Watoga State Park to hold BOW workshop

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has announced that registration is underway for this fall’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman BOW workshop at Watoga State Park in Pocahontas County.

The workshop is slated for Sept. 12-14.

Here is an opportunity for ladies ages 18 and older to learn various outdoor skills.

In this BOW workshop, the classes will cover archery, hiking, shooting, fishing, nature walks, outdoor cooking and a few other subjects. Registration is available online with a fee of $150, which includes lodging with two dinners. Breakfast and lunch will be up to the individual.

This program is for ladies who have wanted to learn these outdoor skills, but have never had the opportunity to do so. The BOW program could be the place for them. For more information or to register for the class, contact BOW at 304-558-2771. The registration form can be downloaded at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/bow.shtm

One another note, the Tygart Valley Chapter of NWTF will be hosting their first Women in the Outdoors event.

There is a $35 fee for non-members. Call Don Thomason at 304-636-6454 for more information. This event is opened to women 17 years and older. Activities for the day will include dutch oven cooking, pistol and skeet shooting and archery. Lunch will be provided, too. What’s prepared in the dutch oven will be lunch.

The lazy, hazy days of summer are now winding down, and this year’s hot or warm season, some say, “has not been so warm.” The normal humid and muggy “dog days” of early August have not come yet, and I hope they don’t.

The kids are now back in school. Most of them are happy and, of course, there are a few who are not. The DNR is now reminding sportsmen and women that the fall hunting seasons almost are here. The one-day youth-only squirrel season is scheduled for Sept. 6, and the statewide squirrel season opens Sept. 13 and runs through Jan. 31, 2015. This is just two and three weeks away.

I just hope the adults who take an adolescents hunting will have good weather to be outdoors. WVDNR chief of the Wildlife Resources Section, Curtis I. Taylor, says, “get back to your roots of hunting this season and pursue one of the state’s most plentiful game animals.”

This year, hunters should expect to see squirrel numbers similar to last year. Sportsmen still are reminded that success with any squirrel season comes with preseason scouting by locating areas with abundant mast conditions.

This reminds me that I need to do some scouting this weekend so I can get my mast survey and hunting outlook report to the DNR before August 31. I will include a brief report on what I observed in next week’s story.

During the special youth squirrel season, youth hunters under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a licensed adult. The accompanying adult cannot carry a firearm or bow and must remain near enough to the youth in order to give advice and/or assistance. All youth hunters between the age of 15 and 17 must comply with all license requirements. The daily bag limit is six squirrels for the one-day youth season. So, youth hunters, don’t try to get them all. Leave a few in the woods for us old folks.

I don’t see how the subject of gun control can keep from being in the national news for the next few weeks, especially with all of the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Right now, the nation’s attorney general, who favors strict gun laws, is visiting Ferguson in an effort to restore peace and bring justice to the community in the wake of this horrifying incident.

From the limited information I have been able to gather online, I understand that ammunition and gun sales are up, not only in greater St. Louis, but in the entire state of Missouri between 300 and 400 percent over August of last year. It is clearly obvious people are highly concerned about being able to defend themselves, their loved ones and property.

Let’s all hope peace can be restored and all of the real facts that led to all this civil unrest will be open to the public. If there is a trial, let’s hope the law-enforcement officer involved gets a fair one.