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Courtesy Bill Cochran
Access to Eastern Shore boat ramp blocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Add my name to the thousands of sportsmen who have had their outdoor plans sabotaged by the federal government shutdown.
There is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service boat ramp on the southern end of Virginia's Eastern Shore that I use to fish sheltered water when the wind makes it difficult to operate out of other ramps in the region.
Well, the wind has been whistling all week, and just when I need the sheltered ramp it has been closed, gated off in two places, part of the shutdown. It has impacted the fishing plans that my son and I had.
It is that way across the country. Just as the peak of the fall outdoor season arrives, anglers, boaters, hunters, birders and hikers are having their plans disrupted, after spending money on transportation, lodging, guides, boats and equipment.
It is all ludicrous, because most of the public facilities outdoorsmen use are remote and don't involve buildings or require staff supervising. The ramp I am talking about it just a place to ease your boat over the bank. There is no marina or building that requires manpower. You slip your $10 launching fee into a metal box under an honor system.
Some boater/anglers purchased an annual pass to use the ramp. I'd be demanding a refund.
The ramp closure isn't just disruptive to anglers, it also is popular with kayakers and birders.
The federal closures impacted last weekend's Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival headquartered at Cape Charles. One of the sponsors is the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Two of the annual event's mot popular venues-the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge and Fisherman's Island National Wildlife Refuge--were closed.
Meanwhile, at Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association says its Oct. 24-26 red drum tournament is on.
"We will hold the event," said David Joyner, president and tournament director.
The association hopes the federal shutdown, which has closed beaches, access ramps, parking lots and other facilities, will be over by late week. Beyond that, tournament officials are moving forward with alternate plans
Missile baits looking for a few good anglers
If you know how to promote a product, can speak intelligently and can catch fish, John Crews, Bassmaster Elite pro from Salem, may have a deal for you. Crews is looking for staff representatives for his Missile Baits Co. He calls them his "Bomb Squad," after the popular D Bomb soft bait he manufacturers.
Resumes are being accepted through Nov. 1 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Openings are tight.
Among the rewards of participants are products, apparel, media exposure and possible bonuses.
Missile Baits also has a new Aps, which provides quick access to product videos, catalog information and a list of dealers, along with opportunities to post pictures and comments.
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