Wandering Aimlessly

  Colorado – Finale by Phil Burkhouse   As I mentioned last week I had my muzzleloader resting over a large log and I could hear elk hooves rapidly pounding in my direction.  The two bulls had made a brief appearance at 150 yards before plunging into the ravine that separated us.  They were coming […]

Tears, Fears and Careers

  by William Crisp   It’s November, thank goodness, my favorite time of the year.  However, this month has come in on a tough bit of news. One of my colleagues was assaulted while working and was injured, then had to shoot his assailant. The good news is the good guy came home; bullet dodged.  […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   IT’S THAT SIMPLE A recent article in “Bowhunter magazine: Nov./Dec. Whitetail Special 2017 issue,  Dr. Dave Samuel, Conservation Editor, starts his article: “Deer Summit 2017”, page 20, with this profound statement: “We all know that deer drive the financial backing of our state wildlife agencies. Losing deer or losing deer […]

Changes Change

  by William Crisp   These days it seems as if change is the norm and any change, even change for the sake of change, is good. I happen to disagree with that one-sided premise and happen to believe there are good changes, bad changes and change that is unavoidable; so it doesn’t matter if […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Colorado Elk Hunt I by Phil Burkhouse   In a previous century I taught high school math to kids in nearby Ridgway.  I, also, sponsored an archery club that constructed an archery range in the basement of the school, and we shot daily throughout the school year.  Few academic students have stayed in contact […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Salt Run Youth Pheasant Hunt by Phil Burkhouse   I arrived at the Andrews Farm near the mouth of Salt Run and pulled into the parking lot.  I glanced toward the barn and surrounding farm fields to view a large group of people, many toting shotguns and adorned in blaze orange, milling about enjoying […]

Metaphorically Speaking II

  by William Crisp   It is definitely visitor driving season, which really is problematic if you’ve got somewhere to go by a certain time around here. We don’t have much in the way of passing lanes. I’m fairly certain some vehicles are being driven by peddling.  Suffering through the current traveling situation means I’ve […]

Cameron County Hunters Help Fight Hunger By Sharing the Harvest

    Cameron County is again involved in Hunting Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program. Thanks to hunter generosity and certified butcher participation, the 97,000 pounds of donated ground venison is now providing about 450,000 meals to hungry Pennsylvanians.  Buddy Wolfe, of Valley Meats is designated butcher for Cameron County.  Anyone wishing to donate their deer […]

Wandering Aimlessly

It Takes A Tribe by Phil Burkhouse When Mary and I headed west in early September, Big Jake only had one question. Will you be back in time to scout for archery season? I assured the boys we would be back for a week of scouting before the September 30th opener. We arrived back in […]

Combo Platter; Second Helping

by William Crisp Recently the PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced changes to the upcoming spring trout stocking schedules. Unfortunately, as it currently stands, a number of local streams in the Big Woods area, including Cameron County, are proposed to be eliminated from the schedule, including the Driftwood Branch, Jerry Run and Wykoff Run […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Acid Mine Drainage Treatment by Rich Summers   Most locals have heard of May Hollow since there is a Sportsman’s Club and hunt club located on 13,000 acres of land presently owned by Hancock Investments.  Most readers are probably more unfamiliar with names such as Finley, Portable, and Bender unless you are a native […]


  by William Crisp   During the fall of 1978, I was playing football and getting ready for archery season: the two passions don’t mix well, each being demanding lovers. Not much has changed in thirty-nine years. Today, I coach football and am preparing for archery season, still juggling my passions. Kids haven’t changed much […]

Game Commission Offers Free CWD Tests For DMA-Harvested Deer

    Those hunting deer within the state’s Disease Management Areas (DMAs) will have the opportunity to have their deer tested – free of charge – for chronic wasting disease (CWD), and at the same time help the Game Commission fight this deadly disease. The Game Commission is installing large metal bins at 26 locations […]

Wildlife Leadership Academy Graduates Visit Penn State DuBois

    Faculty and staff at Penn State DuBois welcomed members of the Wildlife Leadership Academy (WLA) on Sept. 18, providing a look at educational options available to those looking to start careers in wildlife conservation and research. In all, 15 students between the ages of 14 and 17 visited the campus to learn more […]

