News Archive

Southern Tier rifle bill awaits Pataki

By Don Lehman Contributing Writer Albany — Big-game hunters in some Southern Tier counties will likely get to take rifles afield this fall under a bill passed last month by both houses of the state Legislature. The proposal, which was awaiting Gov. George Pataki’s signature as of late June to become law, would allow the use of rifles for deer…

More sturgeon spearing changes may be coming

By Tim Eisele Correspondent Oshkosh, Wis. — The Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season could take on more changes for 2006, if the public supports proposals from the DNR during an upcoming series of public hearings. The Natural Resources Board (NRB) agreed to hold a public hearing on changes to the Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season during its meeting in Oshkosh…

Study says outdoor ed beneficial for youths

By Tom Carney Correspondent Madison, Wis.–A recent study administered by the California Department of Education concluded that “at-risk” students who participate in outdoor educational programs increase their science test scores and show long-term improvement in a variety of personal and social skills. This confirms beliefs long held by a Michigan educator. Martin LeBlanc, Inside the Outdoors project director for the…

Group: Scrap minimum hunting age to help recruit new hunters

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Harrisburg — There’s no “C” in hunter, but perhaps there should be, since that’s the grade sportsmen are earning when it comes to recruiting youngsters. A new, just-released report, titled “Families Afield,” examined America’s hunting culture and its sustainability. The results were not encouraging. The study found that, on the whole, the nation is recruiting…

Senate approves bill to ban hunting via Internet

By Bill Parker Editor Lansing — By early fall, it will be illegal in Michigan to participate in any form of Internet hunting if a package of bills continues to sail through the state legislature. A three-bill package makes it illegal to use a firearm, bow, or crossbow to shoot animals via the Internet and sets penalties for violating the…

PGC Director Ross to retire this year

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — While Pennsylvania game commissioners were planning to grant emergency powers to agency Executive Director Vern Ross to deal with chronic wasting disease, it turns out he was planning his retirement. Just after the board gave him wide-ranging powers to deal with the always-fatal-to-deer malady if it shows up in the state, Ross, who is…

Pro anglers visit rivers to prep in Pittsburgh

By Deborah Weisberg Contributing Writer Pittsburgh — The world’s best bass anglers plied western Pennsylvania rivers late last month in a wet run for the upcoming CITGO Bassmaster Classic. It was a first fishing trip to Pitts-burgh for most of the 42 pros and five Federation (club) anglers who will fish the big, three-day tournament on the Allegheny, Monongahela and…

State land use rules expected to tighten

By Steve Griffin Field Editor Midland, Mich. — If you’ve gotten used to holding big events on state-owned land, or making a few bucks on that public turf, listen up: Some changes seem on the way. At best, you’re going to need to apply for a permit from the DNR, do it at least 90 days out, and probably pay…

Blight resistant chestnut trees close

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor University Park, Pa. — As he helped administer the fungus that causes chestnut blight to more than 200 young hybrid trees in the seed orchard at the Arboretum at Penn State on June 8 — a huge step in the process of developing a blight-resistant American chestnut tree — Tim Phelps admitted he felt a twinge…

Alt’s article in Philly paper ticks off PGC

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — A dispute between the former deer-management chief of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the agency he left in disgust last year has boiled over into the op-ed pages of the state’s largest-circulation newspaper, with Gary Alt and commission officials trading insults and accusations. Alt — who said after he retired in late 2004 that…

Sunday hunting is back in spotlight

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Harrisburg — Jeff Knight grew up hunting in the woods of Huntingdon County, but you won’t find him there much now. That’s not just because he now calls Nashville, Tenn., home. Still an ardent sportsmen, Knight visits other states to hunt, but Pennsylvania isn’t one of them. It’s not worth making the trip here if…

State land could see more logging

By Dean Bortz Editor Madison — If Gov. Jim Doyle does not veto from the Legislature’s proposed budget a call for increased logging on state lan, the DNR could see as much as $10 million per year in new revenue beginning in 2007 or 2008. Rep. Don Friske (R-Merrill) drafted a budget motion calling for the DNR to set up…

Judge: Jurors for Vang trial to come from Dane

Hayward, Wis. (AP) — Jurors from 250 miles away will decide the fate of a St. Paul, Minn., man accused of killing six deer hunters in the Wisconsin Northwoods last fall, a judge ruled after the defense argued a fair jury could not be selected locally. Sawyer County Circuit Judge Norman L. Yackel issued a one-sentence ruling deciding a jury…

