Tree Stand Danger
Inside the Outdoors, November 18,
2016

Before getting to my main story of today I want to bring to light some newsworthy items that might be of interest to readers.

The first of these is the Donegal Lake project.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has shocked the remainder of the fish and transported them to Acme Dam, Mammoth Lake, Bridgeport Reservoir in Westmoreland County plus Green Lick Reservoir in Fayette County.

According to Jason Detar, Chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management, “We collected as many fish as we could and moved them to the other lakes, but it was impossible to capture all of them,” he said. “Fish die during any drawdown and salvage effort. Some hide around structure where we simply can’t reach them, and others become buried in the mud when they are slow to exit the lake with the remaining water. Anglers and the general public should expect to see this.”

The lake itself was closed immediately after the salvage to fishing; however, the property around the lake will remain open to recreational use, such as walking and running.

The PFBC stated, “The estimated $5 million construction project is expected to start in late spring or early summer 2017 and last through 2018. Stocked trout should also return to Donegal Lake in 2019.”

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I was visiting a relative of my wife’s recently when I looked out onto his back yard and spotted an animal I had never seen before. It turned out to be a black squirrel.
The owner stated that there were many of these in her locale. So, I decided to tap the Internet and see what it could fill me in with some information on these rare sights.

According to the Maine Department Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Regional Biologist Keel Kemper, “They are still gray squirrels. They just have the gene that’s expressing itself. As they mate, the gene spreads around.”

As stated from weather.com/news/news/black-squirrels-showing-up-in-more-places, “John Koprowski, a professor at the University of Arizona who has studied squirrels (including the black colored ones) said they are most common in heavily forested areas. Houses, that were built in suburbs 50 to 60 years ago, may have mature trees growing around them resembling forests. These animals will congregate in these wooded areas.

“Black squirrels were not very common except in certain locations,” said Tim Payne, Department of natural Resources Southeast Regional Wildlife Supervisor. “Now as I travel about…I see them in scattered areas.”

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It is stated that ninety percent of hunters use treestands for hunting. It has also become common knowledge that one out of every three sportsmen or women suffer a treestand related injury in some point in their hunting career.

As a consequence, manufacturers have been working to promote and improve hunting safety through designs and the inclusion of a full-body harness with every TMA-certified treestand sold.

Part of the mission is to instruct hunters on the proper use of treestands, while promoting he use of a fall arrest system to prevent serious injuries in the event of a fall. However, hunters should be aware that if a fall should occur, hunters are in serious danger if they hang suspended from their harness for even a short period of time. Ten percent wear these harnesses suffered serious after effects because they were not able to self-rescue.

Climbing trees has become safer but only if one wears a safety harness and knows how to reach the ground if a fall should occur.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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