The following article is actually a two-part article. First, I will talk about the recent deer season and, second, give a special thank you given to the area..

I hope your deer season was safe and rewarding. The weather this year was so-so. The

snow that fell did aid in the success of hunting. As I talked to several people, it seemed to be a mixed bag. Some hunters said they saw a lot of deer while others said they saw very few.

Word from the central part of the state was much better than last year. Several hunters stated that they saw a lot of bigger bucks as compared to last year. One particular hunter said that he saw three of the biggest bucks of his lifetime in Warren County while out hunting bear. He also killed a bear. He said a friend of his killed a buck that had over a two foot spread. That is one nice buck.

Actually, that buck is probably a once-in-a-lifetime buck. The deer size and populations seem to be doing much better. I will be talking to a retired Deputy Game Warden shortly and find out his take on the populations. I will update you on the results of our conversation.

A special thank you was given to our area by Dan Whyte and Betsy Rohanna McClure. If

you remember earlier this year, trout were placed in the South Branch Ten Mile Creek near the soccer field, EQT Bridge, Beagle Club launch area and Bell’s Bridge. It was the first time that this section of stream ever received trout. As normal for our area, instead of people embracing the idea, some people complained about the stocking. There was even a statement that it was illegal and that maybe piranhas were put in the stream. If these people would have checked the law, they would have learned that the stocking was totally on the up and up. The law states that if a species of fish is native to Commonwealth waters and is still present, then that species can be stocked. Trout are present in PA waters and can be stocked. There were certain conditions that were initiated before the stocking. The fish were checked for the hemorrhagic disease and for

trout gill fleas. The fish were healthy. This I know because I was consulted about the stocking and I can assure that proper protocol was followed. The same channels were recently followed in a second stocking of the same area. Over four hundred trout were released on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. There were Rainbows, Brook, Palomino, and Tiger trout released. These fish were a thank you gift to area residents and especially the children to have a recreation source this time of year. Hunting season is winding down and it was hoped that the kids would be in the outdoors and away from our opiate problems. It is hoped that the kids will grab a fishing pole instead of a needle. I am proud to say that I was fortunate to help in this winter stocking. I really hope the kids utilize this opportunity and the parents get them out fishing.

Again a special thanks to Walt Keifer, Floyd Hawk, Dan Whyte for doing the stocking. And also a special thanks to Brian Snyder for doing all the picture taking. I can say I released over 150 fish myself. Dan Whyte and Betsy Rohanna McClure were responsible for covering the costs of the fish.

As always, but especially this time of the year, let us not forget the true meaning of

Christmas. Always give thanks for what you have and forget about what you don’t have.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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