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Outdoors

Planting native trees and shrubs can benefit wildlife

Most landowners enjoy seeing wildlife on their property. Whether you just have a large backyard or many acres of land that you would like to make more attractive to wildlife, one of the best ways to do so is by planting native Pennsylvania trees and shrubs. Not only do these plants have the ...

Wildlife Protection gets new director

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Protection has a new director. Jason Decoskey, who has worked for the agency since 2001, in his new position is responsible for overseeing and directing law enforcement operations. Decoskey succeeds Randy Shoup, who ...

Real wildlife not from a Disney movie

The story that held everyone in the grip of horror last fall was the Facebook video that showed a couple of teenage boys brutalizing a wounded, helpless deer. They kicked it, stomped it and broke off one of its antlers. We wonder how anyone could be so callous, so ugly-minded that they would ...

Fly-tying contest coming to the area

Back in October, I was a guest on the Internet podcast “Bugs and Beards,” hosted by local anglers Shawn Holsinger and Ray Smith. This podcast features discussions about fly-fishing and fly tying, and we recorded about an hour of candid conversation about my more than 50 years in ...

If no food sources, you won’t find any turkeys

I wrote in this column a couple weeks ago of having gone to my favorite fall turkey hunting spot and shockingly finding absolutely no sign of turkeys ever being there. No scratching, not even old ones, no droppings no feathers, no answers to my calls. I walked over acres of territory and saw ...

Looking back on 50 years of fly-fishing

My usual routine over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, besides watching the glut of college football bowl games, is catching up with my reading and browsing Internet websites and tackle catalogs to see what’s new in fishing gear this year. And even though I probably have ...

G-PAST is good for the future

These are the drag days for many sportsmen. Some do take advantage of the after Christmas extended hunting seasons but most don’t. Mainly because of the weather and for others it is the lack of days to use for hunting. Nevertheless, there is plenty to think about. It was hard times for the ...

Local youth shine at USA event

From Mirror reports PATTON — Cambria Heights High School’s Emily Hayes and Mason Weakland finished as two of the top shooters in the recently completed USA High School Clay Target League. Hayes, a senior, finished first in the conference and first overall in the women’s division with ...

Settling in for winter and looking back on ’19

While preparing to write my final column of 2019, I find myself reflecting on how fast this year has passed. Looking back at the many outdoor adventures and other happenings over the past 12 months is always a satisfying experience. Those reflections also invoke the disappointment of ...

Still debating opening day and mystery hunting Sunday

Tuesday night we will be ushering in the new year. Can you remember what we outdoor folks were arguing about last year? Oh yes, A new opening day for rifle deer season and will we be allowed to hunt on Sunday? Well we have partial answers at this point. We had the opening day on Saturday for ...

Hunting opportunities continue during the winter

Today marks the first official full day of winter, and the late small-game hunting seasons are already a week old. Grouse hunters have just two more days this year because the season for our state bird ends on Tuesday. The seasons for rabbits, pheasants and squirrels extend until Feb. 29 ...

Bedford’s black bear count leading all other counties

The black bear haul in Bedford County has topped most other counties this hunting season. The 154 black bear harvested in Bedford County ranks Bedford eighth of all 67 Pennsylvania counties on the Game Commission’s list of top bear harvest numbers in 2019. Most of the other top counties ...

White Christmas not always a Hallmark film

Everyone says they want a white Christmas but they are usually visualizing the Hallmark movie kind of snow. Soft and beautiful, it seems to offer no trouble. Even those shown shoveling it are happy to be doing it. Not at all the kind we seem to have around here, gusty and miserable, with snow ...

When it comes to eating, you can’t beat venison

If the hunters in your home are among those who bagged a deer, you have a supply of clean, healthful, lean meat to augment the food budget. Already some of you are wrinkling your noses at the thought of — “I can’t stand the wild taste.” It’s what I hear so often. I do not believe ...

Classic cookbooks offer favorite game recipes

One of the great benefits of getting a deer or any wild game, for that matter, is the many great meals a successful hunt provides. That is, of course, if you happen to enjoy eating wild game, which I certainly do. I consider the wild game and fish I bring home to be a special treat and ...

Colorado might reintroduce gray wolf

DENVER — Wildlife activists want Colorado voters to decide next year if the endangered gray wolf should be reintroduced in the state decades after it was hunted to near-extinction. Backers of a ballot initiative delivered thousands of voter signatures last Tuesday to the secretary of ...

Saturday deer opener now in the books

Well, the long-awaited and much-debated Saturday opener of the regular deer season for the first time in generations here in Pennsylvania has come and gone. Generally, the debate about changing the first day spilt into three factions. The first was those who were more or less ambivalent ...

Great stories on tap for all hunters

By now, you are either grousing about the fact that you didn’t see a buck worth bagging or exulting over your 10-pointer. Much of the success, or lack of it, can be attributed to luck as much as anything. There is still another week, however, and the game sort of changes for this week. I ...

Fly-tying classes set locally for new year

The John Kennedy Chapter of Trout Unlimited is offering free beginners fly tying classes starting on Saturday, Jan. 11 and continuing every Saturday through February 29. The classes start at 9 a.m. and end at noon each week. The classes will be located at the Allegheny Volunteer Fire ...

Prince Gallitzin will get grant money for kayak access

CAMP HILL — The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, received a grant from Community Foundation for the Alleghenies for work on an ADA-accessible kayak launch at Prince Gallitzin State Park. The grant ...