With the consolidated statewide opening of trout season kicking off April 3, now’s a good time to get your fishing gear in order, including waders and hip boots that may have sprung a leak. Added to that, and if you have a mentored youth, their special early trout opener is March 27.
Local bait shops get deluged with anglers purchasing licenses and getting line wound on reels much too close to the opener. Tackle shops would appreciate it if you’d inventory your tackle needs now during a lull in the action.
With most of the local streams and creeks now stocked with pre-season trout, the remainders are Leaser Lake and a portion of Jordan Creek. Leaser (and Pine Creek) gets a single stocking on March 26. By that time most of Leaser’s skim ice should be gone. As of last Friday, the lake was still skimmed over with about six feet of open shore line plus some open pockets farther out.
Cedar Creek in Allentown was stocked on Thursday and in speaking to one of the five stocking volunteers there, he noted that because of deep snow, they were not able to stock all the holes and fast waters that are commonly stocked in area streams and creeks. So, anglers may not have the action they customarily have at their favorite spot.
If you’re looking for more casting room, keep in mind the Lehigh River historically gets stocked by the Lehigh River Stocking Association the day or week after the state trout opener. The association is a noteworthy group that gets its money to buy trout for stocking from member dues and donations. If you enjoy fishing bigger, less congested waters like the Lehigh, join the association as it can only improve the trout action.
The inseason trout stocking dates for Lehigh and Northampton counties are as follows:
Lake Muhlenberg: 4-14, 5-16
Coplay Creek: 4-6, 5-5
Jordan Creek: 4-6, 4-7, 4-8, 4-12, 4-27, 5-7 (not all portions are stocked on these dates)
Little Lehigh Creek: 4-14, 4-21, 5-6, 10-18
Monocacy Creek: 4-22
Ontelaunee Creek: 4-22
Swabia Creek: 4-12, 5-5
Trout Creek: 4-14
Bushkill Creek: 4-16, 4-27
Hokendauqua Creek: 4-8, 4-20
Indian Creek: 4-8
Jacoby Creek: 4-12
Lehigh Canal: 4-6, 4-13
Little Bushkill Creek: 4-16, 4-27
Martins Creek: 4-12
Minsi Lake: 4-29, 10-14
Monocacy Creek: 4-5, 4-22
Saucon Creek: 4-5, 4-22
First time anglers should not forget that in addition to a general fishing license (16-64 years of age, $22.97), you’ll also need a trout/salmon permit ($9.97). Youths 16 and under need either a Mentored Youth Permit (free), or Voluntary Youth Fishing License ($2.97). All can be obtained at a licensing agent, online at huntfish.pa.gov, or by calling 877-707-4085 during normal business hours.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is joining fish and wildlife agencies nationwide to alert consumers about aquarium products that may be infested with invasive zebra mussels.
These products, known as “moss balls,” are a popular type of living aquarium plant sold in several states, including Pennsylvania. It was recently discovered that a batch of these products, which are marketed under popular brand names such as “Betta Buddy” or “Mini Marimo Moss Balls,” was contaminated with invasive Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and distributed to pet stores across the country.
While several major pet product retailers, including Petco and PetSmart, have proactively removed these products from their shelves, PFBC Waterways Conservation Officers in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, have confirmed the presence of these contaminated products in at least one Pennsylvania store.
“Zebra Mussels are one of the most troublesome invasive species in the United States and can cause major ecological and economic damage such as clogging water intake pipes, damaging boats, or damaging fisheries by impacting aquatic food webs,” said Shawn Hartzel, PFBC Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator. “Zebra Mussels are small and can produce microscopic larvae, so any water containing contaminated moss balls may contain larval Zebra Mussels. The potential spread of this invasive species is a major concern for our aquatic resources in Pennsylvania."
Zebra Mussels are small black and white striped, “D-Shaped” bivalves about the size of a thumbnail or smaller.
The PFBC urges anyone who has purchased a moss ball within the past several weeks to follow U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) guidance on how to properly disinfect moss balls and clean aquarium systems. This guidance can be found on the USFWS website: https://www.fws.gov/fisheries/ANS/zebra-mussel-disposal.html.
