Andrews Farm Youth Pheasant Hunt

    Plans are underway for the annual Youth Pheasant Hunt scheduled for October 10th. 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 […]

PGC Elk Cam To Run Thru Mid October

    Each September, thousands of visitors make their way to Pennsylvania’s elk country to experience for themselves the wonder of the bugling season. And while there’s nothing quite like seeing a giant bull up close, or feeling your rib cage resonate as it lets loose an ear-splitting bugle, there’s an opportunity this year to […]

Funny Times

  by William Crisp   Things are a changing for sure. These are confusing times as it seems the world is a bit upside down. Things that would have been funny in the past are serious issues now. Basically, what we’ve got is a lot of reversing of what “normal” is being pushed by academics […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Last Day of Freedom by Phil Burkhouse   I had been promising the three grandsons since April that we would spend a day fishing for natives real soon.  Early in the season the boys didn’t want to hear about natives because the big waters held denizens of the deep recently released from the Pennsylvania […]

Basic Hunter-Trapper Ed. Class

  A Basic Hunter-Trapper Education class is scheduled at the DCNR District Office in Emporium on September 19th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office is loated at 258 Sizerville Road. Students must be a minimum of 11 years of age by Sept. 19, 2015 and should pre-register online at the PGC website […]

New Elk, Wildlife Viewing Area To Be Dedicated

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission will dedicate the new Winslow Hill Viewing Area at a ceremony to be held on site Friday, Sept. 4 starting at 1 p.m.  Following the dedication, Game Commission representatives will kick off the fall viewing season by announcing plans for additional public facilities, as well as their fall program […]

The Beginning of the End

  by William Crisp   I love August and September because it is the beginning of the end of the year and the start of many of my favorite seasons.  I know it is hard to get excited about baby spiders being born and an invasion of outside intruders into our homes (mice) but I […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Hayfork Fires 2015 by Phil Burkhouse   Last week’s article dealt with the Hayfork fires in northern California, about one hour from Mt. Shasta, that many of our local specialized wildfire fighters were assigned to fight for an eighteen-day period.  Hayfork has a population of around 2,000, and Ralph informed me the locals were […]

Wandering Aimlessly

    Hayfork 2015 by Phil Burkhouse   When I was a snot nosed kid in high school full of urine and vinegar my eyes perked up when I learned about being able to participate in a high school forest fire crew.  The state of Pennsylvania paid you an hourly wage to extinguish forest fires, […]

Trophies of the Big Woods

  by William Crisp   Most hunting and fishing is of a trophy orientated nature, like it or not. Certainly there are meat hunters and most sportsmen eat what they harvest or provide meat for others. Obtaining food is a large, rewarding part of the experience for us. However, there is a lot more than […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   My Life With Double-Aught Buck The written word: double-aught buck, comes from the old English word: naught, meaning zero. The “n” was dropped and it became aught. It is also written: ought. The origins of shot measurement is unknown.  Some astute mathematician discovered that 17 minus the shot size designation […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Perseids by Phil Burkhouse   Our fishing adventure to Wyoming was great fun, and the cooperation of the cutthroat trout made our trip a phenomenal success.  Mick, the three Walters boys, and I will have fond memories of that trip for many years, but some of the family had to remain home since there […]

Giggling and Grills

  by William Crisp   We went on our semi-annual fishing trip this year again. We visited my old buddy “Muddy” up in the great Midwest. We helped him volunteer at a “World Famous” chicken broil to raise money for a local community then he took us fishing…several times. Nick, who is a great collaborator […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Phenology by Phil Burkhouse   Hi, folks!  Jessie here.  I’ll be spelling our favorite aimless wanderer this week, giving him a chance to collect his thoughts and entertain you all the better again next week.  In the meantime, I have some ramblings of my own to share with you.  Here’s your second edition of […]

