Outdoor Opportunities
Inside the Outdoors, January 6,

Whether you are taking to the woods or waters, time waits for no one, as opportunities are plentiful; you just have to be at the right place at the right time. And as simple as that may sound, it isn’t accomplished if one doesn’t get outside and take to great outdoors.

Now that Christmas is behind us, deer hunters that prefer using the arrows to kill deer, for example, have up to January 28 to harvest game. So, that gives hunters a chance to get their late season game.

In Wildlife Management Units (WMU), 2B, 5C and 5D, one can get their deer using flintlock rifles. Cut off date is Jan. 28. Also, last day to hunt deer with that same date is for Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.

Other game one can hunt after Christmas are Ruffed Grouse (end date indicated in the enclosures – Jan 21), squirrel, rabbit and pheasant (Feb. 28).

Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bobcats striped skunks, opossums and weasels can be hunted any hour, any day or night, except during restricted periods as noted in the Pennsylvania Hunting and Tapping Digest.

One can trap for some animals that are listed below:

Foxes, raccoons, striped skunks, opossums, weasels and coyotes can be taken up to Feb. 19.

Minks, muskrats, and bobcats may be trapped until Jan. 8. The latter may be trapped in WMU’s 1 B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4D, and 4E.

As for getting out to the streams and lakes, consider the fact that they can be fished for by standing at the water’s edge. If there isn’t any ice on the surface of the water, then why not try a fly or spinner to entice the underwater residents.

This is a good time to get out to my favorite lake, Lower Twin Lakes, and try for some of those big trout that may be looking for a Christmas after-dinner snack.

Jigs suspended below a bobber or spinners of all sorts will be the ticket on the lakes. Worden’s Roostertail, Joe’s Flies, and Leland Crappie Magnets are three of the popular lures that will have been proven to get trout every cast.

Maybe you got a fly rod and reel for Christmas equipped with line and tippet. You have until Feb. 28 to pull a lunker out of the Loyalhanna Creek using a San Juan worm, woolybuggers or stonefly nymphs to attract their attention.

If one is fishing lakes, know where the channels run. In streams, try along the eddies.

I heard tell from one waterways conservation officer that there hasn’t been that many people fishing this lake, this may give one another reason to give it a go before the lake freezes over and it becomes a little more challenging. Since this winter is supposed to be very cold, outdoor opportunities as far as ice fishing goes just may be just what the doctor ordered, as the saying goes.

Presenting ones bait through the ice can be challenging. Many sportsmen use minnows, or Northland jigs tipped with waxworms or maggots. One angler suggested hooking a minnow by the tail and let it hang straight down near the bottom.

By the way, I was watching a television recently and a tip or two was given concerning keeping the ice from freezing up in the hole. Add salt to the water and the water contained will not freeze. It was emphasized, by no means us anti-freeze or solvents that aren’t environmentally friendly.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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