Mother Nature has not been kind to ice fishermen this season. With up and down temperatures and weekly rain, ice thickness is dangerously thin in certain local waters.
According to local bait and tackle shops, the best bet is to head north to the Poconos.
If the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners approves it at their April 9 meeting, deer hunters in Pennsylvania may see a major change in the start of the rifle deer season.
The major change is moving the traditional Monday after Thanksgiving Day start of the rifle deer season to Saturday after turkey day. This proposal will surely bring about conversation among sportsmen.
For some, starting on a Saturday is nice for hunters who can’t take off from work on a Monday. For youth hunters, it means missing a day of school in districts who no longer have off that day.
When hard-crusted snow covers the ground, wildlife have a tough time finding food. Deer in particular have trouble finding suitable forage. As such, many well-meaning folks put out bagged corn or grain. While commendable as it appears, their graciousness is only harming the species.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, artificially feeding deer in the winter is the best way to kill a large number of deer in a small area in a short time. The problem, says the PGC, is that a deer’s diet cannot be rapidly changed in winter without damage to its digestive system.
It’s the largest consumer outdoor show in the country. And it gets underway Saturday, Feb. 2 and runs until Feb. 10 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. To many sportsmen in the Lehigh Valley, this show is commonly known as the Harrisburg Show, despite it’s new name of The Great American Outdoor Show.
Hosted by the NRA and Ram trucks, this year’s super show will feature over 200 seminars, 1,100 exhibits, over 400 hunting/fishing outfitters from around the world, equipment dealers including the top firearms manufacturers, ATVs, SUVs, trucks and boats.
Within an hours drive of the Lehigh Valley, some of the best smallmouth bass fishing can be had in the Susquehanna River that runs past Harrisburg. And in a pair of recent reports, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) biologists concluded that the Susquehanna River is home to a healthy, abundant population of smallmouth bass and channel catfish.
If you’re an avid bird watcher, you may enjoy participating in this year’s, Dec. 14 through Jan. 5 Christmas Bird Count. If so, register now.
The snows are back. No, not the slippery white stuff, but snow geese. And they substantially outnumber local Canada geese.
Local farmers detest snow geese because they can devour an entire winter wheat field, one of their favorite delicacies followed by corn.
With the deer rut in progress (when bucks chase does during the breeding season - for you non-hunters), it’s a time for motorists to stay alert, because if you hit a deer with your vehicle, you’ll probably have to pay a deductible for your car insurance to cover the damage. And if you no longer carry collision coverage, you’re out the cost for repair.
The chances of a deer collision is quite high in Pennsylvania. In fact, the Keystone State ranks third in states where you’re most likely to hit a deer with your vehicle. West Virginia is rated first and Montana second.
By the time you read this, several hunting seasons, including small game and big game, have opened statewide.
As for big game, it’s muzzleloader bear season in WMUs 2B. 5B. 5C and 5D that runs Oct. 13-20. The small game list includes rabbit, grouse and squirrels with split seasons that run Oct. 13-Nov. 24; Dec. 10-24; and Dec. 26-Feb. 28. The exception is grouse that whose seasons are Oct. 13-Nov. 24 and Dec. 10-24.
In a turnaround from past attempts at legalizing tracking dogs in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has approved the use of them after getting legislative approval.
The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Mario M. Scavello, provides another choice for hunters who have shot and inflicted injury on a white-tailed deer, black bear or elk, but lose the trail.