Old Man Winter has finally departed. With spring in the air and the turkeys gobbling, I have been itching to get out to my leases to see how the properties faired the late winter here in Virginia. Our hardwoods suffered one of the worst hard-mast crops in Virginia history, along with a back-to-back pounding from Mother Nature-a perfect storm of bad variables.
A phone call from the landowner two weeks ago left me heartbroken when she mentioned howling at all hours of the day and carcasses lying around the farm-a product of the quickly growing coyote population taking advantage of highly stressed and weak deer. I know its nature’s way of thinning the herd and keeping a healthy balance, but as game manager I despise of these situations.
On a brighter note, last week the folks at PRADCO Outdoor Brands stopped by with an array of product ranging from game cameras to tree stands to duck calls. You may not know PRADCO as a name by itself, but you likely know many of its brands like Moultrie Feeders, Summit Treestands, Knight & Hale Game Calls, Code Blue, and others. I was pleased to see and smell Code Blue’s newest offerings-Swine Wine, a wild-hog attractant and my personal favorites, Raspberry Jelly Donut, Savory Bacon, and Blueberry in its line of bear attractants called Bear Magnet. My office still smells like a wine tasting that took place inside a donut shop.
Well, the weekend's forecast looked amazing so I figured I would take a ride and set up a few new game cameras to monitor the coyote activity, do a bit of scouting for spring gobbler season, and hopefully find some antler sheds. Thanks to the meet and greet I was left with several products to demo and write about so what better way than to tie it all in with my weekend afield.