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Outdoors

It’s simply safer to let deer find their own food

My hunting buddy from Armstrong County recently called me to tell me about finding a dead deer by her front pond. She went out to examine it, saw it had not been shot so she called the local game protector who came out and examined it. As Joanie and the game warden suspected, it had died a ...

Offers for preseason trout fishing are out there

As we enter the final week of February, it’s almost safe to think that winter should be making a quiet exit relatively soon. That cautious optimism is based somewhat on the exceptionally mild winter we have experienced so far. A few of the unseasonably nice days last month and this ...

Jaffa Sports Show coming

The 2020 Jaffa Sports Show is slated for Feb. 21-23 at the at the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona. There will be over 100 vendors, plus food and beverages with entertainment for the entire family. Show hours are Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to ...

Enjoying a break from winter

Few things are as satisfying as enjoying a welcome break from winter in the form of an unseasonably pleasant day. That’s especially true if the nice weather allows getting out and doing something interesting — like fishing. Feb. 3 was one of those wonderful winter breaks this year that ...

Judge tosses lawsuit to protect bears

The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS — A lawsuit seeking to return federal protection to the real bears that inspired teddy bears has been thrown out by a federal judge. The people and environmental groups who sued in 2018 didn’t provide any evidence to back up their claims that they would ...

Asian carp roundup now part of the battle

The Associated Press GOLDEN POND, Ky. — Like a slow-motion, underwater cattle drive, wildlife officials in a half-dozen aluminum boats used pulses of electricity and sound on a recent gray morning to herd schools of Asian carp toward 1,000-foot-long (305 meters) nets. The ongoing roundup ...

Harvesting bears in state a numbers game

Bear hunters set a new harvest record this past season as 4,653 bruins were harvested over four separate seasons. And I can remember back in the 1970s when bear season was cancelled because they feared there were not enough bears to permit a season. It was about that time that Dr. Gary Alt ...

Game commission ‘comfortable’ with bear totals

The Associated Press HARRISBURG — Wildlife authorities say Pennsylvania hunters killed 4,653 black bears last year, setting a new record. The Pennsylvania Game Commission said Monday the total is far above last year’s total of 3,153, which was the 11th highest total recorded but was ...

Group seeks to protect seals in Alaska

By Dan Joling The Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The only known freshwater harbor seals in the U.S. should be listed as as threatened or endangered, an environmental group said this past week in its second petition for the animals. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned ...

New bill helps landowners with posting properties

From Mirror reports HARRISBURG — Landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted. House Bill 1772, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in November, and took ...

More changes in store for 2020 hunting seasons

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners held its regular quarterly meeting last week. The January meeting is typically when the board sets the proposed seasons and bag limits for the next hunting and trapping seasons. Several significant changes were proposed for the 2020-21 seasons, ...

Anglers can now relax with display of licenses

HARRISBURG — Outdoorsy Pennsylvanians can soon keep their fishing license in a pocket rather than having to attach it to an outer garment. The regulation amendment approved this week by the board of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission adjusts a long-standing rule on license display. ...

Groups will sue to protect belugas

By Dan Joling The Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Two environmental groups gave formal notice this past week that they will sue to protect endangered Alaska beluga whales from problems caused by oil and gas operations. The announcement came three days after a federal agency said the ...

Officials for Lake Erie will look at Ohio plan

By John Seewer The Associated Press TOLEDO, Ohio — Nearly halfway into a 10-year pledge to combat the toxic algae that turns Lake Erie a ghastly shade of green, Ohio has made little progress. Its patchwork of mostly voluntary efforts hasn’t slowed the farm fertilizers that feed ...

PGC seeking input on Elk Management Plan

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released a draft of its new Elk Management Plan, a document that, when adopted, will guide the agency’s elk management program through 2025. The plan is in draft form and available at www.pgc.pa.gov. The plan focuses on maintaining a ...

Ice fishing combines tradition, technology

During the recent cold snap, several folks have asked me if I go ice fishing this time of year. I must confess I rarely do anymore, but some of my fondest outdoor memories are winter days spent on a frozen lake with good friends. When I was in my late 20s, two older gentlemen who were both ...

Hard to say if opening-day change is working

Just a few weeks before deer season opened in 2019, I wrote a column suggesting that perhaps the authors of the regulation that the opening day of deer season should be switched from Monday to Saturday had perhaps not thought it through thoroughly as to the impact it would have. I wondered ...

Hunter-trapper class set for March

The Everett Sportsmen’s Club will host a Pennsylvania Game Commission basic hunter/trapper education class on Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The class can hold up to 50 students and you must pre-register. Students must attend the full day to be certified, and all students must ...

Monarch butterflies critical in California

SAN FRANCISCO — The western monarch butterfly population wintering along California’s coast remains critically low for the second year in a row, a count by an environmental group released Thursday showed. The count of the orange-and-black insects by the Xerces Society, a nonprofit ...

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 ...