Posts Tagged ‘hunting’

North Carolina Public Hunting Areas – An Interactive Resource

More virtual scouting for nearby hunting

NC State Game Lands — an interactive map

My neighbor and shooting buddy Isaiah sent me another handy Google app for us hunters. This time he details public hunting areas in North Carolina.  This is a another great resource if don’t have access to private land, or if you just want to check out a new place to hunt.

North Carolina Game Lands – Interactive Map

Virginia Public Hunting Areas – Google Maps

Public hunting land in VA

My neighbor and shooting buddy Isaiah put together this handy Google app that details all the public hunting areas in Virginia.  This is a great resource if don’t have access to private land, or if you just want to check out a new place to hunt.

Virginia Public Hunting Areas – Google maps

Back From Iraq and Back in the Woods

A quick lunch in the field

Since getting back from Iraq a few weeks ago, I haven’t done as much hunting as I would like to – does anyone really – so after dropping my wife off at work, I headed down to my hunting lease in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. It’s about an hour and a half south of Alexandria and is near the Battle of the Wilderness. I was looking forward to hopefully bagging a few cottontails or quail with my new shotgun. Due to heavy commuter traffic on Route 95, I got a late start and decided to have a trailside lunch of the homemade beef stew I had packed.

After a quick meal, I loaded my new 20 gauge Mossberg Silver Reserve over/under and headed off towards a power line trail under clear skies and a cold, light breeze. I was using my favorite small game load, one ounce of number four shot – the mild combination of relatively large pellets at high velocity had delivered clean kills at longer ranges on everything from big-bodied wild Nebraska pheasants to rabbits and squirrel – but was still light enough for Virginia quail. The first barrel was topped off by a skeet choke, while the second tube sported a tighter, improved cylinder choke.

Following the power lines for about a thousand yards, I stuck to the edges and tried to flush game out of every blackberry thicket and from under every pine bough along the way. Occasionally swinging my shotgun through imaginary birds to develop muscle memory, I found the nicely made Turkish import mounted smoothly and pointed naturally. I was surprised to find that I would most likely not have to have the stock shortened and was glad I had bought it. While certainly not a fine Browning or Beretta, it was a step up from my other 20 gauge, a Stoeger Condor, and I was glad I had bought the svelte Mossberg. I picked it up at Gander Mountain a year earlier, before I deployed, for around $450 and I consider it a steal.

Finally acknowledging that no quail or rabbit would leave cover at 1:00PM on a bluebird day, I decided to pick up the pace and devote the remaining hour of my time afield to scouting for the upcoming spring turkey season. Although, I drove home with an empty game pocket, I was grateful to be back in America, spending a few restorative hours in the woods, after nine months in Baghdad.

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