In the spirit of Thanksgiving, there is no shortage of things to be thankful for this year. It has been a banner year in the outdoor arena with good things happening all around the state and even in our very own back yard.
Just in recent weeks there have been many successful hunters that have taken that buck of a lifetime that they will definitely be thankful for. Even more hunters who are just returning from their most recent hunting expedition in the first week of the firearms season will also be thankful for the many fine bucks and pantry filling does that were harvested.
By all accounts the fishermen even have plenty to be thankful for this year. How often is it you have great fishing weather up through the middle of November? Just in the last few weeks social media has been abuzz with whopper trout, smallmouth bass and even musky of trophy proportions that have been hauled in by an angler taking advantage of the beautiful weather to get a few more line wetting days in before the foul weather arrives.
Perhaps the folks who have the most to be thankful for are those rooting for the elk restoration program to get off the ground. September marked a big first step with the unveiling of the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area with its 4000 plus acres likely to be the very first release site for some transplanted elk.
As if that wasn’t good enough, just last week an announcement was made that the WVDNR has plans to add approximately 32,000 additional acres of public land neighboring the existing Tomblin and Laurel Lake WMAs. This addition will make over 50,000 acres of public land available for the majestic elk to call home in southern West Virginia. That is definitely something to bugle about.
Let’s not forget that none of those things would be worth a hoot if we didn’t have all the abundant game and fish all across our great state. We owe all that to hunters, fishermen and sportsmen in general of the state. Such a strong outdoor heritage is definitely something to be thankful for.
So as we sit back and polish off what’s left of the Thanksgiving bird, take a few moments and reflect on all the things that we have to be truly thankful for by having in our lives. Be thankful for your health, your blessings and all the little things in life, and certainly be thankful for every chance to get out and enjoy all we have in the great outdoors.
It has been a great year thus with more still to come. Hunting season isn’t over and there is still plenty of time to get out there and bag that next trophy and have even more reasons to give thanks.