As I write this, more miserable weather is approaching and the Steelers playoff game is later today. By tonight, we will know if our Super Bowl hopes are realized or dashed.
But no matter what, for the outdoors person, this time of year is a holding pattern, using - if we are wise - our time to get ready for the busy spring hunting seasons, trout and spring gobbler.
Earlier this week, I attended a meeting of the local turkey federation chapter and the plans were all about the upcoming habitat plantings and improvements to take place early this spring. The Thunderbird Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse is doing the same, announcing an ambitious habitat improvement project scheduled for Saturday, February 5, 2011.
It's a habitat workday on State Game Lands 73 in Bedford County. Any who wish to volunteer a few hours of work to help out on this project are welcome. The day will start at the entrance to the game lands at 9:00 a.m. Light refreshments will be served too.
"The Game Commission has worked hard to implement habitat work for grouse, woodcock and other young forest critters on SGL 73," Mark Banker, biologist for the Rugged Grouse Society said, "They have more planned and need our help to get it done. There are extensive stands of pole-stage birch/maple, cherry that are very poor habitat but could be greatly improved simply from being cut down and started over."
You are invited to come prepared to help put these trees on the ground or at least provide moral support! They will provide some equipment but bring your own if you have any. Also bring all the safety gear you have. The plan is to work hard in the morning and then have lunch. Work will continue into the afternoon if need be.
If you can volunteer a few hours to support this worth cause, please send a short e-mail to Mark Banker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 814-867-7946 or cellphone412-720-6034. The RGS senior biologist and PGC land Manager Jon Zuck will be there to direct the work.
Directions from Altoona are; 199 to Rt.36 to Loysburg (half mile past Northern Bedford High School. Turn right off Rt. 36 into Loysburg. Turn right at a "T" in town onto Churchview RD. Follow Churchview Rd 5 or 6 miles to SGL 73m access on top of the mountain near S. Woodbury/Snake Spring Twp line.
Ladies, here is one especially for you. How I wish that way back when I was first learning about hunting, I'd had events like this one to attend. It sure would have shortened up the trial and error process I had to go through.
The National Wild Turkey Federation's Pennsylvania State Chapter invites all ladies to a" Women in the Outdoors" event March 12 at the Cabelas store in Hamburg. Come enjoy four great classes, door prizes, raffle and a wonderful lunch!
Attendees can choose any four of the following classes: Wild Edibles/Outdoor Cooking, Women's Outdoor Clothing, Wildlife Calling Photography/Videography, Handgun Safety, Introduction to Fly Fishing Kayaking and Turkey Call Making.
That's a full agenda and a mighty interesting one. Registration Fees$20 for NWTF members ($25 after early bird) $50 for non-members, which includes NWTF membership and a subscription to Turkey Country magazine ($55 after early bird).
You can register online; early bird registration ends March 1! Once you have completed the online portion of the registration, print your registration form and mail it with your payment to: Harold Luther 100 Cabela Dr., Hamburg, PA 19526.
If you have any questions, you can contact Harold Luther at Harold Luther @Cabelas.com or call 610-929-7089.