Outdoors

The time for great dry-fly fishing is now

By this time last year, most of the smaller streams in our region were so low and warm that I abandoned trout fishing on them until well into the fall. It wasn’t because I don’t enjoy challenging fishing, but when some streams began to look like ditches full of wet rocks, challenging ...

Don’t put out a welcome mat for black bears

Why does a bear show up in town? All across the state this summer will come reports of black bears that wander into populated areas, climb trees and refuse to come down. Police and firemen are called, but it usually ends with the Game Commission having to tranquilize the animal, lower it ...

Commission takes shot at hunting license buyers

Commentary The 2017-18 hunting licenses go on sale tomorrow and will be valid on July 1. You will need your new license to apply for an antlerless deer license, of course, and the first round for applications will be on July 10 this year for resident hunters and July 17 for nonresidents. ...

Nature always finds a way to amaze

Commentary Back in the 1950s, I was babysitting my two young cousins. Their house was on a high bank overlooking one of the state’s finest trout streams, Lick Run in Clinton County. Later on in my lifetime, this stream would be declared a wild trout stream. My only thoughts as I gazed down ...

Bass season set to open in less than one week

The opening of bass season this Saturday, June 17, all species of fish in Pennsylvania will once again be in season. The first day of bass season gets little fanfare compared with the opening of trout season. Bass aren’t stocked by the millions here in Pennsylvania as trout are, so most ...

Navigating the world of hunting licenses

Right now, new hunting licenses are renewable and those of us who have senior citizen licenses also must renew. I too have wondered over the years since I got my senior lifetime license, which I consider one of the best purchases of my life, why I have to pay for the increased fees for special ...

Montana switching wolf population data

The Associated Press HELENA, Mont. — Montana wildlife officials say the way they count wolves is too expensive and falls far short of an actual population estimate, so they plan to switch to a model that uses information gathered from hunters. However, wildlife advocates say wolf ...

PGC working hard to help game birds

HARRISBURG — A state-agency partnership is creating more habitat for two troubled game birds and other wildlife species that rely on young forest. Since 2011, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources have teamed to restore thousands of ...

Fun to savor that rare perfect day

For many of us who love to fish and hunt, the anticipation of each new day in the woods or on the water is almost as stimulating as the outing itself. As we contemplate each upcoming outing in our minds, the fish will bite all day, the biggest buck on the mountain always appears, or a wily ...

If you’re going to hunt, check out these recipes

Last year I cooked some wild turkey for a group of friends. Like many, they were wary, expecting to taste something they hoped to tolerate but did not expect to like. I cooked it simply, turkey breast in a crockpot. Then I sliced it and made home-made gravy for it. Most of those who tried it ...

Different factors could determine a trophy

Most avid hunters and fishermen I know have a special appreciation for the species of fish and game they pursue. Some of us even become obsessed with hunting or catching the biggest or best specimens of a given species, characterizing them as “trophies.” Over the past couple of weeks, I ...

Same hill produces another big turkey

Empowered by the still fresh memories of a six-bearded gobbler I had bagged on this hill two years before, I coaxed my senior citizen legs upward. I did point a small flashlight downward because I remembered the huge groundhog holes that peppered this hillside. My friend, Joanie Haidle, in ...

Hunting with friend produced some memorable times

Commentary To every seasoned gobbler hunter there will come a time that simply makes a fool out of you. I was reminiscing recently about one of those madcap seasons my buddy in the Poconos and I had about 20 years ago. Buck Alt and I learned that year that was a lot we still did not know. ...

Mom enabled early love for outdoors

Commentary Today is Mother’s Day, a perfect time to pay tribute to my mother who influenced and supported my fascination for the outdoors from an early age. My father was a city kid who never fished or hunted, but Mom grew up in the country during the depression, when gardening, fishing ...

Always something to learn

Commentary 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 ...

Trafficking trade includes eagles

The Associated Press PIERRE, S.D. — A two-year undercover operation that led to indictments against 15 people for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds offers a rare window into the black market for eagle carcasses, feathers, parts and handicrafts, including one alleged ...

Don’t forget to try those spinnerbaits for prespawn bass

On most lakes and rivers here in our area, we are entering the peak of pre-spawn activity for bass. Although bass season is now closed until mid-June, bass anglers who embrace catch-and-release can enjoy some great fishing for big bass in shallow water this time of year as these fish go on a ...

A to-do list for gobbler hunters

Yesterday’s opener for spring gobbler sported weather so good you had to enjoy that even if you didn’t hear a gobbler. Because this column was put together before opening day, I cannot tell you what adventures may have come my way. If anything worth talking about did happen, you will ...

Sometimes you have to give thanks for wild trout

As we enter the second week of trout season, the carnival of opening morning is now over as the crowds of anglers who flocked to most stocked streams in search of gullible hatchery trout have dissipated dramatically. Unless a particular waterway has received a recent in-season stocking, the ...

Turkey hunters getting anxious

Last spring, hunters took 35,966 spring turkeys in Pennsylvania, which is lower than the previous two spring harvests of about 41,200 each. But the 2016 harvest still was similar to spring harvests from 2010 to 2013. “A light turkey harvest last fall and a mild winter have set the stage for ...