Not All Feeding Prohibited
Inside the Outdoors, January 22,
2016

Before I get into the subject of the day, I want to make sure those who contacted me concerning a certain subject now have the answers they were seeking.

A number of people have approached me concerning the fact that there are no sightings of geese anymore. It’s kind of ironic when you think of it. First, people complain of how much these fowl are pests, and once gone and out of sight, they want them back.

I contacted Tom Fazi, wildlife conservation officer supervisor of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), to see what he had to say concerning this matter, and he stated with a laugh, “I don’t know. They are probably in another water basin somewhere.”

I mentioned the harvesting of these birds that occurred locally here in the fall and he stated, “Even with that, there are still lots of geese around. They just aren’t in your area.”

I hope that answers the question for the inquisitive.

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For years now, feeding wildlife has been an issue. Every winter, we writers get news releases from the PGC stating, “Don’t Feed the Wildlife.” But that is a broad category, and that could mean anything from mice to moose.

So, where does one draw the line?

In my conversation with Fazi recently, I asked that very question. He stipulated, “We don’t have anything against feeding smaller animals and birds, but what we do take exception to is putting food out for larger animals such as deer or bear. They will come from everywhere and group together and as a result be nuisances. In addition, they will become dependent on this food,” he said.

I added, “Then there is no problem with giving bread to the squirrels in the park, for example?” Then I answered the question for him to which he agreed. I stated, “You probably don’t want people to do this either because they would become dependent on these feedings and not seek out food that is natural from their own environment.”

One note to add concerning the feeding of squirrels in Legion Keener Park, Latrobe, is the fact that the fear factor in their animals, particularly the young animals, is tamed which sets them up as easy target for birds of prey, for example.

As for birds, selling birdseed has become a big business. Retailers including conservation and restoration organizations have generated annual income from the sale of tons of various types of seed annually. It has become a big business, to say the least. To give you an example, two local businesses, one in Latrobe and the other in Ligonier did very well in 2015 selling seed to the general public.

The Trading Post, Latrobe 30 Plaza, sold 69,240 pounds of Black Oil seed. That is over 17 tons of the product, a substantial quantity. The Loyalhanna Watershed Association (LWA), Ligonier, sold this food in various quantities of weighted bags from 10 all the way up to 50 pound bags. The most popular pounds of seed were purchased in 40-pound bags whereby customers bought 300 bringing the total to 12,000 pounds of birdseed alone. All in all, the LWA sold over 21,000 or five and one-quarter tons of this commodity.

Breaking it down, the organization sold Black Oil, Thistle, Safflower and custom-mixed seed. This shows these are products well in demand!

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Last week, I told of a new product Hard and Soft Fish has produced. That was one of two. I shall talk about the second today, as their products are always sought after and definitely trick trout into thinking they are real fish.

The new Acme Super Glow Little Cleo makes a great spoon even better. It is the perfect choice for fish want a ‘different look.’ The three sizes it comes in are one-third, two-fifths and three-quarter ounce sizes.

“Whether you are fishing deep, in stained water, or at night,” said Matt Bichanich, the National Sales Manager for Hard and Soft Fishing, “the new Little Cleo Super Glows are going to be hot.” He stated, “Forget about adding tape to spoons or doctoring them up. They are great to go right out of the box in sizes that will catch anything that swims,” he stated.

According to Bichanich, “They are available in six fish-catching colors.”

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The coming of April means a lot to a cross-section of residents throughout the U.S. of A. To some, it reminds us of the famous April Fool’s Day, to others, the time when income tax is due, but to those associated with the LWA, they will be changing quarters from the present facility to their newly renovated farmhouse. It will definitely be a change for the better as employees are excited as to the move.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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