Shooting Cats by William Crisp

      If you are a cat person you may want to avert your eyes from this story.  Once upon a time, in a place where I was trying to break into the conservation trades, I did a lot of volunteer work with various government agencies assigned to protect the resource(s). At that time […]

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

      SPOTTED TOUCH-ME-NOT JEWELWEED Impatiens biflora It’s been a good wet year for Jewelweed and it’s blooming everywhere this time of year. It reminded me of a request I had from a reader to draw the Jewelweed, so here it is. Jewelweed earned its common name from the appearance of water droplets on […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Beautify the County by Phil Burkhouse During the mid-‘60s I spent four summers working as a grunt for the PA Department of Forests and Waters, now known as DCNR.  One fellow laborer, whose name I will withhold but who went by Bill or Bogie, had a saying he would scream out from the forested hillsides […]

Warden Stories: Bridge No More

by William Crisp As promised, this is the second article of a series regarding some of the funniest or most interesting things that the truly great wardens I’ve met over several decades have done. This one concerns Ned Weston, who was a Wildlife Conservation Officer and a Land Manager in the Northwest region of the […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   PALE CORYDALIS I found this plant along a new logging road. It is slightly rare in our area. The last time I saw it was in 1994. Pale Corydalis, sometimes known as Pink Corydalis or Rock Harlequin is a biennial. It thrives in an open, rocky woodland on burned or […]

Mansfield Summer Baseball Camps

If you are looking for the perfect place to have fun and improve your baseball skills this summer, look no further than the 2014 lineup of Mansfield University Baseball Camps. The upcoming Mountaineer Day Camp June 17-20 is becoming one of the more popular sessions offering four days of quality instruction with emphasis on player […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Our Flaming Scarlet by Phil Burkhouse One of our permanent residents, the cardinal, is perhaps the most easily recognized bird in our area.  Even non birdbrains can usually identify this colorful red songbird and perhaps even its strong, clear, whistling voice.  For the past six weeks our area has seen the return of another brilliantly […]

Wandering Aimlessly

White Wing and A Jake by Phil Burkhouse   Big Jake and I were driving up a back road to our opening morning hot spot for the regular spring gobbler season opener.  The Youth Spring Turkey Hunt had occurred the previous Saturday, April 26th, and at the end of the morning the three grandsons had […]

Wandering Aimlessly

New Residents – Mason Hill by Phil Burkhouse In mid-March I did an article I titled “A Regular-The Barred Owl.”  Old “eight hooter” is a nickname derived from its cadence of “Who cooks for you—who cooks for youall.”  This songster is one of my favorite permanent Big Woods residents. Barred owls look large because of […]

Old warden Stories

  by William Crisp   “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion. By the transgression of a land many are its princes, but by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.” Proverb 28:1. I’ve been working in the conservation field in some way for […]

Drum and Henry Fishing Derby Sunday

    Get the kids’ fishing equipment ready for the Drum and Henry Fishing Derby. It is the 60th 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 1st on the Bucktail Rod and Gun Club […]

Wandering Aimlessly

    Caleb and Dylan’s Youth Spring Turkey Hunt 2014 by Phil Burkhouse   The Rieder crew of five live in lower Rich Valley near the mouth of Eddy’s Run.  Father Wes and mother Stephanie are raising three rambunctious sons ages 15, 12, and 10.  The boys, in order of age are Derek, Caleb, and […]

The purist Purists

  by William Crisp   I’m not the first one to say it but I believe it. There are angling purists but there is only one group of anglers who are pure. This demographic is special for a number of reasons.  First off, few anglers get as excited about fishing season as they do and […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Long-Tailed Oldsquaw Duck by Phil Burkhouse As most readers have been able to deduce by now, I can be classified as a “birdbrain,” and one of my most enjoyable times to be wandering with my bird book and binoculars in hand is during the spring waterfowl migration.  During March and most of April many […]

The Stocking Stalkers

    The debate is over. The notion that it is not trout season has been settled; it is. Or more accurately, it must be, you never want to get too specific on your scientific predictions or create a baseline, that stuff is for kids in “Bio 101.” I got an inkling about what time […]

Mother’s Day Birds, Brunch

    Mother’s Day – Birds and Brunch Pontoon Boat Program will be held Sunday, May 11 at the Sinnemahoning State Park, Lake Day Use Area from 10 a.m. to noon.    

Hummingbirds In Your Backyard

    Join Sinnemahoning State Park staff at the Driftwood Senior Center for Hummingbirds in Your Backyard. The program will be presented on Wednesday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to noon.  

