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Allegheny County Game Warden Dan Puhala reports a hunter recently pleaded guilty to unlawfully stalking a turkey during the spring season and shooting it with a semiautomatic handgun. The hunter was fined $500, plus court costs, and faces possible license revocation.

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Last week, Kathy and I took our young granddaughter to the beach. We all enjoyed the sun and the cool water’s refreshment from summer’s heat. But to enjoy this idyll, we did not endure long hours in the car, gridlocked traffic, or a high-price hotel. Our beach excursion was a day-trip to Laurel Hill State Park, about 25 miles northeast in the heart of the Laurel Highlands. There, we paid no fee to park, picnic or play. Nor did it cost us to enjoy the appealing view of forested crests, co…

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After a rainy start, summer has settled into a more pleasant pattern with lots of sunny warm days and mostly comfortable nights. The rains have been more scattered, with some areas getting drenched while others just a gentle shower. The day Uniontown received over 4 inches of rain in a few hours, we measured just a half inch here at our weather station at Chalk Hill.

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Most of us have had that vacation at the beach, the mountains of North Carolina or the trip to Disney. For the most part, they are fun and provide for a lot of good memories. Trouble is, after a thousand miles on the crowded interstates with congestion, delays and detours, as well as crowded restaurants with long waits for tables by the time, we get home and realize that its back to work tomorrow and we are really in need of a vacation from the vacation.

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Our region’s outdoors got an international spotlight last week when some fortunate whitewater rafters plunged over the Ohiopyle falls on the Youghiogheny River. They were indeed fortunate to be rescued, but they’d also done one thing right. They’d worn lifejackets, known in boating parlance as PFDs — Personal Flotation Device.

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When it comes to summertime trout-fishing tactics, I’m usually preaching stealth and finesse. Under typical summer water conditions, successful trout anglers are those who can cope with low water and ultra-spooky fish by carefully sneaking into casting range while keeping a low profile and then making deliberate, precise casts with as little disturbance as possible.

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This past week, it was Hurricane Barry dumping tropical moisture across the southern states with more flooding and destruction. Ahead of the storm, the city of New Orleans received 6 to 8 inches of rain a week before Barry, so streams were already full. Fortunately, Barry obliged the city of New Orleans and dumped most of the rain east of the city, thus avoiding a major catastrophe. Two weeks ago, tropical moisture invaded a thunderstorm complex in the Washington D.C. and Northern Virgin…

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For an Allegheny uplander, central Arkansas requires an adjustment. Here at home, the woods are always above you — on the ridges and hills, and farmers till the valleys. But think the reverse on the Arkansas prairies. There, forest grows down low, in stream channels and floodplains too wet to farm. Roughly speaking, if a stream channel is broad enough to get lost in, it’s called a bayou, a French word for swampland.

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