Outdoors notebook: Youth wildlife camps seeking applicants
Pennsylvania's Wildlife Leadership Academy is seeking students and adults who are interested in the outdoors.
The academy is putting on three five-day conservation camps this summer: one focused on white-tailed deer, another on ruffed grouse and a third on trout. At each, students ages 14-17 will learn about conservation, habitat, the role of hunting and fishing, leadership development and more from some of the state's top wildlife and conservation professionals.
The hope is the teens will return to their home communities and serve as “conservation ambassadors” sharing what they've learned with others, especially other young people, said program director Michelle Kittell.
Academy youth have conducted 745 outreach projects, spent 3,300 hours talking to the public and reached an audience of more than 15,000 Pennsylvanians in 52 counties, she said.
The deer camp, Pennsylvania Bucktails, will run from June 17-21 at Stone Valley Recreation Area in Huntingdon County. The Pennsylvania Brookies trout camp will run from July 8-12 at Sieg Conference Center in Clinton County, and the Pennsylvania Drummers grouse camp will be from July 22-26 at Powdermill Nature Reserve in Westmoreland County.
Applications are due by March 17 for adults and April 1 for youths. Find them at www.piceweb.org.
Bobcats and otters
The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently put its new otter and bobcat management plans out for public comment.
The commission wasn't expecting to hear much about the bobcat plan. It was when it came to otters, given that it calls for allowing limiting trapping for the first time in a century.
The otter plan drew just 31 comments, though only 17 percent of them negative, compared to 60 percent in support, said biologist Matt Lovallo.
The bobcat plan drew just 28 comments, with a 71 percent approval rate, he said.
Registration is open for the National Archery in the Schools Pennsylvania state tournament.
Last year's event drew 817 archers. This year's, scheduled for March 14 in State College, is expected to draw about 1,300 participants.
Registration is free and open through Feb. 21, but space is limited. It can be completed at nasptournaments.org.
A couple of deer hunters and Quality Deer Management Association members in Louisiana, one of them a biologist, decided last summer to paint one of their permanent deer stands hot pink to see how deer might react.
A trail camera recorded as many deer — and as many mature bucks — around the stand as ever in the preseason, according to their report. During hunting season, the number of deer observed per day from the stand did not decline from previous years.