Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Deborah Weisberg

Many bowhunters apply to hunt in Pittsburgh parks after city approves pilot program

There was no shortage of applicants for a first-ever, controlled deer hunt slated for two Pittsburgh parks this fall. 
Soon after city council approved the pilot, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture began screening the more than 100 bowhunters who reportedly are vying for an opportunity to help thin the herds in Riverview and Frick parks. The city is paying the USDA $10,000 to manage the program, which ultimately will enlist 30 qualified hunters (and 30 alternates), selected in a lottery.

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s invasives chief eyeing many threats in state waters

Sean Hartzell spends his workday with the bad actors of the aquatic world.
As the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s invasive species coordinator, Hartzell monitors unwanted animals and plants that live in the state’s lakes, rivers, and streams, as well as those that are threatening to come here and take up residence. Among hundreds of non-native aquatic species, about 40 to 50 are particularly troubling, and a handful of those are the worst offenders, he said.

Controlled deer hunt set for two Pittsburgh parks

Controlled hunting is slated for two Pittsburgh, Pa., parks this fall in a pilot program aimed at thinning the city’s spiraling population of white-tailed deer.
City council approved legislation Sept. 6 that will allow a limited number of licensed, qualified bowhunters to shoot deer in Frick and Riverview parks over a specified number of days during the upcoming archery season. The city’s chief operating and administrative officer Lisa Frank called it “a baby step” toward developing a more comprehensive, citywide program in future years.

Inquest into drowning leads to changes suggested for Dimple Rock in Pennsylvania’s Youghiogheny River

Jurors in a coroner’s inquest into a 2022 rafting death on the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania’s Ohiopyle State Park have recommended that alterations be made to an infamous rock associated with several drownings over the years, as well as changes in how outfitters conduct trips.
Fayette County coroner Dr. Phillip Reilly convened the inquest in the Aug. 13, 2022, death of Julie Ann Moore, 50, of Worthington, Ohio, who died after a raft she shared with her twin 13-year-old daughters and boyfriend capsized. The accident occurred in rapids on a treacherous part of the lower river that includes Dimple Rock, a tank-size boulder with a below-surface divot, or vacuum, that can trap anyone who falls into the water.

New Pennsylvania fly-fishing school for teens to be offered in ’24

A fly-fishing school for teens will be offered in Centre County next spring through a partnership between the Wildlife Leadership Academy and the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Association.
The three-day program, Stepping Stones, will introduce 16 students to the technical and conservation aspects of fly-fishing, including fly-casting and tying, stream awareness, hatch life, and fishing ethics.

Gator caught in Pennsylvania’s Kiski River doing well in captivity at rescue facility

A four-foot alligator recently captured by kayakers from southwestern Pennsylvania’s Kiskiminetas River is adjusting to new digs in Pittsburgh as part of a long-term plan to eventually send him to a sanctuary down South.
Nathan Lysaght, founder of the non-profit Nate’s Reptile Rescue, is giving the gator, Chomper, a home for the next two or three years, or until he reaches full 6-foot growth, and then he’ll be transferred to Florida or Texas. At Lysaght’s 100-square-foot facility, in South Park Township, Chomper has access to a 150-gallon pool with basking area, which he can use at will.

Vaccine program involving raccoons in Pennsylvania helping stem the spread of rabies

A raccoon baiting program aimed at stemming the spread of rabies is now underway in western Pennsylvania for the 22nd straight year.
Through early September, oral vaccine doses wrapped in fishmeal or a vanilla-flavored waxy substance are being dropped from helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes over less populated parts of the state’s western counties and distributed by hand around abandoned lots, under dumpsters, down storm drains, and in woody sections of public parks. The goal is to eradicate rabies in western Pennsylvania and keep it from moving further west into Ohio, and the effort appears to be working.

Kayakers help catch alligator from Pennsylvania river after long search

Wildlife watchers have welcomed a bunch of species to the Kiskiminetas River in Armstrong County, Pa., as it rebounds from industrial pollution.
But a 4-foot alligator? Uh, no. Yet kayakers on a recent Saturday afternoon sojourn say that’s exactly what they encountered, and they snapped a photo as proof.
“We were floating down the river and a group of eight ahead us yelled “Alligator!” recalled Jim Cibik, of Kiski Township, who was with his wife, Joli, and two friends and their kids. “I thought they were joking at first, but when we got to that spot, there it was, sunning itself on some rocks.”

PGC, partners to hold event in Pittsburgh to introduce urban residents to outdoor activities

City folks can get a taste of hunting, fishing, and related pursuits when the Pennsylvania Game Commission and partner agencies sponsor Explore PA Outdoors near downtown Pittsburgh Aug. 19.
Open to the public free of charge, the event, at Point State Park, is aimed at introducing urbanites to some of what Pennsylvania’s woods and waters have to offer.

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