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The Westmoreland Journal
King George, Virginia
December 14, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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December 14, 2016

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6 Wednesday, Dec, 14, 2016 THE JOURNAL Www.jou rnalpress, cam iธ ; ~)~' j : i- MARK FIKE The zippers on these items are very large and can be these will last a lot longer. easily grasped. They are heavy duty and I think they will If you rabbit hunt, bird hunt or do a lot of walking or I am not a materialistic person and certainly not so last a very long time. The bibs have a great feature that cutting-firewood in inhospitable places, consider Dan's with Christmas. For me the celebration is not about a I love. The legs unzip all the way up! Easy on and offto Hunting Gear. I have not pile of gifts. However, with that said, the timing of hunt- go from field to maybe breakfast or lunch at a restaurant found anything to beat it. ing season and gift giving seemed good for writing this and not have to take off your boots to do it! The bibs Finally, as a lifelong shooter and hunter I have learned article. Whether you need a gift idea for someone special got muddy and I simply hosed them off. The buckles on to appreciate things that will enable me to take a better, who hunts or you are looking for something tough, use- the bibs are big and easy to work. Rivets are in the right cleaner and ultimately a more accurate shot while in the ful and long lasting for yourself, these ideas may fit. places to keep the clothing strong too. I wore the bibs field. I don't claim to be the Carlos Hathcock of the hunt- Dan's Briarproof clothing is the toughest briarproof plowing snow and never got wet either. The coat was the ing world by any means. On the other hand, with the help rabbit and bird hunting clothes I have had the pleasure to same way. The one thing I noticed is that the material is of a good shooting stick, handy tree branch or gun sling, test. Coming up as a youth in my day, you just put on your a bit "swishy" or noisy. However, I don't think I will be I have made some really memorable shots at game in less jeans or overalls and got in the briars, winced and hoped stalking deer in these since I have other clothes for that than ideal conditions at times. Gun slings are handy, easy momma had some patches for your clothes and had run purpose. For rabbits, birds or even chainsawing firewood to use and readily available. Just about any gun sling is out of rubbing alcohol for those cuts. Heavyleather boots or working in the field, the clothes hold up and they look better than no gun sling, but a good gun sling is truly were used as often as possible to break down briars prior really good too. The more broken in they get, the quieter worth the little extra weight on the gun. to really walking in. The going was slow. they seem to be. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to try a These days there is a great line of clothing that includes The Sportsman's Choice Coat has chest and handwarm- really high quality set of slings made by Vero Vellini. These bibs, jackets, coats, vests and even gloves that lets hunters er pockets and a security pocket too. There are snaps for slings are marketed as the most comfortable sling in the walk right into the briars and not get torn up. Over a year a hood and rings for a game bag. I went ahead and got a world. I am beginning to think that may really be true. ago I got Dan's Waterproof Briar Fighter Bibs to try. I hunting game vest to complement the outfit, and am not Reading up on the research and development that went wore these on an extremely windy and cold day in Febru- sorry I did. All three items are serving me well. They are into creating these products, I got the distinct feeling the ary last y~ar and wondered if I would stay warm enough, made in the USA and the customer service I got when call- makers did their homework. I am not one to overwhelm I wore only jeans underneath and the wind did NOT get ing to inquire about the items was friendly and profession- readers with a lot of techno-speak but the closed air cush- through the bibs. I had the Sportsman's Choice Coat on al. For a long time I waited to get the briar gloves because ion material and the neoprene keeps the shock of the gun too. No cold parts except my hands and my feet got a Dan's was not satisfied with the way they were being made. bouncing up and down from wearing on the user. The no- little cold by the time we ended the rabbit hunt. During They wanted the highest quality. Well, my backorder and slip grip on the shoulder keeps your firearm in place and the hunt I purposely waded into briar patches and was my buddy's backorder came in a month or so ago. I wanted the slings are made of high quality materials built to last. really amazed that the briars did not penetrate the bibs. to be able to push with my hands through briars. So did he I had a regular box store sling on my muzzMoader and They did not seem to go through the coat or snag it ei- as he rabbit hunts a lot. Although I have not been rabbit swapped it out at the beginning of the season. I love the ther. I probably should have gotten the Briar Boss coat ifI hunting yet this season, he has. His comment about the Vero Vellini so much more. I don't worry as much about plan on trucking through tall piles of briars in the future gloves was, "They are a steal!" I am anxious to try mine. the gun slipping off my shoulder while going up or down but I am very pleased with the bibs and coat and have no The gloves are $15 uninsulated and $20 insulated. That is hills and the sling is secure in its fastening too. I use the complaints at all thus far. no more than a good pair of leather gloves and I am sure sling when taking shots that need more balance or secure photo by Mark like Dan's hunting gear, companion and fresh supper. shooting stance. The sling acts as an anchor point, sort of locking the gun in a steadier place for me to make more humane and effective shots. These slings retail under $50. While some may balk at spending that much on a sling, consider missing a deer that is walking across a field be- cause you did not have a sling and you put in a few days or six to 10 hours waiting for a chance! Or, consider a lesser quality sling slipping offyour shoulder and your scope hit- ting a tree in the process. Think of the ammo you will ex- pend resighting your gun and the cost in money and time. My hope is that the rest of the hunting season we have safe and fun times afield. With a