Snow Pack

  by William Crisp   I almost can’t wait for the worst month of the year to start. We are off to a good start this year. There are a couple of feet of snow on the mountains and the ground is frozen. Snow does more good than just providing a substrate to run snowmobiles […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   COLD AND ALONE First of a two part series I had taken a week off of work to run a February, beaver line in the Pocono Mountains. The weather had been cold and the ponds were frozen over but by the end of the week, an exceptionally warm spell hit […]

Wandering Aimlessly, Rich Valley Charity Squirrel Hunt

by Phil Burkhouse The hunt began in 1999 when a few of the boys gathered at a camp in “The Valley,” perhaps sipping on some beverages.  We’ll refer to these boys as Fred, Tom, Scott, Steve, John Paul, and Kevin, but those names could be entirely fictitious.  They were on the cusp of initiating an […]

Loving February

  by William Crisp   Face it; it is late February and besides coyote hunting, there isn’t much to do except to feed the woodstove and drain bottles. The ice fishing action dwindles and even if you still have a hot spot-the ice is too thick and covered in snow to make a trek worthwhile. […]

PGC Board Proposes Expanded Bear Seasons

    The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today proposed opening up extended bear hunting opportunities to two additional WMUs in 2014. WMUs 2C and 4B each would be open to bear hunting for four days in deer season, beginning the first Wednesday of the 2014 statewide general deer season Dec. 3. (Full story in […]

Wandering Aimlessly Road Trip – Snowy Owl

by Phil Burkhouse I first heard the term “life list” from my brother-in-law, Mark, the Birdman from the suburbs of Sterling Run.  Mark is laid back and quiet, but if you mention birds his body becomes fully energized.  Mark informed me that a life list is simply a list of every bird species you have […]

Environmental Civics

by William Crisp From the US Congress website (Congress is a bilateral portion of the government which is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate): “Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill […]

Outdoor Club Visits Sports Show

One of the annual field trips that the CCHS Outdoor Club tries to get in is a visit to the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg. The Show is a nine-day event celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions that are treasured by millions of Americans and their families.   (Full story in the Cameron County […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Snow Rollers by Phil Burkhouse It was the wee hours of the morning Monday, January 27th, and I was sound asleep.  A sharp pain in my side suddenly aroused me from my slumber, and I immediately diagnosed the problem as an elbow, but not my elbow.  I thought for a second the friendly blow to […]

My Favorite Hunt

  by William Crisp   I had a full hunting season. I got to hunt with friends and family both in state and out of state, while in state, at several places. My favorite hunt of the season was a short one during one afternoon at home. On that day, I got home from work […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

  EASTERN COYOTE You may have noticed that I left the scientific name of the Eastern Coyote a bit vague in the above depiction. Taxonomists are having a difficult time naming the Eastern Coyote with the advent of DNA sequencing. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly

Ice Fishing 101 by Phil Burkhouse Snow flurries flew and the mercury stood on the vertical number line at 22 degrees; it was a great morning to be alive.  The wind was beginning to pulse, but it had been a lot colder the previous week and the upcoming week prognosticated a drop back to the […]

Hitchhike Pike and Space Wars

by William Crisp Just in the nick of time, my Mother-In-Law (MIL) called me. It happened to be the very moment when I thought I’d run out of topics (a writer without topics has been proven to endanger readers into bearing, yet another, soliloquy on deer management). She called to scold me. During my scolding […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

      SHED ANTLER HUNTING It’s snowing heavy right now; covering up my deer antlers, laying out there in the woods somewhere just waiting for me to come by and rescue them from the ravages of time, moisture, the cold, mice and voles, hoggish porcupines and the occasional, thieving coyote.        

