Pennsylvania’s annual firearms deer hunting season gets underway Saturday, Nov. 28 instead of the traditional Monday opener. And as a first, the opener is followed by a Sunday (Nov. 29) deer hunting opportunity. The season then continues from Nov. 30 – Dec. 12.
Aside from the first Sunday firearms hunt, there has been some added changes. For hunters in 10 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), they will have concurrent antlered/antlerless hunting throughout the 14-day season. But that’s not all.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), the firearms season has a new twist in that a regulatory change now allows hunters to harvest a second deer before tagging the first as has been required. Provided of course hunters have the appropriate harvest tags and no attempt is made to move the deer before it’s tagged.
During the 2019-2020 season, hunters took 389,431 deer, the highest overall deer harvest in 15 years. This was the second highest since the 2004-05 seasons when 409,320 were taken.
The 2019-20 statewide buck harvest of 163,240 saw a 10-percent increase in the number of bucks taken over the 2018-19 season when 147,750 bucks were taken.
“The size and quality of bucks in Penn’s Woods right now, probably hasn’t been duplicated in the Commonwealth in over 150 years,” noted PGC Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “The number of record book bucks taken is incredible. In fact, it’s beginning to look like no rack sitting atop record-book listings in unapproachable.” You won’t believe what’s running around Penn’s Woods,” he concluded.
Surprisingly, the PGC made no mention of former deer biologist Gary Alt’s plan to institute a point restriction in areas of the state. Alt came under heavy criticism after this move. But judging what Burhans has said, it seems Alt’s plan back then has now reaped bigger racks on Pennsy bucks.
Insofar as bucks are concerned, the PGC says hunters continue to experience antlered-buck harvest-success levels comparable to historic highs in the late 1990’s and early 2000s. The agency notes that in recent years, about 22 percent of all hunters have harvested an antlered deer, and they look for this trend to continue.
Likewise, the 2019-20 antlerless deer harvest was 226,191 which included 10,461 taken with CWD Deer Management Assistance Program permits. This was similar to the 2018-19 overall antlerless deer harvest of 226,940. In 2017-18 seasons, the antlerless harvest was 203,409.
Pennsylvania’s buck harvest increased for three consecutive years until the 2018-19 firearms season’s opener when heavy rain kept many hunters home. But last season, there was an uptick in buck harvest numbers. It also caused the percentage of 2.5-year old bucks being taken. During the 2019-20 seasons, 2.5-year old and older bucks comprised 66 percent of the buck harvest, up from 64 percent in the 2018-19 seasons. Over the previous four years, PGC records indicate the percentage of 2.5-year old and older bucks taken was between 56 and 59 percent.
The 10 WMUs where hunters can take both antlerless and antlered deer are 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 5C and 5D. In 1A, 1B, 2A, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 5B, a seven-day antlered deer season will be followed by a seven-day concurrent season.
As for field conditions, the PGC notes that drought and late-spring frosts impacted fall foods in some areas of Pennsylvania. Warmer-than-seasonal temperatures this fall made grazing grass available in many places. Soft and hard mast crops have been remarkably plentiful in many areas, but spotty in others according to PGC field reports.
BEAR HARVEST REPORTS
Those looking to track Pennsylvania’s 2020 bear harvest can find harvest totals, breakdowns of harvests by county and season, and a list of the 10 heaviest bears harvested so far by visiting the Game Commission’s website.
Go to www.pgc.pa.gov, click on the Black Bear Harvest link under “Quick Clicks,” then click on the map under “Bear Check Station Data.” The map is updated continually as hunters check their bears and the records are entered into the database. Hunters already have taken nearly 2,000 bears this season.
The four-day statewide bear season runs Saturday, Nov. 21 through Tuesday, Nov. 24. The season includes a day of Sunday hunting – Sunday, Nov. 22. Except for foxes, coyotes and crows, which long have been hunted on Sundays within open seasons in Pennsylvania, only bears may be hunted on Sunday, Nov. 22, and hunters must possess a bear license in addition to a general license to hunt bears.
Those who harvest bears during the four-day statewide season are required within 24 hours to take their bears to a Game Commission check station. Due to COVID-19 protocols, public access to check stations will be limited this year, and only successful hunters and members of their hunting party will be allowed in the checking area.