few more weeks of deer season left, a few months of rabbit and squirrel season and about six weeks of waterfowl season, you may find these products to be worth your money and time. KATE LlVlE these hunters, the licenses they buy for the privilege of harvesting waterfowl, and the Bay Journal News Service preservation organizations they support, Thanksgiving morning, just at sunrise, is represent arguably one of the best-managed, when people who live on the edges of the best-funded and oldest conservation pro- Chesapeake are loudly reminded that they grams in North America. That wasn't always live in the middle of a thriving seasonal har- the case. Prior to 1918, hundreds of bird spe- vest: waterfowling, cies, from geese and ducks to owls and egrets, Shotgun blasts shatter the dawn silence, were harvested without limit. Some were - - sGunding for all the world like the opening destined for ladies' hats, others eradicated as salvos of a Gettysburg re-enactment. Swiftly nuisances. Many were hunted for their flesh. following is the roar of thousands of startled The Chesapeake, in particular, was known geese or ducks taking wing. Left behind on for its commercial waterfowl harvest. Each the water are the wounded birds, some still winter, thousands of hunters, armed to the struggling against the inevitable arrival of teeth, would take tO the Bay's quiet coves the retriever, in the efficient and deadly pursuit of water- For some folks who have pleasurably fowl, ducks in particular. Canvasbacks, blue watched the Bay's fall aerial tide of geese, bills, teals, black ducks--all were killed by this is more than a surprise--it's an outrage, the thousands, often on the water or while Surely, this noisy, visible, gruesome killing-- sleeping, to meet the insatiable East Coast done for pleasure--must be violating some demand for savory wildfowl. This rampant sort of law? Or at the very least, certainly it plunder of birds was no different than other violates our environmental ethics in an estu- 19th-century Chesapeake harvests--oysters, ary already imperiled by man's presence? In shad and sturgeon were all pursued to the fact, this prominent reaping of waterfowl is edge of collapse. Waterfowl, though, were not a violation of the environment at all. different. Unlike aquatic species, their dwin- Despite all appearances to the contrary, dling flocks were easily observed, something that caused great consternation, not only in Y emerging conservation clubs like the Audu- of shooting birds on the wing. Theylearned 2013, both conservation areas completed bon Society, but also among affluent private from older mentors how to how to com- major projects with DU's help: enhancing a sportsmen: The response was the 1918 Mi- pose a decoy rig and the glottal symphony 57-acre portion of the refuge at Blackwater gratory Bird Treaty Act--establishing the of a duck call. They rose for the promise of and creating at 2,800-acre impoundment unprecedented protection of U.S. and Ca- a glorious hunt when the geese hover, sil- at Deal Island to foster the growth of sub- nadian wildlife on an international scale. It houettes against a fiery sky. They ate the merged aquatic vegetation--nature's perfect immediately ceased the hunting of waterfowl few birds they shot with gusto and appre- waterfowl food. It seems a contrary notion for the commercial market, establishing in ciation. These experiences inspired both to congratulate sportsmen forthe preserva- its place a system of restricted sport hunt- passion and protectiveness. Conservation tion of the waterfowl they're shooting. But ing, managed by states, enforced by wardens hunters knew the only way to ensure the joy there isn't a more vocal or committed com- and supported by the sale of licenses. Since of a great shoot for future generations was munity of waterfowl conservationists out then, the harvest of Chesapeake waterfowl to ensure that waterfowl populations flour- there. They know the only way their beloved has been closely managed by strict bag lim- ished. They established private organiza- tradition continues is by waterfowl not its and restrictions on hunting tools, gear, tions--most notably Ducks Unlimited--to merely surviving, but thriving. When you blinds and boats. Some species, like swans in promote the protection of waterfowl and see the great cyclones of geese descending Maryland, have been removed from harvest the creation of wildlife habitat. From the over cornfields at dusk, remember, water- altogether, Others, like Canada geese, have waterfowl nurseries of Canadian prairie fowlers are partially to thank. For almost a had long-term protective moratoriums over sloughs to the Chesapeake's overwintering hundred years, those conservation hunters the years. But all are closely supervised by marshes, DU used contributions to protect have committed to a sustainable compro- federal and state agencies that monitor the hundreds of thousands of acres and restore mise, balancing their shotgun blasts with bird populations and dictate the number that thousands more. In the Chesapeake Bay, the clarion call of a million geese, just ar- can be taken annually. DU has joined forces with state and federal rived from Canada. This 20th-century transition from mar- agencies. Both Blackwater National Wild- Kate Livie ofChesterton, MD, is the author ket hunting to sport hunting created a new life Refuge, near Cambridge, MD, and Deal of Chesapeake Oysters--The Bay's Foundation kind ofwaterfowler--one who neverknewa Island Wildlife Management Area, near and Future (2015) and serves as education shoot without a bag limit. Reared on hunt- Dames Quarter, MD, for example, have director of the Chespeake Bay Maritime Mu- ing for enjoyment rather than volume, these partnered with DU on restoration initia- seum in St. Michaels. Distributed by the Bay sportsmen found beauty in the challenges tives for more than 20 years. As recently as JournalNews Service ; &AIR * RESIDENTIAL ~ข LIGHT COMMERCIAL * High Efficiency Replacement Systems * Maintenance Agreements * Sales & Service (804) 224-7106 usin Ip lote The Journal Print Shop can help you! • Business Cards • Flyers • Brochures • Door Hangers • Banners • Magnetic Signs • Yard Signs • Post Cards • Mailers • Cups • Pens • Magnets • Promotional Items Call 540-775-2024 or email for more information The Journal Print Shop, The Journal Complex o 10250 Kings Hwy., King George, VA 22485 HAULING Will haul any stone 10 tons $350 or up 20 tons $550 or up Crush & Run Backfill and dust 20 tons $400 Will Repair Cracked Driveways Call for Price. 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