Shootin’, fishin’, votin’, and snake bites

I have a few odds and ends which have come across my desk in recent days to share.

–TOUGH BITE ON NEW RIVER This isn’t the greatest time of the year for success fishing New River, either that or I caught them on the wrong day.   My son Hank and I struggled mightily Sunday during a float trip.  We had only two small fish by lunch and with the sun blazing down nothing seemed to be happening.  Finally when the sun had disappeared over the gorge rim and the river became shady the bite picked up. The pattern was fishing deep, still pools with a tube bait and current around the rapids with a soft plastic jerkbait.  When the sun went down  Hank caught our biggest of the day, 15 inches, on a spinner bait.

A companion boat on our trip featured a couple of guys from Georgia who were new to West Virginia and new to fly fishing.  They wound up boating a few, including a nice 17 inch smallmouth toward the end of the day.

Despite slow fishing, as usual, the scenery and atmosphere never disappoints.  Truly, the trip is worth it if you never got a bite.

–DIFFERENT KIND OF BITE  We’ve been hearing all about the uproar over the cost of an EpiPen in recent days.  Mylan and their CEO Heather Bresch has been taking a public whipping over the price jumping 400 percent over the past seven years.   Observers have maintained Mylan isn’t alone and indications are that’s true.

A guy I ran into in Fayette County while fishing Sunday was recovering from a copperhead bite to the foot.  He stepped out of his truck into a gravel parking lot and was immediately nailed by the critter in the dark.   He showed rather unpleasant pictures of his swollen foot.  He’s doing fine now and said he managed to get to the hospital in Summersville in a brief period of time and received the anti-venom treatments.   Those don’t come cheap.  He said three shots of the anti-venom alone cost him a cool $15,000.
The story brought up another story of a guy who took a rattler bite to the leg, which he promptly referred to as a “$75,000 bite.”  But, when you think about it–if you’ve been bitten by a venomous snake are you NOT going to get the treatment?

–DEAD EYE WEST VIRGINIANS  We’ve shared plenty about WVU shooter Ginny Thrasher here a and her amazing feats of steady hand and sharp eye.  But some other West Virginia young’uns have skills too.

Amber Brewer

Amber Brewer, 12, from Wadestown recently out shot a field of competition three, four, and five times her age in the International Benchrest Foundation’s national meet in Georgia.  The competition consists of shooting three targets at 1,000 yards with two different sized guns.   Shooters are judged on scores and group size.   The pint sized Amber shot scores of 98, 98, and 99 in the heavy gun competition to win the scoring portion and with the aggregate of her group and score, took the entire competition.  Observers tell me she was shooting against some of the best in the country.

On Northside Automotive West Virginia Outdoors, Amber told me they were all trying to get in her head.  She apparently didn’t like the patronizing and said she made up her mind to “kick their butts.”     Then she did.

A few weeks ago I shared the story of Weston Dunlap’s performance at his first ever adult competition at the White Horse shooting range in Upshur County.   Sunday, Weston took his first try at competition shooting at 1,000 yards.   He didn’t do to shabby.  He shot a perfect score on his first try with the long range competition.  The 18 year old is going to be a force among his classification for many years to come.

–PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF The West Virginia University Rifle Team will open the 2016-17 NCAA season this weekend.   WVU, the four-time defending National Champions, will shoot Sunday against Ohio State in a match at the WVU Shell Building in Morgantown.

Smallbore competition starts at 8 a.m. at the WVU Rifle Range. The air rifle competition will start at 1 p.m. at the indoor track facility enabling the public to get a better look at the team and the shooters.  Admission and parking to the event are free and the public is invited to both competitions.

Afterward, there will be a Mountaineer Fan Fest and the WVU shooters will meet with fans and conduct a youth clinic.

–SUNDAY HUNTING  Election day is coming up in a few weeks and several more West Virginia counties will put Sunday hunting on their election ballot for voters to decide if they’d like to have it.  Counties with the ballot initiative this time area Kanawha, Mercer, Wood, Pleasants, Richie, Monongalia, Marion, Preston, and Berkeley Counties.   We’ll talk more about it coming up on this weekend’s edition of Northside Automotive West Virginia Outdoors.