Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Road Hunting

The regular firearms deer season in Pennsylvania opened on Monday November 30th. As a Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer I am sometimes torn between trying to take my oldest daughter hunting, who has yet to get her first deer, and trying to get out and patrol for violations. On of the most problematic violations is ROAD HUNTING. Some people get tired of setting on stand and just start riding around looking for deer from the road. This is illegal in Pennsylvania.

The deer in the picture below is just a dream come true for someone road hunting. Or is it really. This particular deer is a decoy used by conservation officers to attempt to deter road hunting. The deer is used only after we get written complaints from citizens about road hunting. Then it is placed in that area and officers wait for road hunters to shoot it. Shooting is done anywhere from stepping out of the vehicle and shooting from the road or over the top of the vehicle, to sticking the gun right out the window and shooting

Today we were able to apprehend 3 different individuals road hunting. Below is a shot of Conservation Officers making an apprehension. Each violator is issued a non traffic citation and sent on their way. Fines can range anywhere from $75.00 - $500.00 depending on the individual circumstances.

For thoes hunters who hunt in an ethical manner my hat is off to you. For the road hunter, beware of a deer that looks too good to be true, because it probably is.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sideling Hill Camp

Today as I looked back through some old pictures I found these of the Sideling Hill Camp.
The Sideling Hill Camp was built in 1933 by The Civilian Conservation Corps. Some of the buildings from the camp have since been torn down. The camp is located on State Forest property in the Buchanan District of Fulton County along Oregon Road.

This is all thats left of the camp today, a log cabin that serves as a hunting camp. The cabin is owned by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
The cabin is then rented to private individuals on a yearly lease.

I can only imagine how nice it would be to obtain a lease for such a place and have such a place for a week end get a way. No electricity or running water but I thinh I could get along for a day or so anyway.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Archery Deer Season ( The Wrong Way )

Today I decided to post a case I was involved wih earlier this fall during the archery season.

The tree stand in this picture is a typical stand found in the woods of rural Fulton County this time of year. Hunting from an elevated platform gives the hunter a much better view of the area. Nothing wrong with it by istself.

When you look at the next picture you can clearly see why I became involved. The individuals using this particular stand were placing bait under it to entice deer. In PA this is a violation of the Game and Wildlife Code. This is very common especially during the archery season as one must be able to get very close to a deer to get a good shot with a bow.

In this particular case the hunters were using shelled corn and pears as bait. They had dumped well over 100 pounds of shelled corn on the ground between the 2 stands. As you can see this is a large pile of corn. Upon further investigaton it was determined that one of the hunters did not have a valid hunting license because he had been cited the previous year for killing an illegal deer and his hunting privledges had been revoked. Needless to say this will add another year on to his revocation.

There is nothing sporting about killing a deer when it is comming in to your stand for supper.
I can only say I am glad we were able to apprehend these individuals before they were able to kill anything this time. Both individuals have since pled guilty to hunting over bait, and also one count of hunting while on revocation.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Skywatch Friday

For this weeks Sky Watch I thought I would show a shot of the Farm next to my house. I shot this one morning as the fog was just lifting off the valley. Hope you like.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs

This weekend my youngest daughter Sierra was involved in a musical at her school. Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs was this years play. She had the part of a tree. Below is a shot of the entire cast.

Here are a couple shots of Sierra during the play. The shots are not as clear as I would have liked, but they had to be taken without flash and I left the tripod at home.

Either way she done a goos job and I am very prod of her. The entire cast worked very hard on this and I think they done a wonderful job.

Thanks for looking, and check back soon. Thanks Ranger

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A trip to Shenandoah national Park

As the alarm sounded at 2:00 Am it is usually hard to drag oneself out of bed. Today however was different. I was traveling with Coy of Country Captures to Shenandoah National Park to photograph whitetails. This would be my first trip in around 5 years. Once we arrived however we were somewhat disappointed at the amount of deer we saw. I did manage to come away with a couple of decent shots. Oh well as they say " a bad day hunting is still better than a good day at work". i hope you enjoy these shots.

One of the first things we saw was a flock of turkeys. I managed to shoot this one as he jumped up on the stone wall that borders the road. Did I mention that shooting from the vehicle is legal when you use a camera.

Then we came accross this young buck standing along the road. After a little manovering I was able to get a good shot of him against the mountain.

And this guy was just simply not in the posing mood today, and hurried out of the area.
Hopefully now with the longer evenings, and maybe a little less time in front of the TV I will be able to keep up with the blogging once more. I sure missed it.
Thanks Ranger

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Crappie Fishing

I got a call from a friend and fellow Conservation Officer Anthony Quarracino last evening asking if I wanted to go crappie fishing Sunday Morning. I'm usually always in the mood for a little fishing. I got up around 7:00 AM to find it was lightly raining. I called Anthony to see if he was still going and he said you bet, just bring your rain suit. So off I went and met him at Raystown Lake around 9:00 AM. We headed out hoping that the rain would let up, but no such luck. We fished for a couple of hours and did manage to catch 6 nice keepers.

Here are the two biggest ones we got. One was just over 14 inches and the other just made 15 inches. These are probably the biggest crappies I have ever caught in my life.

Hopefully we will get a chance to get out some day soon that the weather is a little more cooperative, and not so rainy. Oh by the way, I found out my rain suit leaks a little. It's only 15 years old. Time for a new one.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sky Watch

The other evening while watching a track meet at our local high school I was thinking of what to do for Skywatch this week. I looked up on the mountain and had a very clear view of a launching pad for hang gliders. I'm not sure I want to jump off the top of a mountain with a big set of bird wings, but if thats what turns you on "go for it".

