The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 7, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Gobblers banquet set for Saturday

Daily Item

---- — "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."-- Helen Keller

The Col-Mont Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host its 19th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on Saturday evening.

Since there is always plenty of pre-dinner activity going on, including silent auctions and marveling over the craftsmen-made turkey calls that are sure to become collector's items you'll want to get there early.

The doors open at 5 with dinner being served at 6:30. The banquet location this year is the Danville Elks Club and you can reserve tickets and get all your questions answered by calling Matt Swartz at 490-2784.

Pheasant flushing

The Susquehanna Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever members are inviting you and your dog to come along for a walk in the field the next few Sundays. Pheasant flushing surveys will be conducted on Sunday in Greenwood Valley and on Feb. 17 and 24 in Turbotville. To register, contact Brandon Black at or call 717-743-0755. On Jan. 13, the flushers were able to locate 26 wild pheasants. You might be interested in knowing that over the past five years this group of volunteers has flushed out more than a thousand birds. For example, in 2010 in the Turbotville Study Area, they flushed out a total of 272 birds. Of this total, there were just over 100 roosters (ringnecks) and the majority of the birds were hens. Last year, they flushed out 31 birds in the Greenwood area with a two-to-one ratio of roosters to hens. In the Turbotville area, last year, they flushed 226 birds. Interestingly, they flushed out exactly the same number of roosters as hens.

In addition to pheasants, the flushers also spotted northern harriers, meadowlarks, American kestrels, short-eared owls, turkey, deer, rabbits, woodcock and a bald eagle.

Fishing tournament coming up

Does fly fishing on the fabled waters of Centre County's Spruce Creek with legendary fly fishing instructor Joe Humphreys while enjoying the hospitality of Wayne Harpster's Evergreen Farm sound like a good time?

If so, the Centre County Youth Service Bureau invites you and your fishing buddies to consider joining the 17th annual "On the Fly Fishing Tournament."

This is the stream where former President Jimmy Carter fishes.

The tournament doesn't happen until May 13 but it's going to sell out quickly, so you need to get your reservations in soon. Call Andrea Boyles at (814) 237-5731 or email her at to get signed up.

River Summit

The Susquehanna River Summit will be held March 20 at the Country Cupboard Restaurant, Lewisburg. The National Wildlife Federation will host this summit for anglers, outfitters, conservationists and others to learn what can be done, working together, to keep our river healthy while getting to the bottom of what's affecting the bass populations.

During the Summit, John Arway, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, will discuss the latest river research. Also, funding sources will be reviewed for river clean-up and restoration projects. The participants will learn how we can work together to get the state and federal governments to make Susquehanna cleanup a priority. Registration is free, but it is required. For more information about the Summit, contact Jan Jarrett at

Scouting restores faith

A visit to this weekend's Klondike Derby that will be held at the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen's Association grounds, north of Mifflinburg, will definitely restore your faith that the future is in good hands. Sponsored by the Seven Bridges District of the Susquehanna Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Klondike Derby is a winter-camping and skills demonstration opportunity for hundreds of young men who will become tomorrow's leaders.

The members of the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen's Club have hosted this event for the past few decades. These members are the people who provide the scouts and their leaders with a warm lunch and much more hospitality. Dozens of the members serve as the derby instructors and judges. The prediction of snow for Friday evening should make for a great event.

In addition to winter camping, the scouts build "sleds" that they push from station-to-station during Saturday's derby. These stations test the scouts' knowledge of knots, maps, first aid and problem solving. The scouts learn winter survival techniques and how to rescue a person who has broken through the ice on the pond. Nature identification and safe rifle and shotgun shooting are also taught. This would be a great activity to visit with a young person who is thinking about joining the Boy Scouts or Venturers. By the way, Venture Crews are co-ed so don't leave the girls at home. Winter camping is a hoot for both boys and girls.


Speaking of winter, I wanted to remind you that Snow Fest 2013 will run from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the R.B. Winter State Park.