"Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe."
In my "No Child Left Indoors" article this past Sunday, I quoted outdoor sports injury and fatality statistics that I had gleaned from the Centers for Disease Control. I was unable to determine several categories of injuries, including hiking, from this source. My fellow outdoor writer Marcus Schneck, who is from the Harrisburg area, wrote a similar article and he was able to mine data from a rich source that I would like to pass along to you. His source was a report titled "National Estimate of Outdoor Recreational Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments" produced by the National Institutes of Health. I recommend this report for your reading if this topic is of interest to you. The point of both Schneck's and my articles remains true, and that is: Hunting in Pennsylvania is safe and it's getting safer.
The West Branch-Susquehanna River Sojourn started yesterday and continues through the weekend. The overall 97-mile trip goes from Mahaffey, which is south of DuBois, to Keating, which is northwest of Lock Haven. This route is truly in the wild and scenic parts of our river. Sojourns such as this bring together like-minded people who enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and the fellowship of paddling together. The good folks at Canoe Susquehanna rent kayaks and canoes to use. Just call them at (570) 524-7692 or visit their website at www.paddlehappy.com.
Grab the kids and head up to the Union County Sportsmen's Club on Saturday for the Children's Fishing Derby. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the fishing will be in full swing at 9. This is the eighth year for this event. I've heard from the club members that they're hoping to make this derby the best yet with as many 100 kids participating. Tim Zimmerman and his huge crew of volunteers will be on hand to teach fishing skills, bait hooks and untangle lines. They will also be serving hot dogs and drinks throughout the event.
Get out -- often
The number one reason that 92 percent of American hunters gave for participating in their sport was "spending time in the out-of-doors." This is according to a poll conducted at www.HunterSurvey.com. Coming in close behind was "seeing wildlife" with 87 percent of the respondents, and "the peace and quiet of the outdoors" at 85 percent. Southwick Associates conducts these types of polls at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and at AnglerSurvey.com.
On Saturday, PPL Senior Naturalist Jon Beam will be joined by Pat Shull, who operates a mobile log sawing mill, for a 10 a.m. presentation titled: Pennsylvania Trees from Forest to Mill.
This free presentation will at the Montour Preserve outside of Washingtonville. The morning will include a demonstration and walk through the woods to discuss Pennsylvania's forestry legacy and conservation efforts. For more information, please visit: www.pplpreserves.com.
On Sunday, Sierra Club members will lead a 10.5 mile moderate-to-strenuous hike on the stunningly beautiful Old Loggers Path up in Lycoming County. Paul Shaw is the hike leader and you may touch base with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on Sunday, the Buffalo Valley Sportsmen are holding a chicken barbeque at their clubhouse north of Mifflinburg.
Members of the Woupeu Sisilija Lodge of the Boy Scout's Order of the Arrow are reminded that it's Pow Wow weekend up at Camp Karoondinha.
There will be a weekend-long native plant sale at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
The Bear Creek Festival of Nature and the Outdoors will go from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Schuylkill County Fairgrounds in Friedensburg.