PenBlogs

Politicians enter the argument over deer

Depending on your outlook, of course, it is either a really good thing or a very bad development that elected officials — politicians — are trying to get involved in or interfere with wildlife management in Pennsylvania. And it's all about deer, obviously. Recently we reported that Rep. David Maloney Sr., R-Berks, was seeking cosponsors for a bill he plans…

Sunday hunt sausage being made right now

I remember three decades or so ago, as a young newspaper reporter, asking a veteran state representative from my hometown district about the “negotiations” behind a solid waste disposal bill that was moving in Harrisburg. “Son,” he said in a condescending tone that I still resent, “you don’t want to see the sausage being made.” But truth is, I did….

Numbers don't lie on Sunday hunting

The numbers were telling. They were revealed during a recent public forum with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and two state legislators. The event was held in Hanover Township, Luzerne County, and the panel consisted of Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe, Commissioner Jay Delaney and state Reps. Ed Staback and Gerald Mullery. Both are on the House Game and Fisheries…

Inconsistency the Pattern for Fishing License Buyers

I know some people think that I am out of touch, but recent revelations really make me feel that way.Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission research into fishing license buyers found that only 8 percent of license buyers have purchased a fishing license during each of the past five years. I would have guessed over 75 percent.I have purchased a fishing…

Trout Hatchery Savings?

Each year, it costs more for the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to raise trout, while at the same time fishing license sales decrease. No license or trout stamp fee increase is even on the discussion table – and in this economic climate, it probably shouldn't be. Expenses that increase and revenue that decreases – it is obvious that something…

All Pa. farmers don’t oppose Sunday hunting

If you have been closely following the debate over expanded Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania, you may think that all the farmers in Pennsylvania oppose lifting the ban. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, which claims to represent 50,000 farm and rural families across the state, is staunchly opposed to any expansion of Sunday hunting here. According to the Farm Bureau, the overwhelming…

Sunday hunting fight going down to wire

Rep. Ed Staback wouldn’t say so, but I get the feeling he’s disillusioned with the national groups that persuaded him to introduce a bill to lift the ban on Sunday hunting. A coalition that includes the NRA, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance — which is committed to legalizing Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania and 10 other…

ATVs in the Pennsylvania Wilds: Fun, or Irresponsibility?

A recent Pa. Outdoor News (8-19-11) letter to the editor by Lee Williamson got under my skin. He commented that Outdoor News columnist Ben Moyer must be “non-motorized.” Williamson called on DCNR to provide more “motorized recreation” in the Pa. Wilds in order to make the concept a success. He would like to see additional ATV recreational trails within the…

Coming face to face with gas-drilling ‘impact’

I doubt the pros and cons of Marcellus Shale drilling will be settled anytime soon. One side contends that gas drilling carries minimal impact, won’t contaminate water and the environment, and brings with it huge economic gains. Those with concerns about drilling argue that the practice does contaminate groundwater, is an intrusion on the environment and, while it may benefit…

No Deer in Pennsylvania?

I really, really get tired of listening to all of the “no-deer” complainers. We had a power outage a few evenings ago — happened at dusk. My son-in-law John suggested that we go spotlighting for deer. That sounded like a great no-electricity pastime, so off we went. We took a 55-minute drive, checking out the farm fields in about a…

Benefits, risks of Marcellus gas drilling

Seems like everyone in the state these days is talking about the effects of Marcellus natural-gas drilling — both good and bad.Government officials widely disagree. Depending on whom you listen to, shale gas development is either an unprecedented economic boom that we should blindly pursue without reservation or an ecological disaster waiting to happen on the scale of pollution from…

There are so many unknowns to Marcellus gas drilling

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission wants to lease its land (pending board approval) and sell its water to gas companies drilling in the Marcellus shale. It sounds alarming, considering a partnership between an agency charged with managing and protecting aquatic life could be partnering with an industry that has been accused of contaminating ground water, streams and lakes. Thankfully,…

PGC jumped the gun on Sunday hunting issue

Whether you are for or against being able to hunt all game animals on Sundays, the Board of Pennsylvania Game Commissioners recently took a position that will not help them in the long run. They voted 4 to 3 in June — passing a broad measure supporting legislation that would allow additional hunting on Sundays (that is, in addition to…

2011 a bad year for boating fatalities

Turns out that this year will go down as a bad one for boating fatalities in Pennsylvania. We know it already. By mid-July there had already been 13, according to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Here's the rundown presented to commissioners at their recent quarterly meeting: — Fatality 1, Allegheny River, Venango County, April 17, 3:40 p.m. on a…

Individuals do make a difference

All across Pennsylvania, volunteer organizers and activists plan events, lead habitat projects, tirelessly head sportsmen’s clubs, or rally for cleaner water, land preservation or hunting/shooting rights. These are the guys and gals who step up and say, “I’ll be president for another year,” “Let’s preserve and improve this river,” or “There is no reason why we couldn’t have a world…

Overlooking a critical consideration

There is something lost in the Sunday hunting debate. Dialogue from both sides of the issue picked up steam this week after the Pennsylvania Game Commission board approved a resolution supporting Sunday hunting.Those in favor of Sunday hunting rattled off several points as to why we should be allowed to hunt seven days a week.They say it will increase hunting…

Real sportsmen don’t eat bean sprouts

I was telling a friend about a story I wrote recently, reporting on the E. Coli outbreak in Germany, how it was caused by eating bean sprouts, why it should be a warning to Americans, and how I’m sort of paranoid these days about eating anything that grows close to the ground.Because he knows that I am both a science…

Healing waters run deep in northeast Pa.

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in early May, Dotter’s Creek in Monroe County became more than a Class A wild trout stream. It was a place of healing. Twenty one veterans from wars ranging from Vietnam to Afghanistan came to Dotters Creek, and for a few hours their minds focused only on the clear water and the trout below. The…