Archery Season Resumes
Inside the Outdoors, December
21, 2012

Last week, I spent a major part of my column talking about the upcoming muzzleloader season that begins Monday along with archery season, beginning a day after Christmas, Dec. 26 and lasting until January 12, 2012.

Before I want to talk about archery season, I wish to bring to the public’s attention that last week a very good friend who shared his muzzleloader experiences regularly with me for this column, John Stewart, passed away, and will indeed be missed.

He often hunted with his dog, Lily. The two were inseparable. My condolences go out to his family and friends who knew him well and can identify with the previous wording that he loved to hunt and even looked forward to the upcoming season of which he never participated. “We’re going to miss you, John!”

As mentioned before, archery season resumes on Dec. 26 as well. As one of my favorite hunters recently told me in reference to using a bow and arrow, “Go out and get ‘em, aim straight and shoot.” Truer words could never have been spoken.

I’ve also mentioned how important it is to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to report one’s kill.

According to Executive Director Carl G. Roe, “Every time a hunter or trapper reports his or her harvest to the PGC, wildlife management in the Commonwealth gets better. One has two options to report his harvest: either using the agency’s new Interactive Voce Response harvest reporting telephone system, or by filling out an online harvest report in the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS). Regardless of which way one chooses to report, one can expect the process to be easy to follow and complete.”

He mentions that one should have his customer identification number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with one before one engages either system. “One may report multiple harvests in one call or website visit,” he said.

It was astonishing to learn that last year alone, only 40 % of hunters took time to report their harvest. May local hunters please take the time and do their part to aid in deer management. Working together for the good of all should be the hunter’s motto.

For more information, one may call 1-855-724-8681.

There seems to be a growing need of food throughout southwestern Pennsylvania than ever before. This is why the program, “Sharing the Harvest” is so important. On the average, one can get 40 pounds of meat from one deer. Multiply that times 50 animals, and the food banks will receive 2000 pounds of meat, a nice contribution that will aid many local needy families. That would be welcoming for the Westmoreland Food Bank.

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I happened to be confronted by a gentleman while grocery shopping recently who expressed the need to join an organization that has it goals centered around conservation. I was quick to suggest Forbes Trail Chapter Trout Unlimited. Having been a member for well over 25 years, I encouraged him to come to our meeting Dec. 19 at the Winnie Palmer Nature Center. The programs begins promptly at 7 p.m. The topic this month will be planning concerning the preparation of the 40th Anniversary Annual Banquet. Its only fundraising event is held yearly to collect money to restore resources, aid in conservation and educate women and youth, in particular.

According to Monty Murty, president, “TU chapters exist to execute the TU coldwater conservation mission. Many chapters are doing a great job. Unfortunately, too many chapters still are just a bunch of grandfather-age guys teaching fly tying and casting, and emphasizing fixing up a stream and stocking the heck out of it.” He said, “Chapters should be reminded to emphasize:

  • TU is America’s largest coldwater conservation organization, not a fishing club.
  • PA has a history of mistreating its environment, particularly forests and streams.
  • Mother Nature grows more, bigger trout than hatcheries if we conserve Her trout streams.
  • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission does not stock the healthiest trout streams, it stocks the
  • sickest.
  • Healthy trout streams are determined by quantity and quality of bugs, trout food present.
  • Fly fishing is the art of using artificial bugs, trout food, to catch trout.
  • That’s the connection between coldwater conservation and trout fishing.”

Those wanting to know more about FTTU, should log onto its website: www.forbestrailtu.org.

May each of you have a very merry Christmas and healthy and prosperous New Year.


- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.