Bear harvest results also will not be reported at check stations, but the real-time harvest map makes it easy for anyone to stay up to date.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), the agency said hunters have a chance to break last year’s record bear harvest of 4,653 when the rifle bear season opens Nov. 21 with the first (of three) Sunday hunt on Nov. 22.
The archery season offered the first Sunday hunt on Nov. 15 and after this Sunday, Nov. 29 will be the final Sunday big-game opportunity. For those hunting no private property on these Sundays, the PGC requires hunters carry written permission from the landowner with the owners contact information and phone number. The purpose, says the PGC, is if a game warden needs to check the validity of a permission slip.
As for the rifle bear season that runs until Nov. 24, the PGC sold a record 202,043 bear hunting licenses this year, an 18 percent increase over last year.
Hunters will be pursuing a bear population of approximately 20,000, of which hunters removed 20-25 percent of this number last year says the PGC.
Bears have become common throughout the state and especially the Pocono Mountain region. Some swim over the Delaware River to Pennsylvania from New Jersey. Bears have been spotted at Leaser Lake, the Orefield area even one in Lehigh Parkway in late summer.
According to Tom Keller, PGC Game Mammals Section Supervisor, “Bears are incredibly adaptable as they can fit in almost anywhere that offers them cover and reliable food sources. It’s why bears are found in more places in Pennsylvania than any time in PGC existence.”
Last year, bears were taken in 58 of 67 Pennsylvania counties, and 22 of 23 state’s Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). And the largest bear during the 2019 seasons was an 813-pound male taken with a rifle on opening day in Smithfield Township, Monroe County.
Lycoming County experienced the top harvest of 284 bears followed by Clinton and Tioga, both with 267. Other top counties included Huntingdon, 180; Potter, 174; Luzerne, 163; Bedford, 156; Centre, 146; and Warren, 146.
Interestingly, 561 bears were harvested during the archery season alone with 1,340 taken during the concurrent new muzzleloader and special firearms seasons and the new muzzleloader season had an unexpected harvest of 1,000 bears.
Hunters get an extra opportunity during the Extended bear seasons that run in WMU’s 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A from Nov. 30-Dec. 5, and in WMU’s 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D from Nov. 30–Dec. 12.
As for the required bear check stations, the PGC has changed two that are not listed in the Hunting/Trapping Digest that comes with every hunting license purchased. The changes are as follows: In Lycoming County the check station is now at PGC’s Northcentral Regional Office at 1566 South Route 44 Highway, Jersey Shore, PA, 17740. The other will be at the Southcentral Region Office at 8677 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA. 16652.
For real-time bear harvest totals check www.pgc.pa.gov. Then select “Black Bear Harvest” under “Quick Clicks” on the homepage to link to the totals and harvest maps.
With our unseasonably warm fall weather, anglers with motor boats were able to enjoy some pre-winter time on the water. But winter is drawing nearer and it’s time to consider winterizing your boats’ motor be it a 225-hp or 5-hp model.
BoatUS, the organization representing over 700,000 recreational boaters, offers these motor winterization tips and procedures:
Take extra care to make sure that your engine is properly protected, especially when storing. You'll need fuel conditioner, grease, gearbox lubricant, and storage fogging oil. This is only general guidance. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations and if these are inconsistent with anything here, defer to the manufacturer.
A good fuel conditioner that's approved by the manufacturer may help to stabilize the fuel that you have in your engine's system to ensure that the fuel is free of water and other foreign bodies when you restart the engine in the spring. Also, fuel tends to break down during long periods of storage, transforming itself into a gummy substance that clogs your carburetor and fuel lines. Better to take care of it before the clogging happens than face stripping down your fuel system.
Fogging oil is used to prevent damaging corrosion from forming inside the engine during winter storage. The oil comes in an aerosol with a micro straw that can direct the spray into the carburetor throat and spark plug holes. Follow recommendations for your engine, including the product to use.
For extra protection, remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil in the holes to assure the cylinders and rings are also well lubricated. Rotate the flywheel a few turns to spread the oil inside and then put the plugs back in.
