Christmas is now less than two weeks away, and some people are still wondering what to get for those who like to hunt, fish and target shoot. I have often said in past stories, these people are not one bit difficult to please. They are always in need of gloves, fishing equipment, long john underwear and paper targets. These items are relatively inexpensive. A new state hunting and fishing license makes an excellent small gift for exchanges.
Now if anyone is looking for an unusual gift for family members or those special friends, think about giving a West Virginia State Park gift card. This is a great gift that will encourage people to enjoy a vacation in our beautiful state. The state park gift cards are good for lodging, meals, packages and services and are honored at all West Virginia State Parks and Forests.
These cards are available for purchase online year-round; however they cannot be redeemed for cash. There is no expiration date for card use. Therefore, when one purchases or receives this gift card as a Christmas surprise, the opportunity to plan or schedule a trip will not be jeopardized by a short-term offer.
The one thing that could ruin someone's plans is if the gift card is lost or misplaced. Gift cards can only be reissued or have value added if the buyer records the number from the back of the card as a reference.
Gift cards are processed as soon as possible and generally mailed within ten days or less. Gift cards should be purchased for gifts at Christmas prior to Dec. 15 to assure timely delivery.
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In other hunting and fishing news: The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources have not yet released the harvest figures for the two-week buck gun season, as of 3 p.m. Dec. 11. In most cases, when the harvest is up or on the increase, they often let the public know this at the end of the first week.
When I went to www.wvdnr.gov last Wednesday to check the harvest figures, all I could see for the latest news release was the 2013 West Virginia deer gun season fact sheet. This was released on Nov. 21.
I was up at the Elkins Operations Center a few weeks ago, and I noticed that the 2014 Fishing Regulations are now available. They let me have a packet of them to drop off at the Visitors Center at the Railroad Depot. There are a few minor changes for next year. The DNR has established a daily creel limit of six black bass, one of which may be over 18 inches at the Stonewall Jackson Lake. There are also new regulations in effect for taking frogs, salamanders and turtles.
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Today is the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The local government, along with the families who lost loved ones in the senseless tragedy, are requesting the national news media to stay away from this area on this date when 20 small children and six adults educators were gunned down. The Newtown, Conn., community itself would like to remember and honor those whose lives were taken on this day of infamy in ways that are personal, quiet and respectful.
I just wonder how much respect the media is going to give this polite request. In most situations, they don't let anyone or anything get in their way when it comes to making, what they often call, "a good news story." They are only exercising their right to "freedom of the press."