Hardinger Qualifies In 4-H Horse Show

    The Cameron/Elk 4-H Qualifier Horse Show was held July 11, 2015 at Elk County Fairgrounds in Kersey.  Eight members of Stride for Stride 4-H Horse Club qualified for the 2015 North Central District VIII 4-H Horse Show to be held on August 29th and 30th at Clearfield County fairgrounds. Participants qualify for competition […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  The Fish Hawk by Phil Burkhouse   Fishermen, as with all specialty groups, come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and ability levels.  While human beings can be classified as predators, we have inferior senses to the wild predators who must kill to survive.  Humans can use their advanced powers of thinking and take […]

How Hot Is It?

  by William Crisp   Well it’s supposed to be summer and in fact, it is currently warmer than winter here in the Big Woods. So, I guess it is as good as any time for a, “How Hot Is It?” contest.  Sooner or later we will get our annual one day of summer and […]

PA Doe Licenses On Sale Now

    Pennsylvania deer hunters who want to better their chances of obtaining an antlerless license will want to send in applications during the first round of sales which kicked off on Monday, July 13. During the first three weeks applications are accepted, only Pennsylvania residents may apply. Nonresidents may apply beginning Monday, July 27. […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   This year I’m seeing a lot of doe without fawns. It’s been that way for several years. It could be due to infertility, a harsh winter or mortality due to predation. This year it correlates with a slight rise in coyote population. The Game Commission wouldn’t believe my observations. If […]

Hunters Can Purchase DMAP Permits

    The licenses county treasurers will place on sale Monday aren’t the only option hunters have for tags to harvest antlerless deer. Antlerless permits through the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) remain available for some properties, and can be purchased through the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS). DMAP is a Game Commission program designed […]

Nationals Coming To Ridgway Rifle Club

  by Phil Burkhouse   The Ridgway Rifle Club was founded in 1927 and was originally called the Ridgway Rifle and Pistol Club.  Its name was shortened to the Ridgway Rifle Club in 1935. Their first outdoor rifle range was located at the bottom of Grant Road near the west end of Ridgway.  In 1937 […]

Assessing the Woods On Daily Basis

  by William Crisp   There isn’t a sportsman that I know of who doesn’t assess woods on a daily basis. Good woods, bad woods, huntable and non-huntable woods that have a good feel and woods that have a bad feel.  We do it when we are walking or driving and we do it when […]


  by William Crisp   My Dad passed away at seventy-one years of age the other day- there is a part of me that expected him to beat yet another challenge and call me so we could laugh about it. But my phone is quiet and my doorstep is empty; it’s starting to feel permanent.  […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Poison I-V by Phil Burkhouse   A great asset to have for a photographer or hunter is a good eye; a good eye is also nice to have when avoiding poison ivy patches.  I am very allergic to toxic odendrous radicons, commonly known as poison ivy, and use my eyes to stay as far […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  May Flies by Phil Burkhouse   Insects are not one of my strong suits; many of them I enjoy squishing between my thumb and forefinger, especially mosquitoes.  Mayflies are, however, an insect I enjoy, although I do often squish them with my windshield—but not by choice. Mayflies are aquatic insects that hatch from our […]

More or Less

  by William Crisp   The fishing continues to be tremendous this summer. There had been a slight lull when the fish shut down at the beginning of the month. My theory on that was that waters changed and warmed during that period and oxygen changes and temperature changes slowed the bite.  Also, cold nights […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   PARTRIDGEBERRY Mitchella repens FLORACACHE #2 N  41* 28’ 28” W  078* 10’ 00” You won’t need to pack a lunch to find this wildflower but it is a steady, 460-foot climb for           1.11-miles depending on your chosen route. A tiny but refreshing mountain run is […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  A Three-Story Robin Nest by Phil Burkhouse   If I were to be given a dollar for each correct response that a thousand people chosen at random would give when asked to identify a bird in a picture, the bird picture I would choose to use would be a robin. The robin is a […]