You should also drain and refill your gearbox with fresh oil and lubricate all the lube points on your engine such as shift and throttle linkages. Leave your oil system connected, first making sure that your oil tank is full. This will reduce or prevent condensation forming in the tank during storage.
Remove and check your propeller for damage. If you're unsure of what to look for, don't hesitate to take it to a prop shop or your dealer. Clean and lubricate the shaft. Take the opportunity to tighten any loose screws, nuts, and bolts, and wax the engine's external surfaces. Check and clean your battery, storing it in a cool, dry place.
A final consideration is the position in which to store your engine. The best way is to either leave the motor on the boat or on an engine stand in an upright position, not tilted. If neither of these are an option, try to make sure that the engine is in an upright, self-draining position. If you can't do this, be sure that the cooling system is drained completely. Also, don't store the motor with the gearbox higher than the powerhead, since any water in the exhaust passages can run into the cylinders and cause serious damage. Look carefully at all the mounting hardware you loosen or remove from an installed engine. Replace if there is any wear or other impairment. Also, protect the motor from insects such as mud daubers that may stop up cooling and other holes.
If you follow these basic recommendations, your engine should give you years of trouble-free service. Take the time before storing your motor and you'll have an easy spring!
As we’re in the midst of small game and archery hunting seasons, there’s very little freshwater fishing going on. The rainy weather hasn’t helped either. But for die-hard anglers, there is some trout action according to Willie from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon.
According to Willie, the fish commission reportedly stocked a portion of the Little Lehigh Creek last week with a limited number of trout, mostly in the Lehigh Parkway stretch.
Willie added that the Lehigh River, on the Northampton and Cementon side, was fishing good for brown trout in the 20-inch range. Trout were hitting Kastmasters, Blue Fox and Weaver spinners. One river angler did good on trout by drifting night crawlers with the current. Those trout were stocked in spring by the Lehigh River Stocking Association.
He also received reports of continued Musky action at Leaser Lake plus a few bass up to 4-pounds. One customer brought in a picture of a pickerel he caught-and-released there.
But the really big fish action now is at New Jersey shore where sizable stripers are being caught.
In their latest fishing report, On the Water Magazine reported jumbo stripers in the 40-50-pound range are being caught offshore and on the beach, especially in Raritan Bay.
The fall striper run is on and stripers are feasting on large amounts of bunker. Big fish are also making it to the beaches and are receptive to poppers, shads, metal and swimming plugs. You just have to be there when they show up.
Linesiders are being taken by snagging and dropping when the fish are in the bunker pods. They’re also falling for Nichols spoons, big shads, jigs and on the troll.
Capt. Phil Sciortino of the Tackle Box in Hazlet, says the bass bite is on fire on the back of Raritan Bay, at West Bank, by Breezy Point and near the Statue of Liberty. Live eels, bunker spoons, Mojos along with dropping and snagging, have all lured fish to hook.
Other hot areas are Sea Bright and Island Beach State Park, a popular fishing spot for Lehigh Valley anglers. Fish up to 40 inches there are favoring poppers, shads, bombers and SP minnows.
Charlie’s Bait & Tackle in Normandy Beach reports a good bass bite on the beach for anglers throwing top-water swimmers. Island Beach State Park and beaches north have also seen some nice fish in recent days.
Jillian’s Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands said the bass bite is hot and they’re feeding on live eels mainly at Flynn’s Knoll.
Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach reports stripers up to 50 pounds were falling for sand eels off Long Branch. And offshore, the tuna bite was hot at the Triple Wrecks.
Capt. Bogan, of the 125-foot Jamaica, says his offshore runs have been producing limits of blue fin tuna, and good catches of yellow fin up to 90 pounds, predominately on bait and jigs.
NRA’S GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOOR SHOW
The Great American Outdoor Show held annually at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, has been cancelled for 2021 due to the pandemic. The announcement came from the National Shooting Sports Foundation who hosts the show along with NRA sponsorship.
