Bear Sighted In Laughlintown
Inside the Outdoors, October 28
, 2011

A friend, Ron Pauza, stopped me in Legion Keener Park, to tell me that while admiring the scenery in Laughlintown, a fairly large black bear approached him within 30 yards until realizing he was standing there. It then caught the whiff of the young man and hightailed off in an opposite direction.

He and his brother, Albert, had been squirrel hunting earlier in the day.

“This is the first time a bear has come up to me this close,” said the Latrobe resident. “I was a bit amazed to see it. I just stood still until it wandered off.”

I forgot to ask him if his hunting was productive. We just talked about the “bear” facts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted on the Internet or written in the newspaper that the lakes and the creeks were stocked in the area, and you’d think every Tom, Dick and Harry, not to mention their wives and children, would be out manning a fishing pole trying for their fall trout, but it just “ain’t” so. That just simply is a mind-blower.

I happened to be talking to a gent about that fact, and he believes we have now entered into a new state of affairs due to the economy. “It has people working longer hours and sometimes two jobs,” stated Wal-Mart employee Steve Gordon. “It just isn’t like it used to be.”

I raised the question following a fishing trip we had made to Lower Twin Lakes. We originally were going to fish for big rock bass on the Loyalhanna Creek, but due to high water, we had to change plans. Thus, we ended up fishing on one of the best lakes for evening angling. Just at dusk, when the sun was setting, angling was very productive.

The weather temperatures were perfect, the shadows and highlights of distant waters and the fact that the fish were hitting all made for a fun-filled evening. Crappie, largemouth bass and one trout were tagged within a couple of hours.

I was very blessed to get a 14-inch crappie using a live minnow on a small, white jighead. I “bobbered” my line so when I made my retrieve, it would keep the minnow toward the top of the surface. Since the fish were hitting our bait on top, I thought I’d have a better chance on nabbing something. But I never expected a fish that big. I know all the area lakes have big everything in them, I just have not been blessed enough to catch them.

The only trout caught that evening was hauled in by yours truly on a Pcola’s Niti-1, silver in color. In case you are wondering, I returned the crappie to the waters to be caught by another sportsman sometime in the future. The trout, a 13-incher, ended up in the frying pan doused with lots of butter. It just melted in my mouth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In receiving the announcement that we have entered into grouse season (Oct. 15), I couldn’t help but think when I was lost atop a mountain in Potter County and was somewhat concerned just how to find my way back to where I was staying. It was nice to walk on top because I could overlook the hills and valleys below and try to get my bearings.

While trying to figure out just where I was, I was startled beyond wit’s end when a grouse took flight from behind a stump. It was beautiful to see the bird take flight, however, I only wish it hadn’t happened the way it did.

With that said, the Pennsylvania Game Commission expects this first of two seasons, this one ending Nov. 26, to be slightly below average this year. “Cool wet springtime conditions tend to decrease early brood survival for grouse, while hot dry summer conditions are generally beneficial,” said Lisa William Pennsylvania Game Commission’s grouse and woodcock biologist. She went on to say that it is hard to predict how this year’s population will turn out.

The second season resumes Dec. 26 to Jan. 28.

I have just one comment to add. If you are one of those hunters out in woods gunning for one of these bird, take note, one may just jump out from behind a log or brush cover and

scare the living daylights out of you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, on the way to choir practice last week, I noticed two doves sitting on a power line about one yard apart if not more. What came to my mind was, “These creatures must have been 'married' a number of years. Otherwise, they would be sitting a foot apart as lovebirds!" Have a good week. Looking forward to sharing the outdoors next week.


- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

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