Wandering Aimlessly

Grinners by Phil Burkhouse Grinners are the critters that most members of the non-trapping fraternity refer to as possums; the correct name is opossum.  Possums are animals that have survived the race of time; they are ancient.  It is surprising to me that they have survived this long because they are also not “the sharpest […]

Contrarian Reality by William Crisp

      Before I delve into this week’s topic, I have to mention last week’s topic, which was on the argumentative weakness and failings of weather activists in promoting weather “warming” and “change” to cause a negative change to your lifestyle and income. I thought I was on the cutting edge by making fun […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

    WAS DEER MANAGEMENT WORTH IT Now that another outstanding Pennsylvania deer season has ended with the realization that deer densities will remain forever low, I ask myself: was deer reduction worth it. Was it worth destroying Pennsylvania’s great hunting heritage just so we can obtain a “Green Certificate” to sell more certified lumber; […]

Wandering Aimlessly, Christmas Bird Count 2013

by Phil Burkhouse Christmas Bird Counts are one of those annual events which attract people that share a common thread—the love of birds and birding.  It is a jovial time of the year, and after spending four months in the forest in search of game critters, it’s nice to relax and hunt with your eyes […]

The Flip Side

  by William Crisp   As I was preparing last week’s article regarding new technology and inventions that could impact hunting and fishing, I realized that most of the ideas would be very expensive tools to obtain. Unfortunately, I could not think of many cheap futuristic items or gadgets at all but have thought of […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

    SNOWY OWL If you never had the opportunity to visit the Boreal Tundra of Northern Canada, don’t worry; the Tundra is coming to visit you…in the form of the Snowy Owl. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly

Luckenbill, Nam Knights Longrifle by Phil Burkhouse They are called the Allegheny Mountain Chapter of the Nam Knights, and although you might be unfamiliar with them, you have probably seen them in action and heard the roar of their cycles on our local highways and byways.  The group is comprised of people who share the […]

The Gear of the Future

by William Crisp With the New Year upon us, this is the time to look to the future; I thought I’d look ahead and imagine, extrapolate and study the future of some possible hunting and fishing gear. Over Christmas, I did a little ice fishing and was fascinated with some of the sonar machines the […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   PERIPHERAL VISION AND THE HUNTER While shed (antler) hunting, I discovered that I found more sheds when I was just out walking in the woods rather than consciously hunting antlers. I usually walk 3 miles a day in the woods for exercise and I move quite fast cross-country, ignoring roads […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Etchepare Several years ago I did an article about a budding young hunter from downtown Cameron who had killed his first deer.  Paul Etchepare, then age 12, had hunted deer all season and killed a shed buck with a flintlock on the last day of black powder season.  There is definitely something to be said […]

Seventeen Minute Season

  by William Crisp   Other than awaiting the adjudication of the lawsuits, my Michigan, gun deer season is now passed and over. It was a very short one this year…not bad for sitting in the worst spot on the farm. During the eve of the opener festivities it was decided that everyone would sit […]

Wandering Aimlessly

One Shot, Two Down by Phil Burkhouse It was Saturday, October 26th, and Jake and I were cruising the ridges doing some rattling and grunting in hopes of finding a buck out searching for a lady.  We stopped in a likely looking location, and Jake readied his cross bow while I rattled.  A short time […]

November’s Names by William Crisp

      I’m back at home base for a short time to re-arm, re-fuel and recharge socks, then I’ll hit the woods again. I just finished a nice short jaunt, in relatively obscure skirmish, doing archery hunting, small gaming, turkey hunting, coaching and cowboying. So far, the only thing I have caught is a […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

  The Trophy Buck It’s unfortunate that deer hunting today has degenerated into a competitive, score-based, multi-media event instead of a quality day spent in the woods. Shiny, print media and “Hollywood” produced videos have brainwashed us into believing that large racks are winners and spikes, Y’s and 3-points mean: “You lose.”     (Full […]

Wandering Aimlessly

The 20-Point, 14-Point Doe Hunt by Phil Burkhouse   Thursday, October 24th, marked the first day of the three-day special firearms antlerless deer season for junior and senior hunters.  Big Jake had arrowed a doe earlier that week with the crossbow, but Little Bear was looking forward to toting his 7MM-08 on a down county […]

