Spring is officially here, and the weather to some extent has been discouraging for all of us who enjoy being outdoors. Spring gobbler season came in this past Monday, and a good friend of mine nailed a 20-pound gobbler in the Mingo area on that morning. This is the only success story I have heard by word of mouth so far.
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Several people have told me for more than a month, this summer is going to be an excellent year to have a vegetable garden.
Some readers may be quick to disagree with me, but I found out years ago Crazy Harry's, Kroger and Walmart have about the best vegetable gardens in Randolph County. My wife Ruth disagrees with me and really likes to visit the farmer's market for her produce and flowers, plus baked goods.
It really does not matter what some may think about this unusual weather; it will warm up and another growing season will be under way. Many of us will soon be tilling the dirt and start putting plants and seeds in the ground for our home gardens.
I have learned from past experience, there is more to gardening than just putting everything in the ground. Weeds or unwanted growth must be removed and what we do grow has to be nurtured to insure good production.
Naturally, the seeds and plants must have the right amount of air, sunlight, and water to have a good yield. Agriculture may be one of the greatest untapped economic opportunities in this state; but to have any real success at it, people must be ready, willing, and able to apply themselves for this enormous challenge.
I read in the April issue of the West Virginia Market Bulletin that the United State Department of Agriculture in Charleston is looking for corn growers to cooperate in a survey for exotic insects that attack corn. The corn can be field or sweet corn and grown in at least a two-acre block. Pheromone traps for about seven different moth pests will be set at the locations.
USDA staff will inspect the traps approximately every two weeks starting in late May and running through October. Anyone interested in being a part of this survey should contact Rachel Braud at (304)343-8585 or email: Rachel.A.Braud@usda.aphis.gov.
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The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reported in a news release this week that an angler from Milton caught a record blue catfish in the Ohio River below the Robert C. Byrd Dam on April 26.
The record fish measured 47.75 inches and weighed 52.95 pounds. The angler caught his blue catfish using cut bait from the Ohio River.
The previous record was a 43.9 inch, 44.5 pound blue catfish caught in the Ohio River in 2012.
Anglers who believe they may have a state record fish should check the record listings in the 2014 fishing regulations brochure.
This brochure also outlines the procedure to follow for reporting their catch.
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The next WVDNR Commission Quarterly Meeting will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Stonewall Resort State Park in Lewis County.
The public is invited to attend and make comments about the items on the agenda that include:
n The summary of the 2014 Sectional Meeting among sportsmen and Landowners Questionnaire.
n Approve the 2014-2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations.
n Review proposed 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
n Review proposed 2015 Fishing Regulations.
I have been two of these commission quarterly meetings in the past, and this is another way to keep informed about what the DNR will be doing in the next few years.