NJ STOCKS ATLANTIC SALMON
New Jersey’s DEP Salmon Stocking Program has just stocked 4,325 Landlocked Atlantic Salmon in four state waters. The fish range from 12-16 inches and were stocked in Wawayanda Lake (2,103); Lake Aeroflex (810); Tilcon Lake with 12-inch size limit, (762); and Merrill Creek Reservoir (650) with a 15-inch size limit. The daily limit is two per day and anglers are urged to report their catches to the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries (firstname.lastname@example.org). These salmon came from New Jersey’s Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery.
Ed. Note: If they haven’t done so already, perhaps the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission should consider raising and stocking Atlantic Salmon as a supplement to trout.
With the rut (mating season) going on right now among white-tailed deer, and with more hunters in the woods moving deer around, vehicle accidents with deer are common in the fall and drivers need to be alert to the danger as they do not act with their normal level of caution and wariness. Plus, they’re also moving from bedding areas to feed in the evening and back in the morning hours.
Whitetails Unlimited Executive Director Pete Gerl said, “Drivers need to be aware that deer are more active in the fall, particularly during the hours around dusk and dawn. During the fall and early winter deer need to find extra food sources to survive the winter, and they often find excellent food sources along roads and highways.”
According to State Farm Insurance Company, Pennsylvania ranks third in the country with the highest claims for deer accidents with one in 52 odds of hitting one. West Virginia is number one with one in 38 odds.
Here are a number of things a driver can do to be safer during this time of year:
• If you see one deer, assume there are others around. Deer often travel in groups.
• Deer crossing signs along the highway are there for a reason – deer are known to cross the road in that area. Be extra cautious in these areas.
• Be more cautious while driving at all times. Deer are normally more active between dusk and dawn and are crossing roads during the night, when visibility for drivers is at the lowest. But maintain vigilance during the day as well because during the rut, bucks are chasing doe’s and they throw all caution to the wind.
• Reduce your speed and watch the edges of the road, as well as tree lines along the highway. This is especially true with a good amount of standing corn we still have where a deer can pop out at any time. At night, drive within the limits of your headlights and use your high beams when you are able to. Headlights will pick up reflections from the deer’s eyes long before you will be able to see the entire deer. If you see these reflections, start to slow down.
• If a collision with a deer is inevitable, avoid swerving to miss the deer as you may go into a ditch or cross the centerline into oncoming traffic. Most experts advise hitting the deer instead of swerving sharply into the side of the road and possibly loosing control of the vehicle.
• If you do hit a deer, call 911 if there are injuries or if your vehicle is disabled. Insurance companies normally require a police report if there is damage that needs to be repaired. Do not approach a deer that is injured but still alive. It will be scared and want to flee, and you can be injured by hooves or antlers. Police officers and game wardens are permitted to destroy injured animals, but it is usually not legal for individuals to kill a deer out of season.
In Pennsylvania you can take the dead deer provided it’s reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s regional office and receive a permit number. If hitting a buck, the antlers must be turned over to the PGC or may be purchased for $10 per point. Removing antlers from a road-killed deer is illegal, unless it’s being claimed by the driver.
FALL TURKEY SEASON
The fall turkey season opens Oct. 31 statewide except locally in WMU’s 5C and 5D due to a lack of sustainable turkey populations. The seasons vary in some WMUs so check your Hunting/Trapping Digest for the exact season closures.
NRA’s GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOOR SHOW CANCELLED
Due to COVID-related government restrictions in Pennsylvania, the annual NRA Great American Outdoor Show, often to referred to as The Harrisburg Show among sportsmen, has been cancelled for it’s planned Feb. 6-14 run. According to an NRA press release, the show has been rescheduled for Feb. 5-13, 2022.
There was some controversy on using deer urine scent for hunting in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission was considering banning its use but relented and only prohibited its use in Disease Management Areas to prevent CWD.
But Inventive Outdoors, based in Woodbridge, VA, came out with a CWD-free deer urine scent.
In checking with Bob Frye, PGC CWD Communications Specialist, he said, “If it’s truly CWD-free (which the company guarantees), it can be used within those DMAs.”
Inventive Outdoors was founded by Deane Elliott, an avid hunter who spent 32 years in the patent research industry and who holds several patents.
