FREE Articles for Download: Outdoors

Public shooting ranges offer great opportunities

Outdoors

If it had been colder, I might have expected to see Jude Law or Ed Harris. They were nowhere to be found, though, so I stuck the muzzle of my rifle into the tube, took aim and pulled the trigger. And so it went for several glorious, fun hours. Shooting is like that, after all. […]

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A look at the fisheries in Dutch Fork and other lakes

Outdoors

This wasn’t the plan for Dutch Fork Lake. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, which owns the 91-acre water in Donegal Township in Washington County, drained it in November of 2004 after Hurricane Ivan damaged its dam, rendering it unsafe. It remained empty until spring of 2013. Then, the dam finally rebuilt, the commission stocked […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a Creamed Pike recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Folding shovel and pick Company: Coleman Gear type: Tool Product description: It’s a safety thing, I suppose, but a sometimes difficult one to deal with. On a recent camping trip, the supplied, metal fire ring at our site was a good […]

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Northern snakeheads and other outdoor news

Outdoors

A roundup of outdoor news from around the country … The northern snakehead exists in two worlds. In one, they’re a villainous invasive species, a predator whose presence threatens smallmouth bass, walleyes and other native fish populations. In another, they’re a feisty game fish, one that bites eagerly, fights hard and tastes good. Either way, […]

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Rattling bucks an exciting, if only sometimes, technique

Outdoors

It’s August, and the earliest archery deer seasons in most places are still weeks away. The whitetail rut is even farther in the distance. But admit it. If you’re a deer hunter, you’ve got big antlers on the brain. And maybe this year, you’re thinking, you’re going try rattling bucks in. Well, know this. It’s […]

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Hikes reveal interesting PA history

Outdoors

I was aware of Gifford Pinchot when embarking on a yearlong journey of hiking through history, Pennsylvania-style. His wife, Cornelia, was a mystery. Gifford was a two-time Governor of the state more famous for serving as the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service. In fact, as a contemporary of Teddy Roosevelt, he pioneered forestry […]

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A new era of wildlife diseases proving troubling

Outdoors

It is, it seems, the dawn of a new wildlife era. But not necessarily a good one. Disease – from chronic wasting disease in deer and elk to white nose syndrome in bats to mange in bears – continues to pop up in more places and with greater frequency all around the country. Populations are, […]

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Challenges to the future of hunting and fishing

Outdoors

Hunting and fishing in America – and by extension the nation’s system of sustaining wildlife and fish – are in trouble, right now. And unless something changes, even darker days are ahead. A new, just-released report titled “The Future of Hunting and Fishing” reveals that participation in those sports is declining, especially in relation to […]

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Fish and Boat director calls it quits

Outdoors

He’s calling it quits. John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, is retiring effective Nov. 2. He announced that in a letter to agency commissioners and staff on Tuesday. “Retired friends have told me that you will know when the time has come to retire. I now understand,” Arway wrote. “I feel […]

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Green heron a fascinating bird that doesn’t take any grief

Outdoors

I don’t like crowding other fishermen and I don’t like other fishermen crowding me. But this guy and I, we had something going on. Not in a bad way, necessarily. We’d arrived at this shallow, weedy spot at the back end of a 22-acre pond – or at least become aware of each other’s presence […]

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The non-lead ammunition debate and more outdoor news

Outdoors

A roundup of outdoor news from around the country … The lead debate rages on, but with a new twist. Lead dominates the ammunition market, serving as the raw material for more bullets than anything else. It’s been that way for centuries. Only when it comes to waterfowl are hunters required to use anything else. […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a tip for stink baits

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras…   Lure of the week Lure name: Hollow Body Crawfish Company: Livetarget Lures (www.livetargetlures.com) Lure type: Crawfish Sizes and colors: This will be available in three sizes and weights: 1.5 inches and 1/2 ounce, 1.75 inches and 5/8 ounce or 2 inches and 3/4 ounces. There will […]

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Three 6.5 Creedmoor rifles reviewed for deer season

Outdoors

The 6.5 Creedmoor is still, relatively speaking, a baby. It was only a little more than a decade ago that Hornady introduced the cartridge to the world. Aimed at long-range target shooters initially, it’s since found its way into the hunting realm, too. But compared to, say, the venerable.30-06, it remains an unknown for many. […]

