Ticked Off -- A Good Thing
Inside the Outdoors, May 4
, 2012

I just received word that because of the early warmer winter temperatures, insects are hatching early. As a result, “Experts are predicting a population boom of ticks this spring including the black legged or deer tick,” it was reported in The Trails, The Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited Newsletter, Spring 2012.

The publication stated, “It’s the deer tick that is the main carrier of the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. The two-year life cycle of the tick includes the larva, nymph and adult stages. With each stage, the tick needs to attach itself to a mammal host such as a mouse, deer or human for a blood meal.”

Since we had such a mild winter this past year “this allows more of the hungry tick nymphs to survive to spring, and it’s the nymph stage that is believed to be the main disease carrier,” it said.

After returning from the woods or even in the fields, take a shower upon returning, examining yourself for ticks. If one should be found, remove it carefully, gently “pulling it straight up with a pair of tweezers. The tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours to transmit the disease.”

Here is great information. “Preventive measures include spraying your clothes with insect repellent containing deet and tucking your pants down into your socks when walking through the brush. Fishermen are well protected wearing waders but use great caution when wet wading,” it was suggested.

This should not be taken lightly. I’ve already heard of seven cases in the last week.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Talked to the carpmaster recently. Up to this point, he went unnamed. But Latrobe’s Frank Miedel said recently that he didn’t mind his identity known especially after catching a 40-incher from St. Vincent Lake.

The senior citizen was able to lug that monster of a fish out of the waters and cast it up on the bank for his usual few minutes of admiration before tossing it back into the drink.

Last year, he tallied 95 fish of these species, which is a fantastic accomplishment when you think about it. Congratulations Frank!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spring gobbler season took flight April 28 and will run to May 31. Here again, the early warm temperatures had an effect on these birds. Even Carl G. Roe, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission felt that there would be a higher proportion of hens incubating nests. In addition, the males will be healthy and calling out for mates during this, the mating season.

Hunters who have purchased a second spring gobbler season license may harvest up to two bearded turkeys, one per day.

The state is known for its turkey friendly habitats and the “resiliency” of the state’s turkeys. Last year the gobbler harvest was the seventh highest preliminary harvest on record. According to the PGC, 2012 harvest is expected to be 15 to 25% lower than the previous three-year average.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I recently received notice form the PGC that the Allegheny Valley chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host a “Women in the Outdoors” event on June 2, 2012, at Bull Creek Rod and Gun Club in Tarentum. Classes being offered are archery, rifle, shotgun, women’s self defense and more. Pre-registration is required by going to www.womenintheoutdoors.org and then clicking on “PA WITO Event Manager Calendar” and then searching the calendar.

For more information, contact Leslie Smith at 484-634-0069 or emailing her at lsmith@nwtf.net.

I realize that may be a bit far away, but I have heard residents travel long distances for other accomplishments, so I decided to throw this one in. Who knows, maybe one of you women may just make the trip. If someone does, would you please say you saw the information in my column? I’d appreciate it!


- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.