A Natural Perspective by Mark Nale

Learned and instinctive behaviors both serve animals well

I’m at the beach in North Carolina – seemingly far away from anything that might be applicable to Pennsylvania wildlife – but that is not true.  There is a natural lesson to be learned almost everywhere. Our rented condo –…

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…

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…

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…

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…

40 Turkey Kills in 90 Seconds

A few days ago, I received an email from a marketing company with an ad from a turkey call maker. It included a link to a video titled, “40 Kills in 90 Seconds.” The maker claimed that the video would…

Are You a Counter?

How many deer did you see while hunting opening day? How many bass did you catch the last time you were out? Are you a counter? I am. I count almost everything -- just can't help myself. I was a…

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.…

How deer harvests are calculated

It's that time of year again when hunters begin to wonder how the state's deer harvest is going. If a hunter has shot a buck, seen a few deer and heard lots of shooting, he or she probably thinks the…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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…

Appreciating the mountains and diversity of Penns Woods

The small jet accelerated, wings grabbed the air, and its tires left terra firma behind. I was soon looking down upon row after row of green farmland laid out in exact squares. Each corn-filled square was neatly separated by 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…

Land preservation – What the PA Game Commission does best

We have two wildlife agencies in Pennsylvania – the Game Commission and the Fish & Boat Commission. I gladly buy licenses and therefore "support" both agencies each year. Many of you do the same. Since I favor long-term lasting gains…

Stocked Trout – at what cost?

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has two serious problems that they seem to be unwilling or unable to address – disappearing stocked trout and how much their hatchery system actually costs license buyers. Raising stocked trout is a big…

A porcupine season – Not one of the PGC's better ideas

At their spring meeting, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's board of commissioners voted unanimously to hold a porcupine season. The seven-month season is set to begin September 1, with a daily bag limit of six. From my perspective, this was one…

Big-money outdoor sports contests and the polygraph

During my writing career, I have covered many hunting and fishing contests.  The events are certainly exciting and draw large crowds. However, without fail, grumblings and accusations about some type of foul play are heard at every contest. The organizers…

Misplaced Anger

One month ago, in a 22-page decision, Commonwealth Court dismissed the lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Game Commission by the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit had claimed that the agency was using fraudulent science to manage deer. It also…

Winter Trout

Since New Year's Day, I have been anxious to do some winter trout fishing, but central Pennsylvania has had a colder than average winter. Any remotely possible weather day just never suited my schedule. Finally, on Feb. 16, we had…

Doe Season Length & Structure

One oft-debated "Deer Wars" topic here in Pennsylvania is the length and timing of antlerless deer season. Hunter views run the gamut from supporting 12 days of concurrent buck and doe season, favoring 7 or fewer days of concurrent, to 1…

About This Blog

Nale

Mark Nale grew up in rural Bedford County, where he caught his first trout at age 6 and started accompanying his father rabbit hunting by age 10. His interest in outdoor sports and nature influenced his decision to earn BS and M.Ed degrees in biology education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Mark’s articles and photographs have appeared in local, state, and national publications. Married with three grown children, Mark now hunts, fishes, and writes from his home in the wilds of Centre County.

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