Summer’s Opener

  by William Crisp   It might not be the biggest opening day and it may not be the most popular opener either, but to those who participate, their passion is as great as the diehard trout angler or whitetail stalker. It is also the most unique opener and it is something that belongs to […]

Hunting Licenses On Sale Now

    Hunting and furtaker licenses for Pennsylvania’s 2015-16 seasons are on sale now. New licenses are effective July 1, and are valid through June 30, 2016. All license fees remain unchanged. Licenses can be purchased online through the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS) website, Licenses also can be purchased over the counter at […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  How Do They Do It? by Phil Burkhouse When the tribe gathers together over a holiday I am regularly questioned by council members, “How are those boys catching all those big fish?”  When I was a lad I fished often, and now at the ripe old age of 68 I can honestly say I […]

Spring to Summer

  by William Crisp All good things come through grace and June comes from May.  The change just isn’t rolling up the colander to a new page nor is it in name only.  June is real and tangible and some fish proved it today. My old haunt produced nothing; the water was warmer, clearer and […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas A field sketch in graphite and colored pencil of a couple of gray fox I’ve seen lately. In fact, I’m surprised to see any gray fox this spring and in such good condition during child-rearing season.  For some reason this harsh winter was tough on the gray fox.  During my winter […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Lucky Morning #22   Big Jake and I have been hunting gobblers one or two mornings before school each week and on Saturdays, but we have yet to succeed.  We have had several close encounters, but Jake has not fired a shot and is not happy with the fact he might be going to […]

Tips of the Trade

  by William Crisp   The fishing has been pretty good this year in my opinion and that matches a lot of the feedback I’ve received. Of course, there is always a group of experienced anglers who fish hard and don’t have the luck they feel they’ve earned with their expertise. However, in their case, […]


  Potentilla simplex The Cinquefoil is just starting to bloom. Find any field, woodland border or opening and Cinquefoil will be there. Over 300 sub-species of Cinquefoil are found world-wide. “Peterson” lists 11 species in Northeast and North Central America. I’ve found The Common, Dwarf, Rough-Fruited and Shrubby Cinquefoil growing in Cameron County. Common Cinquefoil […]

Fourth Grade Visits Sizerville Park

    The fourth grade students of Woodland Elementary recently made their annual field trip to Sizerville State Park. The event was coordinated by Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA). After arriving at the park the students were greeted by Don Bickford of CCOYA.  After welcoming them and discussing some of the park’s history, the […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Hammond Lake 2015 by Phil Burkhouse   Our Tioga County adventure to Hammond Lake for crappies has definitely matured into a traditional annual event.  Mary and I joined a crew of former fellow teachers and former students, some of whom have now reached retirement age, and their families for a week of camping at […]

The Trout Trucker

  by William Crisp   I was hitchhiking down Route 80 when I caught the eye of a trucker in a white, six-wheeled freighter. He had a wild look in his eye but he pulled in.  I was so happy to get a ride I could cry. He said, “Where ‘ya headin’?” I answered, “Nowhere […]

Drum and Henry Fishing Derby June 7

    Get the kids’ fishing equipment ready for the Drum and Henry Fishing Derby. It is the 61st year that this event has provided Youth 14 years old and younger the opportunity to enjoy a fun filled day of fishing.  This year’s event will take place June 7th on the Bucktail Rod and Gun […]

125 Pheasants Hatch In CCSD Classrooms

    Incubating pheasant eggs has become a tradition for students of Cameron County School District thanks to the coordination efforts of Third grade teacher, Ben Porkolab. Once incubation has started the hatch dates are pretty predictable.  This year there was potential that eggs may start hatching during a weekend so arrangements were made to […]

Wandering Aimlessly Opening Day 2015

  by Phil Burkhouse   The anticipation had finally reached its pinnacle; it was early Saturday morning, April 18th, the opening day of fishing season.  The day was forecasted to be a beauty, but the beginning was a chilly 40 degrees with fog hanging in the valleys.  It was 7 a.m. and lots of little, […]

