The Bad of Good Intentions

  by William Crisp   There are a lot of things that are in camp that we don’t enjoy but it is part of camp. For example, mice wars are legendary in camps around the world. There are red squirrel wars, porcupine wars, bear wars and so on. It’s a good thing these critters can’t […]

Wandering Aimlessly

    Destination: Ricketts Glen by Phil Burkhouse   Taking a road trip to view wildlife is always a risky wandering.  Wildlife is unpredictable, and oftentimes you arrive to hear the old adage—“Should have been here yesterday.”  Although you plan your wanderings to yield the highest percentage of success, it is still advantageous, when wildlife […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  4-H Shooting Sports/Dogwood by Phil Burkhouse   The 4-H Air Rifle Program began in Cameron County in 2013 with twenty-one local kids shooting from January to mid-March every Thursday on the second floor of the Emporium Moose Lodge.  The kids, ages 8-18, learn gun safety, gun care, gun parts identification, and shooting techniques.  Current […]

Spring Cleaning and Female Fathers

  by William Crisp   When spring takes off, it takes off like a jet. Easter has come, trout stockings are in full swing, the canoe race is Saturday, horn hunting is reaching its tail end already and if you like working the earth this has been a good time to take advantage of the […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   PEN & INK BOTANICAL DRAWING The entire drawing was done with Copic Miltiliners, XP #0.05 and the lettering with a #3, 5 and 8. The drawing is mostly a line drawing with little hatching in the old-style of botanical etchings. Background shading with a #6B pencil smoothed and blended with […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  The Antelope Buck by Phil Burkhouse   If you know me or question close friends, you will learn a few things about my personality and character traits that I try to camouflage, often unsuccessfully.  Synonyms such as hard headed and stubborn will probably crop up in the discussion, and those are some of my […]


  by William Crisp   One of my favorite articles of the year came out in Quality Whitetails magazine again this year. For the spring issue one of the writers from the magazine goes to the Southeastern Deer Study Group. That is a two-day event in which deer managers get treated to the results of […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   Pen and Ink woodscape, crosshatched and stippled. PEN: Copic Multiliner SP on Borden & Riley #234, 108 Lb. paper, crosshatched and stippled, time: about 6 Hrs. I don’t do pen & ink woodscapes often because they take a very long time to do and the results are most times not […]

Magic, the American Kestrel Returns

    Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA) recently visited Mrs. Tamburlin’s 4th grade class to talk about American Kestrels, our smallest Falcon. Don Bickford of CCOYA  read the book “The Return of Magic,” a story about an American Kestrel family and their full circle of life.  Thanks to Sinnemahoning State Park for the use […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Middle Creek by Phil Burkhouse   Last week’s question dealt with the location of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area located near Kleinfeltersville. Kleinfeltersville is a small town in southeastern Pennsylvania located several miles north of I-76 and approximately fifteen miles north of Lancaster.  I, also, asked if you can get […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   RAVEN – Corvus corax PEN & INK, Copic, Multiliner SP, #0.1, 0.3, and 0.7 on: 108 Lb., Borden & Riley, #234 Paris, bleedproof paper. Time: 3.0 Hrs. The raven was made for the black and white artist, the only exception is: the raven is seldom observed sitting on the ground. […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  A Winter Bear Tale by Phil Burkhouse   I heard an interesting bear tale through the grapevine that happened to one of Mary’s cousins in the northern climes of Cameron County almost exactly a year ago.  As most people who are woods walkers are aware, bears go into slumber in late fall and, while […]


  by William Crisp   We are rounding the corner out of February winters and into March…winter…but another step closer to nice weather; it’s not so much the cold but the noise at night.  I can hear the salt and chemicals from roads eating metal; that keeps me awake.  Maple taps are in and buckets […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Bird Tracks: Winter 2016 by Phil Burkhouse   In mid-January the Subaru headed southwest for a wedding involving a member from the Zoschg limb of the family tree.  It does a woods walker good to spend two days in a city to see how the urbanites live, and it also serves as a wakeup […]

The Cabbage Cat

  by William Crisp   “A skunk sat on a stump, the skunk thunk the stump stunk and the stump thunk the skunk stunk!” (Author is unknown; or afraid to fess up.)  Perhaps you’ve noticed the smell of skunk in the air as you travel down the highways this February. You can plan on hitting […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   123                                              02-19-16 A sudden warm spell in February, 1973 melted the ice and brought the beaver dams and streams to above normal levels.  I was in a rush […]

Additional ‘Eyes’ On Bat Caves

    As part of its Core Values & Beliefs program, the Williams Company recently donated $2,400 to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to be used for camera-aided enforcement to protect bat caves from intrusions. The funds will go toward adding six new cameras in two new sites. Currently, the Northeast Region has two and the […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Winter Bird News by Phil Burkhouse   December 20th, seventeen hardy birders hit the fields and forests in our annual Emporium Christmas Bird Count.  Another ten birders monitored feeders with a total of thirteen hours (4 a.m. to 5 p.m.) being logged by participants.  The nocturnal birding was for owls, and temperatures ranged from […]

