Porcupine Season Proposed
Inside the Outdoors, September 09
, 2011

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave a preliminary approval to lift a protection on porcupines. That will go into effect during the hunting season for 2011-12. These animals could be taken during the two-week firearms deer season as well as from July 1 to June 30.

Surprisingly enough, one wouldn’t think that the meat of this animal is good eating. But according to the website recipe4all.com, porcupine meat is mighty good eating in a stew.

Any hunter bearing the general hunting license can now consider harvesting this animal.

After reading recently that the heat of the summer has affected the amount of fish caught, that may be true for some, but not all. There are four residents of Latrobe whom have proven that despite the warm temperature, fish are biting particularly in the Loyalhanna Creek.

As I was fishing with Mark Ludwig at one of my favorite holes, who chanced around the corner but Stan Akins. After we chatted a bit, Stan went into action. It became more fun to watch him fish than it was to do some angling ourselves. Practically every cast produced fish, most of them fairly nice-sized crappies. Every once in a while he would catch rock bass. It’s always great to watch someone who has the finesse and just the right touch to get the job done.

Several days later, Steve Gordon called me to say that he had a number of days off and invited me out for an evening of fishing. “Take me down where you said a big one got away” were his words. That sounds like a fish story, but I actually did have a huge fish snap my line. After describing it to him, he told me my mystery fish was probably a sucker.

Anyway, Steve showed me up, as the saying goes, and caught any number of crappie, rock bass, and smallmouth bass with a technique that he had learned from a fellow angler.

Both Stan and Steve used plastic bait imitations.

“It’s all in the action of your wrist,” he said, as he demonstrated how to make my lure shoot across the water twice as far. That will have to be something I’ll have to work on, because, for me, it will take some doing. But, its not without reach. It’s great to be taught even at my old age.

By the way, I learned my lesson this summer while enjoying my past-time sport. Don’t wear shorts while fishing at Keystone State Park, particularly along the water’s edge. There is such a plant as the Stinging Nettle Plant that when one’s person brushes against it, a rash will develop causing swellings in the skin eventually developing into reddish blisters of various sizes. The rash may last for as little as 24 hours or for more than a month. There are various creams one can get to help heal this problem, or one may wish to seek the help from a physician or dermatologist.

Next time, and from now on, this old man will be wearing long pants!

Hate to reveal this news, but the leaves are beginning to turn. That may be great for fall lovers, but that also is reminder that cooler temperatures are on the way, and for some of us, that’s depressing.

Last week, I received a news release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission stating youth will now have the opportunity to go afield and harvest deer at the ages of under 12 in what is referred to the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

The person serving as a mentor must be a licensed adult, 21 years of age or older, who will be able to show these kids the ropes of not only how to hunt but handle sporting arms as well.

“The MYHP has been expanded for 2011-12 to include antlerless deer hunting thanks to a recent change in law and regulations,” said PGC Executive Director Carl G. Roe. Mentored youth can also participate during any established season for groundhogs, squirrels, spring gobblers and coyotes.

And top off this column for the week, let me relate a story that’s one for my next book if I should chose to write another.

A friend and I were returning from a fishing trip on the Loyalhanna, when he noticed a great blue heron flying some 30 feet above us. Thinking fast, I let out a sound that I hoped was similar to the sound these birds make. Sure enough, no sooner did I let out my “awe” rendition did the bird pick up on my communication and quickly respond with something similar. Now tell me if I’m not in tune with nature!


- Paul J. Volkmann
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