Thinking It Out

  by William Crisp   There are some advantages to sitting in trees but, unless you’re a primate, it is not the answer to all problems. You can see animals in their natural state, undisturbed. You can enjoy a beautiful new vantage point over the forest. Birds and squirrels will land near or even on […]

Lewis Named Coach of the Year

The Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) has announced post season awards for golf, and the Penn State DuBois team has earned a reputation in the conference during its inaugural season. Head Coach Pat Lewis has been named PSUCA Coach of the Year for golf, and four of his players were chosen for the all-conference […]

Wandering Aimlessly

by Phil Burkhouse Sunday, October 20th, was designated by Mary to be Cider Sunday at our house.  This means the old cider press is drug out of the barn, all the buckets and strainers and containers are cleaned, and all our apples are picked and washed.  As we were grinding apples and pressing their remains […]

Hunting Hobo 2013

by William Crisp   It is time to release my hunting Hobo. He gets short a reprieve from his cell come every November for bad behavior. Meaning, I can go off and hunt and act like a boy again on my own for a few precious weeks…okay, months.  I spend the most part of the […]

SSA Participates In Adopt a Highway Program

by Ray Savel Public Relations Chairman The officers and directors of the Sinnemahoning Sportsmen’s Association held their monthly meeting, October 20. Linda Burrows reported total membership was 4,776. Total membership for 2014 as of the meeting was 643, with 35 hunters registered for the 2014 coyote hunt, which is scheduled for February 14, 15 and […]

Old Geezer Pheasant Hunt

The 4th annual Senior (Old Geezer) Pheasant Hunt is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 31st. Seniors age 70 and older who have a Pennsylvania hunting license are eligible. The event will take place 1 ¼ miles north of Emporium just off Route 155 at the Andrews farm at the bottom of Salt Run. Registration will start […]

Austin Tops CCHS Volleyballers

    The Cameron County High School Lady Red Raider varsity volleyball team traveled to Austin Area High School last Thursday but was turned back by the Lady Panthers, 25-9, 33-31, 25-17. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly Review / Preview October 2013

by Phil Burkhouse Last Tuesday Cora came galloping into the house with the usual news, “Got another woolly bear!”  The unusual aspect was she then added, “It’s all black.”  I glanced over toward her and sure enough, wrapped around one of her fingers was an all black woolly. Apparently woollies, being true weather prognosticators, have […]

The Haunted Hunt

  by WilliamCrisp   It was a Friday during late October circa 1985, I wanted to hunt but I had to finish work first. My boss at my first job needed some tasks done before the weekend and I had promised a homeowner on my side job that he’d be able to have his party […]

Big Game Records Book

Pennsylvania’s official all-time ranking of trophy big-game animals has been updated for 2013 and is available for sale from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The new edition of the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book includes nearly 200 new entries. And to make them easier to identify, and to show where they stack up historically, entries from […]

Wandering Aimlessly

The Woolly Bear by Phil Burkhouse I suppose in some parts of the world if you asked a child what critter roams their area that has stripes with a black/rust color combination, the answer might be a Bengal Tiger, but in our area the answer would probably be a Woolly Bear. Woolly Bears are one […]

An Autumn Song by William Crisp

      My well-earned paranoia prevents me from being too specific about how and where I sleep. It is sufficient to say that I lay with a clear view of the sky and breathing fresh air, year round. I see the stars, comets, clouds and lighting. I hear coyotes sing. On Saturday night into […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

    PENNSYLVANIA LONGBOW Pen and Ink:  black India tech pen and Faber Castell, sepia PITT artist pen stippled and cross-hatched on the NW Keating 7.5 minute series topographical quadrangle. When I first saw a modern crossbow mounted with a telescopic sight, my first impression was: “I gotta get me …..a longbow.” Kind of like […]

