Licenses Available June 11
Inside the Outdoors, June 8
, 2012

The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently announced that the hunting/furtaker licenses will go on sale beginning June 11. It is hard to imagine that it is that time of the year already, as it seems trout season just began. On the other hand, it gives the sportsman something of which to look forward if and when he decides he is tired of catching fish and wants to try to bag something out of the waters of the Commonwealth.

Licenses will be available through the Game Commission’s Pennsylvania Automated License System for the 2012-13 seasons over-the-counter at all Game Commission offices and the Harrisburg headquarters, as well as more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents.

At this time, the Game Commission said, all lifetime hunter and furtaker license holders as well as senior combination holders must renew their licenses. Keep in mind, in as much as senior licenses need not pay a license or transactions fee, they must obtain the current year’s license and harvest tags.

Normally, it is stated that for any additional information on this subject, one should make reference to the Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest issued at the time when licenses are purchased. However, it will not be published until June 18. Those making purchases will have to return to the outlet to pick up these booklets after they are received by agents.

Keep in mind, there are a number of deadlines that have to be met when purchasing permits. Each animal has a specific date cutoff time. Make note of these time periods.

Hunters must use pink envelopes to mail antlerless deer license applications to the county’s treasurer’s office of their choice to process them. In addition, hunters will have the option of listing their first, second, and third WMU preferences for does licenses on their applications.

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It’s hard to believe, but next week we start largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass season. Talk about a fish that is prolific to our area. Just the Loyalhanna Creek alone yields more smallmouth bass that largemouth. I’m not saying there aren’t any largemouth, for that would be farthest from the truth, but the ratio of small to largemouth are about 10 to one 1 or something like that, if that is any indication to what I am talking about.

All bass have to be 12 inches to be harvested unless they are part of the Big Bass Program whereby the harvest size is 15 inches.

Rather than talking on how to catch bass, etc., I thought it may be of interest talk a little bit about the fish itself so as to educate you about this bass’ family, etc., as told by John Bailey in his book, Ultimate Freshwater Fishing, published by DK Publishing.

He begins, “Anglers the world over hunt fish that they know as bass, although these fish are different on every continent. North America has the back bass group, which belongs to the sunfish family, and several member of the “true bass family.”

I don’t know about you, but I never considered these two types of bass to be sunfish related.

Nevertheless, any place I have ever fished for bass, there seems to be a population of “sunnies.” Bass love cover whether it is structure in and under the water or floating on top of the water. Lily pads are a good example. Other places are pools and ponds, dead-end channels, shallow bays, areas of cattails and brushwood. Also around root systems is a favorite place bass might hang out.

As always – and this is a tip for all anglers – try not to be seen – I don’t care what fish you are trying to hook. Once they catch sight of you, you chances are slim of catch that fish.

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A couple little human interest stories I heard recently. The first centers around a man who took his son fishing a weekend or two ago. However, he didn’t have a rod or hook. So he tied a line to a stick, fastened a safety pin to the line, and presto, had what he needed. And yes, folks, he did catch fish – small ones, but fish, nevertheless.

Finally, this involves a fellow who was fishing at St. Vincent Lake. He was standing looking out at the lake when all of sudden he noted with his peripheral vision that a small skunk made its appearance somewhere in the proximity of where he was located. Startled, he threw down his pole and jumped into the lake in effort to get away from it. What he didn’t know is that baby skunks, according to several people I’ve talk to, haven’t developed enough to spray, so his mad dash for the drink was all in vain.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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