DEC pitches gas/oil land lease proposal

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — DEC’s plan to lease 21,000 acres of state land for gas and oil exploration could generate several million dollars in revenue. That’s the good news. The bad news is that none of it, unlike past sales in 1999 and 2003, would be going into the state’s Conservation Fund. Instead, it would all go to…

Brits capture world carp crown

By Matthew Curatolo Contributing Writer Waddington, N.Y. — The English team of Tim Paisley and Steve Briggs dominated the first ever World Carp Championship held in the United States, taking home $50,000 and two new Chevy pickup trucks. Over the course of the five-day tournament held along the St. Lawrence River, Paisley and Briggs caught 80 carp that weighed a…

Assembly sues DEC to get license lists

By Don Lehman Contributing Writer Albany — A dispute between the state Department of Environmental Conservation and members of the state Assembly over release of hunting and fishing license holders’ names has led to a lawsuit against the DEC. The lawsuit, filed in late May, asks a judge to force the DEC to turn over the list of names and…

Hunters could see goose bag reduction

By Steve Griffin Field Editor Midland, Mich. — Hunting seasons designed to employ hunters to help control bumper crops of locally reared giant Canada geese have done their work. The result? Hunters’ “jobs” may be scaled back this year. It’s just in the preliminary, “talking” stage, but managers are exploring trimming back the five-bird daily limit on Canada geese in…

Last season’s bear kill NY’s third-highest ever

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — New York bear hunters harvested more than 1,000 bruins last season, which stands as the third-largest take ever. And that number will likely continue to grow as bears expand their range in many areas of the state, says DEC Big Game Section Leader John O’Pezio. The 2005 harvest will likely jump, too, due to…

DEC seeking input on major bass plan

Staff report Albany — DEC’s plan to create an essentially year-round bass season — with some noteworthy restrictions — is moving forward. The proposal, which would allow catch-and-release angling in most waters statewide from Dec. 1 through the day before the traditional third-Saturday-in-June opening day, is in the public comment stage. DEC will be accepting input from sportsmen and other…

Fishing license sales flat; gas prices, weather factor

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — Fishing license sales seem to be holding steady in New York this season, despite high gas prices and some cold, wet weather this spring. Doug Stang, chief of the DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries, said license sales to date — the license year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 — are on par with…

FWS receiving mega input on refuge plan

By Greg Koelker Correspondent Stoddard, Wis. — At public hearings up and down the Upper Mississippi Refuge system, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is getting plenty of citizen input — a lot of it negative — on its 600-page, four-alternative plan to manage the refuge for the next 15 years. After an hour-long briefing May 24 in Stoddard…

38-lb. tiger leaves Lake Tomahawk

By Dean Bortz Editor First-time muskie fisherman lands it on second cast Lake Tomahawk, Wis. — They didn’t believe him at first. Heck, Tom Driscoll couldn’t believe it, either — and he could see the fish. But, once Driscoll convince his wife and father that he had hooked into a big fish, they were quick to lend a hand. What…

Initial steps begin on deer SAK audit

By Tim Eisele Correspondent Madison — The steering committee assembled by the DNR to provide input on the audit of the Sex-Age-Kill (SAK) formula stacked up a large laundry list of issues when it met for the first time June 7. Those issues are being summarized and will be sent back to the committee to discuss again on June 29….

North Lake access receives board OK

By Dan Durbin Correspondent Waukesha, Wis. — On Tuesday, May 24 the Waukesha County Board gave a big boost to the DNR’s North Lake boat launch efforts when it voted 17 to 14 to put $200,000 toward the purchase of the six-acre Kraus site. The $1.1 million deal now goes to Gov. Jim Doyle, who appears to support such purchases…

Angler’s first salmon nets a $10,000 prize

Rochester, N.Y. – Josh Houghtaling of Windsor, N.Y., was trolling for the first time ever on Lake Ontario on May 12 when a fish of large proportions grabbed hold and headed the opposite way from the boat. By the time the battle was over, Houghtaling was looking at his first salmon ever – a fish his friend, David Hodack of…

‘Right to Hunt’ bill faces long haul

By Paula Piatt Associate Editor Albany – Sure, it’s an uphill battle. But Francine DelMonte’s move to amend the New York State Constitution isn’t just about amending the constitution. “I think the sportsmen are losing clout in Albany and I don’t want to see that happen,” said Francine DelMonte, (D-Lewiston) assemblywoman from the Niagara region and prime sponsor of a…