Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sad and Pitiful

Clover Run (c) 2011 High Virginia Images
I was driving along the Shavers Fork near Bowden earlier in the week. There was one person parked along the entire river. Nobody else was present; since they are done flinging in fish for the year. You know how it is; if the trucks aren't running, there are no fish to fish for, until they start dumping them in again. Anyway; just as I passed by the parked vehicle, the angler popped up over the hill. He had 3 nice trout strung on a stick and he was carrying a very large net. I forget where he was from, but it was either Ohio or PA. The net he was carrying was huge, he must have came from salmon country. The net was absolutely filled with trash he had gathered up on his way back to his vehicle. As I was passing by, he reached down and expertly netted one more Milwaukee's Best can and dumped the contents in the back of his truck.

Two New WMA's

Cranberry (c) 2012 High Virginia Images

Two New Wildlife Management Areas Open to the Public

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The newly established Little Canaan Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Sideling Hill WMA have been incorporated into the state’s WMA system, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
“The addition of these two WMAs will provide hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities to sportsmen and women as well as other outdoor enthusiasts,” Taylor said.
Little Canaan WMA (3,168 acres), located near Davis in Tucker County, was acquired from the Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) with monies generated from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, and funds from the West Virginia Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund. The property is accessible from the Camp Seventy Road (CR 32/18) as well as from State Route 32. The WMA is primarily forested and provides hunting opportunities for deer, bear, grouse, woodcock and turkey. With its proximity to the Canaan Valley region, this WMA provides a unique diversity of habitats, including the “Little Canaan” wetland complex. Additionally, approximately three miles of the Blackwater River run through the WMA, providing fishing for trout, rock bass and other species. A physically challenged fishing pier is located on the Blackwater River with access from the Camp Seventy Road. Additional information on the Little Canaan WMA is available from the DNR District 1 Farmington Office at 304-825-6787.
Sideling Hill WMA (2,507 acres) is located near Largent in Morgan County. Prior to acquisition by the state, the land had previously been leased to a well-established hunting club with three generations of hunters who had been stewards of the tract for many years. The WMA can be accessed from Milo School Road (CR 9/14), Magnolia Road (CR 18), and State Route 9. The WMA is heavily forested and will be managed for forest game species such as deer, turkey and squirrel. The sale of hunting and fishing licenses provided the funding source for this new WMA. Additional information on the Sideling Hill WMA is available from the DNR District 2 Romney Office at 304-822-3551.
DNR staff has started marking the boundaries and developing maps for these two new WMAs. Additional management efforts to be incorporated into the areas include improving public access, habitat management projects, and installation of entrance and other informational signs.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We're Back

Pine Siskin (c) 2012 High Virginia Images
The Pine Siskins (Carduelis pinus) have arrived in Norton, WV. I kind of missed them last year when they were very scarce in the area. They are an irruptive northern species and the numbers we see in the winter are a result of food shortages in the northern regions. This is shaping up to be a good year for northern visitors. We can expect to see Pine Siskins, Red Crossbills and Red-breasted Nuthatches in increased numbers throughout our area. Hopefully, the Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls will make a welcome appearance, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


(c) 2012 all rights reserved
This photo was forwarded to me by Bellm TC's in Colorado. It is the real deal and unaltered. Not photoshopped. Bellm TC's is your one stop for any questions about TC Encore performance. They are highly reccomended, by me.

