It’s the first day of squirrel season and I am not in the woods. I have let the threat of a little rain in the forecast keep me from going. I stand on the front porch of the camp with coffee and take in the foggy, misty gray morning. It is no bright and shiny morning with lots of sun, but it…

Soon, the big dance starts. When the bell sounds on the openers, droves of sportsmen and women will enter their hunting grounds in stealth mode, climb a tree and step on to their treestand’s platform and await the arrival of Mr. Big. It’s a front-row seat to witness first-hand the behaviors … Read more

I followed Tim and Dave down to the sandy river bank. It was only eight in the morning, but it was already getting hot. For the 10th time, I stopped to try to fix the loose sole of my Red Ball Jet tennis shoes (we called them “tenna” shoes). I knew it was beyond repair, but I kept trying var… Read more

For many of us, Labor Day signifies summer’s last long weekend that Is best spent outdoors, enjoying all summer has to offer. Swimming at the lake, fishing, taking a hike and, most definitely, grilling out. Although there is still plenty of summer days left until fall — the first official da… Read more

As sportsmen and women, we as a collective group of people are planners. We have to be. For example, most of us wouldn’t simply walk into a patch of woods and climb a tree and bowhunt. Instead, we plan by scouting our hunting grounds for deer activity signs, food sources, bedding areas, game… Read more

I was relaxing in my easy chair (I know that is such a dad-sounding thing to say) when my neighbor’s dog started to bark loudly. It wasn’t a normal-sounding bark or a bark I had heard before from the dog. Also, the dog was in my backyard at night, which I found very odd. As I listened, it hi… Read more

I know it’s still summer and the back porch thermometers are reading hot, but I have always been a person who looks forward to things that fall brings. The thing that I am looking forward to most is September. Why, you may ask? Simple — September means fall and the opening of several of my f… Read more

Are you a deer hunter? Do you like to hunt for big bucks? If you do, do you make a habit of judging the deer that others take and belittling them because you think the antlers were too small or the buck wasn’t old enough? If you do this, then you are a buck shamer and we need to talk about it. Read more

I am not certain about you, but I was ready for some good news this week. Call it pandemic-fatigue, underlying stress, fear or anxiety for the future or whatever — I am not qualified to be discussing the state of our mental well-being and I best leave that to the trained professionals. Havin… Read more

It’s that time of year again, and I’m thinking about making it an annual column: The Top 10 Boat Names for the year according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). Why not? The Emmy nominations were recently announced, so why not have a creative top ten list for those of … Read more

It’s that time of year again and I’m thinking about making it an annual column: The Top 10 Boat Names for the year according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). Why not? The Emmy nominations were recently announced, so why not have a creative top ten list for those of u… Read more

Ask anyone who spends time on the water this summer and I’m betting they are seeing an increase in boating and fishing. In my small circle of friends, we certainly are. It is noticeable at the boat ramps, near-capacity parking lots and even on the shelves of tackle stores. Outdoor recreation… Read more

Every year around this time, our WVDNR publishes and announces the upcoming season’s hunting and trapping regulations. In the regulation booklet, there is a page or two dedicated to summarizing the changes to the regulations for the upcoming year. Some years there are very few changes. Some … Read more

For me, outdoor recreation is important for health, well-being and enjoyment. It is something I simply must do to feel healthy — both mentally and physically. I tend to stick to more traditional forms of outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, shooting and boating. Throw in a few mornin… Read more

Author’s note: This will be the first installment of a short series on varmint hunting during the offseason from hunting. Read more

I am one of those hunters who enjoys traveling to other states to hunt. My spring is nothing more than a giant road trip in search of gobbling turkeys to chase as seasons open up, starting in the south and gradually moving across the country. I look forward to my hunting road show every spri… Read more

Evidently art does not always imitate life. In the classic Looney Tunes cartoons, Wile E. Coyote doesn’t live up to his self-proclaimed genius status. The scraggly canine of the desert can’t seem to do anything right and is constantly bested by the Road Runner, who although fleet of foot, do… Read more

