Would-be anglers can celebrate freedom from the required license on Tuesday, during the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s second Fish-for-Free day. The other was May 28.
Residents and non-residents can fish legally in the Commonwealth without a license on July 4, but fishing regulations do apply.
“The dates around Memorial Day and Independence Day were chosen because they are popular picnic and camping days, with many families already spending the day at lakes and parks throughout the state,” said Steve Kralik, director of the commission bureau of outreach, education and marketing. “Fish-for-Free days offer an easy, convenient way to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing, or to reconnect with the sport if someone hasn’t fished in some time.”
More information is available on the commission’s website, www.fishandboat.com, which includes interactive maps, regional fishing reports and tips on fishing fundamentals.
If you want to extend the fishing fun beyond the holiday, licenses can be had online at www.gonefishingpa.com.
Hunters in Pennsylvania may soon be allowed to add three more electronic devices to their bag of tricks.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave early approval to the use of electronic decoys for waterfowl, electronically heated scent or lure dispensers, and electronic devices that cast ozone gas for scent-control purposes.
The measures will go before the commissioners in September for final consideration. They might also add electronic mourning dove decoys when it is brought up for a final vote.
Pennsylvania isn’t a state that incorporates a lot of electronic devices into its hunting. A few, such as devices used for locating dogs while training and hunting, illuminating devices on the nock end of arrows or bolts, crow decoys, and some rangefinders, have been entered.
So, the search for Sasquatch has returned to Penn’s Woods.
A few years ago, the hunt was on in the Waynesboro area, after suspicious footprints were discovered.
Recently, attention was drawn to the woods off Hogback Road just east of Cambridge Springs in Crawford County, hoping for more than a long-distance, out-of-focus photograph of ... Bigfoot!
Carmine “Tom” Biscardi,” or “The Godfather of Bigfoot,” was leading this expedition, as he has for 50 years. Searching for Sasquatch is a three-generation odyssey for the Biscardis.
Son T.J. Biscardi said he was done with prints, hair samples and fecal matter (good call) and wanted an actual creature. He said he doesn’t want to be 70- or 80-year-old and still have to prove that Bigfoot still exists.
The Biscardis have even offered a $1 million bounty for a bona fide Bigfoot.
They were drawn to Crawford County after the woman who lives at the home saw a large black-haired creature walk across their yard. Biscardi said they get about 30 tips every day.
They set up bait (peanut butter and sardines suspended from trees) and thermal cameras in the woods.
Reports of the hunt did not include evidence of a Sasquatch discovery. Or whether they ever got the peanut butter and sardines out of the tree.
I guess the search for Bigfoot continues.
Baited and busted
An outlaw in Lawrence County blew his second chance at hunting, and a judge has decided he shouldn’t get a third.
Thomas Hufnagel was cited by a Game Commission officer in 2014 for using bait to entice wildlife and hunting from a blind without wearing fluorescent orange. The commission cut him a break and did not suspend Hufnagel’s hunting privileges after he pleaded guilty. But he was warned that another pinch could cost him a hunting license.
A year later, Hufnagel was nabbed in a treehouse blind on his own property, with a half-full corn feeder hanging directly below. A rifle, a loaded crossbow, rattling antlers, a grunt call and scent attractants were found inside the blind. But Hufnagel contended that he wasn’t hunting.
He was fined and got a three-year hunting suspension, which was cut to two years after Hufnagel huffed his way to a hearing before the commission.
At the appeal before state judges, Hufnagel claimed he didn’t receive adequate notice that he faced suspension if he repeated his (breaking the law) illegal baiting.
The Commonwealth Court panel agreed with the Game Commission that it’s a good idea that Hufnagel not have hunting privileges for two years.
Hopefully they have given him adequate notice of that fact.
Pheasants for a lifetime
A senior hunter is behind the introduction of a bill in the state House that would allow those with lifetime licenses to hunt pheasants without paying for the new $26 permit to do so.
The Game Commission created the license to help defray the cost of its pheasant program.
Older hunters who paid the fee to hunt the rest of their lifetimes rightfully weren’t happy with having to shell out the extra bucks to go after cockbirds.
State Rep. Brian Cutler, R-Lancaster, is looking for co-sponsors for the measure to extend the right to hunt pheasants to those who already hold lifetime licenses.
Don’t let the antlerless deer license application period sneak up on you.
The first day county treasurers will accept applications from residents is Monday, July 10.
The application fee is $6.90 per antlerless license, and of course you must first hold a regular hunting license. They are on sale now.
The antlerless license application process is similar to previous years. A second and third license will be available if they aren’t sold out after the first round.
More information is at the Game Commission website, www.pgc.pa.gov, and comes with the hunting license.