Coyotes and Foxes
Inside the Outdoors, September
7, 2012

I have been receiving numerous reports that people have either heard that coyotes and foxes are in the woods near their homes or that they have seen them roaming the roads at night.

One resident who lives near Twin Lakes told me she has seen foxes numerous times out there. I can attest to that in as much as I was being driven back from the lake when we had to slow down for one such animal, orange in color. At that time, they were not too plentiful, but now, it seems, they are not so rare anymore.

As for coyotes, their population is numerous and growing. The place where I heard had large population of coyotes was along the Conemaugh River, especially in the proximity of Conemaugh Lake. A fisherman had stated that he had seen them while making his way through the woods to find himself a good fishing hole. I recall seeing lots of deer there. Just the fact that lots of deer exist gives ample reason for the coyotes to live there.

It seems people are still clinging to the rumor that the Pennsylvania Game Commission brought them in to take out the so-called overpopulation of deer. Rumors are so destructive. Most the time, they put people in bad light. I’m afraid this is what happened here, too. The PGC was penalized for doing something that they didn’t do at all. Yet people do not let tales like this die. Get over it. It’s not true!

These animals came to our part of the country via the ridges. There are 100’s of miles from which they came. With so much area to explore, it only makes sense that they would go where food is the greatest and in this case, the Laurel Mountains.

Hunting seasons for both animals begin Oct. 20 and last to Feb. 16.

Here is one interesting fact. According to the Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest of July 2012 to June of 2013, there no closed season for coyotes.

There are been quite a bit of controversy in the news concerning Sunday hunting. To my knowledge, I was under the impression that no hunting was allowed on the Sabbath. Now it’s in print, “Both coyotes and foxes can be hunted on Sundays not to mention crows,” Tom Fazi stated, information and education supervisor for the PGC.

Since I’m on the subject of the PGC, each year the Commission creates updates that it wants to bring to the attention of hunters before taking the field. It is evident that it is trying to accommodate hunters’ wishes by improving the ways and means of the operation.

Following are one of the many changes that were made:

To make the agency’s license sales system more customer friendly, the Pennsylvania automated Licensing System (PALS) has been put into use. “The new licenses are printed on sturdy, weather-resistant yellow material. The harvest tags have perforated holes in them to make it easier to attach the tag to the animal. Additionally, all personal information will be printed on the tags, so all a hunter will need to do is enter the time, date and place of the harvest.”

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Congratulations go out to two Latrobe residents who last week caught bass that topped anything other anglers may have hooked that I heard about this summer in and about Latrobe.

Thirteen year-old John Maher tagged a six-pound largemouth bass at Keystone State Park using an antique lure resembling a salamander. It had a partially wooden body. He told me, every time he threw it out, he got a hit on this lure. John said he would like to find more of these lures as a backup. Wouldn’t we all. He said the lure was made 20 years ago, and since, was discontinued. Isn’t that the way it goes when a great lure is discovered? Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Maher, he plans to have the fish mounted. Holding the fish up, it extended from John’s head to the bottom of the lad’s shorts. John could easily stick his fist in its mouth. I never saw such a big fish caught around here. It was huge, to say the least. By the way, he caught it in the small lake that proceeds the larger one. The fish was caught on the 28th of August.

Matt Demine decided to get a boat. It worked out to his favor. Jigging a Culprit worm on the bottom of the lake out beyond the front of the swimming area, he also pulled up a large largemouth. The Irving Street resident had smiles on his face from ear to ear as he displayed his 31-inch catch of the day. He decided to return to its waters. “I just enjoyed catching it,” he said.

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I received an email from a local gentleman who is blessed to be fishing in Colorado. He told me he has to walk three miles to get to a stream, but is worth it because the fishing is superb. However, it is his belief that we in Pennsylvania should never keep any of the fish in our vicinity particularly the Loyalhanna Creek because of mercury contamination.

I spoke to Rick Larson, biologist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and he stated, “There is no concern to be worried about mercury in the fish from the Loyalhanna.” He stated that the streams of interest are located in the Digest that one gets when buying his license.

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I was just contacted by a grandmother who stated that her grandson has really gotten into fishing. He even watches YouTubes on the subject. Recently, the 6 year-old had to go to school. His comment? “Grandma, I don’t like going to school. It’s cutting into my fishing time!”


- Paul J. Volkmann
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