Game commissioners set working group meeting
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will hold a public working group meeting at 8 a.m. Monday in the auditorium of the Game Commission's headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.
Among the items that will be discussed are the seasons and bag limits for the 2013-14 seasons, which also will be the subject of the board's regular quarterly meeting on April 14-15.
"The working group meeting offers the Board a chance to discuss with Game Commission staff agenda items, initiatives and ideas, as well as receive staff reports and presentations," said board President Robert W. Schlemmer. "Held in an informal setting, our meeting provides the public an excellent chance to become more familiar with the Game Commission and the deliberations that help shape its wildlife management programs."
No votes on agenda items are taken during working group meetings, nor does the board schedule time to receive public comments.
The meeting will be webcast through the agency's website, www.pgc.state.pa.us, beginning at 8 a.m.
Take a hunter-trapper class
ANTES FORT - A hunter-trapper education class will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Northcentral Regional Office of the state Game Commission.
Students should register on the commission's website and must study as homework chapters 1, 4, 5 and 9 in the handbook found on the same website. These chapters will not be covered in class, but there will be questions on the final exam from the chapters.
For more information, call Max Farley at 337-8750.
Learn how to be a safe boater
PENNSDALE - The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in Williamsport, Flotilla 15-01, will hold its final safe boating course of the year from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Gander Mountain in the Lycoming Mall.
Participants will receive a USCGA boating certificate and will qualify for the Pennsylvania boating certificate upon successful completion of the course. Those who wish to operate a personal watercraft (jet ski) or those born after Jan. 1, 1982, who operate a boat with a 25-horsepower or larger motor are required by law to have completed a recognized boating course.
A fee will cover the cost of the book and advance registration is necessary.
For more information, or to enroll, call Joseph Kustanbauter at 435-2193 or email email@example.com.
PA Outdoor Life Expo coming to mall
PENNSDALE - The PA Outdoor Life Expo will be held from 10 a.m. Thursday to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday at the Lycoming Mall.
Pennsylvania Outdoor Life is celebrating 30 years of local programming. For more information, visit wnep.com/2013/01/27/pennsylvania-outdoor-life-expo-2013.
Fishing derby planned for kids
JERSEY SHORE - The fourth annual Kids Trout Fishing Derby will be held Saturday at the Independent Hose Co. No. 1, 130 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
Doors open at 11 a.m. and fishing starts at noon. A fee applies and is good for unlimited fishing from noon until 4 p.m. Trophies and prizes will be awarded at 5.
The derby is catch and release, but anglers up to age 12 may keep the rainbow trout that measure from 9 to 22 inches.
Fishing equipment and bait will be supplied. Families are encouraged to attend and enjoy games, food and fishing.
Anglers club plans annual meeting
TROUT RUN - The Lycoming Creek Anglers Club will hold its annual meeting at 6 p.m. Saturday at Camp Susque Lodge.
Guest speaker Earl Myers, nursery manager for the state Fish and Boat Commission, will discuss changes in the nurseries and the commission.
The club will hold its first trout stocking of Lycoming Creek and its tributaries at 9 a.m. Saturday beginning at the Trout Run Fire Co. parking lot. Other stockings will occur at 8:30 a.m. May 4, 11 and 18 at the nursery and 9 a.m. May 25 at the Trout Run Fire Co.
A children's fishing derby will be held June 1 at the Sheshequib Camp Ground, seven miles north of Trout Run. Registration and fishing times vary per age group.
Kids can learn about minerals
BOALSBURG - A Minerals Junior Education Day will be held Saturday at the fire hall here for children in grades one through eight and their parents.
Attendees will learn about minerals, crystals, gems and fossils. Each child will get an empty egg carton when they check in, then go to a series of stations, each concerning a different aspect of mineral properties, gemstones, rocks or fossils. They learn about the topic from a fun demonstration, activity or discussion and receive a properly labeled specimen related to the topic. Children can gather a whole collection in their egg carton.
Get a wild pheasant update at preserve
WASHINGTONVILLE - Several years ago, the state Game Commission introduced wild pheasant from the Dakotas into suitable habitat in northcentral Pennsylvania in an effort to establish a reproducing wild population. From 6-7 p.m. April 10, learn the latest news about how the efforts are going and what is happening with the wild birds.
