It doesn't matter whether we like it or not, but we are in the midst of those hot, humid and muggy days of summer. This is the time of the year when most people want to find themselves a cool place and just sit for a while.
This past Tuesday, my wife, Ruth, and I attended the July dinner/meeting of the Mountaineer Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. We went out a little early so I could go over to the shooting range.
This month, I decided to try sighting in a scope-mounted .22 semi-automatic rifle that has not been fired in at least five years. When I started shooting, the shots were grouping about two inches low at 25 yards. After making some simple scope adjustments, the rifle was doing well using inexpensive .22 rimfire ammunition.
I fired two more five-shot groups using hunting ammunition at the same distance and was quite pleased with the results. Here is when the rain started coming down hard. It also put a damper on my target shooting for the remainder of the late afternoon. This rifle will most likely be my .22 backup rifle for the squirrel hunting season this fall.
When I got back to the clubhouse, I was dripping wet and the first thing Ruth said, "well now, did you have fun?" About the only thing I could say was, "let's put your cucumber salad together."
We took this out to the clubhouse in component form so it would not get soggy. In about 15 minutes before we were to have dinner, the two of us mixed it together.
The gang in attendance must have liked it because it got wiped out in very short order. We also had orders to add this recipe to the chapter cookbook that the members are putting together.
One of our club members, who is an excellent cook, prepared some penne with meatballs and sausages in tomato sauce.
There was also garlic toast and another tossed salad. The tomato sauce had some zip in it that I like, but I didn't want to indulge in too much of a good thing. After just one serving, I decided to eat a large portion of ice cream to cool my mouth, throat and stomach. Of course, the members always bring some really good desserts.
During the meeting, the membership voted in about half a dozen applicants as new members. Two of these new members are about the same age as my two girls. I'm quite pleased about this. Maybe some of the club's youth outdoor programs are starting to bare fruit.
We will find out in about two months how much these young outdoors men will want to work with the club's various activities, especially during the Mountain State Forest Festival.
Speaking of young hunters, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is now reminding all persons, born on or after Jan. 1, 1975, must first successfully complete a certified hunter education course before they can purchase a hunting license. This course is free, and to date more than 350,000 students have passed it since it began in 1968.
Ruth and I completed the course in 1988. Some of the topics included: gun safety, wildlife management, hunting ethics, survival/first-aid, game identification, and of course, how to hunt safely. When we took the course back about 1988, both of use enjoyed talking to the volunteer instructors and conservation officers as they passed along their outdoor expertise and experiences.
To find out more about when this hunter education course is going to be offered, you need to go to www.wvdnr.gov and from there visit the Hunter Education Class search page. Additional information about this class can most likely be obtained at the Elkins Operations Center or Ward Road, or by calling 304-637-0245.
If you are one who has completed this course and have misplaced your card or certificate of completion, you may have to apply for a duplicate card. This can be done by contacting a local licensing agent and getting an application for a duplicate. Complete the application and mail it to one of the addresses listed on the application, along with a $10 check or money order.