I never pass up a shot at Old Glory waving proudly in the breeze.

For more shots of beautiful skies from around the world or to share your sky, please follow this link. See ya there.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Getting ready for Trout Season

The other day I took a day off work to assist the local Conservation Officer with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, stock some of the local trout streams in preparation for the opening day of fishing season.

When the fish truck comes around all the locals turn out to follow it around. You would thing that gas is free when you look at the amount of vehicles that follow the truck. This photo was take after around half of the vehicles left the parade.

This is a shot of the local Conservation officer on the fish truck preparing to off load some fish onto the pick up to be hauled back off the road to the stream. The Fish and Boat Commission rely heavily on volunteer help to make sure the fish get from the truck to the stream, and with most streams nt being assessable from the main road the must be carried or hauled in big barrels on trucks to make it to the stream.

While assisting with traffic control I spooked a duck from the grass. Wondering why it was so close the road I found her nest in the grass. This nest is only approx. 10-15 feet off the main road. I wonder what it's chance of survival is.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Happy Easter everyone. Today has been a very busy day. With family comming for Easter Dinner, and all the kids here it is a little crazy. Just thought I'd take a quick minute and wish everyone a Blessed Easter. Below is the Easter tree my mother put up in her house.

This is a shot of a small tree in the neighbors yard at my parents house. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Farewell to Winter

As the sunset each evening bids farewell to the day, so we will bid farewell to winter with one final post of a beautiful winer sunset. This is a view from my house accross the field, earlier this winter when everything was covered in a glaze of ice.
I have been very busy this week with various chores and have had very little time to take pictures or post anything. I did manage to take some pictures today as it was very beautiful out. Hopefully I will get some editing done and have a few posts for the upcomming week.
To see more beautiful skies from around the world or find out how to share yours, follow this lnk.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Evening Sunset

The other evening after our trip to the lake I took my daughter to her soccer practice. While sitting there I noticed how the sun was starting to fall out of the clouds as it headed for the horizon, and thought what a great picture for Skywatch. Hope you enjoy.
For more beautiful skies from around the world click here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An evening at the lake

Tuesday evening here was sunny and warm, (around 60 degrees) so my wife and I decided to go to a local lake to take some pictures. Upon arriving we found a couple of boats on the lake with people fishing. This is a public lake located on State Game Lands and maintained by the PA Fish and Boat Commission.

Below is a picture of the boat ramp taken from the breast of the dam.

This picture is the spillway or overflow located bside the dam. In the summer months very little water goes ove the spillway due to dry weather.

Finally a close up picture of the water as it makes it way down stream and into Roaring Run.

This area is one of my favorite places to visit as you can become lost in the solitude. As I think back to last fall on day in October when my wife, my daughter Sierra and I decided to travel here to take pictures from the mountain top. Not giving it much thought my daughter and I went on ahead of Jean only to hear her scream. I immediatly knew what was wrong as I know the reputation for this area. When I turned around I saw a rattlesnake lying on the ground between us. I kew that Sierra and I had just walked right over top of it. Needless to say we left immediatly without taking any pictures, just glad to be safe. To think such a beautiful area can have such hidden dangers.
For more beautiful pictures visit my wife's blog at
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Canada Geese

In mid March Willard and I made a trip to Middle Creek Wildlife Management area to photograph geese and ducks. Although the large numbers of geese were not there, plenty still remained to make photographing good. As you can tell the weather was not very cooperative as it was overcast and foggy.

This pair of Canada Geese came flying in and gave the opportunity for a good flying shot.

Thanks to the motor drive on my new DSLR I was able to capture the geese as they came in and landed, making for some good shots.

Finally the geese came to rest on a small shallow pond. (Touchdown)

Soon after one of the geese found a nesting structure made by PA Game Commission maintenance personel and started to set up home. It was fun watching her move and shuffle around until she had everything just the way she wanted it.
For more information on Canada Geese and the Middlecreek Wildlife Management Area you can go to the PA Game Commission website by clicking here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A rainy day for fishing

Today my daughter Sierra and I went to the Meadow Grounds Lake for a little fishing. The water temperature was still a little too cold for the fish to be biting. ( Only around 46 degrees. ) We did manage to get a couple of good shots of a Great Blue Heron.

I managed to get close enough for this shot before he got too nervous and flew.

Once the Heron flew it made for a couple of good flying shots.

We did see a few ducks on the lake but could not get any pictures that were worth posting. As you can tell it was foggy and rainy out. Shortly after these shots were taken it started raining and we were both soaked till we got back to the boat dock. Luckly I had stopped at the local store and bought a few large ziplock bags to put my camera in. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to get back and get some good shots on a brighter day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

The other evening at my daughters soccer practice a plane come over offering a good shot. i thought it would make a good post for Sky Watch.
For more beautiful skies click here

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Little Squirelly

The other day while shooting some pictures with Willard, I managed get a few good shots of some squirells playing.

I always enjoy watching squirells play. They are always busy.

I caught this squirell playing peek-A-boo. I like the way he was peeking around the corner of the log.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Soccer Season

My daughter Sierra is starting soccer this year. She is 11 years old now. We'll see how good she does.

Learning the proper way to kick.

Practice moving and jumping

Running for the ball

I wish I had half of her energy!!
Thanks for looking. See you next time.