---- — "My father didn't tell me how to live; he just lived, and let me watch."
You, dad and the whole family can get out of the house and into the great out-of-doors this Sunday, Father's Day, at the fourth annual Summer Fest that will held at the R. B. Winter State Park. Summerfest begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. There will be demonstrations, crafts, games and basic instruction in lots of outdoor activities.
There will be plenty to do for both children and adults. The activities include Kayaking and canoeing (Brad Bubb Rentals), fly fishing basics (Trout Unlimited), fly-tying (Trout Unlimited), back packing basics and hiking/ Leave No Trace (State Park staff), stream search for aquatic critters (Union County Conservation District), building for the birds (Union County Conservation District), mountain biking guided rides (Campus Cycle Shop), wild edible plants and teas (State Park staff), open hearth cooking (Thankful Sage Farm School) and staying found in the woods (S.T.R.I.K.E).
In addition, there will be presentations on GPS basics and geocaching and on the lifecycle of trees, nature walks and nature crafts for kids. Displays will be set up from the Seven Mountains Audubon, Merrill Linn Land and Water Conservancy, Buffalo Creek Watershed Association, Union County Conservation District, Chris Varney Redworms and Composting and from EarthBird. Most of the activities will be centered at the Halfway Run Environmental Learning Center.
It's pronounced "duh-RAY-choh." If you're an amateur weather-watcher, and what outdoorsmen isn't, you've already learned all about the El Nino and El Nina impacts on our weather but Derecho is the latest term for our vocabulary. A Derecho storm system is a long line of severe weather disturbances that can produce widespread and strong tree-snapping winds, while laying down damaging hail and causing intense and dangerous lightening. According to the National Weather Service we may find out first-hand the impact of Derecho today. Derecho storms are not a new phenomenon and they are sometimes confused with tornados. No matter what you call it, we may be in for some stormy weather. At least the weekend forecast looks pretty good.
Value of a deer
"What is the value of one whitetail?" That's the question that Lou Hoffman used to ask Vern Ross and I when we would get together for lunch in Harrisburg. Lou was the editor of the Pennsylvania Sportsmen Magazine. He passed away about a decade ago while preparing for a hunting trip. Lou was a great inspiration to Vern, me and hundreds of thousands of sportsmen. The point of Lou's question was that whitetail deer are a great resource. I'm sure that Vern could hear Lou asking, once again, his question this week during the announcement of the formation of the Hunting Works For Pennsylvania partnership. Vern served as the emcee for the press conference and he was formerly the executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and now "in his retirement" he's running the Wildlife for Everyone endowment foundation.
The Hunting Works For Pennsylvania partnership is focused on promoting the economic impact and importance of hunting in Pennsylvania. For example, most folks don't realize that hunters in our state spend $986 million per year in pursuit of their sport. This expenditure creates more than 15,000 jobs for Pennsylvanians and has a multiplier effect of $1.6 billion. The Pennsylvania partnership marks the sixth statewide chapter to be formed with help from the National Shooting Sports Foundation that is located in Newtown, Conn.
Hunting license time
Pennsylvania hunting and furtaker licenses for the 2013-14 seasons went on sale this past Monday. The fees this year haven't gone up and a hunting license is still a great value. Licenses can be purchased online via the Pennsylvania Automated License System website: www.pa.wildlifelicense.com or over-the-counter at the Game Commission headquarters and regional offices, as well as at more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents. The new license will be effective starting July 1st and valid through June 30, 2014. This is a reminder that many specialty licenses or permits have application or purchase deadlines and specific launch dates for sales. Of particular note is the fast-approaching opening date for the sale of antlerless deer licenses. Applications for antlerless deer licenses must be sent by mail using official pink envelopes available from issuing agents or Game Commission offices. County treasurers throughout the state will begin accepting antlerless license applications from Pennsylvania residents on July 8.