The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 18, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points column: Time running short for hunter safety class


Daily Item

---- — "Still 'da guns and stow 'em, signal ye men, set 'de sails, make good to clear port."

It's international "Talk like a Pirate" day. So celebrate, put on your eye patch and meet the day.

What does Talk-like-a-Pirate day have to do with the outdoors? Argh! I've no idea, matey. Just thought you'd want to know what all the commotion is about.

Hunter safety reminder

Hunting season starts in a little over a week and one of the last new hunter safety courses before then will be held on the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen's grounds next Saturday, Sept. 28.

This will be a "brown bag" event. You must pre-register for the class by visiting the Game Commission's web site or by calling 570-966-0173. The club is located just a few miles north of Mifflinburg.

Weekend happenings

Novice archers and those of you that just want to hone your "nimrod" skills are invited to attend the Successful Bowhunting class that starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen's Association. Registration for this class is required.

You can complete registration by logging onto the Game Commission web site at: www.pgc.state.pa.us or by calling 570-966-2594. Saturday evening, you and your family are invited to enjoy a fish fry at the club.

The Northern Montour Sportsmen will host two pistol shoots on Saturday.There are separate morning and afternoon shoots.

Also Saturday, there will be a United Kennel Club coonhound hunt competition at Northern Montour.

On Sunday, the Team Taylor trap shoot runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen.

Doe license update

So far, all Wildlife Management Units (WMU) except for 1A, 2A, 2B and 5C, 5D have sold out of their antlerless (doe) license allocations.

These units are in the far western and southwestern parts of our state and in the southeast corner of the state including Philadelphia and its surrounding counties plus the Lehigh Valley.

Antlerless archery season in three of these units opens next weekend. Statewide archery season for both antlered and antlerless deer opens on Oct. 5.

Potential elk guides

If the notion of serving as a guide for the upcoming elk hunt sounds like something you would like to do, you have until Sept. 27 to submit an application to the Pa. Game Commission's Bureau of Wildlife Protection. Permits cost $25 and you must possess a valid hunting license and have a clean game code record.

You can get an application by calling 717-783-8164, or by contacting any regional Game Commission office. The idea behind these elk-guide permits is to encourage experienced individuals, especially folks who are familiar with or live in the elk range, to serve as guides for the lucky few who received an elk license.

Sunday drive

It's not specifically mentioned in the Game Commission's mission statement as something that they strive to do, but they certainly do come up with some great idea for a Sunday drive and a perfect way to enjoy a day in the field.

As part of the commission's efforts to highlight their ongoing habitat improvement initiatives, they are inviting you and friends to be part of the upcoming game land tours.

All of the tours are free and they run between the end of this month well into October. Since 1919, the Game Commission has been purchased lands for the protection, propagation and management of game and wildlife, and to provide areas for public hunting and trapping. Since then, more than 1.4 million acres in nearly all Pennsylvania counties has been acquired.

Here's the list of tour dates and times: (for information on specific tours, visit the commission's site).

Sept. 29

Cameron County: 1-4 p.m., State Game Lands 14.

Oct. 6

Bradford County: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Lands 12.

Cambria County: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Lands 108.

Carbon County: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Lands 141.

Clinton County: 4a.m. to dusk, State Game Lands 321 (*elk viewing).

Oct. 13

Elk County: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., State Game Lands 311.

Luzerne/Wyoming Counties: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Lands 57.

Oct. 20

Dauphin/Lebanon Counties: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Lands 211.

Berks/Schuylkill Counties: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., State Game Lands 110.