Spring Gobbler Tag
Inside the Outdoors, February 25
, 2011

The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently announced that hunters can purchase special spring gobbler tags now until the spring gobbler season begins on April 30. This can be done at any issuing agent or through the agency’s website.

According to Carl G. Roe, Commission executive director, “Those who plan to purchase the spring gobbler tag should expect to wait seven to 10 days for shipping, depending of the volume of other online purchases.”

All general hunting license holders are able to take one spring gobbler as part of their general hunting privileges; the second spring gobbler tag license affords those hunters interested in the additional opportunity to take a second spring gobbler.

Hunters may only purchase one second spring gobbler license during a license year, as the season limit remains two spring gobblers, and the daily harvest is on bird per day.

Fees set by state law for the special license are $21.70 for residents and $41.70 for nonresidents. For online orders, there are additional shipping and handling costs.

The 2011 spring gobbler season is set to run from April 30 to May 31.

On another note, I had the pleasure of talking to T. J. Stallings recently. He is the product development manager for TTI Blakemore Fishing Group. I contacted him because I wanted to learn more about two new products that his company produced just recently. One of these attracted my attention almost immediately. It is call “Natural Science RR Trout/Panfish Series” lure.

I told Stallings that I was particularly interested in this product, because I was calling from trout country. He told me that he had invented this lure, and that the company for which he worked manufactured 10,000 of these and that they sold out in no time flat. He was a bit dumbfounded about the whole thing, but never the less pleased that his invention was such a hit.

“I grew up in the tackle business,” he said, “tying bluegill jigs. It only too me 40 years to figure out that trout and bluegill eat the same thing, bugs!”

Being a former retailer, I was aware that sometimes when new products are shown in magazines, for example, sometimes it takes a year before they hit the market. But not this product. It went out immediately and was swallowed up by the public in no time at all.

I asked Stallings if his product could be found in all retail outlets, to which he replied, “No, but I know Dick’s Sporting Goods carries them.”

So, let me tell you about one of the two products we talked about.

The first, the Natural Science RR Trout/Panfish Series lure utilizes the Natural Science Road Runner head which was introduced last season. What the company did was add tiny tubes that are frayed at the ends. They come in custom colors including Le Skunk, Yellow Coach Dog, Lemon-Chartreuse Glow, Lemon Pearl Glow, Lemon-Lime Glow, Grasshopper, grog, Blood-Worm, Copper Corn, Orange Glow Pink Glow and May Fly.

They are sized 1/32, 1/16 and 1/8th ounces. The cost, $3.00 each.

Stallings asked me if we had any bodies of water containing smallmouth bass. When I told him we have a creek running right through town loaded with them, he then proceeded to tell me about the company’s new product, Marabou Pro 2.0.

This is an improvement of the Marabou Road Runner.

“ I added a brass, willow blade for deeper or swifter waters,” he said. The marabou on the lure was doubled with a touch of Crystalline flash, and shad inspired colors and prism eyes for a more minnow-like appearance. We then added a larger hook to ensure better hook-ups,” he said.

The lure comes in 1/16th or 1/8th ounce sizes and costs $3.00 each. The one-quarter ounce size retails for $3.50. The Marabou Pro 2.0 comes in 14 colors including the Electric Chicken, Ray Jay and the Blink and Herring.

Finally, if you still intend to attend the Forbes Trail Chapter Trout Unlimited’s 38th Banquet and Raffle, March 5, I suggest you hightail your way over to the three retailers that are selling tickets. They are: The Angler’s Room, Rt. 217, one mile up from Kingston Dam, Ligonier Outfitters, 127 W. Main St, and Loyalhanna Fishing Post, Rt. 30, both in Ligonier. The last day to purchase tickets is Feb. 28. All proceeds go toward conservation, restoration of resources and education of youth. This Westmoreland County organization depends on public contributors. Everyone’s help is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to seeing you there.

- Paul J. Volkmann
You can contact me by email