According to Elliott, his deer attractants are not cervid-urine based and are more effective than fully synthetic attractants. “Synthetic attractants do not contain the same compounds and other components as real urine. Therefore, they’re not a natural as urine-based attractants,” he explained.
Inventive’s CWD-Free deer attractant comes in four scents of Whitetail Buck, Whitetail Doe, Whitetail Tarsal and Whitetail Estrous.
The company’s second especially interesting product is their human urine-based scents. Using Elliott’s patent-pending urine neutralization and conversion system, he was able to create a “hybrid” deer attractant using human urine.
Says Elliott, “The conversion process targets “bad” or unwanted compounds found in urine, leaving the “good” or wanted compounds in it. The system also targets uric acid and neutralizes urine pH, thereby prohibiting the generation of ammonia.”
This unique product is coined Scent Relief NeutraVert System attractants and cover scents. What are they?
Scent Relief is offered in four attractants of Estrous, Buck, Doe and Tarsal and seven cover scents of Pine, Apple, Earth, Cedar, Acorn, Fox and Raccoon. All products come with a large plastic bottle and a pair of Neutralizing Powder plus Enhancer/Modifier bottles for each scent.
To make any of the attractants the hunter merely needs to urinate in the bottle then add the neutralizing powder which treats 16 fluid ounces of human urine. Once the powder has stopped fizzing, the urine is neutralized and the Enhancer/Modifier is added to provide the desired scent. The two ingredients neutralizes and converts human urine into effective deer attractants and cover scents by first targeting and destroying the uric acid that causes odor. At the same time, it retains important compounds found in both deer and human urine. According to Elliott, you’ll never run out of fresh deer attractant again. It’s a revolutionary conversion system that yields results.
The third product from Inventive is their Gut Check Arrow Wrap that’s designed for whitetail, moose mule deer, elk, hogs, turkeys and bears.
Prior to going out to hunt, merely wrap an arrow or bolt with adhesive-backed Gut Check, which will not affect arrow flight. Upon shooting and hitting an animal, if the arrow or bolt passes through the acid-containing digestive tract of the animal (gut shot), the indicator will immediately change color chemically to dark green. If the shot passed through a vital organ, the indicator on the arrow wrap will change from its original color to dark blue in a few minutes. This, says Elliott, takes the guess work out of how the hit animal should be pursued. Plus, the wrap indicator is highly reflective which aids in locating the arrow or bolt.
For bowhunters who do not want to place anything on their arrow shafts, Inventive makes an indicator wipe that can be used to wipe the surface of the arrow or bolt upon retrieving the arrow. If there is any digestive fluid present on the shaft, it will turn a bright color. If the shaft contains only blood, the red blood will show on the indicator wipe. Another innovative idea from Inventive Outdoors.
For more information on these unique products and to order, go to www.InventiveOutdoors.com. Or call 877-488-0804.
Saturday, Oct. 24 marks the opening of the regular small game season for pheasants, rabbits and grouse.
As for rabbits, I said this before and I’ll say it again, there are more of them in the city of Allentown then in the woodlands and farmlands. And that’s because the city is mostly void of their main predators like foxes, coyotes and Great Horned Owls. City rabbits usually only succumb to vehicles that hit them when the run out onto a street.
But the main small game quarry are pheasants. Long tails, as they’re often called, are non-existent in the wild. When I was a kid growing up in West Catasauqua, a pheasant or two would occasionally show up in our back yard. They emanated from what we called the West Catty woods that lay off of Pine Street and bordered on one side by the tank farm, the mall that houses Walmart, and on the other side, the Fairview Cemetery. Those days are gone and never to return.
If it weren’t for the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) stocking of pen raised birds, there would be no pheasants to hunt. And this year, pheasants will be stocked mainly on state game lands.
Here in the Southeast Region, the PGC will have stocked a total of 21,380 male birds (m) and 7,850 females (f). This is in addition to the 2,640(m) and 990(f) that were already stocked for the early Junior Hunter season.
You may not be aware, but for the 2020-21 seasons, both males and females may be taken except in the Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas. And don’t’ forget, hunters need a Pheasant Permit ($26.90) that must be carried while pheasant hunting. Senior Lifetime license holders are exempt for this as are youths under 17 but who need a free permit.
