Outdoors

American black duck resembles mallard species

The American black duck, Anas rubripes, is a dabbling duck of eastern North America. Black ducks are similar to female mallards but are a darker shade of brown. The are the same size as mallards with a length of 23 inches and a 35-inch wingspan. Males and females are similar but adult ...

Game commissioners will discuss 2018-19 hunting, trapping seasons

HARRISBURG — The state Board of Game Commissioners will hold its first quarterly meeting of 2018, from Jan. 28-30 at its 2001 Elmerton Ave. headquarters. Beginning at 1 p.m. next Sunday, the commissioners will hear public recommendations for 2018-19 hunting and furtaking seasons and bag ...

Local lives life of a professional hawk watcher

“There is a red-tailed hawk half a glass above the notch and an American kestrel circling over the right saddle!” For three months last fall, I was the hawk watch counter at the Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin, Delaware. My task was to stand on a hill and count migrating raptors for ...

OUT & ABOUT

Public invited to annual Watersheds Summit The Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host its annual Watersheds Summit at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Covenant Central Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 807 W. Fourth St. It is open to the public. Many of the area’s watershed groups, ...

Afield with Friends: Time to catch big fish

Fifty years ago after I dressed out a 10-point buck and attached a tag to a long-beard gobbler during the first hours of the fall season, I realized it was time to make some adjustments in my outdoor activities. The 9-foot Sage rod on the wall of my cluttered den seemed to remind me the ...

Reflections in Nature: Turpentine distilled from pine pitch

During my adolescent years, my mother often would tell me to take off my good jeans before I ruined them. While setting up our Christmas tree recently, I was taken back to those youthful days when my wife, Mary Alice, said, “Bill, take off those good jeans before you get pine pitch on ...

‘A very unexpected season’: Grandfather, son, grandson all harvest bucks

Rich Day estimates he’s been hunting for nearly 54 years, but this year he and his family had “a very unexpected season.” On Oct. 26, during archery season, Rich, 66, harvested an eight-point white-tailed buck whose antlers had a spread measuring nearly 18 inches. Then, during ...

Step Outdoors events begin this Monday

WELLSBORO — The 2018 Step Outdoors Winter Outings series has been expanded to include more events in Potter County, according to organizer Tim Morey, a natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex. “This is our largest Winter Outing series yet with more than 25 ...

Reflections in Nature: Bird’s name means tree cleaver

Several weeks ago while driving up the Armenia Mountain road, near Gobbler’s Knob, I saw a big bird fly across the road and land on a tree. Before getting close enough to identify the bird, I knew it was a pileated woodpecker due to its unusual flight. A woodpecker’s flight undulates, ...

Experts advise drivers prepare vehicles for winter months

Early winter is one of the best times to give automobiles a good health checkup to be sure they will run reliably and safely over the next several months. Preventative maintenance helps drivers avoid breaking down when the weather is at its most severe and minimizes the likelihood of an ...

Why count birds?

It’s pitch black inside and out when the alarm softly chimes Saturday morning. I quietly slip out to the den, into my long-johns and other warm clothes and gather up Dusky dog for his earlier-than-normal walk around the neighborhood pond. It’s 17 degrees, starless, but thankfully not ...

Reflections in Nature: Christmas customs

The custom of using evergreens to help celebrate goes back almost 2,000 years. In pre-Christian days, it was believed evergreens contained magical powers because the trees remained green throughout the year. Evergreens first were used in celebrating the winter solstice, which is the ...

Game Commission suspends seedling sales

Tree and shrub seedlings from the state Game Commission’s Howard Nursery will not be offered for sale to the public in 2018 due to drastically low inventories. Seedlings will continue to be supplied to participants in the Seedlings for Schools Program, as well as to landowners who open ...

Count birds with the experts

The Lycoming Audubon Society will participate in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 30. The count is a good chance for beginners to learn from experienced birders. The data gathered from these annual counts across North America is important for research. Counts will be held ...

PA Trophies

For information on submitting a photo for “PA Trophies,” send an email to outdoors@sungazette.com or call 570-326-1551, ext. 3115.

‘Can’t really believe it’: Liberty woman brings home trophy buck

LIBERTY — When Abby Heatley went into the woods this hunting season, she wasn’t going specifically for a trophy buck. She walked out on Dec. 2 with the monster of a lifetime — an 18-point Tioga County whitetail. “I don’t expect to get anything like that ever again,” she ...

Reflections in Nature: Rifle deer season starts Monday

Here in Pennsylvania, the opening of buck season on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day has been a tradition for more than a century and many schools and some businesses are closed this day. Since the hunters have many opportunities to hunt for the elusive whitetail before the regular ...

Dickens of a Christmas celebrates 34th year this weekend

Special to the Sun-Gazette WELLSBORO — The community’s Dickens of a Christmas is celebrating its 34th anniversary this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1, 2 and 3. The festival annually rekindles the holiday spirit by turning back the clock to England’s Victorian era and author ...

Fall begins bird feeding season

Spring and early- to mid-summer can be busy times around the backyard feeder stations. Male and female birds are busy nesting and raising young and having tasty seeds and maybe suet reasonably close to suitable nesting habitat allows the mature birds to replenish their energy reserves with ...