Gerald Almy: A deer hunter’s dictionary, from F-Y
October 5, 2015
With bow and crossbow hunting in full swing, it’s time to examine the rest of the words in the “deer hunter’s dictionary” we started last week. We’ll continue this rundown of popular deer hunting terms, starting with the letter F.
Gerald Almy: A deer hunter’s dictionary, A-F
September 28, 2015
If you want to become an expert deer hunter, there’s no better way to start than learning the meaning of the most important terms veteran hunters use when talking to each other about their passion. In this column and the following one we’ll delve into some of the most important words and phrases a knowledgeable and skilled deer hunter should have in his or her vocabulary.
Peter Brookes: On the fly: From fresh waters to the salty sea
September 23, 2015
Standing beside the guide’s boat slip on the placid waters of a southern Florida river, I gulped hard — reminiscent of TV’s Gomer Pyle, USMC, — when he asked pointedly, “Do you get seasick?”
Gerald Almy: Virginia’s best crappie fishing waters
September 21, 2015
Some states like South Carolina and Kentucky are legendary for their crappie fishing. But the fact is the Old Dominion is no slouch when it comes to this speckled black and white fish, either. And fall through early winter is one of the best times to catch them.
A rare catch: Local angler hauls second longnose gar from Shenandoah River
September 16, 2015
It wasn’t exactly Ahab chasing the elusive white whale, but when Colton Manich saw the familiar cylindrical shape and long tapering nose lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth of a longnose gar in the Shenandoah River about a month and a half ago, the pursuit was on.
Gerald Almy: Rabbit widely available in Virginia
September 14, 2015
With rabbit season less than two months away, I checked in with Virginia Small Game Project Leader Marc Puckett to get some insights on how this quarry is faring in the state and the opportunities they offer hunters. As Puckett points out, even hunters without dogs can enjoy the sport of rabbit hunting. You just have to put on some brush pants and a canvas coat and get in the greenbriers and do the work the dogs normally do – hopefully with a friend along who’s ready to shoot when you flush out a cottontail or two.
Gerald Almy: Best lures for summer, fall river smallmouths
September 7, 2015
When the sun bears down hot and relentlessly during summer, few types of fishing offer more soothing relief than casting to river smallmouths. You can use a kayak, canoe or johnboat to get into fresh, lightly tapped stretches, but plan on wet wading in old jeans or khakis at least part of the day to stay cool when temperatures rise into the 80s and 90s.
Gerald Almy: Ponder a pond for your property
August 31, 2015
If you’re a hunter or angler and live on at least a few acres of land, you’ve probably had the fantasy: why not build a pond? You could hunt ducks and geese on it in fall, and the pond would serve double-duty and provide a private fishing lake that you can fish and manage as you please.
Gerald Almy: Dove season opens Sept. 5
August 24, 2015
It’s time to clean your shotguns, break out your camouflage clothing and shoot a few practice rounds. Dove hunting season is almost here.
Craig Murto: Michigan was a big drag
August 19, 2015
The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan last week literally was a big drag.
Forest service to close trout pond
August 19, 2015
The Lee District of the U.S Forest Service will temporarily shut down its Trout Pond Recreation Area in Hardy County, West Virginia, on Sept. 14 to complete a $415,000 upgrade of its water system.
Gerald Almy: Five tips for fishing crankbaits
August 17, 2015
Crankbaits are one of my favorite lures to fish. You can catch just about any species with them, and they’re easy lures for beginners to use. Simply choose the right depth offering, tie it on, cast out, and start “cranking.” Just reeling the lure back is one of the most effective retrieves of all.
Gerald Almy: Best five lures for bluegills
August 12, 2015
For pure fishing fun, it’s hard to top an outing for scrappy bluegills. It’s hard to beat a worm or cricket for steady action, and sunfish are superb targets for the fly fisherman, too. They’ll readily grab rubber spiders on top and wet flies slow-crawled beneath the surface. But the bluegill is also a great quarry for the angler tossing ultralight lures.
Gerald Almy: Duck numbers near 50 million
August 3, 2015
Duck numbers across North America remain at high levels, according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and Canadian Wildlife services. This year’s surveys showed an estimated population of 49.5 million birds, up from 49.2 million the previous year.
Gerald Almy: Outdoor sportsman show coming up
July 27, 2015
When you think of outdoor sports shows, most people think of late winter events with snow on the ground, ice-covered ponds, and freezing temperatures. That’s definitely a great time to hold such events, since there’s very little to do outside and most hunting seasons are closed then.
Gerald Almy: Hiwassee produces big-water feeling
July 20, 2015
Easing into the crystal clear river I stripped line from the reel, false cast briefly, and dropped the No. 16
Gerald Almy: Ban on deer urine scents in effect
July 13, 2015
To reduce the chance of spreading Chronic Wasting Disease, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has banned the use of urine-based deer scents in the state by hunters. Effective July 1, 2015, Virginia hunters may not “possess or use deer scents or lures that contain natural deer urine or other bodily fluids while taking, attempting to take, attracting, or scouting wildlife.”
Gerald Almy: Prime time for Brassicas
July 6, 2015
Every type of plant used for food plots has an optimum season for growing. In the case of brassicas, that season is now. From July through September is the time to get these plants in the ground. Brassicas include plants such as kale, turnips, rape, radishes and others. They have become extremely popular among food plot managers because they are easy to grow, provide tremendous amounts of protein and are fed on well by deer. Protein levels can exceed 30 percent in many cases.
Gerald Almy: Float fishing a balm for senses
June 29, 2015
Daybreak slips in softly when you’re camped at river’s edge in the shadows of a tree-cloaked mountain. By the time sunlight sneaks in and illuminates the scene, eggs will be frying, coffee brewing and toast browning in a skillet laced with sweet country butter.
Gerald Almy: Fishing heats up on lakes, rivers
June 22, 2015
If you like fishing, it would be hard to find a better time to hit the lakes and rivers than right now. Waters have warmed into ranges that have fish feeding actively, but not hot enough that they have gone into the “summer doldrums.” Here’s a rundown on some of the best fishing opportunities in waters that are popular with Shenandoah Valley sportsmen and women.