Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tyler Frantz

Bulls are a bonus during long weekend in Pennsylvania elk country

As the sun dipped behind the mountains under a clear September sky, elk bugles echoed across Winslow hill. A large herd bull, antlers freshly shed of velvet, was busy corralling his harem away from younger suitors as dozens of onlookers gazed in wonder at the scene unfolding before their eyes.  
This very display occurred just as I imagined it would during our first night in Pennsylvania elk country. Though I’ve witnessed it several times before, the majestic sight of a massive bull in all its glory feverishly working a group of cows is such an impressive sight, it keeps me coming back for more.

Low-impact strategies for early-season bowhunting success

There’s a right time and wrong time for everything in the deer woods. As much as the peak of the rut can be a promising window to get aggressive in your hunting style, opening day and the immediate weeks following call for a more measured approach to…

Top Water lures tempt shallow-water smallmouths on Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania

A cooling breeze swept across the early morning water as guide Zak Marinkov launched his 18-foot Rock Proof boat into the Susquehanna River a few miles north of Harrisburg, Pa.
It had rained overnight, pulling days of heat and mugginess out of the air, and the sky remained darkened by overcast clouds blocking out the sun. I had linked up with Marinkov, a middle school teacher who guides for Ken Penrod’s Life Outdoors Unlimited during his summer break, to sample a morning of smallmouth bass fishing on the river.

Fishing with the presidents in Pennsylvania

One boat. Four presidents. Dozens of fish. Sound like an interesting combination? It most certainly was, as a foursome of former leaders converged on the Juniata River in Pennsylvania last month for the presidential treatment of angling enjoyment. 
This collective quartet, vaguely reminiscent of Mount Rushmore busts, did not feature the likes of national dignitaries; no Roosevelts or Washington – not even a Bush or Clinton — but was comprised of past presidents from the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

Now leading the nation in licensed bowhunters, Pennsylvania has come long way since inaugural archery season

While moseying through a historic log cabin on my parents’ property a few years ago, I came across an old dusty box of magazines. Within the stack, a July 1963 issue of Pennsylvania Game News caught my eye. Thumbing to page 55, I discovered the inaugural edition of the long-running column, “Straight from the Bowstring,” established that very issue. 
This column was launched and written for many years thereafter by Keith Schuyler, who, more than a decade earlier, wrote a feature for Game News about a group of friends electing to bow hunt during the statewide firearms deer seasons. This story, along with urging from other archery lobbyists, led to the first official Pennsylvania bow season taking place in 1951.

Looking closely at the ecology of a rotten log

It’s easy to overlook the significant role dead trees play in the years after they perish.
Seldom do we pay much heed to “insignificant” relics of the past such as a rotting log, but when one pauses long enough to take a closer look, a world of new discoveries can be revealed. Recently, the kids and I celebrated the first official day of summer break with a leisurely woods-walk for some good old-fashioned, Ned Smith-style nature snooping.

New research takes closer look at tick hosts in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania notoriously sits in the top 20% when it comes to tick-borne illnesses in the United States, with more than 400,000 people estimated to be infected with Lyme disease annually. 
With expansive tracts of fields, forests and meadows, high host population densities and strong participation in outdoor recreation, there’s no wonder Pennsylvanians have a fair risk of encountering the villain at the root of the problem — the black-legged tick.

Northern mockingbird, rare in central PA, headlines Friday night marquee

As I entered the bedroom, a cool spring breeze was blowing through the open window, but something seemed oddly out of place. I could hear birdsong, which struck me as puzzling considering it was almost midnight. At first, I thought my son — who wants to be an ornithologist someday — had forgotten to turn off the bird sounds he sometimes listens to when falling asleep. But that wasn’t the case.

Plenty to see during rainy Pennsylvania gobbler hunt

There was a time when I used to let spring gobbler hunting bother me. It’s my favorite season to hate, especially when things go wrong. Uncooperative birds, missed shots, and terrible weekend weather — all these elements have prevented me from filling my tag over the past several years.
I almost said screw it and didn’t go this year, but on the eve before the opener I found myself digging out my gear, conditioning my calls, and preparing my vest for additional punishment.

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