Insomuch as where the pheasants will be stocked, in upper Lehigh County most of the birds will be stocked on State Game Land #205. There was a time when Farm-Game properties were included, but that program is no longer in existence.
The In-season stockings in Lehigh County are as follows with a four-day window date. They are as follows:
1st In-season, Oct. 27-30 with 460(m), 170 (f); 2nd In-season, Nov. 3-6, 460(m), 170(f); 3rd In-season, Nov. 9-13, 460(m), 160(f); 4th In-season, Nov. 18-20, 340(m), 130(f); Late-season, Dec. 17-18, 320(m), 120(f).
If you opt to hunt in Berks County, SGL 106, 280, Blue Marsh, French Creek – Big Woods tract, will be stocked.
In Schuylkill, which has the most with SGL 106, 160, 227, 229, 257 and Swatara State Park receiving birds.
As Pennsylvania’s state bird, Ruffed Grouse populations have been on the decline due to several reasons including disease. The PGC is managing them to maintain their survival and one method is that the late season has been cancelled. These fast flyers of the woodlands are a majestic bird and are tough to hunt.
In Lehigh County the best bets are the Blue Mountain ridge where the going is rocky and rough. A good hunting dog helps here. That, and the woodlands around Leaser Lake. The bag limit is two but hunters should be happy with one to help perpetuate the species.
Every year around this time many Lehigh Valley anglers head up to Pulaski, NY for their salmon and brown trout run as the fish make their way into the Salmon River to spawn. Although I didn’t make it there, my friend Tom Marchetto from Easton did and here’s his recent report.
Said Marchetto, “Our annual fishing trip to the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY was September 19-23. Early reports indicated very limited fish in the river due to low water, warm water temperatures and gorgeous sunny weather. The reports were correct. The water flow was a meager 185fps which is as low as I have ever seen. The main reservoir that feeds the river was dry! Videos we saw even had ATVs crossing through the reservoir. Only the lowest part of the river DSR (Douglaston Salmon Run) reported seeing any fish and even their numbers were low. Three of us chose to fish the lower end of the river known as the Staircase Hole. Sunday produced no fish although we did see two King salmon on stringers for those who made it to the river at the break of dawn. Fishing all day had no success.
On Monday morning, again at the Staircase, there was some heated action earlier in the morning that produced quite a few catches of Coho salmon and one lucky fisherman landed a prized brown trout. I did have one hook-up but had no success landing the fish. By 11 a.m., the fishing frenzy disappeared and there were no more catches for the remainder of the day. By 2 p.m. there were no fishermen on the river by our location. Tuesday morning, after a phone call from a friend indicating the lower part of the river was again slow, we ventured to another area up river known as Ellis Cove. This area of the river has lots of tributaries that split the river and often have fish resting in the little side streams. We fished until 3 p.m. but not a tail was seen.
Our original plans were to fish Wednesday morning until noon or later before departing, depending on the fishing, but we resolved that the low water had taken its toll so we headed out for home. It will take some colder temperatures and much more water to get the fishing back to normal. The week we picked just wasn't the right week. The good news, besides the beautiful weather, was that we had no issues keeping six feet separation from other fishermen.”
As of Oct. 1, a report from DSR indicated there were flurries of activity intermixed with periods of calm, with plenty of kings spotted making their way up through the run. There were reports of browns (trout) and steelheads brought to hand as well as a beauty of an Atlantic salmon. Also some Kings, Coho and a few steelhead with another Atlantic reported.
REMINGTON FIREARMS BREAKUP
What was once Remington Firearms Company, has been split up by a federal bankruptcy court.
According to my friend Jim Shepard of the The Outdoor Wire, Judge Clifton R. Jessup, Jr. ruled that approximately $155 million in funds realized from the auctions will be applied to the company’s debts.
“And with that, the final chapter of Remington, at least as a major player in the firearms industry, finally have been written. How it will all shake out remains to be seen, but there are a few things we do know, says Shepard.” He lists the following:
*The 500,000 square feet of Alabama manufacturing facility that was to house Remington’s projected 2,000 jobs will be looking for a new tenant. The jobs disappeared, along with much of the state’s $110 million capital investment.
