FREE Articles for Download: Outdoors

Wildlife watching from the water a real treat

Outdoors

There’s no official name, so far as I know, for the portal that took us into another world. But it hides behind a tricky entrance. We arrived at the state park boat launch mid-morning of a weekday. It’s summer, and school is surely out everywhere, but still, the crowd was surprisingly large. A variety of […]

Sign in to view article

Study says changing values will impact fish and wildlife management

Outdoors

It’s more evidence of a coming storm, perhaps. Fewer Americans than ever hunt these days. In fact, it recently hit a 25-year low. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report, released in 2016, showed that 11.5 million Americans hunted. That was 4.4 percent of the population. If that sounds like a lot, it’s not. By […]

Sign in to view article

Fisheries surveys show lakes with lots of bass, channel cats

Outdoors

So you want to catch some fish, huh? Well, here’s a tip. Start by casting your line where the fish are. Pretty sage stuff there, I know. Confucius-esque, almost. But if you want to catch fish, you’ve got to know what waters the fish call home and in what sizes and numbers. The good news […]

Sign in to view article

Outdoor Extras, including a new twist on a campfire favorite

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Wameku Shad 70 Company: SPRO Lure type: Lipless crankbait Sizes and colors: Available a 2.75-inch, ¾-ounce model in eight colors: crawfish gold, crawfish chartreuse, chrome shad, purple rain shad, Rayburn craw, matte sexy shad, delta craw and black back gold. Target […]

Sign in to view article

Kayak catfishing growing in popularity

Outdoors

Justin Johnson never goes fishing intending to develop a hernia. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Blame it on a change of heart and a change in equipment that followed. Johnson, an East Tennessee native, was a bass fisherman early on. Then, in a tackle shop one day, he saw a photo […]

Sign in to view article

Hike to Hunt Challenge offered by Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Outdoors

Every hunter, man or woman, who’s ever stopped halfway up a hill, gasping for air, drenched in sweat, pulse racing, attached to a rope with a dead deer at the other end, has said it. I’ve got to get in shape before next season. Well, here’s your chance. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the sportsmen’s group […]

Sign in to view article

Release of chronic wasting disease plan delayed while public outreach continues

Outdoors

It’s all about speed when it comes to controlling chronic wasting disease. And yet, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is delaying release of its disease management plan. That’s by design, said Bryan Burhans, executive director of the agency. The new plan was due out this month, but he didn’t feel like it was ready. Instead, the […]

Sign in to view article

Outdoor Extras, including a blueberry crunch recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Select S1 Company: Sawyer Gear type: Water filter Product description: Staying properly hydrated is hugely important in the backcountry, or even when just out on a day hike in a local park or forest. So it’s critical to be able to […]

Sign in to view article

Grant Woods offers advice on hunting mature bucks

Outdoors

It’s a different world deer hunters live in these days. That’s what Grant Woods believes, in at least one sense. Creator of GrowingDeerTV.com, Woods hunts all over the country. One change is evident everywhere he goes. “When I was a boy, growing up in Missouri, the only food plot was Granny’s garden or some farmer’s […]

Sign in to view article

Fun times camping sometimes born of chaos

Outdoors

There was giggling amidst the chaos. That’s always a good sign. We’d spent the morning hiking, the afternoon swimming and the first part of evening eating ice cream. We followed that up with a dinner of simple but delicious pizza mountain pies. The next morning promised a guided striped bass fishing trip early and kayak […]

Sign in to view article

Avoid strainers to stay safe, alive this boating season

Outdoors

Don’t become spaghetti. When I and some others used to teach boating safety to our troop of Scouts, and talked turned to hazards on the water, we offered that as one piece of advice. The initial look we got was usually one of confusion. But we explained it like this. Paddle any river or creek […]

Sign in to view article

Outdoor Extras, including egg in a hole grilled cheese recipe

Outdoors

Lure of the week Lure name: Water Dragon Company: Culprit Lures Lure type: Soft plastic lizard Sizes and colors: Available a 7-inch model in 12 colors, including Bama bug, black neon, swamp juice, green pumpkin, watermelon red and sapphire blue. Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth bass. Technique: There are a lot of soft plastic lizard […]

Sign in to view article

Auditor general releases look at Game Commission finances

Outdoors

Lack of oversight is the biggest problem with how the Pennsylvania Game Commission handles its money. So says Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. His office audited the commission, looking at the years from July 2014 through June 2017. It issued its report on May 30. The audit outlined 11 findings and 43 recommended improvements, the […]

Sign in to view article

Outdoor Extras, including a fried catfish recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Nitro 1800 Company: Bushnell Gear type: Laser rangefinder Product description: The Nitro 1800 is a rangefinder meant for both hunting and competition. It will range non-reflective targets – say deer and elk – out to 800 yards, and reflective targets out […]

Sign in to view article

Appreciate slow growing fish in all sizes

Outdoors

That 11-inch largemouth bass, the one you dismissively threw back into the water, labeling it a dink? Give it a little love. It’s been through more than you think. Bass – and all fish really, from bluegills to muskies – grow slower than some anglers probably imagine. It’s nothing for a hatchery trout to reach […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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. […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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. […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article

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 […]

Sign in to view article