“Because Zebra Mussel larvae may not be visible to the naked eye, it is important that everyone who recently purchased a moss ball follow this strict disinfection protocol,” added Hartzell. “Just because you can’t see the mussels in your tank doesn’t mean they’re not there. Don’t take any chances.”
The transportation or release of Zebra Mussels or their larvae into Commonwealth waters is considered unlawful (58 Pa. Code § 73.1). Pennsylvanians who observe suspected Zebra Mussels or other aquatic invasive species can report them to the PFBC through the “Report AIS” portal of the Agency’s web page (https://pfbc.pa.gov/forms/reportAIS.htm).
We recently did a column on the influx of red foxes residing in populated areas, particularly in the city of Allentown. Well, they’re not alone. It seems coyotes too are finding their way into suburban areas including the city of Allentown.
A lady in the west end of Allentown, who lives in the area of 28th & Highland Streets, posted a security camera shot on West Watch of a coyote in her yard at night. Others have been seen in the Allentown Lehigh Parkway wooded tracts and I know of an outdoorsman who used to trap them behind Cedarbrook Nursing Home.
They’ve also been reported in the Stiles area where they’re probably living in the wooded tracts around LaFarge’s quarry operation located off South Church Street. In fact, several months ago, one was struck by a vehicle on Church in Whitehall.
Of course, you’d expect to find coyotes in the wooded tracts of northern Lehigh and Northampton counties, particularly around Leaser and Minsi lakes and the Blue Mountain.
A friend who lives on the outskirts of Northampton said he often hears them howl at night, but has never seen them. Same goes for friends who lived across from Woodstone Golf Course in Danielsville.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, coyotes entered northern Pennsylvania in the 60s from the Catskill Mountains in New York. From there they spread south and west across the state. Now, coyotes are found in all 67 Pennsylvania counties with the highest concentrations in the Pocono Mountains.
Adult male coyotes weigh 45-55 pounds whereas females are smaller averaging from 35-40 pounds. The heaviest known male caught was 62 pounds while the heaviest female weighed 42 pounds.
According to Coyote Hunting in PA’s Facebook page, hunters have been taking them in the 30-pound class and mostly at night when “yotes,” as they call them, are most active. Some will be seen during daylight hours but that’s mainly in spring when the females seek food for their young pups.
February is the prime mating month when females come into heat for a period of 4-5 days.
As for hunting them, their pelts have been fetching an average of $10.65 according to a February posting by Pennsylvania Trappers Association. And yes, some folks eat them. I tasted a piece of cooked coyote and it had a metallic taste. Not exactly haute cuisine.
A good many hunters detest coyotes because of their propensity to kill fawns, stocked pheasants and rabbits. But their main food habits are in the form of small mice, voles, road-killed deer, woodchucks, birds and plant material mainly in winter. In farm areas, coyotes will go after sheep, chickens, ducks, goats and geese. And in the populated suburbs, pet dogs and cats especially feral cats.
Coyotes den-up under overturned trees, tree stump piles, rock dens and dug out fox dens that face a southerly exposure. Pups are born in the dens from mid-April to early May with litter sizes ranging from 5-7 pups. The young will stay with their mother until October when they’ll disperse from 30-50 miles away with some traveling 100 miles away from their dens.
As said, many folks may never see a coyote but may hear their barks, yips and howls as they communicate with others or to periodically join larger packs. Other times, they’ll prefer to hunt alone or with another coyote or two.
A coyotes’ sense of smell, hearing and alertness are particularly keen and that’s what makes them tough to hunt. With snow on the ground, hunters may have to wear snow camo to blend in. Calling, be it electronically or mouth calls, is the prominent way to lure “yotes” into shooting range. And then it’s a quick shot. With the PGC now allowing night vision optics for predator hunting, hunters can trim the odds a bit.
With appreciable snow covering Penn’s Woods, it limits what can be done outdoors.
If you’re a cross-country skier, the snow makes a good platform to traverse places like the Rose Garden land in Allentown, Allentown Municipal Golf Course, Trexler Park, Upper Macungie Park areas, Macungie Park, Camp Olympic land in Emmaus, and other flat, accessible terrain.