Interview With a Neophyte

  by William Crisp   Many opinions are thrown around about a Pennsylvania opening day, so much so that they ought to consider referring to it as “opinion season.”  Actually, maybe it should be called “opinion(s) season” as that would be more accurate because the perceptions of the individual are more diverse than the swarm […]

Hunter – Trapper Education Classes Available Now

    Those who plan to purchase their first hunting license this year will need to make plans to attend a Hunter-Trapper Education course, and classes are being held at locations across the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Because the fall hunting seasons – and the corresponding rush for new hunters to become […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  The Gold Is Arriving by Phil Burkhouse   The transformation of our male American Goldfinch is presently occurring in our area.  All winter both Goldfinch sexes have shared a drab wardrobe of tan to gray plumage with a tinge of olive.  Their wings and notched tails are predominantly black with some visible flashes of […]

2015 Trout Opener

  by William Crisp   The 2015 trout season opener came with a bang. Pleasant temperatures and sunny skies brought out anglers in droves who stayed out all day; all weekend. Paths along our “wilderness” streams are already pounded and connecting fishing hole to fishing hole.  The predicted death of our fishing population has been […]

Casting Competition at Youth Salt Run Fishing Event

    Plans are underway for the Annual Salt Run Kids only fishing event on the first day of fishing season April 18 at the Andrews Farm. The event is sponsored by Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA) and all youth are invited to attend.  Youth 12 years of age and under will be permitted […]

Opening Days

  by William Crisp   We have had opening days for hunting and fishing pursuits since the beginning of regulating sporting. There is nearly an opening day to everything, even spectator sports such as the season opener for football, baseball, racing…you name the sport or holiday; it has a season that starts with an important […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Progress On Elk Mountain by Phil Burkhouse   One of my favorite sayings I employ when I hear someone pointing out some person’s faults is:  “Yes, there are not many of us perfect ones left.” Obviously, at least to my way of looking at life, everyone is born with strengths and weaknesses.  As I […]

Wandering Aimlessly

First and Second Fork by Phil Burkhouse   On Thursday, March 19th, Mary and I combined an early morning horn hunt/bird walk with a stop at the Sinnemahoning State Park Office and Wildlife Center for the second presentation in the series “Stories of Our Past.”  The first presentation on “Preserving Our Heritage” was held on […]

Mentoring the Mentors

    Pretty soon it will be mentored youth fishing day. Ironically, what we really need is a mentored adult day or a mentored mentor day. When I was growing up you didn’t need much mentoring to fish, it was actually a pursuit we did to GET AWAY from adults. Big time fishing on big […]

Annual Youth Salt Run Fishing Event April 18

    Plans are underway for the Annual Salt Run Kids only fishing event on the first day of fishing season, April 18 at the Andrews Farm. The event is sponsored by Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA) and all youth are invited to attend.  A donor has made a donation to CCOYA to sponsor […]

After School Express Learns About Wildlife Conservation

    Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities recently presented a program at the Woodland School for 3rd and 4th grade students. The program was for students who signed up for the Afterschool Express program through the local Family Center.  Students first saw a Conservation DVD titled Un-Endangered Species. The program helps educate students about the […]

The Lures That Got Away

  by William Crisp   It’s been well documented that I am a member of fishing lures addicts anonymous. I can’t hide my problem nor can I resist having fishing lures around me. I love finding, handling and using new lures. Fishing tackle are perhaps some of the most beautiful pieces of art created. Not […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  A Dino Bird by Phil Burkhouse   It was the fall of 1966, and I was leafing through the college catalog trying to find a course to fill in an elective slot in my upcoming spring schedule.  I was twenty years old, and most of the course listings sounded as appealing as having a […]

Cherished Hunting Memories of Days Gone By

    by Steve Nelson While I have been hunting white tailed deer for thirty- eight years now, I had always hoped I would get that one “big one” someday like one of the ones on my grandfather’s wall. When I was a young boy, my grandfather would take me deer hunting in rifle season. […]