Wandering Aimlessly ,Moon Talk

by Phil Burkhouse The archery season for deer begins this Saturday, and many shaft slingers will be hanging from trees with visions of trophy bucks dancing through their heads.  The grandsons have been sharpening up their shooting skills and doing some preseason scouting; anticipation is a wonderful thing and keeps many hunters’ excitement levels raised, […]


by William Crisp   The school year is well under way. I’m not of school age anymore, but today we are always being “educated” in one way or another. Recently, the media and government sponsors spent a lot of air time telling me that Americans and others like me are too stupid to be able […]

Mountain Lines ,Dumbing-Down the White-Tailed Deer

by Nelson Haas Sitting securely upon the throne of superior human intellect, we constantly degrade the white-tailed deer’s ability to detect scents, especially human scent. Hunting publications and their advertiser have grown a multi-million dollar industry pedaling snake oils to eliminate or compromise (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly, Twiggy, by Phil Burkhouse

Forty years after the Roaring Twenties came the Swinging Sixties.  Rock-n-roll marked the mid-‘60s and also the appearance of a skinny English supermodel who went by the handle of Twiggy.  Twiggy might have received her nickname from the original twiggy that is an insect in our area, whose real name is the walkingstick. (Full story […]

Good News.. Sort of by William Crisp

  It has been goose season all this month, hurray. The strangers you see creeping up and down the local highways at twenty miles per hour, under the speed limit, with sudden stops and parking in ridiculous and dangerous places are back. Those are not goose hunters, they are elk peepers. When there is an […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

  The Great Dovonian Sea As I Remember It I live along the shoreline of the Appalachian Basin, a North-South finger of the Great Devonian Sea. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly Sept. 15 Conclusion

by Phil Burkhouse As I mentioned in last week’s article, Jake, Mary, and I departed Winslow Hill as darkness was creeping into the valley.  We had quite an adventure and had sighted one deer and close to 100 elk.  Jake had captured some excellent elk shots with the Canon, and I was anxious to get […]

The Zen of Muzzle Loader Maintenance

by William Crisp Even though I’ve managed to impress some metrosexuals, I don’t consider myself a handy kind of guy. I can do some basic plumbing and electrical. I can weld as long as you don’t need the weld to look nice or save a life. I was once a professional carpenter but I was […]

Wandering Aimlessly Sept. 5, 2013 – It’s On

by Phil Burkhouse The first week of September traditionally marks the kickoff of the elk rut in our area, and while it is early in the season, the excitement begins building in my old bones.  Last Thursday the weather channel had posted a frost advisory for northcentral Pennsylvania, and I knew the cool weather would […]

Deer Report: Without a Parachute

by William Crisp So, after a spring and summer of perusing the woods for furry critters, I’ve gathered enough information to share and maybe help someone this season. To mention good deer hunting in Pennsylvania, publicly, is risky business…pretty much like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. It would be a lot easier […]

Wandering Aimlessly Late August 2013

by Phil Burkhouse During summer our wandering aimlessly takes a back seat to wo-wo-wo-work projects.  Gardening, mowing grass, working on food plots, cutting firewood, and home repairs curtail my daily wandering, but by late August my blood begins to change from red to green as I head more frequently to the forest edges and ridges. […]

War Drums and Peace Dogs

by William Crisp As I write this we are on the eve of the start of hunting season. Things will start ramping up pretty quickly towards the pursuit of feathers, and furs. Also, as I write, while the clamor that we can’t be trusted with guns has grown mostly silent, don’t think those anti’s have […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

      ANOTHER DEER STUDY The Pennsylvania Game Commission in conjunction with DCNR, Bureau of Forestry, Pennsylvania State University and the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting ANOTHER deer study.   (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly

New Tactical Blade In Town by Phil Burkhouse Going to a yard sale is very similar to going to the woods hunting; you quickly survey the available habitat and hone in on the most likely spots that might contain your quarry.  The quarry that draws me, like iron filings to a strong magnet, are tools; […]