If you’d rather stay home, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) offers an alternative to being outdoors. They are hosting constant live-streaming of wildlife in the comforts of your home.
For example, there’s the Eagle Cam located in a giant sycamore tree overlooking scenic farmland in Hanover, Pa. According to the PGC, the nest has one eaglet so far and is one of the agencies most popular viewing site.
Bald eagles typically lay eggs in mid-February and if viable, will hatch in mid-late March with the young fledging in June.
There’s also a Snow Goose Cam set up at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon County. Here, viewers can watch the thousands of snows that congregate there during their winter migration through Pennsylvania.
Perhaps the most dramatic though is the Black Bear Cam set up under a cabin deck in Monroe County. This location isn’t unusual says the PGC as it has happened before. Sometimes they even den in the open with only a few twigs overhead, the hollow of a tree, rock crevice, beneath the roots of a fallen tree, and if they can find one, a cavity of a large rock.
Several years ago, I accompanied then PGC bear biologist Gary Alt to such a den in Pike County. The bear was radio collared so Alt knew where the female bear was located deep in the woods.
After darting and putting the female to sleep, he and a game warden pulled the female out. Alt then allowed me to crawl inside the rock den (it was tight) to photograph two new bear cubs after which he pulled them out to weigh and measure them for his research. It was an unforgettable experience.
In this deck den, the camera uses night vision as light levels are low and the camera can pan, tilt and zoom. Residents in the cabin don’t seem to bother the bear and the bears are generally not a threat to them, says the PGC. This den appears to have two cubs as they’re normally born in January with their eyes opening in about six weeks.
Since there is limited room under this particularly deck, the bear sow must lay on her side to nurse the cubs. Their milk, that Alt had analyzed, has an extreme fat and protein content more so than any other animal. This allows the cubs to grow quickly.
The sow will also adjust with the cubs and when not nursing she may lapse into a deep sleep. Body temperatures drop 10-12 degrees during hibernation and she won’t eat or drink anything, or urinate or defecate during this dormancy.
Her cubs will begin walking in about eight weeks and will leave the den when they’re three months old.
PRE-SEASON TROUT STOCKING
The Pennsylvania Fish Commission is scheduled to start stocking trout on Thursday, Feb. 18, weather permitting. But deep snow along stream banks is going to make stocking especially difficult.
Pennsylvania’s final bear harvest figures are in and the results show it was the sixth best bear season since the state-maintained harvest records.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), hunters took 3,608 bears during the recent bear seasons. That reflects a 20 percent decrease over last year’s record harvest of 4,653.
The 2020 season breaks down as follows. During the archery bear season, that benefited from a one-week longer season, bowhunters set a new harvest record of 948 that broke the former record of 561 set in 2019.
As for the two-year old muzzleloader/special firearms season, that harvest slipped from 1,340 to 1,038, while the general firearms season harvest went from 1,629 to 1,170. The extended season, which the PGC points out is typically inconsistent, went from 1,117 to 432.
This recent harvest decline, often influenced by fall food availability, weather and hunter turnout, marks the second time in 20 years the bear harvest in back-back years has decreased by 1,000 or more bears, says the PGC.
More specifically, bears were taken in 59 of 67 counties and 22 of Pennsylvania’s 23 Wildlife Management Units in the 2020 season. Within that, the largest bear was a 719-pound male taken with a crossbow on Nov. 7 in Ayr Township, Fulton County by Abby Strayer of McConnelsburg. In comparison, the heaviest bear ever taken in Pennsylvania was an 875-pounder in 2010 in Middle Smithfield Township, Pike County. Since 1992, seven bears weighing at least 800 pounds have been harvested in Pennsylvania.
