Robins have arrived en masse, pussy willows have blossomed and forsythia will soon be blooming. But that's not all. Spring gobbler season will be kicking off April 27 when over 227,000 turkey hunters will take to Penn's Woods in pursuit of a bearded gobbler or two.
Prior to the opener, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has set April 20 as a one-day youth spring gobbler season that will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. At that time, licensed youths must be accompanied by a licensed adult or mentor and can only assist in calling in a bird.
With the Harrisburg outdoor sports show cancelled for this year, local sportsmen who don't relish driving to Oaks for the upcoming Philly Outdoor Sports Show can take in a more condensed version when the Lehigh Valley Sportsman's Show makes its debut on March 2.
The two-day show (Mar. 2-3) will open at Allentown's Agri-Plex Expo Center (Ag Hall) where it was last held back in 2001 when Dick Laros, former Allentown taxidermist, ran it for many years. Prior to that, the show was originally held at Castle Gardens in Dorney Park.
It's the largest outdoor show in Pennsylvania, if not the entire East Coast.
The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show (often referred to as the Harrisburg show) is set to open Feb. 2-10 at the State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
Every year, Reed Expositions, the organizer of the show, attempts to bring in new exhibitors and seminar speakers to keep the long- running show fresh. And this year they've accomplished that by featuring over 200 exhibitors showcasing guns, archery, fishing, boating, ATVs and trucks.
If you're looking to expand your wintertime pursuits, Pennsylvania's state forest and park systems are extending an invitation to enjoy their public offerings.
There's sledding, tobogganing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, ATVing, camping and ice fishing, all enjoyable outdoor activities - provided we get some appreciable snow and colder temperatures.
If you're like me and still have an unfilled buck tag, we'll get another shot at one during the late deer season that runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 12. Of course you must use a bow or muzzleloader rifle in all parts of the state.
For those with unfilled antlerless tags, those may be used in the specific WMUs they were purchased for or, an antlerless deer may be taken anywhere with the general hunting license but that ends the deer hunting season for those who do.
After Monday's general deer season opener when 750,000 orange clad hunters took to Penn's Woods, there will have been some successful hunters and not so successful ones. If the former, hunter numbers will decline somewhat, however, so will buck numbers, which makes scoring on one a lot tougher.
Deer have a way to become scarce when hunters invade their home turf. They'll either go underground or move elsewhere when the going gets tough.
In this down economy there is one business that is booming.
In fact 2011 has gone down in the sales books as a record setter, with 2012 having the potential for another strong year if not better.
No it's not food, clothing and certainly not cars or homes. And it's not a product that all families want or need. Would you believe firearms?