The free program will take place at the Environmental Education Center. For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com and click on "Montour." For more information, contact the preserve at 437-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TU: Protect your favorite stream by fishing it
The Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited is looking for public participation in a state Fish and Boat Commission pilot program to prioritize which streams will be studied this summer as part of the Unassessed Waters Initiative.
Commission staff will be at the chapter's monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. April 10 at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at the rear of East Third and Mulberry streets. They will display maps and list which streams in Lycoming and Sullivan counties need to be sampled.
Under the program, anglers will pick a stream to go out and fish and then report back on what they caught or observed, using a form supplied by the commission. The information then will be used by the commission to prioritize sampling efforts
The meeting is open to the public, and trout anglers, watershed groups and others who would like to assist in the program are encouraged to attend.
Conservancy plans annual meeting
April 24 is the last day to register for the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy's annual membership meeting, which will be held May 1 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Williamsport.
Social hour will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. A fee applies.
Directors will be elected during the meeting
To make reservations, call 323-6222.
Create something beautiful and floral
MIFFLINBURG - Country Farm and Home, 7801 Old Turnpike Road, has announced several Make and Take Classes, through June 26. A fee applies for each course.
April 24 - Floral Globe, 7 p.m. Create a spectacular flowering globe to hang on a shepherd's hook or on a branch of your favorite tree.
May 1 - Hypertufa Planter, 7 p.m. This is a two-night class. Make the planter May and plant it on May 15.
May 8 - Patio Planter, 7 p.m. Learn Keith's secrets for successful container gardening while planting a beautiful container full of the top performing thriller, filler and spiller annuals on the market.
May 22 - Butterfly Garden Planter, 7 p.m. Learn what is needed to entice butterflies to your garden while planting a butterfly garden, filled with host and nectar plants, in a beautiful planter.
June 5 - Living Wall, 7 p.m. - Graphically arrange a collection of plants in the Living Wall Planter System. We will frame your creations, so once you get it home, you mount it on a vertical surface, giving you a whole new world in which to express your creativity.
June 12 - Everlasting Butterfly Pitcher, 7 p.m. Fill a beautiful pitcher with everlasting summer flowers and butterflies.
June 26 - Gypsy Garden, 6 p.m. Create a unique fairy garden. This will be the final class and guests are asked to bring a salad to share. A meal will be held prior to the class.
Call 966-4030 to register or for more information.
Birding, flower walk set at park
WARRENSVILLE - A general birding and early wildflower walk will be held at 8 a.m. April 27 at Rider Park. It is sponsored by park officials and member of the Lycoming Audubon Society.
Participants will explore the beautiful upland forest and fields of Rider Park in hopes of seeing various resident and migrating birds and beautiful early spring wildflowers.
Meet Joe Yoder and Ron Beach at the Rider Park pavilion. For more information, call Yoder at 323-5716 or Beach at 368-2921.
Club plans fishing derby
PICTURE ROCKS - The Consolidated Sportsmen of Muncy Creeks will hold its annual Dick Harner Memorial Children's Fishing Derby on May 5 at Van Renselar Park.
For more details, call Art Fry at 368-1245.
Conference for private forestland owners set
ALTOONA - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will co-sponsor a two-day conference for landowners focused on conserving and managing privately owned woodlands.
The "2013 Private Forest Landowner Conference: The Future of Penn's Woods," will be held May 10-11 at the Blair County Convention Center.
"Past regional and local private forestland conferences have targeted primarily private forest landowners, both industrial and non-industrial," DCNR Secretary Rick Allan said. "This event is expanded to include a wider range of landowners with outdoors interests and a commitment to sustaining healthy forests. We invite recreation-related businesses, timber interests, family forest owners, policy makers, and all others with an interest and stake in private forest land stewardship."
The event will focus on conserving and managing healthy, regenerating forests with the intent of bringing together landowners who want to demonstrate commitment to forest sustainability.
"Whether a person owns five or 500 acres, they are among nearly 740,000 Pennsylvania woodland owners who can impact the health and well-being of nearly 12 million acres of private forests," Allan said.
Regionally and nationally recognized experts will give presentations on a variety of topics including conservation options, invasive species, taxes, water quality, woodland care, wildlife, and backyard woodlots. Exhibitors will offer informational and resource displays, and demonstrators will showcase tools and services.
On May 10, optional tours addressing wind energy and forests, invasive species control, vernal ponds and early successional wildlife habitat will be offered before the conference officially starts at 1 p.m. The program continues from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 11.