Apricot Creek Classroom

  by William Crisp   Recently, I had been informed that all people, even the brilliant minds, after years of discussion about weapons couldn’t possibly imagine the simplest weapons advances of the future. Let me tell you, that made me feel good about myself. I’m pretty average but I can imagine a bunch of stuff, […]

2015 Pennsylvania Bear Harvest Ranks Third of All Time

    It was a large harvest, and a heavy one. Pennsylvania hunters harvested a total of 3,748 bears in 2015, the third-highest tally in state history, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported today. And a whopping 68 of those bears topped the 500-pound mark. The harvest total represents an increase compared to 2014, when 3,371 […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Golden Eagles by Phil Burkhouse   Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be our national symbol, but he was overruled and our symbol became the bald eagle.  The bald is a gorgeous bird and very identifiable since it is the only raptor that in adult plumage has a vibrant white head and tail.  […]

The Illterate Authors?

  by William Crisp   The Second Amendment has come up in topics again lately. Most of the time so much propaganda regarding the document is so easily dispensed as fact that I end up spitting my coffee across the room.  For example, a writer remarked in a moment of academic arrogance that the Constitution […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   The other day I saw 5 deer at one time. Not in 5-days. It was such an extraordinary sight if you live in a no-deer zone as I do. So special, I had to do a sketch of it. I thought that perhaps I had astral-projected myself into some deer […]

Ice From Down Under

    Ice is a beautiful thing to behold but only from the top side, not so nice from the bottom. I have intimate knowledge of this, because of the few things I’m good at, it seems that I excel at imposing the forces of gravity upon ice in a manner that cracks it. (Not […]

Emporium High School To Cameron Co. Christian Center

    by Phil Burkhouse, Wandering Aimlessly As I travel though life my perspectives on topics change as my education and experiences progress.  Everyone has different talents and abilities, and as I grow older, I grow more tolerant of people whose ideas clash with my way of thinking.  That is not to say my ways […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  An Elk Attack by Phil Burkhouse   It was Martin Luther King Day, and the youngsters were free from school to roam the Big Woods.  Big Jake and Isaac called in around 9 a.m. on that Monday morning to let Papa know they were up and about and had decided it would be an […]

Fire Whisperer

  by William Crisp   Being that it is January, I’ve been spending more time than I had been in July staring into fires and so, I’ve thought about them. Where would we be without fire? Not here, somewhere deep in the south. I used to take fires for granted, that they were easy to […]

Youth Ice Fishing Event Scheduled For Feb. 6

    The Bucktail Rod and Gun Club and Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities (CCOYA) are planning a youth ice fishing event scheduled for February 6th at Bucktail Lake in Sizer Run. The program is for youth ages 17 and under accompanied by an adult.  The event will start at 10 a.m. and last until […]

Trout Unlimited

  The James Zwald Chapter #314 of Trout Unlimited will be holding their January meeting at the St. Marys Middle School on January 26th at 7 p.m., in the library  room.

Gun Club Meeting Cancelled

    The Bucktail Rod and Gun Club meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 20, is cancelled due to renovations. The next membership meeting will be April 20.

Applications Being Accepted For Master Well Owner Course

    If you are interested in learning more about the proper management of private water wells, springs and cisterns and you are willing to share what you learn with others, you might be interested in applying for the Master Well Owner online course being offered by Penn State Extension starting on February 8.! The […]

Briar Scratch Grouse School

  by William Crisp   After decades of pursuing grouse, I have learned to instantly recognize prime grouse habitat from miles away. I have located prime briar patches at 55 mph rolling down freeways (easy) and from Boeing 747s at 5000 mph (still easy); it’s what I do. While some poor guys are good at […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  An 8-Point Fox Morning by Phil Burkhouse   The kids had off over two full weeks for their Christmas break and were chomping at the bit for excitement.  Bobcat season was in, and Jake was high on trapping a cat while Isaac was busy trapping beavers with his dad.  Jake and I set about […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  A Better Mouse Trap by Phil Burkhouse   Each fall our house becomes a target for rodent invaders known as mice.  Our house sits in a transition area between farm fields and woods and is an edge habitat ideal for many critters.  Field mice regularly invade our house looking for a warm place to […]

Desperado, The Phoenix Firearm

  by William Crisp   A few years ago, I wrote a story about a favorite gun of mine, an old 16 gauge double barrel I call “Desperado.” When last you heard of the gun it stood at the end of a lineup of all my guns for the annual cleaning and inspection. To help […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   PENNSYLVANIA FLYING SQUIRRELS There are 2 species of flying squirrels in Pennsylvania; the Northern and the Southern Flying Squirrel and it’s not looking good for the Northern. A four-year study in Pennsylvania, ending in 2007 only found 33 Northern Flying Squirrels in Pennsylvania. Most were found in the Pocono Mountains, […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Wandering Aimlessly in the New Year by Phil Burkhouse   A year ago Big Jake informed me he would like to trap a bobcat, and I told him it should not be a problem.  Under Jim Harrison’s tutelage I have enjoyed consistent success on our wildcats, but last year and so far this year […]

