Mother Nature has not been kind to ice fishermen this season. With up and down temperatures and weekly rain, ice thickness is dangerously thin in certain local waters.
According to local bait and tackle shops, the best bet is to head north to the Poconos.
If you’re a bird watcher and maintain feeders at your residence, it’s likely your major complaint are feeder robbers.
Yes, those gray, furry, bushy-tailed thieves can, in jiffy, wipe out your feeders stocked with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, corn or bird seed. But oftentimes squirrels can provide hilarious moments as they attempt to figure out how to rob so-called squirrel-proof feeders, and when they perform other antics. And sometimes they even lose their grip and fall.
When hard-crusted snow covers the ground, wildlife have a tough time finding food. Deer in particular have trouble finding suitable forage. As such, many well-meaning folks put out bagged corn or grain. While commendable as it appears, their graciousness is only harming the species.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, artificially feeding deer in the winter is the best way to kill a large number of deer in a small area in a short time. The problem, says the PGC, is that a deer’s diet cannot be rapidly changed in winter without damage to its digestive system.
It’s the largest consumer outdoor show in the country. And it gets underway Saturday, Feb. 2 and runs until Feb. 10 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. To many sportsmen in the Lehigh Valley, this show is commonly known as the Harrisburg Show, despite it’s new name of The Great American Outdoor Show.
Hosted by the NRA and Ram trucks, this year’s super show will feature over 200 seminars, 1,100 exhibits, over 400 hunting/fishing outfitters from around the world, equipment dealers including the top firearms manufacturers, ATVs, SUVs, trucks and boats.
With the major portion of the deer hunting seasons about over, our annual deer-take survey from local deer processors and a taxidermy shop shows a healthy population of 8-point bucks, a favorable accomplishment since antler restrictions went into effect in Pennsylvania.
Within an hours drive of the Lehigh Valley, some of the best smallmouth bass fishing can be had in the Susquehanna River that runs past Harrisburg. And in a pair of recent reports, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) biologists concluded that the Susquehanna River is home to a healthy, abundant population of smallmouth bass and channel catfish.
For those of you who struck out on getting a buck or doe over the past archery, muzzleloader and rifle deer seasons, you get another chance when the season reopens for archery and flintlock muzzleloader statewide on the traditional post Christmas seasons. Those seasons run Dec. 26-Jan. 12. If you hunt in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, that season runs from Dec. 26-Jan. 26, 2019.
The extended firearms season also kicks off Dec. 26 and runs until Jan. 26, 2019, but only for antlerless deer and in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
With spring fishing season upcoming, anglers may be interested in some statistics gathered by AnglerSurvey.com who do bimonthly and yearly surveys of anglers and hunters and their various mediums. The surveys also help equipment manufacturers tailor and market their products to sportsmen’s trends and needs. his report presents the results of the bibimonthlyglerSurvey.com© online consumer panel survey. The panel, composed of anglers across the U.S. who volunteer to participate, tracks angler participation and expenditures.
Driving along Mauch Chunk Road last week, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the harvested corn and soybean fields on both sides of the road had small ponds of skim ice on them from the below freezing temperatures we had. That brought to mind that the ice fishing season is forthcoming.
If you’re an avid bird watcher, you may enjoy participating in this year’s, Dec. 14-Jan. 5 Christmas Bird Count. If so, register now.