Of All; Leaf Fall

  by William Crisp   Archery season opens here very soon; the official beginning of a glorious hunting season. In my estimation half of the hunters hoped to see a buck, one quarter of the hunters hoped to see a buck or doe and the last quarter hoped to see nothing at all but all […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Dy-no-mite Finale by Phil Burkhouse   Last week’s question asked which Pony Express rider began his career at age 15 and became the most famous of all the riders.  The answer, correctly supplied by Bill Bogart, is William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Over the course of the past three issues I have written about the […]

Youth Pheasant Hunt

    Plans are underway for the annual Youth Pheasant Hunt scheduled for October 7th. The hunt, sponsored by Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA), is for youth ages 12-16 who have passed a Pennsylvania Game Commission approved hunter-trapper education program and have a current Pennsylvania Jr. Hunting license.  The event will take place 1 […]

Quackers Now Available For Annual Duck Derby

    A major fundraiser for the fireworks that light up the sky in Cameron County is set for Saturday, October 14 in conjunction with the First Fork Festival at Sinnemahoning State Park.   The Firequacker Duck Derby will be held at Forty Maples Day Use Area starting at 2 p.m. on the 14th.   […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   WOOLLY BEAR CATERPILLAR Pyrrharctica isabella The Woolly Bear is the larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth. It became North America’s most recognizable caterpillar in the 1950s when Dr. C. H. Curran of the American Museum of Natural History tested the age-old tale that the caterpillar could predict the coming […]

Da Bear

  by William Crisp   There I was staring at a blank piece of paper wondering what to write about, when I heard an unusual sound outside. I thought perhaps one of the family was being a little clumsy and knocking around on the porch. Then Delta dog, the scaredy cat, did her bear bark […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Dy-no-mite – Part 3 by Phil Burkhouse   The Emporium Powder Manufacturing Company operated as Hercules Powder under the DuPont Corporation in present day Hercules Hollow located two miles west of Emporium.  Last week’s question asked for the original name of Hercules Hollow.  The answer is Haggerty Hollow. This week I will write about […]

My Internship on the Elk State Forest

  Written by Emma Daghir, Forestry Intern Being from St. Marys, I enjoy hobbies such as hunting, fishing, and boating. When coming into the 2017 summer, I knew I wanted to pursue an internship in my area of study, Environmental Science-Biology. I worked with DCNR State Parks last summer, and I knew I wanted to […]

Handgun Training Class

  The Bucktail Rod and Gun Club will offer a handgun training class on September 13th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in classroom and September 16th at the Range. The class will cover How to Select a Pistol; Safe Handling; Storage; Your Responsibilities as a Gun Owner; Selecting Correct Ammunition; Ways to Carry Properly […]

SSA Discontinues Corn Distribution

  Due to the threat of chronic wasting disease (CWD) coming closer to our local area, the game commission may be curtailing artificial feeding in our area. The Sinnemahoning Sportsmen’s Association will discontinue corn distribution at our club because of this. With that being said, all activities that took place during corn days: meat raffle, […]

Nature’s Heirloom

by William Crisp You can smell autumn now in the morning. That wonderful smell is from the turning of the foliage on the trees. Trees are such wonderful creatures that even their decay smells good to humans. I have been accused of loving trees too much and at times my wife has become a little […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Dy-no-mite – Part I by Phil Burkhouse In some of the small native streams where the boys and I fish for brookies, we often pass by remnants of buildings remaining in our county from a once-thriving business known as the dynamite industry. Some of the names of these companies became the permanent name for […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Ticks / Permethrin by Phil Burkhouse The grandsons and I have been spending a lot of time wandering aimlessly through the Big Woods the past several months. I love spending time on our outdoor adventures, but one small item causes me alarm: ticks. We have been picking them up on our clothes and bodies since […]

Howling at the Moon

by William Crisp The season has drawn nigh. It is the eve of deer season and so conversations have turned to deer wherever I go. It would be a glorious time if it wasn’t for the fact that they are the same old conversations I’ve had for decades and decades. Guys who predicted deer “eradication” […]

