The evening air has a cold air that reminds everyone that autumn is coming.
Wildlife activity is increasing as new food sources mature and the young of the year disperse. This weekend I saw apples and cherries on the ground and the creatures wasted no time taking advantage of such bounty.
Birds are starting to cluster together and are on the horizon more often now looking for the next meal. Migration is a strenuous task and consuming calories this month will better prepare you for your flight south. The sights and sounds of birds in flight are an exciting indicator that the seasons will soon change.
This weekend, the Keystone Elk Country Alliance and the Elk Country Visitor Center are hosting the largest elk celebration in the Northeastern United States. The annual Elk Expo is held on the grounds of the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette.
The expo will feature exhibits, seminars, antler scoring experts, a presentation by a Pennsylvania Game Commission moose biologist, call-in contests and more than 100 vendors. There will be great entertainment, food, souvenirs and a good time for the whole family. Other featured programming includes the Pennsylvania Game Commission Elk Tag Raffle, the Keystone Elk Country Alliance Bull Tag Raffle, live music and more.
- The third round of antlerless deer license applications was accepted Monday. Before the expiration date, there were 18,000 tags available in WMU 2D and 14,000 remaining in WMU 2E. If you have yet to apply, you should do so immediately because there seems to be a good chance both units will sell out before over-the-counter sales in September.
- Archery hunters should check their gear and practice their shooting this week to ensure everything is in order. Waiting until the last minute to discover a problem can be disastrous when one must rely on professional help. Arrows and broadheads are quickly consumed when one lets an arrow fly in the deer forest.
- September is coming soon and with it comes pigeon season, resident goose season, and early squirrel hunts. Those who are interested in getting to the field early should start preparing now.
Wing shooting is an exciting activity that can sometimes consume substantial amounts of ammo. That is always the hunter’s hope, and very often I come back from a hunt with a lot of unused ammunition. However, I have experienced some incredible hunts that have sent me back to the truck or house to restock cartridges. When the stars align and the hunters meet at X, the last thing you want to do is run out of ammo. As supply problems continue, hunters should take stock of their ammunition and start buying now what they may need for upcoming hunting seasons.
- Acorn harvest is an important food source for wildlife in our area and can fluctuate greatly from year to year. While conditioning raccoon dogs last week, I was pleased to look up and see acorns developing on two species of oak trees.
Getting out in the next few weeks and hunting for acorns will be of great benefit once hunting seasons open up. However, the bugs quickly identify the food source and can eat them all once they drop. Knowledge of various oak groves in production will allow options for both large and small game.
Early squirrel season is a great way to find acorns because squirrels are a good indicator. Capturing the squirrel early will allow the deer and turkeys to discover the bounty and perhaps keep them in the area longer.