The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 24, 2012

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Time running out for hunter education

“There’s no better way to spend your day than to spend it hunting.”

Small game season is well underway and buck season will be here before we know it.

So Carl Roe, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Executive Director, is letting everyone know “time is running out this year for those who have not yet passed a basic Hunter-Trapper Education course.”

While the game commission is scheduling a few more basic classes for this month and November, there aren’t too many more opportunities to complete this mandatory course to be eligible to participate in the upcoming big game hunting seasons.

Since 1959, more than 1.8 million students have been certified through this course. Once the November courses are completed, the commission won’t begin a new slate of classes until early in 2013.

To register for a course, visit the Game Commission’s web site and click on the “Hunter Education Classes” icon in the center of the home page.

Appreciation dinner

The Buffalo Valley Sportsmen are hosting their annual appreciation dinner Friday at 6 p.m.

The club members always do a great job, year-in and year-out, with outdoor-related events and activities. Other than peanut sales scheduled for Nov. 13 and Dec. 18, the club has wrapped up most of its scheduled activities for this year.

The cool fall days are perfect for getting guns sighted-in or keeping archery skills up to par at the club. Visit for more information.

Turkey season opens

The statewide fall turkey season opens in most wildlife management units Saturday. Pennsylvania’s “big-big” game season opens a week later with the 5-day elk season.

Elk hunters in our state are chosen by a lottery that selects a lucky few out of thousands of folks who would love to experience this opportunity of a lifetime.

Try bouldering

Bouldering is just like rock climbing except you don’t climb quite as high.

You and your family are invited to join the Bloomsburg University Quest Outdoor Club on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. for some bouldering near Mocanaqua. The club will be exploring one of its “secret crags” known as Squirrel Rock. According to what I’ve heard about this particular face, it offers climbers lots of routes that range from easy to extremely difficult with a few classic bouldering challenges thrown in for good measure. Club members have mapped out at least 70 different routes at Squirrel Rock and they’re always welcoming of new climbers to show them a few more. For more information, call (570) 389-4409.

Rattling skeletons

This time of year, anything having to do with skeletons and bones typically relates to Halloween. But the presentation Senior Naturalist Jon Beam is offering this weekend at PPL’s Montour Preserve has more to do with developing young conservationists and forensic scientists than it does with trick-or-treating.

Beam will be using animal bones, skulls and entire skeletons Saturday from 1-3 p.m. to examine and discuss outdoor science with a limited number of 8-to-12-year olds.

This is a hands-on session where the participants will determine what animal the bones come from based on adaptations and other characteristics. Also, owl “pellets” will be dissected during the session to learn more about an owl’s diet.

Because there are limited spots available for this free session, pre-registration is required. You can register a child by visiting