The undercurrents within the gun community

Last week I contacted a member of Wheeling Sportsmen, an extremely active group of hunters with various disabilities, to comment on the complementary stories I’d heard about their contact with the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roanoke. To my dismay, they were not at all happy with the encounter.

Billy Hall with the NWTF and Wheeling Sportsmen, had spoken to John Wilburn, Executive Member of VCDL, about several things, including their Jakes Program that teaches young people gun safety and shooting skills. With the school’s permission, they have a portable BB gun range that they take to school events. Even anti gun people couldn’t object to that.

Apparently Mr. Wilburn felt some members of VCDL would object, and said so.  He also felt that hunters were a group of gun owners that VCDL hadn’t made progress with.

This incensed Mr. Hall who had worked hard on the program, and the two parted ways.

Before we get into the other side of the coin, VCDL claims support for all gun owners. That really isn’t true. Hunters and Open Carry people are treated as the proverbial Red Headed Step Child. Last years General Assembly is a good example.

The Sunday Hunting Bill was a hard fought victory for hunters, who also own guns. VCDL did not support it even though the NRA and a host of other organizations did. After considerable pressure, Philip Van Cleave, VCDL President announced they were neutral on the bill but never changed their legislative tracking system to reflect it.

On the same note. the Bill introduced to snip off a loose end left from preemption and would primarily impact hunters, but only hunters with Concealed Handgun Permits, was supported by VCDL. This bill would have removed a locality’s authority to prohibit the carry of loaded long guns in vehicles, BUT ONLY FOR PEOPLE WITH CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS. This is as stupid as the law that only allows CHP holders to carry a handgun for protection, while bow or muzzle loader hunting. VCDL also supports this.

To get the other side of the story, I first contacted Mr. Van Cleave for his opinion and was told he was the only person authorized to speak for VCDL and that he hadn’t heard about the incident.

He also said “VCDL would support getting gun ranges, even BB gun ranges, into schools in a heartbeat.”.

Today, I contacted Mr. Wilburn for his comment.

His response in part:

“We need to get a few things straight, first.  I didn’t categorically say that “hunters don’t support us”.  I said that hunters are the single largest group we haven’t made inroads with and don’t support “us” (a single-issue group dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the right to keep and bear arms in Virginia) in the numbers that we might expect.”

“Secondly, I did not say “our members would never stand for that”.  What I said was “that could be a problem with some of our members.”

Editors Note;

My comment on the entire thing is that if ALL GUN OWNERS could get along and support each other, we could rule the world…..

VA OC activist targeted for camping violations on his own farm

Last year there was a tremendous battle in the General Assembly to pass Sunday Hunting. The reasons boiled down to one major item. PROPERTY OWNERS RIGHTS.

We own the land, pay taxes which we shouldn’t have to and as long as what we’re doing doesn’t infringe on someone else’s rights, should be left alone.

There are still a lot of Dragons to slay though, and this is a good one.

I’ve known about this case for a while and the bottom line is it’s the result of County Nazi’s grubbing for more fee’s from property owners. It should make an interesting case.


From the plaintiff’s internet postings.

I have received moderator blessings to bring this to your attention. I previously mentioned on OCDO how Isle of Wight County came after me when I let a disabled hunting friend of mine from Norfolk park his camper on my 86 acre farm so he could spend the night when he came over an hour away to hunt two days in a row, instead of driving back and forth. You know, hunting early morns, and hunting til dusk and all that. Long days. He was a cancer survivor missing half a lung, had rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis, so he was pretty weak. Someone made a complaint that we had someone “living” in the camper. I showed the county evidence that was not true. The county threatened legal action against me if we did not cease using the camper for even a single night, UNLESS I applied for and was granted a county “campground permit,” which costs $1,350, plus whatever improvements to the land they would require. I refused to pay, so we quit camping until I could get the ridiculous ordinance changed. I spoke with each county supervisor privately, and when faced with this situation, they each (except one) spoke sympathetically to me, encouraging me to bring it up through channels to the board, and they would revise the stupid ordinance. So, I went to 6 meetings of planning commission and board of supervisors over eight months, garnering media and citizen support along the way. After 8 months, they refused to even make a motion to change the ordinance! So, I contacted The Rutherford Institute out of Charlottesville, Va., to help. My reasonable use of my property was being denied. They agreed to take my case pro-bono! We go to court Sept 23 in Suffolk. The county response is that we have no standing to sue them, because I never paid for the permit! WTH?! They say I should have applied for the permit, and THAT would give me standing. TRI does not agree with this absurdity, but the county quotes a case they say provides precedent. We shall see. So, they hope to have it thrown out on 9-23. A citizen, they believe, has to allow his money to be taken for frivilous causes, before he can sue for relief. Meanwhile, my three elementary age sons and I are denied the rights to use our dearly paid for property in the all-American way. This same ordinance which prohibits camper trailers also prohibits even tents in the same sentence! When we began fighting the county and the local paper ridiculed the county for what they were doing, the county started grabbing straws, pointing out how the camper was hooked to utilities. They say that proved someone was living there. Big deal! The utilities were already there from when I had my own mobile home there, legally permitted, from many years before I built my house elsewhere on the farm. Why should I be denied to use my investment in infrastructure? The ordinance mentions nothing about use of utilities, so this is just a red-herring to distract from the fact that the ordinance prohibits ANY camping overnight in ANY fashion on my land, either me, or my friend. Incidentally, my friend just died Dec 20, when he fell and got dangled upside down in his deer tree-stand on our farm. He died being denied the use of his camper, which allowed him to rest when he needed to. You connect the dots. Anyway, we could use the support if anyone has the time to come that day. Thanks so much.
There are many google references to my case, if you want to research this.

