FREE Articles for Download: Outdoors

Bikepacking surges in popularity as a way to explore the outdoors

Outdoors

To call it an entirely new thing would be to insult every Bohemian gypsy who’s ever pedaled around the countryside. But it’s definitely a modern tweak on an ancient idea. And it’s suddenly gone mainstream. Bikepacking – basically backpacking by bicycle – is surging in popularity as more and more people realize the benefits of […]

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Fish with a WCO events on tap around Pennsylvania

Outdoors

The weather might be – even should be – better this time around. Shoot, it can’t be much worse. Last September, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission waterways conservation officers in the southwest corner of the state held their inaugural “Fish with a WCO” event for children. It took place at Twin Lakes Park in Westmoreland […]

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Great blue herons common, yet interesting, birds

Outdoors

Imagine a prince, tall and angular, or a princess, long and curvy. Either with a rakish bit of long, flowing hair, dark, piercing eyes and a regal way of moving. They seem all grace and refinement. Royal, almost. And then … “SQUAAAAWK!” They open their mouth and the noise that comes out is nails-on-a-chalkboard grating. […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a venison chili recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Thunder Cricket Company: Strike King (www.strikeking.com) Lure type: Vibrating jig Sizes and colors: Available four sizes – 3/8-, ½-, 5/8- and ¾-ounces – in 10 colors, including, black/blue, white/chartreuse, Falcon Lake craw, bluegill, bruiser, and red/yellow/pink/green. Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth […]

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Tough times for waterfowl, hunters in Atlantic Flyway

Outdoors

Waterfowl biologists up and down the East Coast warned a year ago that this as likely coming. And so it has. Hunters are only going to be able to take half as many mallards per day in the Atlantic Flyway this year as last, and for the better part of the two decades before that. […]

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Tips on paddling safety this boating season

Outdoors

Fewer than half a dozen steps into the big box sporting goods store and it was crystal clear. There, front and center, stood two stacks of kayaks each piled four wide and three high, in an alternating pattern. Along the wall to the left at least three dozen more boats – kayaks, canoes and stand-up […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a backpacking tip

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Lucky 7 Company: Tri-State Bait Gear type: Flavored dough bait Product description: Dough baits are a classic for targeting channel catfish and common carp. And they do catch fish. Lucky 7 baits in particular work because they’re scented, something that really […]

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Emergence of cicadas should produce fantastic fishing

Outdoors

They will fascinate some and annoy, likely even creep out, others. That’s just how it is with bugs and people. So it will be with periodical cicadas. Fish will love them, though. And so, too, will smart anglers. For both, the mass emergence of the insects – something that’s going to begin any day now […]

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Fate of wild pheasant areas might not be settled after all

Outdoors

There’s a reason they call these decisions preliminary. Pennsylvania Game Commissioners voted at their April meeting to shrink the size of two of their remaining three wild pheasant recovery areas. They also voted to close another. Or, more accurately, deadlocked 4-4 on an attempt to reject a staff recommendation to close it. But there’s still […]

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Leave wildlife babies in the wild this spring

Outdoors

The reaction was as well-intentioned as it was predictable. A friend called last spring. Hiking – not deep in the woods, but close to home – he and his wife came across a fawn. It was seemingly alone. There was no mother close by, so far as they could tell. Their instinct, he said, was […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a recipe for overnight cheese casserole

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: J.R.’s Frogwalker Company: Reno Bait Co. (renobaitcompany.com) Lure type: Topwater Sizes and colors: Available a 5-inch model in five colors: green white belly, green orange belly, chartreuse white belly, brown chartreuse belly and black orange belly. Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth […]

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Catching hybrid striped bass on the fly

Outdoors

They are not subtle, these bruising brawlers. Some fish have the reputation of being almost refined. Angling literature, for example, mythologies brown trout for the way they selectively and daintily sip dry flies perfectly presented by the most reverential fishermen pure of heart. Sleek, athletic, strong, they fight hard when hooked. But they play by […]

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Vernal pools a source of unique, varied life in spring

