If you’re an avid bird watcher (birder), have you noticed an unusually large number of turkey vultures soaring local skies?
And not just in rural areas, but in the city of Allentown as well.
Often referred to as buzzards, or chicken hawks, there are seven species of vultures in North America, but Pennsylvania has but two; the black vulture and more common turkey vulture.
As Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the pleasure boating season, power boat owners in particular should be aware of a new survey done by Boating Industry magazine.
It says that those in the boating industry that manufacture, sell, repair and store recreational vessels are seeing a growing number of problems caused by ethanol-related fuels. Said one boat dealer in the survey, “Ethanol fuels are great for our service department but bad for our customers!”
Steelstacks in Bethlehem is again hosting their fourth Step Outdoors Lehigh Valley program that is two-days of presentations, hands-on activities, educational programs for the entire family. It’s an effort to promote what the great outdoors has to offer. The program is set for June 2-3 at Steelstacks.
If you’re hankering to fish for some hard fighting and tasty striped bass, head over to New Jersey.
With the weather finally warming up to normal temperatures for this time of year, folks will be out and about after suffering from cabin fever.
While the much needed warming trend is upon us, so are ticks. Both wood ticks and deer ticks, the latter being more difficult to spot because of their tiny size. Experts are expecting a potential tick explosion with the warm weather and the bloodthirsty critters will be in abundance this summer. The exports say ticks will be looking for a host that walks by so they can latch themselves onto them and your pets.
At their recent meeting, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to the 2018-19 hunting/trapping seasons, and a lot more.
The first bit of news is that the agency increased the antlerless deer allocation from 804,000 licenses last season, to 838,000 for the upcoming seasons.
Locally, Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 5C remained the same at 70,000. Other local WMUs include: 5B, 58,000 (57,000); 5D, 28,000 (30,000).
Weather permitting, this weekend brings a smorgasbord of hunting and angling opportunities.
Spring gobbler hunting season opens April 28 in Pennsylvania and at the same time, shad have started their spawning run up the Delaware River. And right behind them, striped bass are entering the lower Delaware River and all along the New Jersey shore during their spring spawn run.
For properly licensed junior hunters, Saturday, April 21 marks the annual youth spring turkey hunt in Pennsylvania. It’s a special opportunity for youth to get a shot at a gobbler before the regular statewide season opens April 28.
And when junior and adult hunters go afield for the spring gobbler season that ends May 31, the prospects of connecting with a long-beard are good according to Mary Jo Casalena, PGC wild turkey biologist.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released the final tally for the 2017 bear harvest, showing it was the ninth-best-of-all-time bear take. And this, despite having one of the worst opening days due to rain and in some areas sleet and fog which drove hunters out of the woods and into their vehicles.
According to the PGC, hunters took 3,438 bears in the 2017 seasons. Within that, 493 were in the archery season and 1,083 during the extended season. All setting records for those seasons. The all-time bear harvest of 4,350 bears occurred in 2011 says the PGC.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released the 2017-18 deer harvest report and it shows the buck harvest has increased 10 percent. And that’s not all. Their report also shows the overall deer harvest was up 10 percent.
During the past deer hunting seasons, hunters took an estimated 367,159 deer, which surpassed the overall deer harvest of 333,254 during the 2016-17 seasons. The PGC points out that over the 23 Wildlife Management Units, the deer harvest decreased in only three units.