Pennsylvania's black bear bowhunting season got underway Monday, Nov. 17. That season runs until this Friday, Nov. 21. Then on Saturday, Nov. 22, the general four-day firearms season kicks off and runs from Monday, Nov. 24 to Wednesday, Nov. 26.
It's become common knowledge among big game hunters that Pennsylvania has a large population of approximately 8,000 bears statewide. Added to that, the bears are big.
In 2013, there were 3,510 bears taken, which, says the PGC, was the fifth-largest harvest in state history.
Gavin D. Schmidt, 19, of New Tripoli, took second place at the International Bowhunters Organization (IBO)
World Championship held August 7-10 in Elliottville, NY.
Schmidt graduated in June from Northwestern High School and began shooting a stick box at the age of 5. "I continued to shoot from that time on until now," said Schmidt in a phone interview.
IBO is an international bowhunting organization that's dedicated to promoting, encouraging and fostering the sport of bowhunting. It matches archers against 3D targets that can vary in distance from 0-50 yards.
The bowhunting season is heating up with signs that the rut is under way.
This past week while driving on Mauch Chunk Road about a quarter mile south of Grumpy's Restaurant, two sizable antlerless deer ran out from the cornfield (belonging to Geo Chemicals) and across the road into the harvested soybean on the east side of the road. As I passed them standing in the soybean field, I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw them cross back into the corn from where they came. And this was at 10 a.m., so they most likely were being chased by a buck.
This Saturday (Oct. 25) marks the opening season for pheasants and cottontail rabbits. Every year at this time upland hunters face the same problem as to where to hunt in Lehigh County. The best advice is to head west into Berks County. Here's why:
The PGC will release 270 pheasants during the week of Oct. 22-24; another 270 during the week of Oct. 29-31; 180 for the week of Nov. 5-7; 80 for Nov. 12-14; and 90 for Nov. 19-21 for a total of 1,110 birds. And a good majority of these birds will go to SGL No. 205, which means there will be lots of hunting pressure there.
As the weather gets colder, kayakers and canoers should keep in mind that cold water can be unforgiving in the fall. For paddlers with just a few inches of freeboard to spare, getting wet this time of year can have serious consequences, says BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety. So they offer these seven tips for fall paddlecraft safety.