Ear-Tagged Deer Result In Charges, Conviction

  The investigation into the origin of two ear-tagged deer euthanized recently in Elk County has resulted in a conviction. A 56-year-old Ridgway man pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to two counts of disturbing wildlife after reporting he’d handled the deer, saying both were wild and he tagged them in separate years while they were fawns. […]


NORTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA Even the most casual observer has noticed a rise in deer numbers in Wildlife Management Units 2-G and 2-H in North Central Pennsylvania. I haven’t heard any scientific rationale for the increase in deer numbers except for some Game Commission personnel hinting that it’s probably due to the lack of deer hunters. […]

RV Evolution

by William Crisp   I love to camp and have always loved to camp; that hasn’t changed but how I prefer to camp has evolved or devolved tremendously depending on how you look at it. “Back in the day” I was a roughing it kind of guy. A poncho tied up with bungee cord was […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Nessmuk by Phil Burkhouse Last week’s question asked: who was Nessmuk? Since Nessmuk is an Indian word meaning wood duck, we might surmise Nessmuk was of Indian origin, but that would be incorrect. Nessmuk was born in Massachusetts in 1821 and given the birth name George Washington Sears. Nessmuk was a tiny man, five foot […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Joe-Pye Weed by Phil Burkhouse Last week’s question asked what local native wildflower presently in full bloom is named for an Indian healer named Jopi. Jopi in native tongues was an Indian healer in the 1800s from New England. He used the plant, which led to the name Joe-Pye weed to treat a variety of […]

Constant Changes

  We live in a world where change is the norm and the natural order of things. The seasons change, the chemical makeup of things changes, geology changes, the weather changes and, yes, even a changing climate has been the norm since before the ice ages and warm periods. Interestingly though, there are also severe […]

Mountain Lines

by Nelson Haas THE DROP -POINT HUNTER Robert Waldorf Loveless (2 Jan. 1929 – 2 Sept. 2010) Bob Loveless was on shore leave in the early ‘50’s and tried to buy a Randall knife and was told that there was a 9-month waiting period so he set about making his own and the results were […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Hi-Power Nationals 2017 by Phil Burkhouse   Last week I wrote about the NRA Small Bore National Championship held at the Ridgway Rifle Club.  This week I will write about the following three-day shoot where competitors fired hi-power rifles at metallic silhouette targets at various differences. The small bore competition attracted 216 shooters in […]

Coming of Age

  by William Crisp   Over the past two weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to be privy to the conversations of very young men, each of whom I’ve known for years. I wasn’t eavesdropping as I was part of the conversations but each time I found myself just nodding while sitting back and just listening […]

Suspicious Deer Discovered In Ridgway

    Two deer previously part of a captive deer herd were discovered and had to be euthanized last week near Ridgway. On Wednesday evening, the two free-ranging deer were euthanized after being discovered approximately 20 miles north of Disease Management Area (DMA) 3, which is an area being monitored for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), […]

CWD Found In The Wild In Clearfield County

    Chronic wasting disease has spread to free-ranging deer in an area of the state where it previously had been detected only in captive deer. The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced a free-ranging whitetail buck in Bell Township, Clearfield County, has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). A news conference about the new […]

Bird’s Eye View

  by Randy Horning   The Emporium Country Club ladies’ Thursday scramble was won by Meg Whiting, Judy Armanini, Pat English and Jill Carlson with a score of 37.   On Sunday, the men’s tournament was the annual Tom Roberto Memorial.  The format was a two-man scramble with a total handicap of 30, using four […]

ATV Safety Course

  A Pennsylvania ATV Safety Course (Official Certified PA Course) will be held Saturday, August 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DCNR office, 3150 East Second Street, Coudersport. The course is open to ages 8-15 and participants must have their own ATV. You must preregister by Friday, August 11 by contacting Potter […]

Tentative Date Set For Public Forum To Address Local ATV Trail Concerns

  The Bucktail Watershed Assn. and Residents for Protecting Cameron County Wilds has set a tentative date for a public meeting/forum to address concerns by county residents over the proposed ATV road route through Cameron County. Since the article in last week’s Echo concerning the Watershed Group’s activities, there has been an overwhelming response by […]