Registration is open and costs $75. Registration details and other information can be found at ecosystems.psu.edu/research/centers/private-forests/events/2013-private-forest-landowners.
Explore, paddle, learn on West Branch Sojourn
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership's annual sojourn on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River will start May 14 in Mahaffey, Clearfield County and end May 19 in Keating, Clinton County. A fee applies.
The six-day, 97-mile canoe and kayak trip takes paddlers of all ages and skill levels to some of the most beautiful and remote locations along the river. Along the way, local experts will give exclusive access to the area's history, wildlife and conservation efforts through river-side presentations.
Registration includes river guides, camp sites, meals, insurance, shuttles, a T-shirt and educational programs and entertainment. Paddlers must provide their own boat and gear. Boat rental information and a daily schedule are available in the online registration packet. Beginners are encouraged to join.
Paddlers may pay for the entire trip or on a day-to-day basis. Early registration is due May 1. Information may be downloaded at www.susquehannagreenway.org or by calling Erin Pierce, program coordinator, at 522-7244.
"The West Branch sojourn will be a great way for folks to explore this stretch of water trail, since much of it is breathtakingly rural, secluded and one of the closest things we have in Pennsylvania to a wilderness experience," Pierce said.
Pennsylvania's river sojourns are a national model for connecting people to their natural environment in a fun and educational way. National Geographic Adventure named the West Branch a "Best Adventure Destination for 2012" and the 228-mile river also is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service.
ATV safety class scheduled
An all-terrain vehicle safety class will be held at 8:30 a.m. May 18 at Wheels Of Williamsport Inc., 99 Grey Fox Drive, Montoursville.
Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Students - youths or adults - must provide their own ATVs.
State-certified safety instructors Bill and Nancy Stugart will teach the course.
Pennsylvania law requires that youths ages 8 through 15 take a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-approved safety training course and earn a safety training certificate from it before operating an ATV off their parents' or legal guardian's property.
To register for the course, call Bill or Nancy at 435-0923.
Women in the Outdoors event planned
TIOGA - A Women in the Outdoors event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at Ives Run Recreation Area at Hammond Lake. Women ages 14 and older may apply.
The event is designed to teach women new skills and activities and introduce them to new friends. No experience is necessary.
Paid registration includes four classes, a one-year membership to the Women in the Outdoors program, breakfast and lunch and use of equipment and materials. Raffles and a silent auction also will be held.
Classes include birding, outdoor photography, preparing wild game, archery, fishing, bobcats, Dutch oven cooking, shotgun and trap, geocaching and kayaking.
This Women in the Outdoors event is sponsored by the Arnie Hayden Memorial chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. More information about the program and other area events can be found at www.womenintheoutdoors.org.
Register now for greenway sojourn
The 2013 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Greenway Sojourn - a fully supported, five-day ride along the Great Allegheny Passage - will take place June 23-27, and participants now can reserve their seat.
The Greenway Sojourn is part bicycle ride, part trail-building program. It celebrates newly opened trails and promotes the completion of others to create regional trail systems.
The ride covers mostly off-road, multi-use trails between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md.
All ages and skill levels may register by going online to wilderness-voyageurs.com/rails-to-trails-greenway-sojourn.html.
Outdoor events sought
Do you have a meeting or outdoor event you'd like to publicize in the Sun-Gazette?
Announcements must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the date of the event, preferably earlier.
Information and news releases may be:
Mailed to Outdoor editor, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport PA 17701
Emailed to email@example.com
Dropped off at the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport
Submitted through the Outdoor section of the Virtual Newsroom on the paper's website, www.sungazette.com.
All submissions must contain the name, telephone number and, if available, email address of a contact person.
Photographs by area residents of trophy fish or game animals or other interesting outdoor occurrences also will be considered. Digital photos may be sent by email.
Hard-copy glossy prints, negatives or slides may be dropped off or mailed. Polaroid prints typically cannot be reprinted in the newspaper.
Only photos sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope will be returned.
Announcements published in the "Outdoor Briefs" section will print in chronological order as space permits.
The Outdoors section is published weekly on Sundays, but it goes to print early on Wednesday mornings.
Therefore, all information for publication on any given Sunday must be submitted by noon on the Monday prior.
For more help, call 326-1551, ext. 3116.