Other large bears taken in the 2020 bear seasons include: a 657-pound male taken with a muzzleloader in Lehman Township, Pike County, by Zachary Seip, of Schnecksville; a 656-pound male taken with a shotgun in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, by Stephen Strzelecki, of Albrightville; a 633-pound male taken with a muzzleloader in Cooper Township, Clearfield County, by Mark Gritzer, of Clearfield; a 633-pound male taken with a muzzleloader in Stewardson Township, Potter County, by Conrad Miller, of Hanover; a 621-pound male taken with a rifle in Shrewsberry Township, Sullivan County, by Jeffrey C. Kratz, of Collegeville; a 610-pound male taken in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, by Keith Davis, of Harrisburg; a 607-pound male taken with a rifle in Lake Township, Wayne County, by Seth A. Curtis, of Waymart; a 607-pound male taken with a rifle in Abbott Township, Potter County, by Robin Levengood, of Fleetwood; and a 607-pound male taken in Lehigh Township, Wayne County, by Joseph Sledzinski, of Lake Ariel.
Potter County finished with 188 bears to take the top county bear harvest. It was followed by Lycoming County, with 185. Other top counties for bear harvests in 2020 were: Tioga, 184; Clearfield, 157; Monroe, 152; Clinton, 149; Elk, 140; Luzerne, 125; and Carbon, 117.
Final local county harvests by region (with 2019 figures in parentheses) are: Northeast – 987 (1,228): Monroe, 152 (130); Luzerne, 125 (163); Pike, 105 (161); Wayne, 99 (131); Carbon, 97 (88); Bradford, 82 (128); Sullivan, 71 (87); Lackawanna, 56 (79); Susquehanna, 54 (82); Columbia, 53 (64); Wyoming, 42 (82); Northumberland, 22 (26); and Montour, 3 (7). Southeast – 170 (185): Schuylkill, 78 (79); Dauphin, 37 (67); Berks, 15 (17); Northampton, 23 (16); Lehigh, 7 (4); and Lebanon, 9 (2).
The final bear harvests by local Wildlife Management Units (with final 2019 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 3D, 408 (493); WMU 4A, 175 (308); WMU 4B, 112 (192); WMU 4C, 228 (254); WMU 4D, 234 (370); WMU 4E, 135 (139); WMU 5A, 13 (25); WMU 5B, 0 (1); WMU 5C, 22 (14); and WMU 5D, 1 (0).
STREAMLIGHT DEBUTS A DANDY SPORTSMEN’S FLASHLIGHT
For anglers and hunters, Streamlights’ new, slim and rechargeable Wedge flashlight is a must-have as it has many uses for sportsmen going afield and stream.
This mere 5.46-inch long, 3.3-ounce LED light with a 50K hour lifetime, 1200 candela peak beam intensity and 110-meter beam distance, or in THRO Mode, 3,000 candela beam intensity, 110-meter beam distance, gets its grunt from a Lithium Polymer cell battery.
Wedge comes with a removeable, reversible pocket clip that can also be clipped to a ball cap visor that’s handy when tying lures on a fishing line or field dressing a deer in low-light.
The high-performance light is encased in tough machined aluminum alloy with a tempered glass lens. It fully charges in 3 hours and is offered in Black or Coyote colors with a Mil Spec anodized finish. It’s offered with a limited lifetime warranty and best of all, their made locally in Norristown, PA.
For more information, pricing and ordering information check www.streamlight.com.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has announced a major change in the upcoming trout season. The two regional opening days have now been consolidated into a single Saturday, April 3, statewide trout season opener.
If you recall, up to 2006 the statewide trout season opener was always on one date. In 2007, the PF&BC decided to change the trout opener to two different dates with the explanation being that southeastern creeks and streams got warmer earlier than those in the northern tiers of the state. Warm waters, they said, were not healthy for stocked trout, hence the earlier opener.
In addition to this change, the statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will now occur on Saturday, March 27. The PF&FC said that because the mentored youth day was cancelled in 2020, all Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses purchased last season, will remain valid during the 2021 season.
According to Tim Schaeffer, PF&BC Executive Director, “The move back to a statewide single opening day is to insure that we can preserve our cherished fishing traditions, while reducing the amount of travel across multiple opening days. We wanted to give anglers as much time and information as possible to plan ahead, and we think they will especially like having stocking dates and locations at their fingertips again this year on our FishBoatPA mobile app and website (www.fishandboat.com).
