Outdoors

Gobblers won’t let winter keep them from following nature

Wild turkeys are usually about their March flock adjustments and gobbling exercises, but it’s all more difficult this year than usual. They are still battling snow banks, snow and ice frozen solid in much of their woodland habitat, making food hard to find and frozen solid when it is ...

It’s time for bluebird weather

For several years, I was a volunteer at Canoe Creek State Park to monitor a group of bluebird nesting boxes in part of the park. That fascinating project provided me with day-by-day access to dozens of bluebirds and tree swallows as they built nests, laid eggs and tended the young birds ...

Wild horses need more room

By Meadd Gruver The Associated Press CHEYENNE, Wyo. — If you ever wished to gaze at a stomping, snorting, neighing panorama of Western heritage from your living-room window, now could be your chance. A classic image of the American West — wild horses stampeding across the landscape ...

Preseason trout stocking officially underway

The annual trout-stocking efforts of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will get underway this week in most counties of our region. During 2019, the PFBC will release about 3.2 million adult trout into more than 707 streams and 127 lakes around the state. These figures include ...

PGC mulls over first day of hunting season

Recognizing that hunter participation was beginning to decline especially among young people, the Pennsylvania Game Commission began to introduce one program after another over the years in the hope they would provoke more interest in hunting. Some did, some did not. The latest move toward ...

Coyote fur becomes popular on market

HERKIMER, N.Y.— Those fur-trimmed parkas so common on city sidewalks have become a boon to backwoods trappers. Coyote fur pelts are in big demand to provide the lush, silvery or tawny-tinged arcs of fur on the hoods on Canada Goose coats and their many global imitators. A good western ...

Good fishing can sometimes be a ‘reel’ drag

One morning in late April last year, I launched my kayak on the Juniata River in hopes of finding some big pre-spawn smallmouths still on the prowl. My first stop was a large pool that has produced its share of lunker bass in the springtime. I prefer to fish this spot from the shore, so I ...

Lots of prep work when it comes to gobblers

Turkeys are gobbling! No matter how horrid the weather, when hormones start jingling, which they are in the wild turkey populations, nothing can stop it. It isn’t likely that too much preseason scouting for gobblers has yet begun so perhaps my admonition will be in time. I wrote an article ...

Trout stocking schedule available

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently announced recently that the 2019 adult trout stocking schedules are now available online and on the PFBC’s “FishBoatPA” mobile app. Anglers can easily search the trout stocking schedules for locations and dates of ...

Not diggin’ it

There is no doubt that this winter so far has been tough on wildlife. Digging food out from under this kind of snow and ice is a tough task for deer, turkeys, right on down to mice. However, there have been a few times of moderate weather, and animals took advantage of that to scrounge for ...

Fly-fishing stars to appear at Bellwood event

Well, the official first day of spring is now just a month away. Nature, of course, pays little attention to the calendar dates we humans adhere to. How well I recall fishing in several inches of snow more than once last April. I also remember a few years when the weather during the first ...

Game Commission reversing itself on several key issues

This week, I am compelled to begin with a minor correction regarding my column last week. In announcing the 14th annual Wild Game Feast at the Altoona Alliance Church, I mistakenly listed the date of the event as March 17 instead of March 16. I heard about that error as soon as I got to ...

Understanding controlled burning

Controlled burning is going to be a big part of the new wild turkey management plan to be instituted this year. When speaking of this habitat--enhancement tool, remember that the dominant word here is “controlled.” Smokey the Bear notwithstanding, there are times when burning off a ...

Bear population keeps growing in the state

HARRISBURG — One of these years, Pennsylvania is going to break the 4,000-bear barrier for a third time in annual black bear harvests. There was hope it would in 2018 with a bear population estimated at 20,000 and a fine start to the November firearms season. But unfavorable weather ...

PGC proposing big changes to seasons, regulations

In January, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners typically meets to set the seasons and bag limits for the upcoming hunting seasons. Most of the time, this session is unspectacular with the commissioners plugging in the same old slate of hunting seasons and regulations. Last Tuesday, ...

Many factors can contribute to CWD

Pennsylvania’s whitetail deer herd is prominently in the news right now for a number of reasons. First of all, recently about a dozen deer were found dead in upper Dauphin County. Chronic Wasting Disease was first suspected, of course, but Game Commission officials have examined each ...

Ice fishing finally arrives for Lake Erie residents

ERIE — Luke Soboleski and two friends dragged their equipment-laden sled onto the Misery Bay ice on a recent sunny afternoon, joining about 25 other huts dotting the popular Presque Isle State Park ice-fishing spot. Soboleski, 19, of McKean, and his friends drilled three holes — one for ...

Build a new rod to beat the winter boredom

Building your own fishing rods can be a great wintertime hobby for anglers who like to work with their hands. I started building rods in the early 1970s. Back then, rods were made from fiberglass. Just a few years later, graphite appeared on the scene as a rod material and revolutionized the ...

PGC has game plan for wild turkeys

For several years now, turkey hunters have been grousing about the fact that the populations of wild turkeys seems to be diminishing. That may surprise many folks because it seems that it is turkeys you will see more than any other kind of wildlife, especially in the winter months. However, ...

Refinery to be built near national park

BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota judge has upheld a state permit allowing construction to begin on an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, upsetting environmental groups hoping to stop the project. Judge Dann Greenwood ruled that the state Health Department has effectively ...