Outdoors

You really need to try fly fishing

Every year about this time, I talk to folks who are keen to start fly-fishing for trout. Most of them already enjoy trout fishing and desire to expand their opportunities, especially after the first weeks of the season. Sometimes, they were on their favorite stream during a hatch of mayflies ...

A few tips for you to land bigger fish

If our weather can get any more schizophrenic, I’m not sure I want to see it. After teasing us with a few days of unseasonably warm weather leading up to a gorgeous day for the opening of trout season, things chilled off again last Sunday. Heavy rains late that night rendered many streams ...

Springtime for gobblers … nothing like it

Come Saturday, I expect to be among the horde of hunters out to begin the month-long spring gobbler season. Only the opening of deer season rivals the sheer excitement I experience on this day. The raucous gobbling of tom turkeys is to me a symphony of sound unmatched by any other sound in my ...

Urban beavers at home in city

PITTSBURGH — A minor ecological setback took a bite out of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s plans to plant thousands of native-species trees throughout Pittsburgh. Another native species, beavers, felled a row of recently planted trees at North Shore Riverfront Park in the shadow of Heinz ...

This week’s trout stockings

BEDFORD COUNTY Date Body of water Meeting place Time Tuesday Cove Creek Lower Landmark Restaurant, Bedford, SR 30 9 a.m. Wednesday Clear Creek Everett Sportsman Club 9 a.m. Thursday Raystown Branch Juniata River Lower Landmark Restaurant, Bedford, SR 30 9 ...

Conditions are conducive for area fishermen

By John Hartsock jhartsock@altoonamirror.com HOLLIDAYSBURG — Sunny skies and warm, very comfortable temperatures greeted area fishermen for the opening of the 2018 trout season in Blair and surrounding counties Saturday morning. It was optimal weather for fishing, and Eric Mortimer ...

State bear harvest has impressive numbers

Despite one of the worst opening days in more than three decades of bear hunting, Pennsylvania charted yet another Top 10 harvest in 2017. Hunters harvested 3,438 bears in the 2017 season, with the archery harvest of 493 bears and the extended season harvest of 1,083 bears setting records for ...

Grannoms kick off major fly hatches

If I’ve learned anything during a lifetime in the outdoors, it’s that nature has its own calendar, and that calendar is often radically out of sync with the one we humans use. This spring, or mostly the lack of it, has been a prime example of that premise. I saw some skunk cabbage last ...

Warm reception

Heavy snow flurries filled the air at the Pleasant Valley Boulevard Shopping Center early this week, but fishermen who stopped by the sporting goods section at Unkel Joe’s Woodshed to pick up supplies for Saturday’s opening day of trout season for Blair and surrounding counties knew that ...

Opening day of trout season popular rite of spring

The annual spring carnival known as the first day of trout season will get under way next Saturday morning on streams and lakes throughout Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, no one around here needs to be reminded that the weather has been anything but springlike in recent weeks. Most of the trout ...

Nothing better than gobbler time

For the spring gobbler hunter, now begins the countdown to the most exciting season of the hunting calendar. It’s time to scout but for hunters that term means different things to different hunters. Most of all we want to locate a few gobblers we can try to lure to our calls when season ...

Commission releases deer harvest numbers

On March 20, the Pennsylvania Game Commission released the official deer harvest report for the 2017-18 hunting seasons. I have lost interest in this bag of insipid statistics, mostly because it’s about the same old thing each year, give or take a few percentage points one way or the ...

Wild game event brings terrific stories about faith

A couple weeks ago, I and several hundred others gathered to hear one of the members of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles and his father, also a former NFL player speak, along with the wild game banquet at the Alliance church of Altoona. The event is noted for in its annual ...

Setting the hook an essential skill for success

Nothing says, “Spring is here,” like the eight inches or more of snow. I quit trying to figure out the weather years ago and just deal with what nature throws our way. But it sure would be nice to have snow again for deer season more often than for fishing season. Over the years, I’ve ...

Woods are busy this time of year

Since we are in the heart of Chronic Wasting Disease Area, we will be the ones most likely to catch sight of some of the collared deer the Game Commission decided would be so fitted in Deer Management Area 2 . This area takes in southern Blair and northern Bedford Counties as well as Fulton and ...

Idaho adds grizzly bear hunting

The Associated Press BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials have started the process of opening a grizzly bear hunting season this fall that would allow the killing of one male grizzly. The Fish and Game Commission in a 7-0 vote recently directed the Department of Fish and Game to gather public ...

Finally, we can talk about first casts for bass

After spending too much time in the past several weeks grousing about lousy weather and the lack of fishing opportunities, I’m delighted to report making my long-awaited first outing of 2018 last Monday afternoon. The weather wasn’t exactly balmy as I journeyed to the Juniata River in ...

A second buck debate begins

The winds of opinion are whirling full speed now on whether or not the state’s Game Commission should allow a hunter to harvest a second buck during the season, provided he purchases a special license that permits him to do so. Most deer hunters’ opinions on the matter hinge largely on ...

Trout stocking dispute heats up

By Justine McDaniel The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — Of all the sources of discord in Harrisburg, trout usually isn’t one of them. But a proposal to increase fishing-license fees has turned into a dispute that has lawmakers hoping to oust the head of the Fish and Boat ...

Special waters provide preseason trout fishing

Right now, I’m suffering from one of the longest bouts of fishing withdrawal I’ve experienced in many years. By the middle of March most years, I have typically made several outings for trout or bass or both. But some lousy weather, high water, a bout with the flu and schedule conflicts, ...