Redress of Grievances

by William Crisp In a recent article I explained damage that occurred to the forest from All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). The damage will and does cost taxpayers money. I’ve been wondering why the taxpayers should pay any more money to fix the places that people destroy when recreating. Meanwhile, ATV organizations wanting more access (to […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Whitey with Phil Burkhouse Mary and I are wanderers. We are not world class wanderers, although we have managed to visit Canada a few times and had one adventure to Switzerland that was breathtaking. Most of our wanderings have been in the United States, and we have been fortunate to have explored many of the […]

Wandering Aimlessly

The House Wren by Phil Burkhouse It was the summer of 1976, and Mary, Julie, and I moved from the city life in downtown Emporium to the isolated country life of West Creek. Jessie had yet to put in an appearance, and so the three of us settled into our new house on the edge […]

Restless Souls

by William Crisp “Mother, mother ocean; I can hear your call. I’ve been wanting to sail your waves since I was three feet tall.” Jimmy Buffett. My wife and I are restless souls; we’ve been looking for a home or at least a great vacation spot since we’ve met. In general she likes flat lands […]

Alle-Catts Play Exhibition Games With Crosby Mud Hens

  by Rich Summers Cameron County Echo The Emporium Alle-Catt baseball team was not adjusting to their first season after the league disbanded so last Sunday they traveled to Smethport for an exhibition doubleheader with the Crosby Mud Hens. Crosby won both ends of the twin bill by scores of 8-2 and 10-3. In the […]

Additional CWD Cases Detected In PA Wild Deer

The Pennsylvania Game Commission tested 5,707 deer and 110 elk for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) during 2016. Twenty-five wild deer tested positive for CWD. All of the wild CWD-positive deer were in or near Disease Management Area 2 (DMA 2), the only area of the state where CWD has been detected in the wild. These […]

Turkey Hunters Posing For First-Place Votes

Visitors to the Game Commission’s Facebook page will pick the two winners of the agency’s inaugural Turkey Harvest Photo Contest. Entrants who make it to the finish line will receive a personalized, engraved box call. The Game Commission received hundreds of photos of excited hunters with their 2017 Pennsylvania spring gobblers. They are competing in […]

Opening of Stevenson Dam Delayed Four Weeks

Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks, Sinnemahoning State Park has announced that sediment removal from the George B. Stevenson reservoir has been completed but weather conditions have slowed progress of paving and modifications being made to mooring and launch area. Park officials have extended the opening of the lake from July 4th to August 4th, 2017. […]


by William Crisp In my decades of being paid to carry guns, I’ve come to recognize that there are different kinds of shooters. This recently came up in conversations at an annual mandatory fire instructor’s qualification and workshop. People can really only communicate to reach another’s level of perception. Unfortunately, at times, what people perceive […]

Wandering Aimlessly

A First Tom For Kamden by Phil Burkhouse It was the night before the 2017 Youth Spring Gobbler hunt and Seth Fragale’s seven-year-old son Kamden was preparing for his first-ever turkey hunt.  The crew would be hunting in Cameron County, had done some scouting, and knew there were gobblers in the vicinity.  Accompanying Kamden were […]

Glory Days

  by William Crisp   We just celebrated the opening day of snake season and bass season; my twenty second such adventure of overseeing the magical second Saturday in June in a row. Before that there were such weekends that I partook more so than just observed and as I ventured through the forest and […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Duck Wars by Phil Burkhouse   I never believed it would happen to me, but as I progress through the journey of life the time has come that I now understand more clearly the views expressed to me by some of the elder hunters I crossed paths with during my younger years. I vividly […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Aliyah’s Hunt of a Lifetime by Phil Burkhouse   On Saturday, May 6th, the Cameron County Long Beards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey federation held their 10th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet.  There are a myriad of fundraising banquets organized by focus groups to support a variety of different wildlife species.  In our area […]