Because of this change, the PF&BC will begin pre-season trout stocking operations on February 15, which is two weeks earlier than previous seasons.
Although the Extended Trout season is published to run until Feb. 29, all streams that are designated as Stocked Trout Waters will be closed to angling beginning Feb. 15. Anglers should keep this in mind.
While many anglers customarily assist the PF&BC in the pre and in-season trout stockings, the agency is reinstating a limited number of volunteer stocking opportunities due to Covid-19. A source said that local Waterways Conservation Officers will only use a select number of volunteers that have faithfully served over the past several years.
The agency also announced that a stocking schedule will be provided on the PF&BC’s website and FishBoatPA mobile app beginning Feb. 1. These dates are subject to change due to weather and other factors, but new dates will be posted on both sites.
PGC/PF&BC INTRODUCE HUNTFISHPA SITE
The Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission have partnered with digital government solutions company NIC Inc. to manage the new HuntFishPA licensing and secure payment system at www.HuntFish.pa.gov.
Anglers, hunters and boaters will now be able to buy their respective licenses and associated stamps online plus submit harvest reports and access 24/7 call center support.
Customers who prefer to purchase these licenses and stamps in person, may continue to do so at 750 licensing agent locations including bait shops, convenience and sporting goods stores and Walmart. When doing so, licenses/stamps will be printed at time of purchase on durable green paper instead of the previous yellow license color.
ICE FISHING REPORT
All ice fishing action still remains in the Pocono Mountain lakes and ponds. Because of the high winds this week, neither famed Ontelaunee Reservoir in Berks County or Lehigh Lake in Lehigh County have any safe ice. But Chris, from Chris' Bait & Tackle in Mertztown, believes both lakes could have safe ice by Monday, Feb. 1.
A new report from the National Deer Association shows that more mature antlered deer are being taken
While the Pennsylvania Game Commission has not yet issued their annual deer harvest report for the recent deer hunting seasons, the National Deer Association (NDA), a non-profit deer conservation group that leads efforts to ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting, has issued an interesting national report.
NDA’s study reveals that deer hunters in the United States took more adult and mature bucks in the 2019-20 hunting season than ever reported. This is based on a near-record buck harvest of 2.9 million and a record 39% of those bucks estimated to be 3? years or older. Their 2021 Deer Report is a recent and comprehensive update on the status of deer populations and deer hunting.
Says Ki Adams, NDA’s Chief Conservation Officer, “Hunters now shoot far more bucks that are at least 3? years old than 1? years. This is very different from hunting seasons a decade or two ago.”
Those statistics seem to be true for Pennsylvania since Gary Alt, PGC deer biologist at the time, instituted statewide antler restrictions. At the time, Alt took a lot of criticism for doing this, but in retrospect, his plan is showing success as indicated in NDA’s report.
The report goes on to say the steadily climbing percentage of 3?-and-older bucks in the harvest is the result of steadily declining pressure nationwide on yearling bucks (1? years old). Only 28% of the 2019 antlered buck harvest was yearlings, the lowest rate ever reported. The total buck harvest of 2,885,991 was only 2.5% down from the record buck harvest of 2017. As a region, the Northeast bucked this trend, increasing its buck harvest 4% over the 2018 season.
NDA’s deer report covers data for the 2019-20 hunting season, the most recent season with complete harvest data available from all major deer states.
Nationally, the antlerless harvest (which includes does and buck fawns) declined 1% from the previous season to 2,864,698 and for the third year in a row was lower than the antlered buck harvest. Modern antlerless harvests first surpassed the buck harvest in the 1999 season and remained higher until 2017.
The antlerless harvest has now declined 12% in the decade from 2009 to 2019. This decline was felt most sharply in the Midwest, where the decline over that period was 27%. Long-term reductions in buck and antlerless harvests have many hunters concerned, and for good reason. Harvest declines of 20 to 50% are very noticeable, and state wildlife agencies and legislators hear the brunt of this frustration from hunters. Deer management is in a very different period today than a decade ago, says the NDA, and how closely legislators, wildlife agencies and hunters work together will dictate our future deer management successes.
