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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
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Cook-off offers plenty to eat for us fish, fowl and game lovers

One of my favorite outdoor events of the year is just around the corner, and I can hardly wait.

The Morgan/Limestone chapter of the Alabama Wildlife Federation has scheduled its annual cook-off for Oct. 2 at Riverwalk Marina. The starting time, which is important, is 5:30 p.m. Getting to the cook-off early assures you that plenty of food will be available. Everything cooked goes quickly.

The call is out for cooking teams to register and join the competition. The more cooking teams means more food will be available. And for the most part, these teams know how to cook wild game.

The competition is divided into three categories — fish, fowl and game. Awards for first, second and third places are given to the teams with the tastiest tidbits. Also, awards will be given for best overall winner and for best presentation.

As always, the event will feature live music, a silent auction and raffles. The AWF Cook-off seems to grow every year, and hundreds of people are expected to enjoy the food as the backyard chefs show off their culinary skills.

Entry for cooking teams is free and all teams must pre-register before the day of the event.

For more information about the competition or to register your cooking team, call Greg Lambert at (256) 998-0057 or Sam Glover at (256) 318-0157.

Protect your valuables

Every fall, it seems that thieves come out of the woods and take or destroy property from vehicles parked at local boat ramps. The best thing that people can do is to make everything as difficult as possible for the crooks.

In past years, stealing boat trailers has become popular with criminals. They target boat trailers that donít have locks, which makes the heist easy. They simply will take the trailer off one vehicle and put it on theirs and drive away. Purchasing a trailer lock specifically made for your trailer offers the best protection, as these devices are difficult to break open or hard to cut. The bad guys often will look elsewhere instead of spending a lot of time on one lock.

Also, criminals pay attention to items you have left behind in your vehicle at the boat ramp parking lot.

An easy target is a truck or car that has been parked in the woods to avoid the hot sun from heating the insides. Doing this offers cover for the thieves and also gives them a shady area to do their dirty work.

Whatever you need to do, always keep valuables hidden in your vehicle. If you are
driving a car, I strongly suggest you place valuables or other important items out of sight in the trunk. If you are driving a truck and donít have many areas to hide something, simply bring a towel or sheet and cover your items that way. If the crooks canít see what it is inside, itís likely they wonít try to break into your vehicle.

Also, make sure you have photographs of your property. Write down all serial numbers and keep them in a safe place. Doing this can help law enforcement authorities track down property and catch the thieves who took it.

Expect law enforcement officers to set up sting operations at area boat launches, but doing your part also will make things much better for everybody.

Making things as difficult as possible for the crooks might just send them elsewhere — hopefully, right into the view of police hiding in the woods.

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Paul Stackhouse
Outdoors
Paul Stackhouse

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