quick. Coming through a thicket straight towards me was a decent size buck with only one horn.  Normally I wouldn’t shoot a smaller buck but I was tired of missing and I was hungry. With one smokey shot, I dropped my first buck of the season.  It was then time for a quick much needed nap.

spike So, You Think Youre Zeroed In?

     Any sort of hunting of any sort is an exciting experience for me.  When I’m in the woods I always think I’m ready and all zeroed in but in nature things change.  Sometimes you have luck when you’re not even trying.  I hope everyone feels the euphoria of being out there chasing down the big one.  Don’t get mad about missing, killing a smaller one than your buddy or not seeing a thing.  Just smile and think that’s just another day you’ll get to hunt for that living room hanger.  Wish me luck for the Deertour, I’ll need it.

 

My Opening Day

20121010 162237 My Opening Day
Well I missed the real opening day so today is my first day hunting in Virginia. Scrapes are popping up everywhere and being checked and freshened every night.

I came iin planning to hunt a trail leading to a line of scrapes but the wind was all wrong so I switched to plan B. I’m hunting an old home site that is a common travel route for deer between a bedding area and acorns. I don’t usually but I’m hunting from the ground hoping for a close encounter. If I don’t see a thing it’s still a beautiful afternoon in the woods.

Good luck to all the Virginia bow hunters out there!

Hopeful and Thankful for the 2012 #Deertour

Since the official announcement of #DEERTOUR 2012, I can honestly say that there isn’t a day that goes by that I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have been chosen to be a part of such an evolving and supportive culture of deer hunters. I’m excited to meet Rudy and Will and welcome them into the mountainous, southwestern portion of Virginia. Like all the fellow Huntographers, deer season is never over. Over the past few weeks I’ve been checking trail cams, learning the travel patterns and scouting for new hunting locations.

Chris, Will and I have loosely agreed on upon setting up deer camp at a hunting cabin in southwest Virginia. The property will be a new hunting spot not just for Will but for myself too. When I met the owner of the cabin he was anxious to show me a photo a black bear that was around the property during his last visit.

IMG 20120625 213415 300x225 Hopeful and Thankful for the 2012 #Deertour

There’s defiantly no shortage of deer, turkey, and bear in the part of the state. Even the coyote, raccoon, and fox populations have been vividly noticeable. We hope to represent the purity of our hunting culture. Special thanks to Rudy and Will for letting Chris and I hop on board with Huntography and we are patiently on the countdown to November.

IMG 3245 300x190 Hopeful and Thankful for the 2012 #Deertour

Bone Rack in Roanoke County, Virginia

Ashland,VA Gander Mountain Closes Local Store Moves In

MAp 179x300 Ashland,VA Gander Mountain Closes Local Store Moves In

I just saw this announcement over on the Richmond Times Dispatch about the Gander Mountain in Ashland, Virginia closing. They have struggled since Bass Pro opened just up the road. The interesting twist is that a local shop Green Top Sporting Goods will be moving in as Gander Mountain Closes in July. Green Top has been around for as long as I can remember and is definitely the quint essential local sporting goods store. While I’m not necessarily excited to see Gander Mountain close it’s pretty cool to see a local store rather than a chain growing. As mentioned Green Top has been at that this location for decades and was less than  a mile from Gander Mountain that opened more recently. Even more recently than that the  Bass Pro Shops opened up only a few miles away as well. I guess it was only a matter of time before one of them had to close down. Literally they are so close together you can start at Green Top, drive to Gander Mountain then drive to Bass Pro and it’s a 3 mil trip! On the map here Green Top is the Blue Pin, Gander Mountain is the Red Pin and Bass Pro is the Green Pin. For more details check out this LINK. If you stop by at the right time you might be able to get some good close out deals!

Stepping Into Summer

Memorial Day weekend was amazing this year in southwest Virginia. Temperatures held steady in the mid 80’s and we didn’t see a drop of rain all weekend. Fishing and hiking were ideal, and I managed to do a little bit of both on my extra day off. Special thanks to those serving around the globe in the U.S. Armed Forces fighting for our freedom so we can enjoy the great outdoors.

Even though whitetail and turkey seasons have wrapped up for the year, October bow season never seems too far away. I’m always on the lookout for wildlife, even during the off-season. Over the years one thing I’ve noticed that the deer around here in the summer months get a real smooth, almost red coat. While I was doing some work around my house on Monday afternoon, I noticed this curious doe sneaking up to my back porch.
doe 2 300x225 Stepping Into Summer

To show a better comparison of the color difference of the deer fur, here’s a photo I took last September just a few days before the 2011 bow season opened. It’s a nice 8-point buck that has already grown out his winter fur and a spike that’s still donning the summer coat. These deer were photographed in Washington County, Virginia.
washi 300x225 Stepping Into Summer

Elk Are Officially Back in Virginia

sd elk 01 Elk Are Officially Back in Virginia

Photo by Sam Dean, The Roanoke Times

I posted a little while back about RMEF and VDGIF teaming up to return elk to Virginia. I’m pretty excited about it even though they won’t produce a huntable population for probably at least a decade. Just the thought of being able to drive just a few hours to the mountains  and possibly encounter a mature bull elk in the next few years is pretty awesome.  It’s always been a dream of mine to go elk hunting and to potentially do that in my home state even if it is a long ways off is literally like a dream come true!

There are currently 11 elk in a 5 acre enclosure in Buchanan County. They were trapped this winter in Kentucky with the intent of bringing them to Virginia. They have been thoroughly tested for various diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease and Blue Tongue. There are 5 Bulls, 5 Cows and a week old calf. They will be released into the wild shortly. The plan is to bring 75 elk form the Kentucky herd into Buchanan over the next 3 years.

For the full story check out this article by Mark Taylor in The Roanoke Times. What do you think of bringing elk to Virginia?

 

Where Were All These Birds on Opening Day?

Well, Spring Gobbler season officially opened in Virginia last Saturday. Since Virginia does not allow Sunday hunting in anyway shape or form, there’s not much turkey hunters can do until Monday morning. A fellow hunter in Montgomery County, VA sent me a photo of a nice flock of Virginia gobblers he spotted while driving home late Sunday afternoon. I just hope these bad boys decide to come out during the week.

gobb Where Were All These Birds on Opening Day?

Testing the ThermaCELL

There is nothing I love more than knowing that the spring and summer time weather is just around the corner. Soon it will be time where we can stay outside all day and through the night. I’ve already planned out some camping, hiking and fishing trips this year. Thanks to a belated birthday gift, I’m going to be testing out the ThermaCELL portable device throughout my adventures.

The recent warm temperatures and rainy forecast have already brought out some preseason mosquitoes. The last thing I want to be doing when I’m hunting spring time gobblers is to be swatting mosquitoes. This year instead of dousing myself with chemically concentrated sprays, I’m going to keep the ThermaCELL nearby.

310MhsBKVBL. SL500 AA300  300x300 Testing the ThermaCELL