The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 31, 2012

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Sportsmen's caravan rolls on

“Freshly fallen leaves on the forest floor in the November sun bring more happiness than even the daffodils.”

Sportsmen’s caravan rolls

Each election cycle there are always a few hardy sportsmen and sportswomen who take to the highways, byways and back roads of our state in hopes of promoting the candidate they think will give to the best deal to hunters, anglers, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts in general. This year is no exception.

Now that I’m retired and can get involved again with electioneering, I’ve signed on with this year’s Sportsmen’s Caravan. We attended events last week in south central Pennsylvania and in the Lehigh Valley. Starting tomorrow our caravan will go non-stop through Election Day.

We are having our send-off this evening at 6 p.m. at the Bass Pro Shop outside of Harrisburg. Governor Romney’s son Tagg will be in attendance. Please know that you and your family are more than welcome to come down for the festivities and to get in a little outdoor-related shopping while you’re there.

Our caravan is supporting the NRA-endorsed slate of candidates. It’s our hope that sportsmen and sportswomen will vote in big numbers and make a difference in this election. Together, if we can be part of the margin of victory, hopefully, we will have some chips to cash-in with our newly-elected officials when it really matters. To learn who the NRA-endorsed and graded candidates are please visit: www.nrapvf/grades-endorsements/2012/pennsylvania.aspx.

Astronomy matters

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone and, by and large, our valley was unscathed by this monster storm. However, the folks at the New Jersey shore and in New York City weren’t nearly as lucky. One explanation for this is astronomy. The October full moon, also known as the Hunter’s Moon or the Blood Moon, was at its peak, along with a high tide, at the zenith of the storm surge. The outcome was catastrophic.

Astronomers and meteorologists have known that this type of storm was going to happen for a long time and that similar storms probably did happen before, many moons ago.

It’s an astronomy lesson the unfortunate people in the storm’s path won’t forget for a long, long time.

Take a hike

A moderate, 7.5-mile hike on the Hawkeye Trail in Lycoming County will be offered Saturday by the local Sierra Club. You may like to bring along your friends or family members. Please meet by 9 a.m. in the parking lot of Valley Pizza in Benton. You should bring lunch, water and appropriate clothing for the cool weather. The outing leaders are Catherine McLaughlin and Ed Lawrence. You may contact them at or (570) 925-5285.

Elk season

Pennsylvania’s elk season starts Monday. It will be exciting to hear if anyone from our valley brings home one these majestic beasts.

Outings for next week

On Wednesday, children ages 3-5 are invited to be part of the Young Explorers Program at PPL’s Montour Preserve. The program begins with Jane Yolen’s wonderful book “Owl Moon,” and then an opportunity to take a closer look at owls. Please register by calling the preserve office at (570) 437-3131 or send an e-mail to Advance registration is required for this free program.

“Let’s Talk Turkey” is the name of the children’s program scheduled for Nov. 8 at the R.B. Winter State Park. Registration for the 10 a.m. presentation is required by calling (570) 966-1455. Participants will learn about the history and about the successful restoration of wild turkeys.

Trout camp

The early application period for the 2013 edition of the Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp is open.

This camp is sponsored by the Trout Unlimited Pennsylvania Council and is held at the Allenberry Resort near Boiling Springs, south of Harrisburg. Applications are due by March 31.

Campers who are selected during the early acceptance period will be notified in mid-April. A total of 32 young people between the ages of 14-17 will be selected for this program. For more information please visit

River of the Year

The River of the Year nomination process is open until Nov. 16. A committee selects the top candidates from the nominations, and in recent years more than 10,000 votes have been cast for the nominees.

Only one nomination is needed from an organization or partnership for each river or stream. Wouldn’t it be great if some of our local streams were nominated?

All nominees must submit a quality photograph of the river or stream to be used during the voting process.

Questions and additional information is available from Josh Karns at (717) 230-8044 x12 or at Nomination forms are available at