Outdoors

Plastic worms can be magic for summertime

Soft-plastic worms have been a staple lure in the bass fisherman’s arsenal for more than 50 years. The discovery of flexible vinyl in the 1930s gave lure makers a unique medium to work with, and by the early 1950s, several individual lure makers were making their own versions of soft, ...

Loving the sounds of Mother Nature

If you ever have the extreme privilege of having a swarm of hysterical songbirds attack your position, consider yourself blessed! I had that experience earlier this spring, at my friend’s house during the Spring Gobbler season. Even though Joanie and I had planned to get out hunting ...

Piping plovers find way to Presque Isle

From Mirror reports HARRISBURG — For the second consecutive year, a pair of federally endangered piping plovers are raising chicks on Presque Isle State Park’s Gull Point. Further heightening this breaking conservation news is the nesting of a pair of state-endangered common terns on ...

Here’s the scoop on your everyday porcupine

Time to get our gear together for the upcoming “Quill Pig” season which opens Sept. 1 and lasts until March 30, 2019. Most people thought it was a joke when the Game Commission announced a season for a species that was considered nothing more than a nuisance. Nevertheless, we must not ...

Son helping out his father with passion for the outdoors

By Alyssa Choiniere The Associated Press SMOCK — As soon as Matthew Houser learned to walk, he learned to help his father scout during hunting season on their family farm in Smock. On a recent Monday, Matthew helped his dad, Vaughn Houser walk up a ramp to the tree stand he built as a ...

Forecast showing small algae bloom

The Associated Press TOLEDO, Ohio — Another significant algae bloom is likely to spread through western Lake Erie this summer, but it will be smaller than the largest ones of recent years, researchers said Thursday. What they can’t predict is how toxic it might be. The National ...

Are we doing, watching or just wondering?

Many years ago, one of my most influential mentors advised me, “Young fellow, there are three types of people in the world: those that make things happen; those that watch things happen; and those that sit around and wonder what happened. Which do you want to be?” At first, that assessment ...

Stay calm, and smart, when it’s a bear

A glimpse of a back bear in the woods is always an exciting time. My hunting buddy and I spotted one this past week while out spotting for deer. When you spot that black patch in the woods, there is no mistaking what it is. A bear’s coat is a glossy black that stands out from the black of a ...

Anterless deer licenses available for purchase

From Mirror reports HARRISBURG — If you haven’t yet purchased your 2018-19 Pennsylvania hunting license, now might be the time. The new license year began July 1, so only 2018-19 licenses are valid when hunting or using Game Commission shooting ranges. And the sale of 2018-19 antlerless ...

A great way to spend your Fourth of July holiday

This Wednesday — the Fourth of July — is the second Fish-For-Free day in Pennsylvania for 2018, so no fishing license is required to fish anywhere in the state. If your holiday plans include spending some time on the water, consider packing an extra rod and reel and inviting someone to go ...

Banquet season on the horizon

’Tis the season for the important wildlife fund-raising banquets to gear up and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is among the first to get going. This year’s Hunting Heritage Banquet will be held on Friday, Aug. 17 at the Bavarian Hall in Lakemont. The ...

Commission saves day for peregrine falcon

From Mirror, wire reports BOLIVAR — The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently fostered an injured peregrine falcon fledgling from the Elizabeth Bridge nest in Pittsburgh to a cliffside nest located in the northeast region of the state. The nest was selected because it currently has ...

Altoona couple earn Cambria forestry management award

Tom Lipple has been an outdoor enthusiast for most of his life, but he has only become involved in forestry management in the relatively recent past. In 2006, the Altoona man and his wife, JoAnne, purchased a 188-acre plot of forest ground that is located between the villages of Dysart and ...

What you should know in buying a fishing kayak

If it ever stops raining, we might be able to go fishing again. Trout fishing has been great for the past several weeks, at least for those few days when the streams have been down to a manageable level. With the generally high water levels, I haven’t encountered much dry-fly action on the ...

It’s time to debunk myths about rattlesnakes

As I write this on the first official day of summer and the rain is falling, it seems as if the summer rain is running a longevity contest with the winter snow that didn’t end until the end of April. The undergrowth in the woods is like an Amazon rainforest in places. The weeds in my yard ...

Time for some reflection on angling ethics

For the past five weeks, I wrote a series of articles on the top streams of central Pennsylvania. I thoroughly enjoyed that special project, but I’m also glad to return to composing my regular column this week. And those five weeks were pretty interesting for me overall. My schedule was ...

Never too early for deer licenses

On Monday, the new Pennsylvania hunting licenses go on sale. Then the first round of resident antlerless deer licenses go on sale July 9. So waste no time acquiring your new hunting license and then meeting the July 9 deadline. Non-residents can apply for a doe license on July 16. The second ...

Raystown DMAP coupons available

HUNTINGDON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Raystown Lake recently announced the enrollment of project lands in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program, with two DMAP units established for the 2018-2019 deer hunting season. DMAP Unit 2831 includes all ...

Upper Juniata full of smallmouth bass

Editor’s note: This is the last in a five-part series of central Pennsylvania’s top fishing streams. Over the past four weeks, we have showcased some of central Pennsylvania’s finest trout streams. In this fifth and final installment of the series, we will feature another remarkable ...

Planning for trout fishing as much fun as catching fish

Right now is the perfect time for natural bait trout fishing. The frequent rains have kept water levels in trout streams about right; insects, worms, beetles, and other assorted bugs are being washed into the waters and falling from the tree limbs that overhang streams, and trout gobble them ...