Usually I focus on one type of fishing or hunting for this column, but for this week I thought it would be a nice change of pace to offer a mixed bag of tactics and strategies for various kinds of fishing. The theme for these tips is obvious: early season conditions.
Not many of us would choose winter as a favorite season for trout fishing, with its bleak gray landscape and raw air that penetrates cold-weary bones like a knife. But if the alternative is no fishing at all, never mind the weather. We'll make the plunge, wading out into the currents bundled up awkwardly in thick layers of clothes like stiff-legged Santa Clauses.
During the just-completed season Virginia whitetail hunters harvested 242,734 deer. This is up 13 percent from the 2012 season, when 215,241 deer were reported killed. It is also up more than 10,000, or four percent, above the 10-year average harvest of 232,600, according to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
At this point, Shenandoah University's baseball team would probably happily travel as far as Florida if it meant the Hornets could play a real baseball game on a real baseball field. That is how severely the string of bad weather that has hit the area this winter is affecting the start of SU's 2014 season.
Every year manufacturers come out with a collection of new hunting guns, ammo, optics and other items to try to get us to toss out our old and reliable, but somewhat dated gear. In case you're in the market to replace some equipment, or just want to know about some of the new items being unveiled, here's a look at a few of them.
A few short months ago, I was desperate to see any kind of offseason move or addition made by the Baltimore Orioles. I wanted to see one or two high profile moves that showed me that the Orioles' front office was devoted to improving upon the success that's been had in Baltimore over the last two seasons.
This winter's brutal weather in the Shenandoah Valley has made things hard for food plot aficionados. There are not too many projects you can do when the temperature is 10 degrees and the wind chill is below zero and the ground is frozen like a block of cement.
Trout fishermen sometimes have a reputation of making things too complicated. Some of the more stuffy members of the group feel like every insect you imitate has to be identified with an impossible-to-pronounce Latin name and vests have to be stocked with thousands of different offerings to precisely match each little bug.
I'm not going to lie, my excitement for this weekend's Super Bowl is close to an all-time low. I'm not a fan of either team, but I also don't dislike either team. However, I still think there are plenty of reasons that this matchup is an interesting one, and one worth watching.
This is invariably the time of year when I'm easily distracted by anything not frozen or icicle encrusted -- frankly, I get plenty of that without looking for it living in this part of the world at this particular time of year.
Louis Johnson, a retired Chicago foundry operator, was frustrated by the abundance of weeds that kept fouling the hooks on his lures in his favorite fishing lake. Eager to overcome the problem, he began tinkering with some household items, including a dinner spoon.
I haven't been watching as much college basketball as I usually do, which isn't all that surprising considering the fact that the only team I really care about -- Virginia Tech -- is having yet another bad season. It's really hard to watch a team that simply isn't very good.
Over the last few years, I've heard people talk about the Washington Wizards being a team with promise. They've said the Wizards were ready to turn things around, and become winners. Whenever I've heard those comments I've always laughed.