2016 Predictions

  by William Crisp   The Sunday hunting issue will continue to grow traction. This issue will continue to get great support from those who simply want to hunt on Sundays because it is convenient. Surprisingly, they will find allies among sportsmen concerned that too many deer are killed each year. I’m ambivalent about the […]

Second Week of Deer Camp

  by William Crisp The second week of deer camp didn’t go exactly as I anticipated. First off, it was interrupted several times by that pesky, nasty, bad for my health habit I have of holding a job…or two. If they think playing contact sports and getting a knock on the noggin is detrimental to […]

Air Rifle Program To Begin In January

  The Cameron County 4-H shooting sports program will once again be offered through Penn State Cooperative Extension. The program teaches youth how to safely use and care for air rifles and other equipment related to shooting sports. The program offers competitive events at County, Region and State Levels. Youth between the ages of 8 […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   119                        PRACTICAL CARRY                11-09-15 While studying the recent innovations in concealed-carry holsters, I found a lot mentioned about carrying your sidearm in a manner which would make its access quick and easy. […]

County Hunters Help Fight Hunger

    Cameron County is now involved in Hunters 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.      


  by William Crisp   The rut is finally on. Although a little bit late, it is here. Last week, I could tell because when I went to a rifle range to zero a gun for deer season, I had to drive a buck off the range to do it. He must have been lying […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  A Nine Turkey Morning by Phil Burkhouse   Turkey season in Pennsylvania occurs twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, and they are about as different as night and day.  Spring is the turkey breeding season.  Gobblers are vocal and are supposed to succumb to the pleading calls of […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  The No-School Buck by Phil Burkhouse   After Isaac’s success with his six-point buck the opening evening, Jake and I continued hunting hard the rest of the first week.  Little Bear Wes had football practice every evening, so his hunting time was limited to Saturdays.  We had scouted and had many tree stands and […]

Pumpkin Chuckin’ “Crimes”

  by William Crisp   Recently, I was sitting in a restaurant down by State College. I was enjoying my meal and minding my own business when I was interrupted by two college aged females who asked me if I was, “with conservation stuff.” I felt stereotyped and singled out but despite that admitted that […]

Game Commission Recruiting Hunter Ed. Instructors

    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, Successful Bowhunting, Successful Furtaking and the Successful Turkey Hunting courses. “Becoming a volunteer instructor for the Game Commission is a great way to give back to our outdoor heritage,” […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  Oct. 3, 2015 – Evening Hunt by Phil Burkhouse   Last week I told about our opening day of archery season morning hunt.  Big Jake and I headed down county and Jake saw two rack bucks but they stayed in saplings about fifty yards away.  Isaac and Ralph headed up county and saw a […]

Price Check

  by William Crisp   I’ve been goofing off in the woods again and as such have come to another deadline with nothing to write. Such is the life of a dreamer. This year I’ve been a bit more melancholy during the turn of the season. My Father passed this summer and his birthday came […]

Mountain Lines

  by Nelson Haas   TRADITIONAL ARCHERY Some people could assume I’m picking on  crossbow hunters…again with this drawing. Not really. It’s just because I chose to revert to primitive archery as a form of  protest when the Game Commission legalized the crossbow. The Game Commission did not succumb to the overpowering cries from a […]

Archery Adventures

  by William Crisp   Today was the opening day of archery season and I celebrated it but didn’t see a deer. Of course, I didn’t leave the property either, nor did I hunt. I haven’t soured to the season at all; it is among my favorite times of the year. It is just that […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  October 3, 2015 – A.M. Session by Phil Burkhouse   Saturday, October 3rd, dawned a chilly 42 degrees with rain and wind—a perfect morning for staying in bed.  The boys and I had scouted hard and had located stands in twelve different locations throughout the county—we were ready, but I was not enthused about […]

Wandering Aimlessly

  DiCaprio-Luckenbill Connection by Phil Burkhouse   When I allow my mind to wander aimlessly about the earliest white hunters, those indigenous American mountain men, many different names come to mind.  Most outdoor-oriented woods walkers have heard of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, but names such as Jedidiah Smith, Joe Meek, Thomas Fitzpatrick, John Fitzgerald, […]

Camp Cautions III

  by William Crisp   October is upon us and the official start of the autumn camping period of the year; as opposed to the mid-winter, spring and summer camp period of the year. If you are new around here or don’t know nuthin’, this is the spot where each year you get your camper […]

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 […]