Mouse Droppings - Not Area Problem
Inside the Outdoors, November
02, 2012

Much of my time, I spend time reading on what is going around Penn’s Wood throughout our wonderful state. One of the best publications I delve into is Outdoor News.

In a recent article Editor Jeff Mulhollem highlighted some disturbing news about mouse droppings and a virus one can catch if human beings inhale the dust that comes in contact with this fecal matter.

His timing in writing this story it is of most importance because hunters will be traveling to their cabins all over the state to place themselves in position to head to the woods where they believe the larger racked animals may be living. From this writer’s point of view, that’s what hunters aim for and not how large the animals may be.

Anyway, Mulhollem said in his article, “Take precautions against hantavirus at your camp,” dated October 26, that if unsuspecting individuals tamper with mouse droppings, they may take ill to the point of dying.

“This potentially fatal virus has sickened nine and killed three in California’s Yosemite National Park.”

To check on the prevalence of the disease in Pennsylvania, I contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission concerning this matter and talked to its biologist, Samaria Trusso, and she stated, “We have occasional cases in our state, but it is mainly a western disease. It is extremely rare to find it around here. Never the less, if one enters his cabin and notes an excessive amount of mouse droppings among the dust of the cabin, he or she should be cautious in the ridding the fecal matter from the premises.” She added, “If one wishes to learn more about this disease, there is a great deal of information on its website,” she said.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fishing is super at Twin Lakes. What surprises me is the few amount of anglers who are taking advantage of catching beautifully-sized trout, both rainbows and browns.

One lad told me he caught 245 such species in the lower lake this summer. The day I saw him two weeks ago, he had caught six in one day. My driver hauled in somewhere in the proximity of 15 one day on one lure – the Worden’s White Rooster Tail.

Nothing like a fresh fish dinner to top off a hard day’s work!

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I realize hunting season is just around the corner. But even with that said, there is not that much I can say at this point until something happens whereby I get the word from hunters.

So, as an alternate, I checked to see what is happening around Lake Erie using Poor Richard’s website to ascertain how steelhead are hitting and read varied reports. One fellow noted that there are more fish than last year. That ought to add adrenaline to anglers. And even though fishermen are sighting fish in pools with few of them running, there are a good many anglers on the shores trying to catch something to cart home. And a few are doing so using skyrim or pink egg sacks. When these reports were read, anglers were reporting that the stream was low, but rain was on the way. Possibly by now, prime conditions exist and there will be more of a positive outlook.

I sensed one negative feedback. Please, no boaters on the creeks. Anglers do not take favorably to having to work around these fishermen. Catching trophy fish seems to be a “shore” thing. That’s the way it is and most people want to keep it that way.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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