*Everything associated with Remington, Marlin, AAC, H&R, Barnes Bullets, DPMS, Bushmaster, Tapco, including trademarks, intellectual property, and manufacturing equipment, will be disbursed across the firearms industry.
*Outdoor retailer Sportsman’s Warehouse is the high bidder for Tapco’s gun parts and accessory business.
*Franklin Armory will get Bushmaster.
*Roundhill Group, LLC, has offered $13 million for the non-Marlin firearms businesses -including the shotgun manufacturing in Ilion, New York and handgun manufacturing in Lenoir City, Tennessee.
*JJE Capital Holdings, LLC, has been designated the successful bidder for the DPMS, H&R, Stormlake, AAC and Parker brands.
*The biggest bidder is Vista Outdoors.
“Yesterday, Vista announced it had agreed to a purchase price of $81.4 million to add the familiar Remington green trademark to its portfolio of brands, along with the Lonoke, Arkansas, ammunition manufacturing facility.”
“As with each of the bids, Vista’s is subject to closing adjustments. Vista CEO Chris Metz says the addition doesn’t just mean the addition of the iconic Remington brand. The acquisition, he said in a statement, will also “protect hundreds of jobs, support wildlife and habitat conservation and ensure that hunting and shooting sports enthusiasts can continue to purchase their favorite ammunition and accessories.”
Shepard goes on to report, “In 2019, those enthusiasts purchased approximately $200 million worth of those “favorite” items. Vista says it expects to add those earnings-excluding transaction and transition costs- to their annual revenue reports beginning in 2022.
"For some of the various brands that fell into Remington’s portfolio, then essentially disappeared, the breakup might mean a second chance."
"We’ll learn if Marlin becomes a part of Sturm, Ruger. As a standalone venture, Marlin might be successful. With Ruger’s not-inconsiderable financial strength and proven manufacturing expertise, Marlin could be positioned to take advantage of renewed interest in- and demand for- their modernized takes on the lever action rifle.”
Next Saturday (Oct. 3) is the start of the statewide archery hunting season for antlered and antlerless deer. The season runs until Nov. 14 including Sunday, Nov. 15 and again from Nov. 16-20. Then there’s the post Christmas Day late season from Dec. 26 until Jan. 18.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) makes note of some regulation changes for archers going afield:
*For bowhunters hunting during the three, first time Sunday hunting days, and when hunting on private property, hunters are required to carry written permission from the landowner.
*Hunters are reminded of the new “Purple Paint Law” that entitles landowners to mark their boundaries with purple markings instead of signs.
*Hunters may use illuminated nocks for arrows or bolts but may not use transmitter-tracking arrows which are illegal.
*If using portable tree stands on state game lands, they must be marked with durable identification that identifies the stand owner. Tags must include owner’s name, address, CID number appearing on their hunting license or a unique number obtained from the PGC’s Outdoor Shop or PGC website.
*Portable tree stands on state game lands must be removed no later than two weeks after the close of the flintlock and late archery seasons.
Additionally, if hunting in a chronic wasting disease (CWD) area and when shooting a deer from a disease management area (DMA), the PGC says you cannot take high-risk parts including, meat, the head, spinal cord, backbone, spleen, skull plate and attached antler - if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present and more – beyond DMA boundaries (listed on PGCs website). The skull plate with attached antlers, may be removed if no visible brain or spinal cord material is present. There are several sites where hunters can dispose of high-risk parts from public areas within DMA’s. Consult the PGC’s website for locations.
The PGC says this doesn’t mean hunters who take a buck have to give up the antlers, as they can take the rack and skull plate – if properly cleaned - to a taxidermist or home and put the rest of the head in a collection bin for testing.
If the deer is suspect, the agency said hunters can take it to any processor or taxidermist located inside the DMA boundaries, or, a cooperating processor or taxidermist identified on the interactive map at www.bit.ly/PGC-CWDmap, or at http://bit.ly/wherecanitakemydeerPGC.