It has been a while since we talked about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the insidious disease that affects members of the deer family, the Cervids. We tend to think of only whitetail deer and maybe mule deer being affected by this disease, but in truth elk, moose, caribou and any other memb… Read more

There are a few things in this life that I will let define me. Father, husband, friend, brother — I will gladly wear those badges with honor. I have indeed been described as someone who hunts and fishes; many reading this outdoor column hunt and fish, too. But if I had to break down the cate… Read more

It’s time to talk about bears again. The situation with the status of the grizzly bear and whether to have a limited hunting season for them continues to simmer. I am not sure it is any closer to being resolved. For those who came in late, there has been a controversy in the west brewing for… Read more

In my last column, I suggested a turtle hunt — a DNR-sponsored citizen survey for box turtles in our state — as a way to social distance and practice responsible recreation. After several of you reached out to me with kind words about the turtle hunt, I decided to dig deeper in hopes of find… Read more

Many of us consider Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer. After winter and a very wet spring, the thoughts of the summer sun and lazy days full of warmth might be just the cure for what ails you. And after our recent stay-at-home situation, which included watching way too much TV and … Read more

During my recent not-going-anywhere-soon phase, I have found myself scouring the outdoor news for good stories. As a longstanding member of the outdoor industry, I like to think I have my pulse on all things related to hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation. Having said that, being groun… Read more

Having graduating seniors in your household during this trying time is, well, trying. The list of things they can’t do, as well as the experiences they are missing the last weeks of their senior year, if dwelled upon too long can only be classified as unhealthy. Read more

I have never run a marathon, but I’m guessing that the feeling of crossing the 13.1-mile mark can be rewarding, exhilarating and may even energize you for the second half of the run. On the other hand, that mark might be deflating after all that running to know you are only halfway there. Pe… Read more

In this time of uncertainty, some clarity or normalcy is what I find myself craving lately. A normal, regular day sounds absolutely perfect to me. I don’t need anything fancy or daring, just some type of routine that looks and feels like something I’ve done before. No sooner than I asked, bo… Read more

In this new day of self-quarantine, social distancing and staying apart so that we can all get through this together can have its challenges. There is no denying that. Since I am not properly trained or educated on viruses or pandemics, perhaps your local outdoor writer should stick to what … Read more

I was once told that I am the kind of person who couldn’t spot a half-empty glass in a room full of half-empty glasses. I have to admit, I have always leaned on the “think positive, not negative” attitude toward most things in this world. Maybe that is why the art of outdoor pursuits hooked … Read more

Turkey hunters are a hardy lot. During all of this crazy time we are living in, turkey hunters across the country are either turkey hunting right now or preparing to do so. Many (like me) will probably justify long stays in remote places as their own form of social distancing. In fact, some … Read more

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more” — Lord Byron Read more

I think there is no better time to get outside, away from people, and into the outdoors than right now. The outdoors provides a safe and relaxing atmosphere that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. There is plenty to do around here as we live in an outdoor paradise. Read more

I could be completely wrong on this. If I am, I deeply apologize. I have no training, education, prior knowledge or inside information, and I am not connected to people in the know. I am an outdoor writer who works, lives and plays in West Virginia. That’s it. Read more

Growing up in a small community on the banks of the Elk River, it was common to hear others speaking of fishing. As a small child, I can distinctly recall standing impatiently clinging on to the side of my father’s pant leg while the grown-ups chatted about the river and its fish. The most l… Read more

For those of us who have lived in West Virginia for more than a few winters, we know that there’s a ton of truth in the old folklore, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” We often see the beginning of March bringing nasty, winter weather, and sometimes some of our heaviest … Read more

The Archery in the Schools program is organized by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) and is present in more than 300 schools across the state. It is open to public, private and home school students in grades 4 through 12. This is a great program that gives students who … Read more


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