Tackling the Box

  by William Crisp   I’ve finally made it. I have achieved a lifelong milestone that has been a personal goal since I was a young boy. It wasn’t easy and it took years of hard work, scratching and saving but I’ve finally hit the pinnacle of my own perception of manhood. Yes, by now […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   CINNAMON FERN – Osmundastrum cinnamomeum A large fern of wet woodlands is in full “bloom” now. The fertile, spore-producing leaf stalks in the center of the plant are a rich, cinnamon-colored brown. They grow from a dense, dark, wiry root ball called osmunda fiber which is used by horticulturists to […]

Mountain Lines

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas   FIELD ANTS On a recent turkey hunt, I sat next to an old stump. Petals from Choke Cherry trees were falling like snow from an adjacent clear-cut. Next to me in the leaf litter  I noticed a small ant carrying one of the petals. I’ve often seen leaf-cutter ants […]

Transmission From Camp

  by William Crisp   I’m transmitting from deep in the forest, disguised as a moonshine runner. I’ve changed my name and have shacked up with other like-minded pretend miscreants. Muddy is hanging from a tree, waiting for turkeys to land on a nearby limb where he can talk them into letting him shoot one. […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Papalio Continued by Phil Burkhouse   This week I will conclude the story about the elusive Prohibition bootlegger Joseph Papalio, the murder of Charles Ludwig, and the prosecution of corrupt sheriff Bucky Norris and Joseph Papalio. As stated last week Papalio took leave from the Cameron County Jail, with the help of Sheriff Norris, […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   HOBBLE  BUSH Viburnum lantanoides I dropped down into a steep ravine where Rhododendron grows along the stream. There I found a striking, white -flowering shrub growing in contrast to the dark foliage surrounding it. I surmised it was one of the Viburnum but I’ve never noticed this April-flowering verity before. […]

Fishing Vests

  by William Crisp   Fishing vests have a very unique purpose in the outdoor garment world. They don’t keep you warm or dry, nor do they shield you from the wind. They don’t find fish or even look fashionable; in fact, they are very unfashionable. I’ll prove it. You can see sportsmen and hipsters […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  First For the Zeke by Phil Burkhouse   As I related last week, about 8 a.m. on the Youth Mentored Spring Gobbler Day, Jake’s ears detected a distant shotgun report.  He said to Gary and me, “I think that was in the general direction of Zeke.” Isaac, aka Zeke, is our youngest grandson. and […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  A Good Morning by Phil Burkhouse   There is a feeling of awe I will never lose about being in the woods as dawn makes its appearance.  Each new day officially begins at midnight, but for me the new day begins as light seeps into the woods.  Trees become barely visible, and you can […]

Tabernacle of Agendas

  by William Crisp   I don’t want to alarm you but feel the need to warn you that there is a great environmental change coming. We are about to endure massive global environmental fluxes. These changes will be palatable in the deciduous forests around here as bare branches will begin to sprout leaves and […]

Fishing Etiquette

  by William Crisp   Last week I read an article called the, “Six Unwritten Rules of Bass Fishing Etiquette.” I really enjoyed the article until I got the sinking suspicion that the author was serious. Then I thought maybe bass fishermen were different than trout fishermen. The more I think about it, the more […]

Wanderin Aimlessly

  Scouting For Fish by Phil Burkhouse   The month before fishing season I keep busy doing a variety of tasks:  some fun and others not so much.  Pruning apple trees, rototilling the garden, planting onions, cutting and splitting firewood, and trying to get the lawn mower running fall into the not so much fun […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Umbrella Rock: Revisited by Phil Burkhouse   Mary and I have indeed been blessed with the wandering aimlessly bug.  Some people are happy living their lives in close proximity to their birth place while others experience itchy feet and the urge to travel.  Many years ago I hunted with an elderly gentlemen in the […]

Opener Warmup

  by William Crisp   It is the week before the regular trout opener. If you’re confused about what and where that is there is no excuse to be. It is easy to figure out which opener is “regular.” Just get out a sundial, an abacus, your Chinese lunar cycle calculator and a summary book, […]

Bird Presentation at Gun Club

  A membership meeting of the Bucktail Rod and Gun Club will be held on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. at the clubhouse on Sizer Run Road. On the agenda will be a presentation about birds by Randy Flament; discussion of club and range work; an upcoming spaghetti dinner and shoot; and the yearly […]