Among other facts to be found in the new Deer Report:
* 64% of deer taken in the 2019-20 season were killed with a firearm compared to 25% with archery equipment and 10% with a muzzleloader.
* New Jersey had the highest percentage of deer harvest with archery equipment at 63%, Rhode Island was highest with muzzleloaders at 48%, and Idaho was highest in rifle/shotgun deer harvest with 94%
* Texas had the highest total buck harvest at 460,242.
* Michigan killed the most bucks per square mile at 3.7.
* Mississippi killed the most bucks per 100 hunters at 70.
NDA’s 2021 Deer Report is available for free download at this link: https://www.deerassociation.com/2021-deer-report/
With the recent cold nights we’ve had, ice fishing has finally kicked off, but mainly on the Pocono Mountain area lakes and ponds.
According to Willie from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon, most of his customers are hitting Promised Land Lake where there’s about five inches of ice, especially at Pickerel Point where some crappies and bluegills are being pulled up. On Promised Land Lower Lake, ice anglers are nailing trout that were stocked there.
Elsewhere, Willie said Mud Pond, off Route 402, did have five inches of ice as did Lake Minisink. Both were producing panfish mostly on waxworms and fathead minnows. As for Leaser Lake, it held skim ice mainly in the coves.
Mike, at Mike’s Bait & Tackle in Nazareth, also reports Promised Land Upper Lake was fishing good for nice bluegills, crappie and perch, mostly all on waxworms. The lake had 6-7 inches of ice depending on what part of the lake you were on. The Lower Lake there was good, but you have to be right on them according to Mikes’ customers who fished there last week.
Minisink Lake was iffy with five inches of ice at one section that diminishes to three inches elsewhere. Certainly not safe to fish. Gouldsboro Lake was producing some trout and pickerel and Tobyhanna Lake predominately gave up panfish. Brady’s Lake was yielding mostly little dinks but the action seemed better by the island.
For veteran and even novice ice anglers, the folks at Frabill, who specialize in ice fishing equipment, offers these tips for more productive days on the ice.
Playing the odds they say, is a tip all the pro ice anglers speak about in one way or another. This also coincides with the mobility tip.
Typically, anglers will start in shallow water in the morning and move deeper throughout the day. This is a reliable method but can have its disadvantages as well. When every ice angler in the area is drilling holes up shallow where the fish have already staged, the odds of spooking them to deeper water increases. And vice versa, as the day extends and anglers are chasing the fish to deeper water they may also be moving them back to shallow water where there is less pressure.
A key to this thought is to stay stealthy, don't move when they move. Stay a step ahead of them and be patient as they will come to you, say the Frabill pros. Be strategic when picking your locations and plan for the entire day of fishing. You may start the day in 10'-15' foot of water in the morning, but slip over to deeper water (30') close by. Staying mobile is the key, suggests Frabill, as it will only take a few minutes to get back to other spots for when the conditions are right.
Frabill believes ice fishing is rapidly growing due to the relatively low cost of entry and the ability to involve the entire family for a great day spent outdoors during the winter.
As most big game hunting seasons are over, small game species are still available for upland hunters and continues until Feb. 27.
Among the group that includes pheasant, rabbit, quail (good luck finding those) and squirrel, the latter is the most abundant because they live longer and are the least hunted small game animal. Yet they make delightful table fare as their meat is mild and a tad sweet. Perhaps this is because of their diet of nuts, sunflower seeds and peanut hearts from bird feeders, flower bulbs (I lost all my Holland tulips to them) and bark from bushes in the winter when there’s deep snow on the ground that prevents them from finding their buried nuts.
