Pennsylvania’s final bear harvest figures are in and have set a new state record over a 30-day season.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), hunters took 4,653 bears, a third increase over the 2018 seasons when 3,153 bears were taken. Pennsylvania’s top bear harvest was 4,350 bears in the 2011 season.
The PGC believes the harvest is down somewhat due to bad weather that kept most hunters out of the woods. But the agency points out that in the four years prior to 2019, hunters still took more than 13,850 bears, which shows the population to hover around 20,000.
Interestingly, the break down of the three major season segments shows that hunters took 1,629 bears during the general season; 1,340 in the muzzleloader and special firearms seasons; 1,117 in the extended firearms seasons and 561 during the archery bear season. The PGC notes that the muzzleloader, extended and archery harvests are all new record harvests as well.
It was pointed out that when a record 202,043 hunters buy licenses and can participate in opening days of four seasons, there’s always a greater chance of success. And opening day accounted for 50-60 percent of bear season harvest with bears taken in 58 counties and 22 of Pennsylvania’s 23 Wildlife Management Units.
For this season, the top largest bear taken was an 813-pound male shot with a rifle on opening day of the general season in Smithfield Township, Monroe County by Victor M. Vassaluzzo of Kintnersville, Bucks County.
In comparison, the heaviest bear ever taken in Pennsylvania was an 875-pounder shot in 2010 in Middle Smithfield Township, Pike County. Since 1992, seven bears weighing at least 800 pounds were harvested in Pennsylvania. And it’s been said there are a few out there in excess of 900 pounds.
Lycoming County was the high roller with 284 bears taken followed by Clinton County (267) and Tioga County (267). Other top counties were Huntingdon (180); Potter (174); Luzerne (163); Pike, (161); Bedford, (156); Centre, (146); and Warren, (146).
Locally, and closer to the Lehigh Valley, these are the final totals with last years harvest in parenthesis:
Northeast Region – 1,228 (775); Luzerne, 163 (105); Pike, 161 (104); Wayne, 131 (70); Monroe, 130 (103); Bradford, 128 (96); Carbon, 88 (60); Sullivan, 87 (53); Susquehanna, 82 (46); Wyoming, 82 (40); Lackawanna, 79 (34); Columbia, 64 (38); Northumberland, 26 (24); and Montour, 7 (20).
Southeast Region – 185 (137); Schuylkill, 79 (50); Dauphin, 67 (48); Berks, 17 (8); Northampton, 16 (17); Lehigh 4 (4); and Lebanon, 2 (10).
Despite the impressive harvest numbers, the PGC says the Pennsylvania’s bear harvest it still within the harvest range in which the commission is comfortable with. And that Pennsylvania has the best bear population monitoring program in America and is a leader in bear management among eastern states.
PGC Executive Director Bryan Burhans emphasized, “If season adjusts are needed in future seasons, we’ll know quickly and adjust accordingly.
The NRA and Institute for Legislative Action put out this press release regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2020 Budget Address.
During his 2020 Budget Address, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appeared to have bought-in to the anti-gun narrative that law-abiding gun owners are the problem, not criminals.
Coming on the heels of an anti-freedom lobby day by Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action, the Governor’s proposed gun control agenda includes the following:
• Extreme gun confiscation measures often referred to as “red flag” laws that authorize the seizure of firearms without due process.
• Criminalizing private transfers of firearms.
• Imposing punishments on victims that have had their firearms stolen.
• Creating firearm storage laws that remove a homeowner’s ability to quickly access their own firearm for self-defense.
Of this foursome, the most immediately damaging is the firearm storage law proposal. When a person or homeowner needs to defend himself and family, retrieving a defensive firearm from a safe and perhaps with a trigger lock (if that’s also included), will not work or help the homeowner. This is especially true for those living in the country where it could take state police 15-30 minutes to arrive at your home to protect you.
The “red flag” law too is bizarre. If a neighbor or relative feels you’re not fit to own a gun, it, or they if there’s more than one gun, can be confiscated it appears, by police without due process.
This agenda, according to the NRA/ILA, is straight from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun largesse, driven by his front-groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.
These bills have one thing in common; they don’t go after criminals, they target law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment, says the NRA/ILA.
