PGC’s online hunter safety course is a misfire

•March 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment


They say desperate times call for desperate measures — let’s just hope the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s most recent desperate move doesn’t backfire in catastrophic fashion.

I see the reasoning behind the agency’s decision to offer a completely online hunter safety course. License sales continue to dwindle and young people hold the key to hunting’s future. Families are increasingly busy — pin-balling their way through youth sports events, social activities and a plethora of other extracurricular obligations. Continue reading ‘PGC’s online hunter safety course is a misfire’

Should schools be required to address gun safety?

•February 15, 2015 • 1 Comment


What would you do?
Walking down the street in one of our small Valley towns, you come across a handgun laying on the sidewalk. You don’t have a cell phone on you, and no one is out and about except for several children a block away. Continue reading ‘Should schools be required to address gun safety?’

Spreading sledding: In search of a few good hills

•February 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment


The only thing steeper than the slope was my 8-year-old daughter’s anxiety as she gripped her purple plastic toboggan and took a deep breath.
We had decided go sledding on the family farm near McEwensville after a recent snow storm, but that excitement quickly morphed into apprehension with each step toward the top of the hill.
She looked at me with wide eyes while sitting in her sled. Continue reading ‘Spreading sledding: In search of a few good hills’

Catching the flintlock fever and some tips for success

•November 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment


There’s just something fulfilling in a primal sort of way about splitting firewood by hand, processing game after a successful hunt … and hunting deer with a flintlock muzzleloader.
In these sort of firearms, pulling the trigger causes an external piece of flint to strike a metal plate (called the frizzen.) This creates sparks, which then ignite highly combustible gunpowder in a small flash pan. This all happens outside of the gun barrel, meaning the process can be affected by outside sources such as the weather, wind and nerves. Continue reading ‘Catching the flintlock fever and some tips for success’

Deer season primer: Four Central Pennsylvania public hunting hotspots

•November 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Less than two weeks and counting until one of our region’s biggest annual outdoor rites of passage: rifle deer season.
Are you ready? Have you sighted in the trusty 30-06? Is the fluorescent orange jacket out of mothballs? Have you stocked up on ammo, hand warmers and mini Snickers bars? Continue reading ‘Deer season primer: Four Central Pennsylvania public hunting hotspots’

Doe-day deadline is fast approaching

•July 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Let’s start at the very beginning — a very good place to start.

Nevermind that people are still hanging out at their favorite summer camping sites, relaxing poolside or casting a line for a largemouth or two. Continue reading ‘Doe-day deadline is fast approaching’

Searching for stashes in countryside caches

•July 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment


An unseasonably chilly breeze greeted four eager treasure hunters on the banks of the Montour Preserve’s Lake Chillisquaque one Saturday morning a few weeks ago.

But this was no ordinary treasure hunt. Continue reading ‘Searching for stashes in countryside caches’

Superpowers not necessary to become a successful shooter

•June 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment


I could never handle the turns at Daytona at 200 miles per hour. Or even hope to make contact on a Stephen Strasburg fastball. Thread a football perfectly into a running receiver’s hands 70 yards away as well as Peyton Manning? Not in my wildest dreams!

But I can break a clay target at the Pennsylvania State Trapshoot. Continue reading ‘Superpowers not necessary to become a successful shooter’

WWII veteran gets in on the action at state trapshoot

•June 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment


During a recent interview with 90-year-old Jack Plotts, of Milton, at the Pennsylvania State Trapshoot, the World War II veteran gestured to his disfigured right hand — the result of a grenade attack during the D-Day invasion more than seven decades ago.

“This made it hard to get a job when I got back from the war,” he said. “But Uncle Sam took care of us. He made sure we got work.”

But put a shotgun in those combat-altered hands and they come to life. They dust target after target in rapid succession. Continue reading ‘WWII veteran gets in on the action at state trapshoot’

1.5 million reasons to visit the 2014 Pennsylvania state trapshoot

•May 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

While Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, it doesn’t kick the season off with as big a bang as the annual Pennsylvania State Trapshoot.
Make that 1.5 million bangs — as in the estimated 1.5 million shots that will be fired at clay targets during the week-long rite of summer passage held at Elysburg’s Valley Gun Club.

Continue reading ‘1.5 million reasons to visit the 2014 Pennsylvania state trapshoot’