Ice Breaker

  by William Crisp   On March 15, 2015, one day after Pi day (3/14/15) for you math nerds, it finally started. The ice broke out of the creeks.  It started early in the morning and by early afternoon the Driftwood was a torrent of crushed ice and trees flowing down a turbid lane towards […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Making Art Out of Antlers by Phil Burkhouse   They sit in my basement in a varied assortment of containers, collecting dust and taking up space.  Mary yells at me occasionally about getting rid of them, but they are precious reminders of earlier times; being a sentimental old stinker, I can’t bring myself to […]


  by William Crisp   Unseen, I watched two guys stop their truck on a remote forestry road. A few yards from them, a huge buck was standing on the edge of the forest; it was in full rut so refused to move. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. All they had to do […]

Mountain Lines

  Mouse-Ear Chickweed by Nelson Haas   Staring at winter’s cold, bleak canvas of frozen white, I took artistic liberty to present a most common, yet little-known wildflower of late spring and summer that  might warm your eye and awaken your mind  to the coming seasons. I couldn’t describe the plant any better than A. […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  The Fork – Stores of the Past by Phil Burkhouse   Our family simply refers to the area as “the Fork,” although the correct name is the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning.  The stream and its drainage area run almost due north from the southwest corner of Cameron County and extend well into Potter […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Migration: South 2015 by Phil Burkhouse   I have generally looked down my nose at those people, loosely classified as snowbirds, who turn tail and run to the southern climes for the winter.  I have more or less classified them in categories characterized by terms such as sissies, pansies, or wimps. As my life […]

Hungry Days

  by William Crisp   It’s been cold and I’m getting old. I’ve been spending time burning wood. Even though it’s usually an indoor activity, burning wood is a connection to the outdoors. Besides the process of cutting and splitting and handling the product of trees, it is the releasing of hardened sunshine that is […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   PENNSYLVANIA BEAVER Standing in the wide, swampy openings where streams are born, overlooking the workings of beaver, I’m often overcome with a primitive feeling that I am truly in a wild place. I am fascinated by the beaver’s engineering abilities; not only of the animal’s ability to construct dams and […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   SNOWSHOEING If someone tells you snowshoeing is fun, you may be assured this person has not snowshoed any great distance. Snowshoeing is an excellent means to travel in deep snow and you might experience joy realizing that you are in good shape, have determination and made it back alive but […]

It’s So Cold That

It’s So Cold That by William Crisp   As a person who has held an outdoor job as long as I’ve been working, I’ve become an expert in two things; cold weather jokes and how to stay warm. I’ve been a paperboy, farmhand, carpenter, soldier, farmer and a warden and, at times, several of those […]

Wandering Aimlessly

A Forester Bird by Phil Burkhouse   Boisterous, loud, obnoxious, gluttonous, and gregarious are some of the terms that flash through my brain when I conjure up visions of our jay with the intense and iridescent blue coloration.  Blue jays, our large, showy, and noisy songbirds, can reach a foot in length and are a […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Winter Fort: Kids’ Version   by Phil Burkhouse   As I watch our five little grandchildren grow, I am beginning to realize the term “little” might not be the appropriate term to be employing when describing them.  The pictures I glance at occasionally hanging on the hutch doors make me shake my head in amazement […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   TRACKING COYOTES I was working a coyote track up along the Cameron-McKean County line in about a foot of new snow. I wasn’t on a serious hunt; just a fun walk, trying to learn the coyote. Around mile-7,  the track transitioned into a straight line nearing the top of a […]

Great Squirrel Migration 2

  by William Crisp   No one knows why great squirrel migrations occur and many don’t believe they are even a real event. I’ve never seen one but I trust a few of the sources that claim to have. I’ve written about them before and since then have spent hours sitting in the woods during […]