A Fisherman Born

by William Crisp “Come on! Let’s go…we’re gonna get in trouble,” My brother beckoned. I knew It was late…too late, especially when my brother wanted to quit fishing. He picked up his gear and started walking. A shiver of fear ran down my back; as his big brother I knew I would really be in […]

Wandering Aimlessly Hellgrammite to Dobsonfly

by Phil Burkhouse This week’s column is devoted to one of many anglers’ favorite insects, the hellgrammite.  If you check out the picture of the hellgrammite that has transformed into an adult dobsonfly, several words might come to mind, such as fearsome and vicious.  If you knew, as most anglers already know, that a pinch […]

Summer Fishing

  by William Crisp   Summer fishing is still an exciting venture here in the Big Woods. You can catch beautiful, and large trout. Even though they’ve had to work hard at it, our Walters boys have proven that without a doubt. The bass anglers are enjoying the Driftwood again and the Sinnemahoning and First […]

Instructors Needed

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking for experienced hunters and trappers who are interested in becoming volunteer instructors for the agency’s basic Hunter-Trapper Education (HTE), Successful Bowhunting, Successful Furtaking and the Successful Turkey Hunting courses, as well as future courses under consideration. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly, Doll Hill

  by Phil Burkhouse I am addicted to yard sales because it’s as close to prospecting for gold as I can get in the Big Woods—excluding searching for the Civil War mother lode in Dents Run.  Like prospecting you never know what you might find; it’s a gamble.  At a recent yard sale in Prospect […]

Rowdy Randy and the Fishercism

  by William Crisp   What a bright face and smile the boy had. My son and I were in the middle of a “two for one operation” picking worms for fishing while digging potatoes from the garden. Nick was holding up a worm in one hand and a potato in another, proudly displaying each […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   COYOTE SCHOOL You’ve probably noticed a lot of coyote drawings in my column. That’s because I’ve spent a lot of time with the beast and my DNA runs high on the Canine side. I’m even allowed up on the sofa now. I started coyote school in the winter snows of […]

Wandering Aimlessly 24: Big Orangee

by Phil Burkhouse The deadline for my column is Friday, but I discovered the paper is not actually laid out until Sunday evening.  This fact, of course, indicated my deadline could actually be extended to Sunday evening, which allows me two more days to procrastinate.  Procrastination, or what I prefer to categorize as delayed deep […]

Combo Platter

  by William Crisp   Yet another study is being paid for to see if it is fiscally efficient to combine the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) with the Game Commission (PGC) or (PFGBC?)…again I say, “Yet another study paid for in order to save money”… I’m sorry this article is  long, but I […]

Wandering Aimlessly

by Phil Burkhouse When I use the term “woody” I am usually referring to our gorgeous feathered bird known as the wood duck.  We also have another Big Woods’ creature classified as a reptile that could also go by the handle “woody”, the Wood Turtle.

Turtle and Target Season

by William Crisp   Other than the debate on whether Independence Day brings us a day of freedom or if it means we can have it all year; July brings with it turtle season and target season. I have friends who look forward to the opening day of turtle season like we look forward to […]

Wandering Aimlessly 21 – 22 – 23

by Phil Burkhouse You math whizzes should be able to figure the average of these three numbers very rapidly since the average and median for this group is the same: 22.  The 22nd of June is also the day the three Walters’ boys each landed brown trout from our local streams that measured  21, 22, […]

The ‘Hyper’Male’

  by William Crisp   A friend of mine sent me an article about hunters and hunting in Alaska. It was published in the Hamilton (Canada) Spectator then published on line in “” It was written by a gentleman named Jim McDonald, a citizen of Canada…(until he wants to quit working, then he may immigrate […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   Lensatic compass Also known as the Engineer’s Compass. According to its manufacturer: “This compass is known throughout the world for its precision, reliability, versatility and ruggedness. It has helped to save lives in times of war and provided many with recreational and commercial usefulness in times of peace.” (Full Story […]