Sunday, January 5, 2014

Trophy Hunting

White Ibis (c) HVI
The harvest season is over; freezers and cellars are full. I had a real good deer season but only a fair garden season. It will do. I wish there were a few more trout in the freezer. I can only stand so much of the aggravation that goes along with fishing our stocked trout streams.

To me, the fish, game and crops all fall into the same category. Survival of the locavore. I wouldn't have it any other way. I do not hunt for fun or trophies. I hunt for venison. I rarely fish for fun. I fish for the freezer. If you look at all of the fish consumption advisories for West Virginia waters; you will see why I fish for stocked trout. Yes, I love to fly fish for fun. But thanks to fuel prices it just isn't feasible to drive anywhere to do anything; just for enjoyment.

What do I do for fun and entertainment? One answer there: Birding. The one thing that can be done year-round, anywhere. My trophies are birds seen and photographed. Bird trophies in one local are not the same as another location. Bird trophies are dependent on your location, only. A Swainson's Warbler doesn't raise eyebrows in an Alabama canebrake. They are of note here in the WV mountains, though. The same can be said for Snow Geese, Canvasbacks and many other waterfowl species. Most shorebirds are trophies in this region. Sanderlings don't get much response when seen at the beach. But, they do at the Elkins K-Mart.
Sanderling (c) HVI
Yes, bird trophies can be as large as an eagle or as small as a sparrow. You will never know what you may find; if you do not go out and look. I can think of nothing else that can bring more outdoor enjoyment with minimal expense than birding. You never know what may be found or when it will be found. That is the great thing about it. Give it a try and you will become more involved with each find.
Northern Shrike (c) HVI

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