It’s the outdoor show of outdoor shows, and the largest in the country.
The NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show rolls into the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg this weekend (Feb. 1-9) for its nine-day extravaganza. This show is unlike any other in that it annually draws over 170,000 visitors and features the top firearms/fishing manufacturer’s showing their latest offerings. It annually features hunting/fishing outfitters and charters from around the world.
This year’s show will feature over 200 seminars from outdoor experts and celebrities with demonstrations and contests in archery, casting and for the youngsters, the Eddie Eagle Zone area that will hand out more than 5,000 prizes for kids while providing life-saving gun safety and accident prevention instruction. There’s also the kids Basketball Court, Wildlife Identification, face painting and crafts for youngsters of all ages.
Last year, nearly 7,000 shooters of all ages took their best shots at NRA’s Air Gun Range – firing 85,000 airsoft rounds into more than 500 targets.
Back again is the 3D Bowhunter Challenge and Spot Challenge contests with prizes awarded to the top shooters.
This years NRA’s Country Concert features singer Chris Janson with Jon Langston and Jacob Bryant country artists.
Over 11 dogs will compete in the Dock Dogs competition in the large arena with the dogs being judged in several categories.
Personalities include Phil Robertson of Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty TV show, the hunting duo of Lee and Tiffany Lakosky and many more.
Buy a ticket to NRA Foundation’s Wall of Guns trailer of rifles and handguns which will be raffled off from the display case.
Then there’s the Friends of NRA Banquet on Feb. 7 where members and prospective members can meet and hear a state of the Second Amendment presentation by NRA officers.
In addition to these, there will be the latest truck offerings from RAM, Yamaha ATVs and several aftermarket companies plus new boats, kayaks and marine products will be displayed.
To save time at the admissions gate, showgoers can speed their entrance by buying advanced tickets online.
Adult tickets are $15; 2-Day tickets $25; Child (6-12) $7; Seniors (65 and over) $12; Groups (10 minimum) $12; and Late Afternoon (after 3 p.m.) $8. Previously purchased Bounce-Back tickets allow free admission on the final day. Children under five are free with a paying adult and NRA offers free admission for those joining NRA at the show.
Show hours are Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Feb. 2 and Feb 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Feb. 3 and Feb. 7, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Parking is offered at several sites with shuttle service offered from outlying parking lots.
The Farm Show Arena is located at 2300 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. For added information check www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.
For those needing an electric scooter, they are available for rental but should be reserved prior to attending. There’s free Wi-Fi and a mobile app that can be downloaded by visiting the above website where there’s a map of the facilities and a host of questions/answers about the show.
If cabin fever is beginning to set it, you can enjoy and sample a taste of the great outdoors by attending Blue Mountain Resort’s 11th annual Winter Fest on Jan. 25 and 26.
Even if you’re not a skier or snowboarder, the event will cater to all, including youngsters.
The two-day event will take place at the Summit Lodge at the top of Pennsylvania’s highest vertical on School Hill on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Winter Festival will include ice carvings, real sled dogs, Snow Making Tours from Blue’s Mountain Ops Team, Snowga (yoga on snow), snowshoe demonstrations and a variety of vendors plus a kid’s area that will include an ice sliding board.
In addition to the event, the USA Olympic Luge Team will host their 2020 Luge Challenge from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday (weather permitting).
Guests can experience the exhilaration of the Winter Games by riding a luge on the only natural East Coast USA Luge track that will be open to the public. USA Luge Team coaches will be on-site to evaluate each luge run and will be scouting for potential candidates. For example, in 2017, Brianna Gosnel was recruited for the USA Luge Team after she impressively ran the track at Blue Mountain.
Then on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m., a fireworks display will be set off by Skyshooter Displays, ZY Pyrotechnics, all viewable from both the Summit and Valley lodges.
For skiers/boarders, Blue Mountain offers 40 trails, 16 lifts and up to 34 tubing lanes that will be open and available during the event from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday, and from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, check www.skibluemt.com.