Clean Water Act-40 Years Old

Roaring Creek (c) High Virginia Images
Forty years ago in a show of bipartisan support, Congress passed the Clean Water Act of 1972. Hunters and anglers support strong Clean Water Act protections, understanding that clean water and healthy wetlands and streams are essential to healthy fish and wildlife populations and habitat. This year, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and the historic results this keystone legislation has achieved: healthier water to drink; cleaner streams, rivers and lakes in which to swim, fish and play; and dramatically lower rates of natural wetland loss.
However, our clean water celebration is bittersweet. For the past decade, Clean Water Act protections for wetlands, lakes and streams have been eroding. Over the past two years, the Clean Water Act has been under relentless attack by members of Congress, despite overwhelming public support for clean water and healthy habitat across the political spectrum. These attacks jeopardize drinking water for 117 million Americans and accelerate wetland losses that damage hunting, fishing and wildlife watching. According to a recently released U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, tens of millions of Americans spend $145 billion annually on hunting, angling, and wildlife watching. This represents direct spending only, and each dollar spent in local restaurants, on guides and outfitters, and on equipment generates even more for our economy.
Hunters and Anglers Favor Restoring Clean Water Act Protections to Wetlands and Streams
A September 2012 poll of hunters and anglers found that, regardless of political affiliation, 79 percent of hunters and anglers favor restoring Clean Water Act protections to wetlands and waterways, including small creeks and streams. Recent polls in Colorado, Ohio and Wisconsin charted similar results. In this fractious election year, it is worth noting that poll after poll show that a strong majority of Americans supports strong federal Clean Water Act protections.
Restoring Wetlands and Stream Protections Supports Healthy Communities, Fish and Wildlife, and a Strong Economy
Families, communities, farmers and businesses large and small depend on clean, healthy waters for their health, jobs and prosperity. The Clean Water Act is essential to keeping our drinking water safe; providing millions of acres of fish and wildlife habitat across the country; ensuring abundant clean water for irrigating crops; and bolstering the robust fishery, tourism and outdoor recreation industries. Millions of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, as well as our hunting and angling traditions, are all at risk if Clean Water Act protections are not restored.
Consider the following (based on 2006 economic data):
  • According to the American Sportfishing Association, fishing generates $125 billion in direct and indirect economic activity across the United States and supports 1 million jobs every year.
  • The National Marine Manufacturers Association found that boating contributes $41 billion to the economy and supports 337,000 jobs annually.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that duck hunting alone contributes $2.3 billion to the economy every year and supports 27,000 private sector jobs.
  • The FWS also estimates that 6.7 million trout anglers contribute nearly $5 billion annually to our economy.
These activities and the economic growth they support at the local, regional and national levels all depend on healthy waters and wetlands to produce quality outdoor experiences. Clean streams and abundant wetlands are essential for fish and wildlife and to the hunting, angling and outdoor traditions tens of millions of Americans enjoy every year. Unfortunately, these traditions and the economic activity they generate are in real jeopardy today.
Sportsmen Urge Action to Restore Protections to America’s Wetlands, Lakes and Streams
In the wake of 2001 and 2006 Supreme Court decisions and subsequent guidance given to staff at the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency, more than 20 million acres of wetlands and about 2 million miles of streams in the continental United States are at risk of losing the very Clean Water Act protections that have so successfully cleaned up the nation’s waters. The strength and effectiveness of the Clean Water Act have been undermined further by the resulting uncertainty and confusion over the scope of the act’s protections.
The erosion of clean water protections takes a serious toll on wetlands. The most recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009,” ) demonstrates that the trend toward reduced wetland losses – and even small gains in wetland conservation in the early part of the past decade– have been reversed. Between 2004 and 2009, the FWS found net wetland acres dropped by 62,300 nationwide, a 140-percent increase in the wetland loss rate compared with the 1998-2004 timeframe. The FWS also reports that forested wetlands declined by 633,000 acres, representing the “largest losses since the 1974 to 1985 time period.” The full extent of natural wetland loss is masked by growth of man-made retention and other ponds that are of limited value to fish and wildlife, which the FWS found increased by some 336,000 acres. The FWS report highlights the 2001 and 2006 Supreme Court decisions as likely contributors to wetland losses (see pages 17 and 68).
As the Clean Water Act turns 40, Americamust get back on the path to clean, healthy waters and wetlands. The administration must follow through on its comprehensive efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections to wetlands, lakes and streams in a manner that is science-based and clearly respects the Supreme Court’s decisions.
We encourage you to raise this issue of Clean Water Act restoration with your readers and call on the administration to act. If you have questions or need more information, please contact us.
Scott Kovarovics, Izaak Walton League,, (301) 548-0150 x223
Jan Goldman-Carter, National Wildlife Federation,, (202) 797-6894
Steve Kline, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership,, (202) 639-8727x11
Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited, (703) 284-9406,

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shaggys & Deer Steak

Shaggy Mane (c) 2012 High Virginia Images
It has been a poor mushroom year for me.  I don't know how others have fared, but it hasn't been very productive around here.  I have been excited to find some Oyster Mushrooms from time to time and that was about it. Every Chicken of the Woods has been too old or too high up in the tree. Everything else I have found this year was way past edible.

I did get lucky today and found nine Shaggy Manes (Coprinus comatus) on the real road at Bowden today (the road between the nowhere road and old Rt 33). Most shaggies I find are already turning black, but these were in prime shape. The best thing though was that deer steak was already on the menu and these were found pre-meal. We are down to crunch time, as far as mushrooms go. It is Shaggy Manes and Oyster Mushrooms or nothing att all, The King Boletes that I was watching for this year never appeared and I found a grand total of one good Giant Puffball. Next year will be better, I hope.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Youth Antlerless Deer Season

Youth, Class Q/QQ, and Class XS Antlerless Deer Season To Open

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reminds hunters that there is a split, three-day special antlerless deer season for Youth, Class Q/QQ permit and Class XS permit hunters scheduled for this fall. The first segment of this season is one day, October 20, and the second segment is two days, December 26-27. The season is open on private and public lands in counties having a firearms deer hunting season.
Youth hunters ages 8-17 may participate in this special antlerless deer season; however, hunters ages 8-14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult. Hunters ages 15-17 are required to have a base hunting license. Senior citizens 65 years and older who have purchased their lifetime senior hunting/trapping/fishing license (Class XS) also may participate in this special antlerless deer season. Hunters participating in this season must wear at least 400 square inches of blaze orange.
The daily bag limit during this special season is one antlerless deer per day for a total of three antlerless deer for the season. These harvested deer do not count toward the hunter’s annual deer season bag limit. All harvested deer must be checked at an official game checking station within 24 hours of the close of each segment of this special split season and before hunting an additional deer during the second segment of this season.
“This season provides a great opportunity to get young hunters out into the field,”noted Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The accompanying adults can focus their attention on these young hunters and make sure they are having a safe and enjoyable experience. “Other eligible hunters who participate in this special antlerless deer season can avoid the competition and pressure that may occur during the regular deer seasons,” said Jezioro.
Refer to the 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary for further details on the special split antlerless deer season for Youth, Class Q/QQ and Class XS hunters. Hunters also may contact any DNR district office with any questions.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pheasant-back Polypore

Dryad's Saddle (c) 2012 High Virginia Images
The Pheasant-back Polypore or Dryad's Saddle (Polyporus squamosus) is a parasitic fungi found on living or dead broad-leaved trees. The young fruiting bodies are edible.