Pennsylvania – Mark Nale

More public relations needed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission

A recent email exchange with Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania president Randy Santucci provides food for thought. Santucci and I were discussing the merits of the Pennsylvania Game Commission spending hunting license dollars to expand the agency’s information and education presence in the elk range — including work at the joint Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-Keystone Elk Country Alliance visitor…

Good news on the chronic wasting disease front – finally

With deer farms quarantined in 16 counties, the chronic wasting disease situation seemed to be getting worse by the day. Now, there is finally some good news. The two free-roaming deer with connections to Ronald Rutter’s New Oxford deer farm — where chronic wasting disease was first discovered in Pennsylvania — have been shot and killed by hunters. Even better…

Fall colors, pleasant temperatures and outdoor opportunities make October a special month

Mother Nature’s curtain is about to drop on the final act of October — my favorite month of the year. Temperatures were cool enough on many days to provide a pleasant environment for archery deer hunting. At the same time, nighttime temperatures were often warm enough to make for very productive trout fishing the following morning. I took advantage of…

Mast looks generally promising in my area

I have been out scouting a few times in Centre and Blair counties and I’ll share my observations for readers of this blog. The bad news – I see very few (if any) apples anywhere. If you normally bow-hunt for deer near apple trees, you better check to see if there is any fruit to hunt over.  I have seen…

Tailwater Trout in Pennsylvania- What are we waiting for?

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is considering establishing dam-release tailwater trout fisheries in our state. Tailwater trout fisheries rely on regular and dependable bottom releases of cold water from reservoirs. In addition to its favorable temperature, bottom-release water usually supports a diverse population of macroinvertebrates (i.e., trout food). Many of the best trout rivers in western states are tailwater…

Thoughts on banning bait on 7 miles of Penns Creek

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is considering a ban on bait fishing for 7 miles of Penns Creek, one of Pennsylvania’s best wild-trout streams. The section in question (from Elk Creek downstream to the current catch and release area) is currently under All Tackle Trophy Trout regulations – bait, lure and fly-fishing is allowed. UnderAll Tackle Trophy Trout regulations…

Expanding your outdoor horizons enhances enjoyment

A stream outing with my daughter a year ago led to the discovery of ripening black raspberries — lots of them!  The trout fishing was good, but three days later, we were back toting containers to fill with berries instead of carrying our fishing rods.  We harvested several quarts of delicious fruit with minimal effort. On another early morning fishing…

In a huff over WMU makeup

Discourse really heated up on May 29, at the Pennsylvania Game Commission work group session. Based on Bob Frye’s story in the most recent issue of Pennsylvania Outdoor News (6-8-12), I guess that I missed an exciting meeting. The boundaries of our wildlife management units provided the focal point for the “heat” — specifically, whether or not they should be…

Secret Streams…

The stream conditions in Central Pennsylvania — the real central Pa., not the Harrisburg area, which is actually more southeast — have been superb and I’ve been out taking advantage them. The good flows and great water temperatures make it perfect for visiting some of my smaller wild trout waters — my secret streams. During the past week I’ve cast…

Quantifying the trout resources we have …

I just returned from a two-day trout fishing trip with my brother to the mountains of North Carolina – something that I had wanted to do for many  years. The scenery was  breathtaking, and it would be difficult to find wildtrout streams more attractive than Fires Creek and the Bradley Fork—two of the streams that we  fished.  Rhododendron- and laurel-lined,…

House Bill 2034 – Legislation that should go nowhere

By now, House Bill 2034, Rep. Mike Hanna’s Antlerless Deer Harvest Committee bill, and reactions to it, have been covered by several Pennsylvania Outdoor News stories, columns and blogs. I think it’s a bad bill that doesn’t have a future. If passed, House Bill 2034 would initiate two main wildlife management changes – both bad. It seeks to mandate Pennsylvania…

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…

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…

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…