Just the other day, a close hunting buddy who spends just about every weekend training his beagle and springer on some portion of the vast public lands Pennsylvania has to offer, mentioned a topic worth discussing.
He alluded to the fact that from spring to early fall – before archery season begins – he is often able to gorge himself on the wild fruits and berries that grow on state game lands and other public holdings suitable for “running” the dogs.
He talked about a couple of recent trips when he filled his hat with black raspberries, and then sat quite relaxed and ate them while his beagle circled a rabbit and his springer searched nearby undergrowth for the scent of something wild.
He also said that red raspberries are starting to come into their own season of ripening, and that he already knows places where bushes full of this crimson delight can be found.
I confess to being one of the horde who forgets that these wild delights can be found on our public lands in warmer months, mainly because I simply do not spend time on this land beyond hunting seasons.
In a way, that’s kind of dumb.
Strawberries, blueberries, black and red raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, and black cherries grow wild, and with abundance on public lands.
Fruits such as persimmon, pawpaw, wild plum and varieties of crabapple are out there, too. And with many state game lands incorporating old farms and orchards, don’t forget the feral fruit trees of apple and pear.
It could be a bonanza for anyone who visits. But remember, only take what you can eat, because there are plenty of wild creatures living in those woods and brush that depend upon nature’s bounty