Outdoors

Kayak fishing opens new dimension

This summer marks my 11th season of fishing from a kayak, and I still find myself wondering how I ever got along without one.In spite of that, I also laugh at myself when I recall that it took a fair amount of arm-twisting for me even to try fishing from a kayak. Fortunately, a friend from Erie ...

Audit of fish license fees spurs debate

The Associated PressHARRISBURG - A new legislative audit has spurred some debate about the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's efforts to reverse a long-term decline in the number of anglers by tinkering with its license fees.The audit by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee was ...

Becoming a common site

As my brother and I unloaded our kayaks and began unpacking our fishing gear, I was delighted to see no other vehicles at the popular parking spot along the Juniata River last Wednesday morning. Because the water was quite shallow at our launch site, I suggested we just pull the boats the 200 ...

Bill could eliminate confusion over firearms

When World War II was raging, I was in grade school, and so the impact of that war did not hit me until many years later. I do remember that my father's brother was killed at the Battle of the Bulge. It caused great grief for my family, though at the time, I didn't grasp it fully.As I have aged ...

Lyme disease still a concern throughout state

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a good friend who told me he had recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease. He joins the list of several other friends who have also contracted this troublesome disease via a tick bite. Since early childhood, summertime meant many hours spent outdoors, from ...

Erie houseboat folks enjoying the good life

ERIE - Tom and Nancy Bloom don't like to travel.The retired Erie couple - both are 76 - say they don't crave the Florida warmth like many of their friends.Their dream escape unfolds nearly every day from April through October on Houseboat 28 in Presque Isle State Park's Horseshoe Pond."This is ...

They’re called wild animals for a reason

What's up with all the recent wildlife episodes involving children these days?There was a 2-year old who was recently snatched by an alligator from shallow water and killed, a child falls into a gorilla enclosure at a zoo and receives some pretty rough treatment until the animal is killed in ...

Remembering dad’s influence on Father’s Day

My father didn't hunt or fish, but he had a profound influence on my dedication to those sports and the love of the outdoors in general.When I was growing up, most boys were introduced to the outdoor sports by parents, grandparents or some other male family member, almost as a rite of passage, ...

Finding value in a backyard

Somewhere I heard that the world is about evenly divided between the keepers and the tossers.You know the ones, the keepers store away every card and calendar they've ever received, drawers full of string, screws and fanbelts because they might be able to use them one day. The tossers, of ...

Bass season set to open this Saturday

When bass season opens at midnight this Saturday, all species of fish will once again be in season in Pennsylvania.In spite of bass fishing's popularity, however, the start of bass fishing here in our region doesn't evoke all the hoopla the opening day of trout season brings for several ...

Graduation time is more interesting than it has to be

Days before the spring gobbler season started - and just a few days before a scheduled trip to Nashville for my grandaughter's college graduation - I was stricken with a strange and very painful affliction in my knee that left me unable to walk.So, I scheduled wheelchair service at the airports ...

Leave wildlife wherever you find it in nature

It happens all too often.Some folks are out enjoying the woods, fields or other open spaces this time of year, and that is totally understandable.Few things in the outdoors are as wonderful as central Pennsylvania in the spring and early summer. A little slice of heaven on earth to be sure. As ...

Wild animals a mix of beauty and beast

The spring gobbler season that just ended was one of the strangest I can remember as far as weather is concerned.It rained on opening Saturday and on every Saturday thereafter except for the very last one. And it rained it seemed, almost every day between the Saturdays too.It was especially ...

Shawnee crowns derby champ

The Memorial Day weekend kids' fishing derby, presented by the Friends of Shawnee, was open to kids under the age of 16, who had their carp, caught at Shawnee State park, weighed and measured at the boat concessions throughout the weekend.This is the third year for the fishing derbies (the ...

Mayflies put the “fly” in fly-fishing

In my early days as a fly-fisherman, I studied mayflies intensely because they are so important to so many aspects of the sport.I continue to be fascinated by these beautiful and important aquatic insects. Currently, about 500 different species of mayflies occur in North America in both the ...

Offering some recipes for your summer barbecues

Have you ever lain awake nights wondering how you could fix possum or frog legs so your family would eat it?How about Mud Hens or a clean-out-the freezer stew of rattlesnake or barbecued Beaver?Neither have I, but I am always on the lookout for tasty and practical ways to cook wild things. Many ...

Mark your calendar for fish-for-free day

Next Sunday will be the first of two Fish-For-Free days in for 2016. The other is Monday, July 4. No fishing license is required to fish on either of these days. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission created the first Fish-For-Free day in 1984 as a way of introducing folks to fishing.That ...

Many tasty ways to prepare trout

Ah, summer! Many of us have trout and wild turkey in the freezer and wonder how to cook these delicacies, especially on the grille or for a summer supper.Folks seem to assume that cooking wild meat calls for complicated recipes or methods and that it is a hard task. I maintain that ...

Saltmarsh sparrow facing extinction

PORTLAND, Maine - The saltmarsh sparrow is disappearing from its home on the East Coast and could be headed for extinction in as little as 50 years, say scientists whose work could help protect the little birds.The sparrows, which weigh about half an ounce, live in coastal areas from Maine to ...

Hunters around the state used to new turkey times

Beginning Monday, gobbler hunters may hunt from a half-hour before dawn to a half-hour after sunset each day until May 31.Pennsylvania hunters have mostly adapted to this all-day season, although, as all changes in the hunting scene are, it was met with skepticism and criticism.My friend, and ...