I promised to write about shotgun choke, and try to help understand the reason for choke and why it’s not so important today. Choke was developed somewhere in the mid-1800s, both in England and the United States, to help concentrate the pellets into a tighter shot string as the pellets left …
If someone asks me on the right day, I would probably say October is my favorite month. For a fisherman and hunter, and perhaps a naturalist, it’s the fullest month with lots of fish and game crammed into 31 days, and then there’s leaves turning color, crisp cool nights that invite fires in …
The other day in the rain, I dashed out to the shed behind our garage and with rain pounding on the metal roof, I reloaded a couple hundred rounds of 20-gauge shot shells and another 50, 12-gauge shells for the other shotgun.
We cleaned up the camper and took it to Raystown Lake with friends for a few days of camping after Labor Day. There were no lakefront sites available, but higher up where we could catch some breezes off the lake, we found lots of empty campsites.
When they moved our old log farmhouse up the hill and away from the little creek, whoever drove the horses plopped the flat part of each wall facing one of the compass points. That little creek flooded and washed into the little house so somewhere around 1890, they decided to move it and I’m…
Editor's Note: This column is being rerun from last week. Last week's column had the wrong text with the correct photo and headline. We apologize for the error.
A group made up of fishermen, local landowners, birders and environmentalist formed the Big Spring Watershed Association in 2001. With broad political views, we agreed to leave our politics at the door and concentrate on protecting and enhancing Big Spring and protecting the native brook tro…
When we learned we would be spending last week in Raleigh with Max, Ava and their parents and grandparents, I called Joel Munday to line up a fishing trip on his pontoon boat.
If you want to rise and shine a couple hours before false dawn beginning Saturday Aug. 11, and if the sky is clear of clouds, you can observe the Perseid Meteor Shower. The Old Farmer’s Almanac highlights it as the most prolific meteor display of the year with more than 50 meteors per hour. …
Oops! I wrote last week’s column on Sunday not anticipating floodwaters in our local creeks and rivers. The whitefly should emerge even during floods, but it would be dangerously stupid to wade the creeks and rivers with a fly rod. Wait for the water to come down and look further upstream fo…
It's fair week, and that means the white fly (Ephoron leukons) will emerge from the gravel on the Susquehanna River. Every evening for the next two weeks, just at dark, masses of white flies will emerge from the gravel, rise to the surface, fly into the air and change into breeding adults.
A long time ago in a land far, far away, a hardware store stood across the street from the State House in Columbus, Ohio. If they didn’t have it, you didn’t need it – including a few guns, ammunition, fishing and hunting licenses.
We were on the fantail of a ferryboat headed down the Inland Passage from Haines, Alaska to Dillingham. It was mid-September and we wore medium-weight jackets over sweaters, which is probably why I was remembering the trip now in July with temperatures pushing into the 90s.
There are a few small lakes in our area with swimming beaches. Gifford Pinchot, Little Buffalo and Lake Marburg come to mind. There’s also Laurel Lake at Pine Grove Furnace and others a bit further away. There’s even a public beach at Seven Points on Raystown Lake.
I must sound like a broken record, but I think it’s important. Ruffles, our Springer spaniel, had an appointment with her hairdresser last week, but he had to cancel because he has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
I spent a pleasant day last Saturday representing the Big Spring Watershed Association at the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum gathering along the Letort Spring Run in Carlisle.
We moved to an old stone farmhouse when we moved to Shippensburg. It sat in the middle of a 100-acre farm and we rented it from a retired college professor, Dr. Thomas Smyth, who taught at Shippensburg University.
June is National Camping Month according to something I read the other day. One part of my brain thinks it’s a great idea to recognize things like camping, while the other part wonders why our politicians need to waste time on things like National Donut Day.
Mark Twain once commented that the game of golf spoils a good walk. I tend to agree. However, on the other hand, it was developed in Scotland a century ago to help royalty develop and maintain hand-eye coordination during the off season when they didn’t hunt.
We camped at a KOA campground on Pymatuning Lake in Ohio to fish for post-spawn walleyes. Right down the road from the campsites, Pymatuning Livery rented pontoon boats and told us where to find 10-foot deep water, where the walleyes were scattered after spawning.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Game Commission held their quarterly meeting at the headquarters in Harrisburg. To me, what was most interesting, was their decision to exempt senior license holders from the pheasant permit issued last year.
The only time we could get together for a camping trip to shakedown our campers for summer was the week before last. In a normal year we might have caught some fish for the skillet, but the water temperature at Raystown Lake hovered near 42 degrees with the air temperature not much better.
I’ve heard from quite a few trout anglers and they all mentioned that they were not catching as many trout as previous years. Wherever the Fish and Boat Commission stocked pre-season, it seems that most of the trout were planted in children areas.