According to On the Water Magazine, anglers were recently catching and releasing trout below the outlet at Beltzville Lake. Anglers are reminded that the section of the Pohopoco Creek from the outlet of Beltzville Lake, downstream to the cable across the creek at the Hideaway Hunting & Fishing Club, is designated as a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water. The Extended Trout Season on this section of stream is open from September 3, 2019 through February 29, 2020 and is a No Harvest – Catch and Immediate Release Only area.
Trout action on Mauch Chunk Creek, and the Lehigh River at Glen Onoko area, has been productive in recent weeks. The Lehigh, however, has been flowing higher than normal due to recent rain events. Buckwa Creek and Aquashicola Creek are streams that may also provide good trout fishing opportunities. Then there’s Sand Spring Run, located at Hickory Run State Park, is also a good choice to catch brook trout.
Anglers fishing Mauch Chunk Lake near Boat Launch A had some nice catches of perch and bluegills. Beltzville had produced decent bass action near the dam breast and in the upper reaches of the Pohopoco Creek bay area of the lake. Anglers were also catching a few striped bass from the shore near the boat rental building. Majority of the stripers were caught using live bait or chicken livers.
Most of the ice that formed on Mauch Chunk and Beltzville lakes has now deteriorated due to the recent rains and warmer weather. Future ice fishing opportunities will hopefully occur if and when colder weather arrives.
Southwick Associates, the folks who do yearly surveys on hunting and fishing preferences, has released their recent October Hunter/Shooter Survey showing the most popular hunting, shooting equipment purchases by sportsmen and sports gals, and the species they pursued.
The panel, composed of hunters and shooters from across the country who volunteer to participate, track hunter’s/shooters’ participation and purchases for the prior two months.
The survey begins with the most popular species hunted. As expected, whitetail deer with 71.3 percent of respondents say they pursue. That’s followed by small game (rabbits/squirrels), 21.5 percent; upland birds (quail, pheasant, grouse) 18.7; dove, 14.6; turkey, 13.3; predator calling/hunting (coyotes), 12.5; mule deer, blacktail, Sitka, 10.9 percent.
The next category was the percentage of and type of hunting equipment used: Rifle, 70.0 percent; handgun, 57.5; shotgun, 26.6; bow or archery, 17.2; crossbow, 9.2; muzzleloader, 8.2; air rifle (compressed air), 7.7 percent.
Percent of firearms purchased were rifles, 54.5 percent; handguns, 45.5; shotguns, 16.7; air rifles/air guns, 3.8; muzzleloaders, 3.5 percent.
Types of shotguns purchased were pump action, 46.2 percent; semi-automatic, 26.7; over/under, 11.4; side by side, 3.2; single shot, 8.2; other, 4.2 percent.
Types of muzzleloaders purchased: Inline 69.5 percent; standard, 15.9; flintlock, 9.6; other, 5.1 percent.
Types of handguns purchased: semi-automatic 63.2 percent; revolver, 34.2; break action, 2.0; not sure, 0.6 percent.
Types of ammunition purchased: Rifle ammunition, 57.8 percent; handgun ammo, 44.8; shotgun ammo, 39.0; air rifle/air gun pellets, 2.4 percent.
Types of shotgun ammo purchased: Lead, 65 percent; non-lead/non-toxic, 32.1; other 2.4; not sure, 0.5 percent.
Types of archery items purchased: Broadheads, 47.1 percent; crossbow bolts, 26.8; arrows, 21.7; strings & accessories, 17.3; nocks, 13.6; fletching’s, 13.3; stabilizers, 12.0; archery targets, 10.2; crossbows, 7.5 percent.
Types of traditional bows purchased: Compound, 72.1 percent; recurve, 23.5; long bows, 3.7; other, 0.6 percent.
Types of hunting gear purchased: Odor eliminator, 36.1 percent; lure scent, 34.7; game feed, 29.5; hunting knives/multitools, 21.9 trail cameras, 18.7; cover scent, 16.4; game calls, 13.1; game cleaning supplies, 12.9 percent.
Types of decoys purchased: Waterfowl, 72.80 percent; turkey, 4.70; predator, 4.90; big game, 17.60 percent.
Types of game calls purchased: Waterfowl, 35.90 percent; big game, 50.2; small game, 6.7; predator, 2.6; other, 0.5 percent.
sed: Ladder stands, 29.3 percent; climbing, 16.8; hang-on, 31.2; tripod stands, 6.4; tower/box stands, 5.7; ladder and steps, 8.1; harnesses & accessories, 2.5 percent.