There has also been some controversy regarding using deer urine as attractants for deer hunting. In contacting Bob Frye, PGC’s CWD Communications Specialist, he said deer urine may not be used in CWD/DMA areas. But when asked about the new 100 percent CWD free urine from Inventive Outdoors, a Woodbridge, VA based company, Frye said, “If the product is indeed free of cervid urine, it’s legal to use inside or outside of a disease management area.”
While on the topic of deer scent, Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy in Orefield received the first batch of his fresh “Yurine Luck” buck urine. Last season several bowhunters told him they managed to lure their bucks into bow range by putting down a urine trail with his fresh buck scent.
Also on Oct. 3 is the special rabbit hunting season for eligible junior hunters with or without required license. The season ends on Oct. 17 when the statewide season opens for rabbits. This is an opportunity for juniors to learn the sport and enjoy the great outdoors.
ANTLERLESS DEER LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS UNDER REVIEW
Pennsylvania Game Commission staff today appeared before the Board of Commissioners to deliver a report on the application process for antlerless deer licenses.
While the existing process is required by state law, and can’t be changed by the Game Commission unless the General Assembly first passes legislation that amends the law, the commissioners asked staff in July to proactively review the process.
Existing state law requires that antlerless deer licenses be issued by county treasurers.
Game Commission staff determined the existing automated license system used by the agency is capable of issuing antlerless licenses, either on a first-come, first-serve basis, or through lottery. Staff identified its preferred option is selling antlerless deer licenses on a first-come, first-serve basis, and identified a procedure and plan for implementing this process. The Commission will now continue to work with the General Assembly on amending Title 34 to allow for modernization of the antlerless license sale process.
With this week being the first week of fall, and if you’re a motorboat owner, be it a fishing or recreational boat, and don’t have plans using it again until next spring, the folks at BoatUS suggest following these guidelines for winter storage.
*Freshwater flush: Use a flushing attachment or run the outboard in a tank filled with clean water.
*Empty fuel lines and carburetors: With the engine running, disconnect the fuel line from the engine. When the engine dies, the fuel delivery components will be empty, preventing gums from forming in the stagnant gasoline and clogging lines, jets or injectors.
* Fog the carburetor intake(s): Before the engine runs out of fuel, spray fogging oil into the carb(s). Fogging oil is an anticorrosive that will protect the internal surfaces of the carb and cylinders. Typically, the engine will run rough just before it runs out of fuel. As that happens, give the carb(s) a heavier shot of fogging oil to insure internal surfaces are fully coated.
*Drain cooling passages: Disconnect the flush attachment or remove the motor from the flush tank. With the motor upright, let all water drain out of the pick-up. Open drain plugs (if any) to empty the powerhead and intermediate housing. Crank the motor a couple times by hand or “bump” it with the starter to empty the water pump. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into the holes to coat the interior surfaces of the cylinders. Rotate the flywheel a few turns to spread the oil onto the cylinder walls. While the plugs are out, it’s the time to check them for corrosion and regap or replace as required. Reinstall the plugs.
*Lubricate linkages and electric starter drive mechanism: Clean all pivots and visible gears and protect them for winter with oil or grease per the owner’s manual.
*Drain and refill gearcase: Use lubricant specified in the owner’s manual. Fill oil tank. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the tank.
*Drain fuel tank and supply lines: Starting the engine in spring with old gasoline is an invitation to problems. Manage to leave your tank(s) close to empty, then drain the fuel that remains. Use it in your snow blower or cars’ tank, but leave the gasoline lines and tanks empty. If emptying the tank completely is not practical for your boat, top if off to 95 percent full. This is particularly important with the introduction of ethanol into the gasoline supply. Gasoline with ethanol is subject to phase separation if water gets into the fuel, which will surely happen with a half-empty tank over the winter. Filling the tank also limits the air space inside the tank and reduces the potential for internal condensation.
*Stabilize the fuel: If you leave the tank full, add an appropriate amount of gasoline stabilizer to combat the formation of passage-clogging gums.
*Clean and lubricate the propeller shaft: The off-season is the perfect time to have your prop serviced. If the engine will be stored on the boat, take the props off to discourage theft.
*Store upright: Laying the engine down risks water draining where it shouldn’t. An engine stand is easy to cobble together.
While these suggestions may not pertain to all motorboats, many items are applicable to most gasoline engines.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.