Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials, in September, will participate in and host four outdoors events promoting wildlife, hunting and trapping.
In Crawford County, the 28th annual Pymatuning Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Expo will be held Sept. 16-18 in and around Linesville, Crawford County. A highlight of the two-day event is the selection of the 30th Annual Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp from entries by many of the Commonwealth’s most accomplished wildlife artists. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Linesville High School, 302 West School Drive.
At 10 a.m., on Sept. 17, the Game Commission will conduct its annual public drawing to select those who will be afforded an opportunity to use one of the blinds for waterfowl hunting at Pymatuning. The drawing will be held at the Game Commission’s Pymatuning Administration Building, 9552 Hartstown Rd.
At 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 17, Kevin Jacobs, Game Commission biologist, will hold a waterfowl information and banding program, with the opportunity for children to assist in the release of wild ducks, at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center, 12590 Hartstown Rd. The Learning Center also will be open on Saturday and Sunday for visitors.
Also on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., a tour will be held on State Game Land 214, which encompasses almost 10,000 acres and includes the agency’s Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area. Tour participants should meet at the agency’s Food and Cover headquarters on Swamp Road, and will travel in wagons pulled by tractors to look at various Game Commission waterfowl management efforts, agricultural practices, wetland development and maintenance, and forestry practices on SGL 214. Directions to meeting place: From the traffic light in Linesville, take the Hartstown Road south for about 4.2 miles. At the flashing yellow light at SR 285, turn left (East) onto SR 285 for about one-half mile. Turn left (North) onto Swamp Road, and look for the Game Commission Food and Cover headquarters on the left after about one-half mile.
Also on Sept. 17-18, the Game Commission’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area will host the 25th Annual Middle Creek Wildfowl Show. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Visitor Center, which is along Hopeland Road, two miles south of Kleinfeltersville, on the Lebanon-Lancaster county line.
Admission is free, but donations are graciously accepted and will benefit the Wildlands Preservation Fund, which has helped to preserve more than 46,000 acres in an 18-county area in eastern Pennsylvania, including more than 1,200 acres at Middle Creek.
The show features wildfowl carvings and carving supplies, artwork, collectibles, dog training supplies and hunting items from more than 60 vendors. Retriever demonstrations will be at 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Sept. 17, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. Two different retriever clubs will display their dogs’ abilities. Demonstrations on Saturday will be performed by the Keystone Retriever Club, and on Sunday, by the Northern Piedmont Retriever Club.
Decoy competitions will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Carvers may enter their creations into different categories to include decorative, working and shorebird gunning rigs. Each year, a different duck is chosen for the decorative competition. This year, the wood duck was selected.
Pennsylvania State Duck and Goose Calling Championships will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The winner of the duck calling competition will likely go to the world duck calling championship in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and the winner of the goose calling competition will likely go to the world goose calling championship in Easton, Maryland.
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, representatives of the Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, along with several respected statewide sportsmen’s organizations, will host a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration in the East Wing Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg.
The event, which will feature a series of informational booths, will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The event will highlight the importance hunting, trapping, fishing and boating and the related activities supported by the two independent state agencies have had on and continue to provide to the state’s cultural heritage, outdoors recreation and economy.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Middle Creek will host a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration. Planned events include hands-on activities for people of all ages.
Activities include (* denotes hands-on activities): exhibits/displays from local, state, and national sportsmen’s organizations; archery shoot*; muzzleloading rifles*; and trapping demonstrations.
The Ruffed Grouse Society will be doing upland dog demonstrations, and there will be roasted venison for visitors to sample, courtesy of the Izaak Walton League. Additionally, Red Creek Rehabers will conduct two live birds of prey demonstrations during the day.
Another highlight will be the laser SHOT system, available for kids of all ages to try. The SHOT system is a simulated hunting experience to test an individual’s marksmanship and decision-making in hunting situations.
In 1970, the first to suggest an official “day of thanks” to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe’s Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Delaware County. Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe’s idea and created “Outdoor Sportsman’s Day” in the state.
With determined prompting from various sportsmen, the concept soon emerged on the national level when, in early 1972, Congress unanimously passed legislation authorizing a National Hunting and Fishing Day. On May 2, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, and soon after, all 50 governors and more than 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day.