Charter Fishing with Bay Country Sportfishing

One of the best Virginia Hunting and fishing websites is Virginia Hunting Forum . Good people and it never really gets dull. Well, a group from the site went Cobia fishing with Captain Andy of Bay Country Sportfishing and wrote up a splendid account of the day.

You can find the full thing at

This past Friday, Brandon, Hunter, Jason, and myself took an all-day trip out on the bay with Captain Andy from Bay Country Sportfishing. And I have to say, it was one of the best experiences of my life to date.

We left the dock on the Full Draw with Captain Andy around 8:30 am. We fueled up the boat, and headed out towards the open water. Huge waves gave us a pretty bumpy ride, and I’m not gonna lie…it got pretty scary for a bit. 

It took about an hour to get to the middle of the bay, and Andy stops, climbs up on the tower, and the game was on. 

This trip consisted of sight-fishing for Cobia. Andy was on his top tower of the boat with polarized sunglasses (which I quickly figured out was a MUST for anyone who wants to know what everybody else is seeing in the water). Once he spots one, he grabs a pole, tosses the lure as close to the fish as possible, and hopes the fish is hungry. Once to Cobia is hooked, he passes the rod down to us to reel ‘em in. Within the first hour, we were reeling in Cobia. Brandon had the first go, reeling in one that was barely under the legal size. We started off using bucktail jigs from C&B Custom Jigs. There were VERY few fish that Andy found that didn’t take a stab at those jigs.

The smaller juvenile Cobia served a purpose, though. Andy has been appointed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to tag juvenile Cobia to track their growth and migration patterns. He told us that a Cobia he had tagged several weeks ago off the Hampton shores was caught recently off the coast of Reedville/Kilmarnock. How cool is that?

Every Cobia that we caught that was too small to keep was tagged and gently released by Andy.

The second keeper was reeled in by Brandon, and we never got a pic of him with his trophy. 

Throughout the ride around the bay, we saw loads of rays, crabs, and even dolphins. The dolphins were being really playful, jumping out of the water, and there were even baby dolphins! (Secretly….the dolphins were my highlight of the trip, haha.)

By 3:30 pm, we had landed a total of 13 Cobia. Two were keepers in the cooler, and 11 were tagged for research by Andy for VIMS. Then Andy spots a big ‘un over the bow. He throws a jig out, and hooks her. For a split second, we all caught glimpse of her jumping out of the water like an angry shark (see Brandon’s video at the end!). Andy handed me the rod, and I fought the old girl for 25 minutes. Every time I got her close the boat, she dove down aggressively. She dove 3 times until we finally wore her out, and Andy was able to finally hook her into the boat. She weighed in at 38 lbs, about 58″, the biggest fish I’d ever landed on a boat.

Once we got back to the dock, poor Andy had to sit down for the first time and take a breather. When he finally got his second wind, we carted the fish up to the cleaning station, and he took the time to filet, clean, and package our fish for us. There was a group of fellas that came by with their catch, and Andy cleaned those, too. What a great guy!

Overall, it was a GREAT day on the bay for some Cobia fishing. Everybody went home with some whopper Cobia fillets, and we even left some for Andy to thank him for all his hard work and expertise.

And, it didn’t take Brandon long to chow down:

Ok, you’ve read this far…now check out the video Brandon put together!



Senate Races, Politico Plants and Subsidy Troubles

On this podcast edition of “The Score” radio show…

I fill in for Scott Lee this week, and joining me to discuss many things is Brian Schoeneman.

We begin with a look at the state of the Senate race between the incumbent, Mark Warner, and GOP challenger Ed Gillespie. Given the recent polling on this contest, we wonder whether it’s time for the GOP to panic.

We switch focus to talk about the 10th congressional district race and the hilarious, if ham-fisted, Politico article that dropped on Thursday. Is this all Democrats have got? Plus, what’s really behind Democrat John Foust’s campaign?

Moving to southwest Virginia, Brian and I talk about the upcoming special election in the 38th Senate district. We wrap the show by taking a look at the conflicting appellate court rulings on Obamacare subsidies. Short answer: this could be as big a deal as the individual mandate case. Which means it’s going to be a very merry Christmas for lawyers.

“The Score” is syndicated across Virginia and can be heard on WLEE 990 AM in Richmond, WLNI 105.9 FM in Lynchburg, and WINC 1400 AM in Winchester. “The Score” is also a proud member of the digital Red State Talk Radio Network, and can also be heard on its broadcast affiliates.

“The Score” can always be heard on demand at Bearing Drift. Or you can take the show with you wherever you go through iTunes.

Gunrunner sentenced in Augusta County

Suspect helped solve east coast slaying, other gun cases.   

New trail coming soon to Appomattox County

About a decade ago, a group of Appomattox residents envisioned a connected trail system allowing people to walk or ride bikes between various points in the county.

Riding to Senate majority

Will 2014 be another wave election for Republicans?
Since they have the House already, some political scientists are not putting it in that category.
Doesn't mean Republicans won't win enough to gain the Senate majority.
Which means Democrats can wave their hopes goodbye.

Crab Orchard continues July 4th tradition

The annual Crab Orchard/Pisgah Independence Day celebration got off with a bang on Friday morning as nine muskets fired into the cloudy sky above the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, and a detail from VFW Post 7136 raised the American flag to officially open the day’s activities.

‘Medical emergency’ suspected cause of New Hope Road wreck

Police, fire and rescue personnel responded Friday afternoon to a report of a vehicle wreck on New Hope Road, near the second Dan Hale Reservoir intersection.

North Carolina coast survives Hurricane Arthur

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) -- Proving far less damaging than feared, Hurricane Arthur left tens of thousands of people without power Friday in a swipe at North Carolina's dangerously exposed Outer Ba

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