Wandering Aimlessly

  Early Fishing, Youth Spring Turkey Season by Phil Burkhouse When I watched the grandkids prepare for the fishing season opener I was treated to a first class seat to observe youthful enthusiasm and optimism.  The Thursday evening before the Saturday opener I mentioned to Jake and Wes, “Let’s go play a little ball.”  Horror […]

Nevada Tortoise and Har(ry) Race

by William Crisp You would think that in the year 2014, while still aware of the history with land in the Western United States during the 1800s, that the Federal Government would not “modify” agreements and regulations resulting in removing native people from their homes and/or their means of making a living. Especially by the […]

Mountain Lines COLTSFOOT

  by Nelson Haas Tussilago farfara The coltsfoot is almost a month late this year as it pushes up through the leaf litter. The flower is still to open to its fullest in the higher elevations. Coltsfoot is often confused with the common dandelion. The easiest way to identify coltsfoot is that the flower stem […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Potpourri – Early Spring 2014 by Phil Burkhouse Early in horn hunting season my energy level seemed to go about a quart low.  The three grandsons and I spent several days afield, and they managed to come up with seven deer sheds from different points in the county, but basketball cut deeply into their […]

Saturday Is Annual Youth Salt Run

  Fishing Event   Don’t forget about the annual Salt Run Kids only fishing event on the first day of fishing season April 12. Youth 12 years of age and under will be permitted to fish starting at 8 a.m.m on the opening day of trout season. The pond and Salt Run stream will both […]

Twas the Night Before Trout Season

by William Crisp Twas the night before trout season, when all  through the camp not a creature was stirring, not even Uncle Jim, passed out on a lamp. The rods were set by the chimney with care In hopes that trout they soon would bear. Most fishermen were nestled all snug in their beds.   […]

Wandering Aimlessly An Old Fashioned Winter by Phil Burkhouse

It’s official: winter is over; spring arrived last Thursday and not a moment too soon. Our prolonged period of severe cold this winter that consistently produced below zero temperatures and harsh wind chills has been officially classified as our coldest winter in thirty years. There is, however, some good news at the end of the […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   WHITE-FOOTED MO– USE Peromyscus leucopus On some of these long winter hikes, my Yellow Lab constantly reminds me that under the seemingly dead snow cover, there lives a colony of diverse, small rodents made up of: moles, voles, mice and shrews. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the […]

Wandering Aimlessly

A Regular – The Barred Owl by Phil Burkhouse One of the first bird songs I require all our grandkids to be able to identify and repeat at a very early age does not belong to a songbird but rather to one of our nocturnal birds of prey: the barred owl. The typical eight-hoot cadence […]

How Your Gas Money Didn’t Go To Ecuador

by William Crisp On March 4th a verdict was announced in a lawsuit in New York between Chevron and Steven Donziger et al. On the surface it appeared to be a case that those of us environmentalists/conservationists can get behind. New York Attorney Steven Donziger sued Chevron on behalf of Ecuadorian citizens and entities on […]

Wandering Aimlessly

Out and About – February by Phil Burkhouse I was talking with Ben Porkolab last week, and I mentioned that Kathy Strycula had reported multiple sightings of a fisher near her home on Whittimore Hill.  Ben informed me he had a trail camera set over some deer scraps near his house on Goetz Summit, and […]

Fishing News

  by William Crisp   It is March, the official start of the time of year where the attention of many turns to the creeks and lakes. This is scientifically proven by the number of complaints. A strange human phenomenon occurs and sensitivity to certain stimuli waxes and wanes. (Full story in the Cameron County […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   COLD AND ALONE – Part Two I had worked all night when an early morning call came in of a plane down somewhere deep in Game Lands 14 on the Cameron/Elk County line. Without any sleep or food, I geared up for the search. A bad idea. Snows were deep, […]

Hunter, Trapper Ed. Course

    A Hunter-Trapper Education Course will be held Saturday, March 22nd from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Woodland Elementary School (LGI Room); enter back doors near the gym. (Full story in the Cameron County Echo on the news stand)

Wandering Aimlessly

February Fun – 2014 by Phil Burkhouse Big Jake turned 13 last week, and for his birthday he informed Ma and Pa Walters he would like a predator call.  Ted and Julie purchased Jake a Foxpro Wildfire digital game caller, and now Jake and I are coyote hunters.  The key word in that last sentence […]

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 […]