Outdoors

Big cats in Pennsylvania: Are they mountain lions or bobcats?

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An instinct coiled way down in the human brain knows the difference between a bobcat and a mountain lion. A bobcat gives you a warm, that-kind-of-looks-like-my-cat-but-slightly-bigger feeling. Then there is Rocky. On a recent stifling morning in Adams County, the ...

Outer Banks is always a favorite spot

I consider myself fortunate to have spent time on dozens of different beaches on both coasts. From snorkeling in the Bahamas to kayaking in Alaska, I have witnessed the salt water crash on sand and stones in many well-known destinations. My favorite beach time is spent on my family’s annual ...

Fish hatchery’s new app encourages learning

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — Visitors to the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives in Spearfish can now become “agents of discovery.” “We’re really excited about that,” said Archivist April Gregory, who assisted in creating the hatchery’s version of the Agents of ...

Inline muzzleloaders have become nearly foolproof

There is a well-worn saying often heard at hunting lodges in the Deep South concerning one’s hunting accomplishments — “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s fact.” With opening day of the seven-day statewide antlerless muzzleloader season in Pennsylvania Saturday, flintlock hunters who ...

Hunters win with legalization of leashed tracking dogs

LEESPORT — Andy Bensing never lost hope that sooner or later Pennsylvania legislators would do the right thing and allow the use of leashed tracking dogs to track and recover big game animals. Showing the patience that typifies a professional dog trainer, Bensing, who holds a Bachelor of ...

Mentor programs may merge

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a measure that will bridge the mentored youth and mentored adult hunting programs at their meeting Monday. The mentored hunting programs are designed to increase hunter recruitment by providing an ...

Man hikes trail over 226 days

PEABODY, Mass. (AP) — Paul Truesdale once came across a mother bear and three cubs while on a hike with his longtime friend, Frank Palazzi. “They were just sitting there, munching on vegetation, wandering back and forth,” Truesdale said. “I think the mother saw us and she started ...

Biologist composes stream ‘requiem’ as insects decline

PALMER (AP) — A caddisfly larvae wriggled on Pat Bradt’s steady fingertip as she nudged it onto a white plastic spoon, hoping to get a better look at the critter through the magnifying lens looped around her neck. She was perched on a concrete wall a few feet from the Bushkill Creek on ...

Gun ranges big business, especially in Pennsylvania

COOPERSBURG (AP) — Pennsylvania is one of America’s most populous when it comes to gun owners. Almost one in three Pennsylvanians owns a firearm, or 31 percent. So where do they learn how to shoot? (Legally, that is.) I’m under-educated on the gun-owner side of our national debate. So, I ...

Visit to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary worth the trip

DREHERSVILLE — Even in the pitch-black darkness of predawn the telltale rumble of crossing railroad tracks and the mist rising off the Schuylkill River indicate to visitors they are just minutes away from reaching their destination. They are winding their way to the top of the Blue Mountain ...