Equipment purchases were as follows: Ammunition, 68.4 percent; hunting accessories, 40.3; clothing and apparel, 37.1; shooting accessories, 33.4; firearms, 28.7; firearm accessories, 25.8; archery, 20.8; firearms storage (safes), 20.4; optics, 18.3; hand loading equipment, 11.7; blackpowder, 8.4 percent.
The majority of these findings follow true for Pennsylvania hunters with the exception being crossbows that would be expected to score higher in the respective categories.
A fishing survey is upcoming from Southwick which we’ll publish in a future column.
With temperatures predicted to be in the low 60s, it’s the ideal time to think about summer and the upcoming camping season. And no better way to get ready for it is to visit this weekends 59th Annual RV & Campground Show at the Agri-Plex in the Allentown Fairgrounds. It’s one of the oldest running RV shows in the country.
This year’s show will feature 13 dealers featuring motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheel, vans, folding campers, pop-ups and more.
And showcasing their latest offerings will be All Seasons RV, Berks-Mont RV, Fretz RV, Fast Lane Recreation RV, Campers Inn RV, Miller Trailer Sales, Pocono RV, RV Value Mart, Stolzfus RV, Susquehanna RV, Tom Schaeffer’s RV and Ziegler’s RV.
Aside from the vehicles, representatives from a variety of campgrounds will be on hand to offer their services along with Anderson’s Campground Directory booth that provides information on over 100 campgrounds on the East Coast.
In addition to filling up the 60,000 square feet of indoor space in the Agri-Plex, the show will also have a host of RVs outside for your inspection.
Show hours are as follows:
Friday, Jan. 10; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 12; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission is $7 for adults, Children under 12 are free as is parking. Allentown Fairgrounds is located at 17th & Chew Sts in Allentown.
For additional information check www.allentowntradeshows.com or call 610-433-7541.
Although we were getting some below freezing temperatures, safe ice fishing is still some cold days away. And what seems like far too many rainy days, also prevents anglers to walk on water.
But as happens every year at this time, ice fishermen have to travel to the Pocono’s to find hard water. Places like Shohola, Promise Land, Gouldsboro, Tobyhanna and Fairview lakes usually freeze first.
According to local tackle shops, Promised Land (had seven inches of ice) and Shohola (had 4-6 inches) lakes have had some ice fishing action on panfish and pickerel on minnows, waxworms and spikes.
If below freezing temperatures continue for a week or more, Leaser Lake in upper Lehigh County and Ontelaunee Reservoir in upper Berks historically freeze next. However, two weeks ago Ontelaunee had two inches of precarious ice and a few anglers were fishing it.
It’s been tradition, it seems, that first and last ice of the season offers the best ice fishing periods. So now’s a good time to gather up your tip-ups, jigging rods, skimmer, ice auger and whatever else you use, to check their condition before hitting the early season ice.
On your jigging reels and tips-ups, it’s best to discard the old line on your rigs and put on some fresh mono or braid. Or, try some of the mono made especially for ice fishing that doesn’t become stiff in frozen water. Berkley’s Trilene makes Cold Weather or Micro Ice and Fireline’s Micro Ice Crystal is also good and allows for maximum sensitivity in deep water.
To improve your chances of getting bit, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission offers these tips for finding specific species.
WALLEYE: Because they are a schooling fish you want to intercept their cruising by spacing your tip-ups at intervals in a straight line from shore. Avoid weedbeds and look for clear bottoms. Of course a portable depth finder could help here. Use small hooks and light sinkers. Walleyes are notoriously light biters and will often hit a bait as it descends. .
PIKE & PICKEREL: Because of oxygen depletion and scarcity of food, these fish are not likely to be found near submerged vegetation in winter as they are in summer. Don’t overlook fishing open water and employ jigging with spoons. Whatever the bait, let the fish take it and avoid depths greater than 15 feet (can be measured with a marked drop-line and sinker).
