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 (email@example.com). 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.
This weekend marks the opening of the archery deer and bear seasons in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D. The season runs from Sept. 19-Nov. 27. For deer (both antlered and antlerless), this will include one of the first Sunday hunts on Nov. 15.
The statewide archery season, which numbers about 400,000 bowhunters according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s archery license sales, kicks off for both buck and doe on Oct. 17 and runs until Nov. 7.
A youth and mentored youth squirrel hunt opened this past Saturday and runs until Sept. 26 when junior and mentored youth hunters can hunt with or without a hunting license. The first part of the regular squirrel season also got underway on Saturday and runs until Nov. 27.
The elk season also got underway Saturday for those lucky enough to draw an elk tag.
But back to deer that seem to be everywhere in suburbia and places you wouldn’t expect them to be.
I friend who lives off Lindbergh Avenue in Salisbury Township and not far from Lehigh Parkway has deer, even some sizable bucks, coming into this back yard that is bordered by other homes. Most recently, and as he was sitting on his patio and sipping a coffee, a 6-point buck sauntered up to within 15 feet of him. The attraction there is sunflowers and emerald arborvitae trees he has. Funny thing is, the deer only eat the center of the trees not the bottoms or tops which is an easy 7-foot stretch if they stand on their hind legs.
Then there was the doe that found its way inside the fence of the Allentown Fairgrounds in February as it seemed to walk around looking for an escape exit, according to the manager of the Sunoco gas station across the street.
There are also deer throughout Lehigh Parkway (even a bear in July), in small woodlots and fencerows around Parkland High School, the farmland across from Whitehall High School, Whitehall Parkway, woodlots off Schantz Road and behind the new Parkland elementary school, patches of woods along the Lehigh River from Whitehall to Laury’s Station, the woods along Huckleberry Road that will shortly be developed, small woodlots off Tilghman Street across from the vo-tech school, and of course the vast holdings of GEM Corporation (formerly Trojan Powder), all in Lehigh County.
The point being, deer were pushed out of from many of their northern woodland haunts because of development of warehouses, homes, apartments and office complexes, but they have adapted and survive.
A word of notice, the woodlot on Lehnert Road down from the tennis courts in Whitehall Township and owned by the County of Lehigh, was opened for bowhunting by former County Executive Don Cunningham. But now its posted for no hunting.
As most bowhunters hunt from a tree stand, every year hunters fall from tree stands because they lack proper safety equipment. According to the Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation (TSSA), the number one cause of injuries and deaths when deer hunting are from falling out of a treestand. They list 20 percent fall from home made stands, 31 percent from lock-on stands, 20 percent from ladder stands, 25 percent from climbers and 4 percent from others.
Falls shouldn’t happen with the array of safety harnesses on the market. It’s a small investment to pay for a life or limb.
LOCAL TROUT STOCKING
While the fall trout stocking schedule for Lehigh County is listed for Oct. 15, it was pushed back to Oct. 22 for the Little Lehigh Creek in Allentown.
With cooler nighttime temperatures local fishing should improve, primarily on lakes and ponds. Stream fishing, on the other hand, is slow except for avid fly anglers who have the patience and expertise to coax a leftover trout to hit.
Fall trout stockings are far and few between and as for Lehigh County, the stocking schedule lists the Little Lehigh Creek to be stocked Oct. 15, but it was moved to Oct. 22.
Until then, the best angling action right now is saltwater at the most popular northern New Jersey shore points.
According to On the Water Magazine, a remarkable inshore Bluefin tuna bite is going on. Plus, there’s plenty of action on bonito, false albacore, Spanish mackerel, terrific reports of fluke, even some inshore mahi-mahi. The magazine says there’s a build-up of bait in the bays and river which appears to have the makings of a good fall run.
Tackle World tackle shop in Rochelle Park, reported a solid inshore bite of black tip and spinner sharks as they’re feeding on lots of bunker with the added bonus of a Bluefin tuna or two.
Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, NJ, says fluking has been really good with a little more than two weeks left in the season. He adds that the rough bottom areas of the Rattlesnake and Scotland Grounds has been yielding big fish and lots of limits. The porgy bite has also been good on the Tin Can Grounds.
Jilian’s Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands, reported good fluking on the hard bottoms of Ambrose and Chapel Hill channels.
Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, NJ, reported several bluefish blitzes on the beach with blues stretching from Sea Bright to Long Branch, NJ. Blues were gorging on peanut bunker and spearing. Also, good numbers of blues and Spanish mackerel at the Rip on Sandy Hook. As for fluke, the keeper ratio is getting better in the surf, but shorts are still in the majority. Additionally, small stripers are falling for poppers in the Shrewsbury and Naversink rivers.
Mike Gleason, at Tak Waterman in Long Branch, managed to take (after a 30-minute fight) a 69-inch bluefin that swallowed his Madd Mantis popper just 20 feet from the boat. He says the offshore yellowfin tuna bite remains good while surf fishing has been producing blues and short bass with an occasional fluke.
Small blues, he added, blitzed the beach in Ocean Grove last week with plenty of small fluke in the wash.
Over at Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle in Seaside Park, they report fluke and blues continue to bite well in the surf. They’re surprised the blues are in so close. Crabbing too remains good in the bay but it’s recommend hitting the less frequented lagoons.
On the Water’s upcoming forecast, with two weeks remaining in the fluke season, is that fishing should be really good this week. It’s recommended anglers hit the rough bottoms with Gulp and bucktails. The beaches too should produce good action on bass, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and false albacore.
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.