There will be lots of clucks and gobbles emanating from Penn’s Woods on Saturday, April 27, when the spring turkey season opens statewide.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), there is a turkey population of about 215,000-225,000 turkeys in the state. Last year, an estimated 174,500 hunters pursued them and took 40,303 of them. This was up from 38,101 in 2017. The PGC claims it set the highest hunter success rate in years. And this year’s forecast looks promising, despite a low fall turkey harvest and a rainy spring season in 2018.
Trout fishing is tops on the local fishing menu, but following a close second and third are shad and stripers.
Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown reports good trout action in all area streams thanks to recent stockings. At Ontelaunee Reservoir in upper Berks County, the crappie action died down and the overall bite is slow. At Blue Marsh Lake, anglers are doing really good on catch-and-release bass using large shiners. Crappie guys are also doing well there and picking up quite a few. Chris believes more warm weather is needed for them to turn on.
Pennsylvania hunters posted their highest overall deer harvest in 14 years when they took 374,690 deer during the state’s 2018-19 hunting seasons. But the buck harvest dropped.
The 2018-19 deer harvest topped the previous year’s harvest of 367,159 by about 10-percent. The last time the total deer harvest exceeded this season’s total was in 2004-05.
Saturday’s regional trout season opener in the southeast saw unusually warm temperatures, no rain and normal water levels. Three factors that have deterred several past trout openers.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commissions fleet of white stocking trucks are on the roll, stocking trout for the March 23 Youth Fishing Day and regional trout opener on March 30 in 18 southeast region waters.
If you’d like to introduce your youngster to the sport of fishing, the Youth Fishing Day is an opportune time for them to experience catching their first trout. It’s also an opportune time since there’s no fishing pressure from adults, and there will be loads of freshly stocked trout to be caught.
If you have bird houses or nesting boxes at your residence, now’s a good time to check them so see if they need repair and to clean them out before spring arrives. Incoming birds won’t nest on old nest material that may have mites, bugs or even mice in them.
If you don’t have any boxes but would like to enjoy seeing the spring arrivals such as colorful bluebirds, it would be a great time to either buy or build a box/house or two.
A huge opportunity is knocking for Pennsylvania’s student archers, say the folks from the National Archery in Schools Program.
The 2019 NASP state tournament is set to be held Friday, March 8 in State College. It’s shaping up to be the biggest student archery tournament ever in Pennsylvania, according to NASP.
Individuals and teams have all shot a qualifying score at one of the many state qualifying matches being held over the last few months. The top-scoring teams and individuals have earned an invite to the state championships.
Pennsylvania’s final bear harvest figures are in and the take was down for the 2018 seasons. This pales in comparison to the state’s top harvest of 4,350 recorded for the 2011 season.
The 2018 season breakdown shows 2,017 were shot during the general firearms season; 699 in the extended season; and 424 during the archery season and 12 in the early season.
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.