PANFISH: Panfish too are schooling fish that travel slowly so the action usually lasts longer. Use light tackle and small, size 12 or 14 hooks impaled with grubs or waxworms. A little trick I learned from Jeff Heller, former owner of Pro Am Fishing Shop in Kuhnsville, is to use a high-low rig for perch. Tie one lighter jig onto your line then tie an 18-inch piece of line to the bend of that hook. At that terminal end, tie on a heavier spoon or jig. Don’t, however, use a swivel to tie this extra piece as it’ll probably tangle. Bait the lower one with a minnow, the higher one with a waxworm. It’s not uncommon to get two perch on at a time.
BASS: Bass metabolism is much slower during winter so they feed much less. Slowly bouncing bait in front of their noses is usually the only method that works as does fishing more varied structure. Look for rocky points and gravel bars near deep water.
Above all, be careful and check the ice before venturing onto it. Stay away from areas where cracks meet or intersect. Be extra careful where water levels vary as in rivers, streams, inlets, outlets, coves, eddies and springs. And areas with “stick ups” of protruding logs, brush, plants and docks that absorb heat from the sun, which weakens surrounding ice. Last but not least, you’ll probably find thicker ice on a waterway’s north, rather than on the south shore.
With the ski/boarding season heating up, Blue Mountain Resort is kicking off January promoting safety on the slopes.
“We will be highlighting aspects of the Skiers Safety Responsibly Code through promotions and interactions with our Ski Patrollers. The push of Safety Week is to create awareness that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. This week of safety activities and education is part of Blue Mountain’s participation in the National Ski Area Associations efforts to educate skiers and snowboarders about being safe on the slopes,” said Ashley Seier, Blue Mountain Marketing Manager.
On January 6th – 12th & 17th – 19th guests can participate in the following Safety Week Programs:
Chair Lift Simulator: Practice safe chair lift loading, riding, and unloading on our moving Safety Chair Simulator.
Bars for Bars: To promote keeping the safety bar down while riding the lift, Ski Patrol will be handing out candy bars to guests spotted riding our chair lifts safely.
Scavenger Hunt: School Groups are encouraged to participate in our mountain wide scavenger hunt. Anyone who completes the scavenger hunt by collecting hole punches from ski patrol will receive a free lift ticket.
Safety Video Contest: Guests can create and submit a safety video highlighting a safety aspect of the Skiers Responsibly Code. The winner of the contest will be selected on Blue Mountain’s Facebook page. Winners will receive a free lift ticket and $25 gift card.
Retail Discounts: Shoppers will receive 10% off protective gear in our True Blue Mountain Sports Shop.
SIG SAUER, Inc. has debuted a first in their rifle line-up. Their Cross rifle is the first SIG-built precision bolt-action hunting rifle that was designed by SIG SAUER engineers. It was completely manufactured and machined at the SIG SAUER facilities in New Hampshire, and tested by premier competitive shooters, the world’s best long-range shooters, and a team of professional hunters that the CROSS is built for.
The Cross takes on a Modern Sporting Rifle (AR) design, but uses a bolt instead of a semi-auto mode. As such, it qualifies as a legal rifle to hunt with here in Pennsylvania where semi-auto (AR types in particular) rifles are illegal to use for hunting.
Cross crosses the line in this respect and if the anti’s and bad politicians manage to outlaw ARs, the Cross should not be included. Cross appears to have all the fine attributes of lightness and flexibility with sighting systems that AR type rifles have.
Said SIG’s Chief Marketing Officer and V.P. Tom Taylor, “When our product management team and engineers researched developing a bolt-action rifle, they looked at what was missing from the market, and what new innovation SIG could bring to hunters and precision shooters. Hunting rifles are typically focused on less weight, and accuracy is secondary. Precision rifles are designed for extreme accuracy, with no weight limitations. What was missing from the market was a true crossover. Our product management team and engineers took the best of both worlds and developed the CROSS featuring the characteristics of a hunting rifle, with the accuracy of a precision rifle.”
