Early-week rains a welcome sight for fishermen and hunters alike

Early-week rains a welcome sight for fishermen and hunters alike

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 3:02 pm

Fresh water is what many would call answered prayers, especially waterfowl hunters.
Yes, our area was blessed this past Monday night through Wednesday morning with huge rainfall amounts. Maybe not enough to get water levels back to where they need to be but pretty close on Reelfoot Lake.
I received 4.75 inches of rain in my rain gauge. Other areas just to the north of Union City all along the Kentucky State line received in upwards of 5 plus inches. I have even received reports of close to 7 inches in the Newbern area in Dyer County.
Water levels are currently still rising on Reelfoot just a bit from the rains. The lake has come up several inches — in the neighborhood of 8 inches I would say, maybe a little more.
Any rains we receive from here on out should run off right into the lake. This was awesome news for area duck hunters.
From the early spring time to late fall, you can find Ben Parker fishing several tournaments with B.A.S.S. He is known widely as an electronics guru and avid outdoorsman.
Just this past year, Ben finished his first year fishing with the best of the best on the BassMaster Elite Series bass fishing tour. Prior to this past year, Ben fished several other local, regional and national level bass tournaments all over the country east of the Mississippi River. In between his tournament schedules, Ben offers a personal one-on-one electronics training lesson where he jumps in your boat and takes a close inspection of your electronics. In most cases, people want to see what large schools of largemouth bass look like on today’s side imaging and structure scans so we spend a few hours on the water. However, Ben will focus a lesson on what you are struggling to learn. Ben has part one of his new DVD series out now called “Bass Under Glass.”
This DVD will help you whether you are a beginner or someone who has pretty good experience using marine electronics. He shows how to identify the differences of fish and structures on your sonar.
What is different about this video is Side Image Technology is taking the marine world over and Ben shows what is going on above the water level as well as what is under the water level. He pinpoints fish on his sonar equipment and then turns around and shows you how to fish the area you just scanned on your sonar.
So if you are looking for a way to help yourself on learning electronics, this DVD might be for you.
You can purchase one of these at a variety of bait and tackle stores up and around the Kentucky Lake area as well as at Final Flight Outfitters in the Midway Community near Union City, Union City Marine and off of Ben’s website on the Internet at www.parkersoutfitters.com.
Tennessee Deer Gun season will start tomorrow and go through Jan. 1, 2012.
You will be allowed three antlered bucks during the season with no more than one taken per day in Tennessee.
Visit the TWRA website for more information on the upcoming deer season or anything else pertaining to hunting, fishing or boating in the state of Tennessee.
That allows me to go into my next subject, the TWF’s Hunters For The Hungry program.
Hunger relief agencies statewide are seeing record numbers of individuals and families seeking food assistance, and the demand is stretching limited resources. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is helping to meet this need with a renewable resource in plentiful supply — venison, donated by hunters.
When the deer season ends next January, TWF’s Hunters for the Hungry program expects to have provided more than three million meals to hungry families across the state through donated venison. TWF began operating the program in 1999, and the impact has grown steadily ever since. It’s a reliable source of protein that many food banks and soup kitchens otherwise wouldn’t have, and venison is rich in vitamins and minerals with a third of the fat of beef. One deer can provide an average of 160 meals.
According to the TWF’s Hunters For The Hungry, they can provide a meal for an average of 25 cents, and want the public to know that everyone can support the program through donations that fund processing or by harvesting an extra deer or two and dropping it off at a participating butcher. The fastest way to donate is through TWF’s website at www.tnwf.org.
The 2010-11 season donations shattered the all-time record by almost 10 percent, bringing in nearly 56 tons of professionally processed, donated venison that provided more than 445,000 meals to hungry Tennesseans. TWF chapters sponsor HFTH through local fund-raising drives and events, such as clay target shoots, banquets and golf tournaments, and a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation will support the program for the 2011-12 season.
Based upon available funding per county, processors are allotted a quota for the number of deer that HFTH will subsidize. Beyond these quotas, any whole deer processed is paid for by the hunter at the same discounted rate, typically $40. All processors are certified by the state department of agriculture.
The other way to donate venison is through the “pound or pack” method, where a hunter donates a portion of his or her own prepared venison when picking it up from the processor. TWF has placed chest freezers at various collection and distribution points to aid in storage space.
When Tennessee hunters purchase their annual licenses, the clerk is supposed to ask whether the hunter would like to donate a dollar to the Hunters for the Hungry program.
With about 750,000 hunters statewide, full participation could be a game-changer for the program. Participating processors are reimbursed by the number of donated deer and based on available funding. At the reimbursement rate of $40, that’s more than 18,000 deer that could be donated for free by hunters across the state.
Just this past Tuesday, I was able to sit in on one of the Obion County Central High School Bass Club meetings. They had a special guest stop and and share a few tips with them. Crispin Powley of the Strike King Lure Co. shared many great ideas and tips with the young anglers, hoping to help them learn just a little bit more about bass fishing. He also shared what his job is like traveling the United States, Mexico and Canada as he is over all 45 plus sales people for Strike King. He also holds down other titles there.
Crispin is from and grew up in the Henry County/Paris area and has spent many days fishing up and down the Tennessee River/Kentucky Lake systems.
A big thank you Crispin for coming buy and making their meeting a great one. I actually learned a few tips myself.
I would also like to say a special “thank you” to all United States veterans and those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces for your sacrifice as well as your families sacrifice.  We are so blessed to have those who are willing to serve and protect not only America but what America stands for.
Please, if you know a veteran or see one when out and about, please shake their hand or hug them and say “thank you.” It is the least we can do for what they have done or are doing for us Americans.
And last but not least, this past Sunday, my wife, Lisa, and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. I am so lucky to have married not only my best friend ever, but the best mother our daughter Gracyn could have possibly have.
Folks, in today’s world, it takes teamwork to make things work and I have the best teammate God could have blessed me with. Happy 12th Anniversary Lisa, I hope and pray the next many years are as good as the last 12.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks…
                           Brent

Published in The Messenger 11.18.11

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