Outdoors

Park aiming to reward visitors

November 25th, 2014

Shenandoah National Park is looking to reward its visitors during the Thanksgiving holiday and winter months.

Gerald Almy: Mixing tactics can be productive

November 24th, 2014

I think most hunters have faced this dilemma a time or two. You enjoy sneak hunting bucks (also called still hunting). The weather’s cold and it’s nice to be up and moving around. The season’s winding down and you haven’t been seeing much from your tree stands.

Hitting the slopes

Horst Locher, manager of the Ski School at Bryce Resort, stands along this section of Red Eye trail on Friday in Basye. The resort has had favorable weather for snow making and will open today.   Rich Cooley/Daily

November 21st, 2014

Bryce Resort in Mount Jackson, VA will be opening its slopes one week early, according to a press release from the resort.

Hunting season

Strasburg's Mary Mason, 12, shot this 8-point buck with a muzzleloader.   Submitted photo

November 20th, 2014

Strasburg’s Mary Mason, 12, shot this 8-point buck with a muzzleloader. Submitted photo

Gerald Almy: Finding right group of does

November 17th, 2014

We’ve all read in articles that when the rut arrives, as it has right about now, you should hunt where the does are. But the truth is you need to find the right doe group.

Gerald Almy: Mating season doesn’t end hunt

November 3rd, 2014

Experienced deer hunters know that the best hunting for whitetails often takes place during the “pre-rut,” before peak breeding occurs. This is when deer seem to be moving everywhere, with bucks chasing does that are not quite ready to mate. The pre-rut typically coincides with the second week of muzzleloader season, which opens Nov. 1 and extends through Nov. 14 this year for most of the Shenandoah Valley.

Almy: Book evokes thrills of hunting

October 27th, 2014

Do you ever get tired of reading technical information about hunting? Although we all like to improve our skills and knowledge about our favorite activity, sometimes these articles can get a bit too detailed and cause the mind to drift.

Almy: Small creeks a buck hotspot

October 20th, 2014

Ponds and lakes offer deer the water they need every day, but streams provide whitetails a lot more than just water. They allow them to quench their thirst while also finding cooler temperatures and thick cover. This makes them terrific early-season hotspots that are often neglected by most hunters.

Almy: Windy weather hunting

October 13th, 2014

It was frustrating. Every bow season I wait for the perfect wind for my favorite stand to arrive, then drop everything and head out. It has to be west or north.

Almy: Classic lures remain effective

October 6th, 2014

Most fishermen like to choose the newest, snazziest lures available to cast to their quarry. But sometimes the old proven lures are still worth considering. Here’s a look at two lures that still produce heavy catches on Virginia’s lakes and rivers, even though they were created decades ago.

Almy: A clover blend worth trying

September 29th, 2014

When the founder of Bassmasters, Ray Scott, decided to try to find the best food landowners could plant for attracting and holding whitetail deer, little did he know he was starting a multi-billion dollar wildlife food plot industry. The time was the late 1980s, and his first offering was a blend of agricultural clovers deer especially liked in experiments he did on his property in Alabama.

Almy: Tips for reeling panfish

September 15th, 2014

No fish are more appealing to go after on a hot September day than panfish. Unlike bass, trout and stripers, which can sometimes be difficult to catch, species like crappies, bluegills and white bass are almost always willing to nab a lure, fly or bait. They’re made to order for those days when you want to take it easy, kick back and enjoy being out on a lake or river without too much concentration on finesse tactics — yet still come home with a cooler full of fish!

Almy: New gear for hunting season

September 8th, 2014

With hunting seasons fast approaching, here’s a look at some new gear items that might be of interest as you pursue the Shenandoah Valley’s healthy populations of deer, turkeys, black bear and small game. Included are some of the most recent offerings in knives, optics, survival tools and muzzleloader ammunition.

Almy: New guide offers hunting insights

September 2nd, 2014

Everyone knows that the Boone & Crockett Club is a prestigious conservation organization that keeps the records for the largest big game animals taken. But the B&C Club also operates a publishing house that produces some amazing books and DVDs.

Almy: Jump fishing worth a shot

August 25th, 2014

White mist swirled over the emerald green waters of Leesville Lake as we raced towards the frothing commotion of churning gamefish and frantically skipping shad. Cutting the outboard motor, we cast our white bucktail jigs towards the melee and began reeling. Soon all three rods in the boat were bent double.

Almy: Reelfoot ripe for fishing, hunting

August 18th, 2014

When a violent earthquake struck the Mississippi River valley during the brutally cold winter of 1811, aftershocks rumbled throughout a 2,000 square mile area for months.

Almy: Smaller topwater lures produce

August 11th, 2014

No thrill in angling can match that of a hungry bass chomping down on a surface lure the size of a rat. But finding such aggressively-feeding fish is unfortunately the exception rather than the rule. When bass are in a finicky, skittish mood or not aggressively feeding, jumbo surface lures often fail miserably.

Almy: Early tips for hunting

August 4th, 2014

With hunting seasons fast approaching, here’s a collection of tips for a variety of game species. Hopefully one or two of these will increase your success rate this fall whether you hunt locally in the Shenandoah Valley or travel West for even bigger game animals like elk.

Almy: Trout love hopper flies

July 28th, 2014

While aquatic insects such as mayflies get most of the attention in trout fishing literature, in modern times terrestrial insects (those living on land) are becoming more and more important in the diet of trout. They jump, fall, get blown in by wind or washed in by rain and are greedily gobbled up by waiting brook, brown and rainbow trout.