The CROSS Precision Bolt-Action Hunting Rifle is a lightweight precision rifle with a push button, foldable SIG precision stock, a one-piece aluminum receiver that eliminates the need for bedding the action, and AI magazines for creating the most accurate precision hunting platform. The CROSS features a stainless-steel rifled barrel with a free-float M-LOK handguard, a 2-stage match-grade trigger externally adjustable from 2.5 – 4 lbs., ambi-safety, a three-lug bolt design with a 60-degree throw and interchangeable bolt handle. The precision stock is spring-loaded for one handed operation and can be fully adjusted in the field for length of pull and comb height with no tools. The rifle has a full-length replaceable picatinny rail that allows for direct optics mounts, 20 MOA, and O MOA. The CROSS is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 WIN, and the soon-to-be-released 277 SIG Fury Hybrid Ammunition with a black anodized or First Lite camo finish.
“Right out of the box the CROSS comes loaded with new innovation and features that hunters and precision shooters will appreciate at a very affordable $1,779.00 MSRP price point,” continued Taylor. “The CROSS delivers on all fronts, and we are especially proud that everything about the CROSS from concept to completion is 100% SIG SAUER and comes directly from our U.S. operations here in New Hampshire.”
CROSS Bolt-Action Rifle Specs (6.5 Creedmoor):
Overall Length: 35.5”
Folded Length: 27.0”
Barrel Length: 18”
Barrel Twist: 1:8
Weight (w/o magazine): 6.4 lbs.
CROSS Bolt-Action Rifle Specs (308 WIN / 277 FURY):
Overall Length: 36.5””
Folded Length: 25.0”
Barrel Length: 16”
Barrel Twist: 1:10 / 1:8.5
Weight (w/o magazine): 6.2 lbs.
Expect more calibers to follow once Cross gets used in the field by savvy hunters.
The snows are back. No, not a snowstorm, but a large flock of Snow Geese have made their way to Lehigh County from their summer breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, a flock of about 500 snows descended like snow flakes on a cut cornfield belonging to GEO Chemicals (formerly Trojan Powder Company) on the west side of Mauch Chunk Road and across from the intersection of Mechanicsville Road. The snows’ nasal honking can easily be heard if lowering a window in your vehicle. This is my first sighting of them in the area, but they may have put down elsewhere in the valley.
These particular snows landed amidst a small flock of Canada geese that were foraging for leftover corn spewed from harvesting machines. And further down the road a bit, were probably an equal number of Canada’s in a cut cornfield but on the east side of Mauch Chunk Road.
As for snows, the season in the North Zone runs from Nov. 19-Jan. 11. For the South Zone, it runs Nov. 19-Jan. 18. In the Atlantic Zone, the split seasons run Oct. 1-Jan. 25, then reopens Jan. 27-Apr. 24. The seasons are long because they need to be culled, say biologists, as their burgeoning populations are decimating the grasslands of the tundra. In other words, the snows are eating themselves out of house and home. And local farmers who plant winter wheat detest snows because they can devour a wheat field in a few days with their foracious appetites.
Here are some interesting facts you may not know about Snow Geese:
* In wintering and migrating flocks that are feeding, lookouts keep an eye out for predators. Upon sighting a threat, they call out to the rest of the flock, which may take flight.
* Snow Geese make epic journeys by air, but they are impressive on foot, too. Within the first three weeks of hatching, goslings may walk up to 50 miles with their parents from the nest to a more suitable brood-rearing area. Molting Snow Geese can outrun many predators.
* Females forage up to 18 hours a day once they arrive at breeding grounds, but eat little once they begin incubating the eggs.
* Food passes through the Snow Goose’s digestive tract in only an hour or two, generating 6 to 15 droppings per hour. The defecation rate is highest when a goose is grubbing for rhizomes, because such food is very high in fiber and the goose inevitably swallows mud.
* The oldest Snow Goose on record, shot in Texas in 1999, was 27 and a half.
* Snow Goose hunting in the eastern United States was stopped in 1916 because of low population levels. Hunting was allowed again in 1975 after populations had recovered. Since then, their populations have continued to grow, to the point that some areas of tundra nesting habitat are starting to suffer.
Hunting these extremely wary birds is tough. Hunters usually have to employ at least 50 decoys or more, or white cloths on sticks stuck into the ground, to lure them into range. And the geese are unpredictable as they may be in a particular field one day and another the next. The daily limit on them is 25 daily, with no possession limit.
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.