If you haven’t tried squirrel be it grilled, creamed or in pot pie, they’re all good ways to prepare them. My favorite is creamed and the recipe I use is from long-time fellow outdoor writer Sylvia Bashline and her Savory Game Cookbook. Her Creamed Squirrel recipe is as follows:
Three skinned squirrels cut into pieces
Prepare flour and season with salt & pepper
One-quarter cup cooking oil (I use peanut oil)
One chopped onion
Half cup chopped mushrooms
One cup dry white wine
Half teaspoon thyme
One tablespoon chopped parsley
One cup light cream
Quick Mixing flour
Roll the squirrel pieces in the flour mixture. Heat cooking oil in a large heavy skillet and fry squirrel pieces on all sides until brown. Remove the pieces from the pan. In the same pan, fry onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat for five minutes, then return squirrel pieces to the skillet. Add wine, thyme and parsley to the pan while mixing well, then cover and simmer until squirrel is tender for one to one-and-a-half hours. Add water to the pan if necessary. Remove squirrel pieces from the pan and cool. (Sylvia said the above can be completed an hour before dinner.)
Remove the meat from the bones if you haven’t already. Add enough water to a pan to make one cup. Add cream to the pan and bring to a boil. If the liquid is too thin, add a little flour and stir to thicken. Add pieces of meat, heat and serve over toast or hot biscuits. Garnish with parsley and enjoy. This can serve four or five.
Most squirrel hunters use a .22 rifle opposed to a shotgun for squirrels. The latter would require the chore of picking out spent shot from the meat. If missing one tiny BB, it could mean a trip to the dentist for a cracked filling or chipped tooth.
CCI, the popular ammo company, recently came out with a Quiet-22LR rimfire cartridge that is ideal for squirrel hunting in that it offers less noise to spook or scare other squirrels. This 40-grain round nose has a low velocity of 710fps and generates 75 percent less perceived noise than a standard .22LR round, says CCI. They’re also ideal for target shooting and retail for $4.99 for a box of 50 through CCI’s online store.
Instead of watching old movies of the 40s and 50s, that have been continuously playing on most cable channels of late, crank up your computer or iPad and check out the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) live streaming Eagle Cam.
A new season of live-streamed action from a bald-eagle nest near Codorus State Park in Hanover, Pa. is underway, says the PGC. The agency announced its popular Eagle Cam, a joint project with partners HDOnTap and Comcast Business, has returned.
The Hanover cam is one of two bald-eagle livestreams the Game Commission, HDOnTap and Comcast Business, are planning this nesting season. No date has been selected for the launch of the Farm Country Eagle Cam.
This is the seventh year for the 24-7 livestream at the Hanover nest. HDOnTap Co-Founder Tiffany Sears said the company is excited the action has begun.
"This is one of our most popular live cameras,” Sears said. "Since 2015, viewers have enjoyed ?over 40 million hours of 24-7, live HD video? and audio from the nest, as well as daily time-lapse clips on screens worldwide.”
The last two seasons have been tough ones for the eagles at the Hanover nest. No chicks have hatched in either. Last season, viewers watched patiently as the pair of adult eagles took turns incubating their clutch of two eggs, but by late March, the eggs still hadn’t hatched and were deemed unviable. Eagle-lovers everywhere are hoping this year will be different.
Comcast Business has generously signed on for another year to provide the Internet connectivity for both Eagle Cam livestreams. The company is proud to again partner with HDOnTap to provide fast, reliable and secure Internet service that will enable nature enthusiasts to continue watching and learning about these amazing bald eagles,” said Aaron Mimran, Vice President of Comcast Business for the company’s Keystone Region.
“HDOnTap is also thrilled to be working again with Raptor Biologist, Zoey Greenberg, on the Hanover Bald Eagle Blog, to help share with viewers educational information, photos and video highlights pertaining to Bald Eagles and specifically the events at the Hanover nest,” says Tiffany Sears. The blog can be found at: https://hdontap.com/index.php/articles/type/category/hanover_eagle_updates. ?
The Hanover, Pa. livestream can be found at www.pgc.pa.gov and on HDOnTap’s website, where it can be found on HDOnTap’s. Live Hanover Bald Eagles. .
“The resurgence of bald eagles in Pennsylvania represents one of the greatest conservation success stories in the country,” said Steve Smith, director of the Game Commission’s Bureau of Information and Education. “It’s a product of decades of planning and hard work by Game Commission staff. We are excited for this opportunity to once again bring this pair into homes and schools across the country through the livestream.”
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.