If there is nothing out there to eat, there simply will not be a deer behind every tree in hunting season. I know that in the 1960's we could go out in the deer forest and see from 20 to 40 deer every day. I used to do that too.
But when I go back to the woods where I hunted in the 1960's I am confronted by the fact that the saplings and browse and second-growth brush that the 1960's deer chomped on is now 40 feet high and only fit for squirrels and some birds to live in. If we haven't replanted and done select harvesting of timber that lets the sunshine in so new growth can survive, if we have not done some controlled burning, if we haven't made clearings and fencing and a dozen other things so necessary to the survival of every kind of wildlife, then, we now have what we deserve.
That is precisely the reason why so many wildlife conservation organizations have partnered with the Game Commission in plantings and clearings and prunings and fertilizing and sprayings as well as doing much work on their own. It is precisely why so many clubs and organizations hold fund-raising banquets: to raise the funds needed to buy seedlings, fertilizer, spray, machinery for the work and a host of other things.
For the price of a quality Steelers T-shirt and hat, you can make a vital contribution to habitat work at a fund-raising banquet. The Allegheny Mountain Local Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Association is having its local banquet this upcoming weekend, beginning Friday night at the Bavarian Hall in Altoona. You still have time to sign up for this quality, and fun, time.
Remember that if the price for a ticket seems a bit high at first, the price includes either a membership in NWTF or a renewal of a present membership. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Raffles, games and lots of other fun will prevail that night and I can promise you that the funds raised do indeed go to habitat work.
In fact, this chapter is the leading Pennsylvania chapter in the amount of habitat work they do locally. So here's what to do ... call chapter president Kevin Kunsman at 317-7535 and he will get you set up for Friday' night's banquet.
Memorial for Grove
WCO David Grove was shot and killed in the line of duty back in November of 2010 while attempting to apprehend two deer poaching suspects.
So the Blair County Conservation Officers Association are going to sponsor a chicken barbecue on Sept. 9 starting at 11 a.m. until the chicken runs out to benefit the David Grove Memorial Scholarship fund.
This will be held at the Brush Mountain Sportsman's Club located off Exit 39 (Pinecroft) of I-99. Contact Mark Luke at 932-5270 for ticket information.
I plan to be there.
We just don't think much about the fact that being on patrol at night waiting for lawbreakers is a dangerous job but obviously it is.
David loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and angler. He knew that he wanted to become a conservation officer so he enrolled at Penn State in the Wildlife and Fisheries Science program to further his career aspiration. He graduated from University Park in 2004.
David was commissioned as a deputy WCO in Franklin County in June 2001 while he was earning his Bachelor's degree at Penn State.
On April 1, 2007, David's determination and hard work were rewarded when he earned a coveted position in the 27th class of the Game Commission's Ross Leffler School of Conservation. He graduated in March, 2008, and was commissioned to southern Adams County.
I believe these are a couple of really worthwhile activities to participate in and contribute to as summer wanes and hunting season approaches.