Outdoors notebook: Commission, clubs reach out to youngsters
Local sportsmen's clubs and the Pennsylvania Game Commission teamed up to host more than 4,000 youngsters at youth field days locally last year.
Forty-one of the events were held. At each, children were given the opportunity to do things such as shoot rifles and shotguns, learn about turkey hunting, trapping and fishing, try their hand at canoeing and more.
The youth days were held across 10 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Some of the events were huge. Clairton Sportsmen's Club in Allegheny County hosted one that drew 300 youngsters; that was the largest. Midland Sportsmen's Club in Beaver County hosted one that drew 170, and Camp Conshatawba in Cambria County held one that drew 150.
Others were smaller by design. Aluippa Bucktails in Beaver County held one for 25 kids, Hill Baptist Church in Indiana County one for 30 and Kingston Sportsmen's Club one in Westmoreland County for 40.
Combined, the events did a lot to reach children.
“This was by far one of the best years we have experienced to date with introducing our youth to the shooting sports and outdoor-related activities,” said Joe Stefko, wildlife education supervisor in the commission's southwest region office in Bolivar.
The region also hosted one Women in the Outdoors program, attracting 15 women.
California Hill Gun Club is seeking teens looking to do some competitive clay target shooting for its Smokin' Guns team.
Registration is being taken at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the club, which is located on Route 88 just south of California, near Center in the Woods. The team is open to boys and girls in grades 5 to 12. There's also a newly established “college” division open to students attending any local college or university. No prior experience is needed.
The team holds regular practices. Members have the opportunity to participate in the state shoot and other regional tournaments. For directions or information, call 724-938-3477.
Forty-one acres of woods in Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, will remain wild thanks to a conservation easement.
Kathleen Kunz entered into an easement agreement with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Under its terms, the group will take care of the land in its natural state in perpetuity.
The property is located adjacent to McConnells Mill State Park and Slippery Rock Gorge, a National Natural Landmark.