Each September, state Game Commission officials participate in and host three outdoors events promoting wildlife, hunting and trapping. They are:
The 31st annual Pymatuning Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl and Outdoor Expo - Sept. 15-16 in and around Linesville, Crawford County. A highlight of the two-day event is the selection of the 31st annual Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp from entries by many of the state's most accomplished wildlife artists. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. Sept. 15 at Linesville High School, 302 West School Drive.
At 10 a.m. Sept. 15, the Game Commission will conduct its annual public drawing to select those who will be afforded an opportunity to use one of the blinds for waterfowl hunting at Pymatuning. The drawing will be held at the commission's Pymatuning Administration Building, 9552 Hartstown Road, Hartstown.
At 11:30 a.m. Sept. 15, Kevin Jacobs, Game Commission biologist, will hold a waterfowl information and banding program, with the opportunity for children to assist in the release of wild ducks, at the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center, 12590 Hartstown Road, Linesville. The Learning Center also will be open on Saturday and Sunday for visitors.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted and will benefit the Wildlands Preservation Fund, which has helped to preserve more than 46,000 acres in an 18-county area in eastern Pennsylvania, including more than 1,200 acres at Middle Creek.
The show features wildfowl carvings, artwork, collectibles and hunting items from many vendors. Retriever demonstrations will be at 10 a.m. and noon Sept. 15 and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sept. 16. Two retriever clubs will display their dogs' abilities. Demonstrations on Sept. 15 will be performed by the Keystone Retriever Club and, on Sept. 16, by the Northern Piedmont Retriever Club.
Decoy competitions will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 15, and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Carvers may enter their creations into categories including decorative, working and shorebird gunning rigs. Each year, a different duck is chosen for the decorative competition. This year, the blue-winged teal was selected.
Pennsylvania State Duck and Goose Calling Championships will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 16. The winner of the duck calling competition likely will go to the world duck calling championship in Stuttgart, Ark., and the winner of the goose calling competition likely will go to the world goose calling championship in Easton, Md.
Middle Creek will hold a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23. Planned events include hands-on activities for people of all ages, including exhibits and displays from local, state and national sportsmen's organizations; archery shoot; muzzleloading rifles; and upland bird dog and trapping demonstrations.
Roasted venison will be available for visitors to sample, courtesy of the Izaak Walton League. Additionally, Red Creek Rehabers will conduct live birds of prey demonstrations at noon and 3 p.m.
Another highlight will be the laser SHOT system, available for kids of all ages to try. It is a simulated hunting experience to test an individual's marksmanship and decision-making in hunting situations.