Outdoors

It was further proof that life often bursts forth in the unlikeliest of places. I was at a close-to-home shooting range, tacking up targets. Someone else’s was lying on the ground behind the backstop, discolored and degraded from soaking up water in what appeared to be a puddle. Retrieving it for the trash, I noticed […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a morel recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Tournament Touch Screen Company: Rapala Gear type: Scale Product description: Maybe you’re a tournament fisherman. Maybe you’re just someone who likes to know the specifics of the fish you catch. In either case, the Rapala touch screen tourney scale is a […]

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It’s just about prime time for catching flatheads

Outdoors

There are good times to catch big flathead catfish, and there are great times to catch big flathead catfish. We’re on the cusp of one of the great ones. So says Chris Souders anyway. And he should know. The Ohio-based angler is a two-time Cabela’s King Kat tournament series angler of the year and host […]

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Nate Hosie talks the when, where and how of turkey decoys

Outdoors

They’re twin tools of deception, turkey decoys and turkey calls, both meant to fool lusty gobblers. Nate Hosie uses both. That’s not how things always were, though. When the host of “Headhunters TV” was a high schooler in Montdale, Pa. – and killing birds frequently enough to be known as “The Turkey Slayer” – he […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a spring gobbler tip

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Bimbo Skunk Company: Bimbo Skunk Lure Lure type: Fly Sizes and colors: Available two colors, pink and chartreuse, both tied on a #10 hook. Target species: Bluegills and crappies. Technique: Fly fishing for panfish is lots of fun. Bluegills and crappies […]

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Tips for making the most of morel mushroom season

Outdoors

Forget Game of Thrones. This is a Game of Secrets. And it’s being played right now. Hunters of a sort – armed with onion sacks and the like rather than firearms and bows – are taking to the woods, eyes to the ground. They’re seeking life amidst decay. And when they find it, they’re not […]

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Significant changes to antlerless license totals, but not everywhere

Outdoors

Don’t get too comfortable. Yes, it’s true that, statewide, there will be more antlerless deer licenses available in Pennsylvania this fall than last. Pennsylvania Game Commissioners allocated 903,000 doe tags for the 2019-20 hunting seasons. That’s up 65,000 from 2018-19’s 838,000. But the increase is not spread evenly across the state. In fact, six of […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a recipe for Cajun panfish

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Beast28 Company: Matador Gear type: Backpack Product description: It doesn’t matter what type of gear it is you’re talking about. It’s only good if you actually use it. And let’s face it, sometimes, if gear is too bulky or heavy, it […]

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Opening day change official for deer hunters

Outdoors

The change – and it’s a big one – is official. Opening day of Pennsylvania’s statewide firearms deer season is moving. It’s been the Monday after Thanksgiving each year since 1963. This year it will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Pennsylvania Game Commissioners on Tuesday – by a 5-3 vote – made the switch in […]

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Maintain a chuck box to make camping less stressful, more fun

Outdoors

We discovered the old chuck box tucked away in a corner of my mother-in-law’s basement. How long had it been there, forgotten? Twenty-five years, at least. We went on a lot of outings in the two and a half decades since I joined the family picture, but there’d never been a hint of its existence. […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a recipe for campfire stew

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Pistol Pete Company: Pistol Pete Flies Lure type: Fly Sizes and colors: Available in two sizes — #6 and #10 – in dozens of colors, from black, last supper, chartreuse and egg sucking to green, red, renegade and mafia Pete Target […]

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Search for Taxidermists Before Hunting

Outdoors

This is the time of year when Bob Hutchinson’s frustration takes root. It’s outdoor show season in February and March. At each, sportsmen will book trips costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Then they’ll go home and make travel arrangements, practice with their bow, put fresh line on their rods and take the stairs to […]

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Nighttime Flathead Catfish Fishing

Outdoors

The Rochester bank of the Ohio River looked as if it had been taken over by a giant, on-guard, nuclear-irradiated porcupine Friday night. Over a stretch of 100 feet, quills bigger around at the base than your thumb and as long as 12 feet stuck up in the air. The last six inches or so […]

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Hellbenders

Outdoors

The search for eastern hellbenders begins with a question followed by a heave. “Who’s diving?” someone asks, as four or five large guys prepare to reach down and grab one edge of a stream-bottom rock the size of a truck hood. “Get skinny. Get friendly,” they’re told as they crowd together. Then, the countdown begins. […]

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