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Cabin camping a unique way to get outdoors in comfort

Outdoors

This was outside the norm for us, at least as far as summertime goes. I’m not talking about the kayaking and the fishing we did; those are staples of our outdoors activities. The same is true with the hiking and the cooking over the fire. So, too, our several-times-a-week trips for ice cream. Speaking of […]

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Stressed fish are often dead fish and other outdoor news

Outdoors

A roundup of outdoor news from around the country… Warm weather and stressed fish With the dog days of summer approaching, state fish and wildlife agencies are advising anglers to take it easy on fish. Trout in particular are vulnerable. In Vermont, for example, water levels are low and temperatures are high. That can be […]

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State lawmakers promise, again, to address fishing’s funding needs

Outdoors

It’s been said that silence can be deafening. Time will tell if this is one of those situations. In the meantime, Pennsylvania anglers and boaters are hanging in the balance. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioners last fall voted to close several hatcheries – meaning 240,000 fewer adult trout, no shad and few if any tiger […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a walleye recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Smartphone StrapPack Pouch Company: Clakit (EverybodySHOPS) Gear type: Phone pouch Product description: Just about everyone who heads into the woods these days carries their phone with them. And with good reason. Smartphones allow for the taking of some high-quality pictures, offer […]

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Good news on mentored catfishing in PA, not so good news elsewhere

Outdoors

Lions and tiger and bears? Forget about it. We’re talking channel cats, walleyes and muskies. All have or are about to get some attention across Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, not all of it’s good. But let’s start with the positive. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering a couple of special mentored youth catfishing opportunities for […]

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White tails on whitetails predict the future

Outdoors

It’s the developing headgear on white-tailed deer that get all of the attention at this time of year. Look what people write when posting trail camera pictures on social media. The focus is on how big a buck’s antlers are already, or how big they might be come fall. Of course, that’s understandable. Those bony […]

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Putting the public back in public hunting a goal

Outdoors

They’re going to have to do better. Pennsylvania entities – chiefly municipalities – that want permits to cull overabundant white-tailed deer from around their residents’ homes and businesses using sharpshooters must first try managing those animals using real, actual public hunting. That has, by letter of the law, been the rule for a while now. […]

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Campfire eclairs a wonderful camping dessert

FoodOutdoors

Campfire éclairs check a lot of boxes. First, they’re made over, well, a campfire, which is always a good thing because that means you’re outside, camping and relaxing. They’re simple. They’re family friendly. Children, especially, (including teens, though they might not admit it) get a kick out of preparing them, something that’s more important than […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a tip for gathering live bait

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras…   Lure of the week Lure name: Freddy the Frog Company: Westin Lures (http://www.westin-fishing.com/en/) Lure type: Topwater Sizes and colors: Available in a 7 ¼-inch model (roughly half of that body, half legs). Specifics on color haven’t yet been released, but the company promises “a range of […]

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Tips on dealing with mice in trail shelters

Outdoors

There’s getting close to nature, and then there’s getting infested by nature. Spend enough time in backcountry shelters and, sooner or later, you’ll probably get to experience the latter. That’s because if there’s anything that likes a lean-to or Adirondack better than a tired, boot-worn, hungry hiker, it’s an opportunistic mouse. Not every shelter has […]

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Survey shows stocking bigger channel catfish leads to better fisheries

Outdoors

This is an experiment that seems to be working. For decades, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has stocked channel catfish in various waters around the state. The fish were always released as fingerlings, about 2 to 3 inches long. Biologists knew some would get eaten by other fish – primarily largemouth bass – but […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a fish taco recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras…   Gear of the week Gear name: Target spots Company: Birchwood Casey (https://www.everybodyshops.com/birchwood-targets-asst.html) Gear type: Targets Product description: Targets don’t have to be fancy. After all, the goal is to punch them full of holes, right? So it doesn’t always make sense to spend a lot of […]

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Changes to rules might mean less wildlife funding for states

Outdoors

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has been saying for years that it needs more money. It’s had no luck getting it. State lawmakers have refused to increase hunting and trapping license fees since 1999. Now, there’s this. The commission is actually losing going to lose money – about $700,000 a year to start, though that‘s expected […]

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