The Queen’s getting old, Prince Charles is ill and a son plans to marry a commoner. Of course, some folks on this side of the pond remain intrigued by the goings on in merry old England, but some things are buried in history.
As I sat on a cushioned seat on Joel Munday’s pontoon boat waiting for a crappie to find our hardhead minnow baits, I got to thinking about guides and whether someone should consider investing in hiring one for a day’s fishing.
Last week, friends came over to help clear some brush and drop a few trees at our small farm to help create rabbit cover for next year’s hunting season.Bobby, Mike and Bob ran chainsaws, while Richard, John and I helped pile the saplings into brush piles.
Are you ready for a shocker? Most of those turkey hunters who taught me to hunt wild turkeys all recommended using size 4 or 5 lead shot for clean kills on spring gobblers. There have been a few voices who believed that using small shot for spring gobblers should use smaller shot sizes, argu…
Mid-March marks the beginning of fly-fishing with dry flies. Of course, not all streams are open for trout fishing yet, but all of the catch and release and fly-fishing only streams are open, which is a good thing.
There’s only so many books to read or flies to tie. Rain doesn’t help either, so when Todd called to tell me about a new show called the Fly-fishing and Wingshooting Expo, I jumped at the chance to get out of the house for a Saturday.
The fly-tying sessions at Green Ridge Village have drawn the most participants, 23, in the community room of Green Hall from 6:30 to 8 Tuesday evenings. Only a few have sat on the sidelines chatting and eating cookies provided by Linda.
Outdoors last week was mostly indoors at the farm. My wife slipped on the ice and slid all the way to the chicken coop. I couldn’t walk on the snow because it was iced over and I couldn’t break through, so naturally I slipped and fell on the way out the lane to get the mail.
I drove to the Sheraton Hotel in Harrisburg for the ribbon-cutting kickoff for the Great American Outdoor Show that runs all this week until Sunday. It has been five years since the National Rifle Association took over the show at the Farm Show Complex after the previous management team crea…
There’s a little more daylight now than back in December, but darkness still falls early, leaving a lot of hours before bedtime either reading or otherwise becoming a couch potato.
With the weekend turning cold again after the January thaw, there should be enough ice to bore a few holes in the ice for a day or two of ice fishing. Lake Marburg, Opossum Lake, Letterkenny Reservoir and the lake at Little Buffalo State Park might have safe ice to wet a line.
We spent the week between Christmas and New Year's in New Hampshire with my cousin, Tommy and his wife, Gigi. They’ve been rebuilding a house that was originally built in 1746. Not far from Crystal Lake, it’s nestled in a grove of hundred-year-old white pines.
On the last Saturday of rifle deer season, I stood on an old woven wire fence line overlooking an old unused grass pasture. The deer didn’t seem to follow their old pattern we were used to, and I began thinking they wouldn’t run the fields this year. So I was leaning on the old fence watchin…
A long time ago in a land far, far away, I woke Christmas morning to lots of presents under our Christmas tree. I don’t remember most of those gifts or what I placed under the tree for my parents and sister.
I suppose, if I thought about it, I’m a small game hunter who also hunts deer. Although I only had one opportunity to shoot the nice eight-point buck I saw on the second day, I’m not as disappointed as I thought I might.
The low roof of our hunting camp shelters beneath a bench before the land climbs to the top of Neelyton Mountain. It’s been there for more than a half century, since Harry and his son, Andy, decided they needed a camp that couldn’t be taken away by the forest service.
Bear season ends before this column goes to press, but still some small game hunting remains open until Saturday evening. But most of us will prepare for Monday’s opener of the rifle deer season.
After taking the grandchildren to school, Cris took us to lunch at an old re-purposed helicopter military base near the River Nidder. After our lunch, we walked along a part of the concrete helicopter pads. At the far end a hiking trail led off through woods laced with white birch trees.
Last year at about this time, Kerri and I attended a program at Kings Gap Environmental Center not far north off the Pine Road. The topic was owls and we watched as licensed banders from the Ned Smith Center captured a saw whet owl.
We hunted for grouse around Bark Road in Fulton County last week, and then down around Amaranth in Bedford County with two experienced grouse dogs. In five hours of hunting, where we often move a few birds, we didn’t get a flush.
I don’t know why, but in all their wisdom, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has decided to bring almost every hunting season in last Saturday for a week. That means hunters, who like to hunt wood ducks on small ponds and puddles, will be in the same vicinity as archery deer hunters, who pref…
If you aren’t hunting deer with a stick and string, or waiting for the early upland and duck seasons to open, you might want to try some autumn fly-fishing. It really isn’t as complicated as some people make it out to be. In fact, it’s one of the earliest methods of sport fishing.