Gazette writer Zeke Wilson

The elk license drawing will be held Saturday at the Elk Country Visitor’s Center near Winslow Hill in Benezette Township. A variety of seminars and vendors will be set up around the center, providing an interesting weekend of entertainment. Demonstrations on a variety of pursuits will be offered by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. 

The elk should be visible for viewing in the morning and evening hours in the area surrounding the festival.

Although the congestion can be thick around the elk center, there is much to do in thePennsylvania wilds over the weekend.

•  Applications for the second round of unsold antlerless deer licenses will begin to be accepted Aug. 19. Although some wildlife management units sell out of these licenses early on, others offer the chance at another,

allowing a hunter to obtain three antlerless tags. With our deer season running from Oct. 5 to Jan. 20, a wise carnivore will spread out the harvest to allow fresh venison for most of the year.

Vacuum packing and freezing whole muscles trimmed of any fat can further extend the time one can enjoy the most nutritious source of protein available. Through much of my adolescence, Ted Nugent’s “Spirit of the Wild” was my favorite television show, and he was adamant each and every episode in preaching the health benefits of consuming wild game. While Uncle Ted is still going strong at 70 years of age, I am happy that Steve Rinella now offers television viewers the “Meat Eater” series.

As healthy eating becomes paramount to people, more decide to enter the woods with hopes of making some meat. These new hunters are essential to the survival of sound wildlife management, and every hunter and trapper must attempt to recruit another so that our pastimes can continue for generations to come.

• Goose blind applications for either Middle Creek or Pymatuning Wildlife Management Areas will be accepted until Aug. 30 this year. In the past this was a mail-in application, but the agency has changed the process to an online application.

These hunts offer a chance at a quality goose hunt with some extra anticipation and excitement added on. I have enjoyed several of these hunts over the years with friends and family and look forward to them whenever myself or another is awarded a blind.

Blind holders are permitted to take along up to three guests. Although the limit is only one goose per hunter when hunting from a controlled blind, the lack of harvest within the management area combined with the manipulated habitat make the hunting outstanding.

The hunt is great for young and old hunters alike and allows several generations to enjoy the hunt together.

• As archery season approaches a number of clubs and organizations offer 3D target shoots to help hone one’s skills. This weekend the Potter County Bowhunters Festival will be held at Ski Denton resort. The topography of God’s Country allows for a challenging shoot with a variety of targets to choose from.

These 3D shoots allow one to practice at a variety of distances and targets in comparison to the typical backyard or fixed-range courses.

The August weather can often be a large part of the challenge, and if you can shoot accurately with sweat in your eye and mosquitoes in your ear, it should be easy come October.

Archery is an excellent way to challenge yourself and is an affordable hobby in comparison to other modern-day activities. Children love to be challenged, and archery offers the opportunity to do just that while also seeing accuracy and skills improve almost daily.

Encouraging another to enter the sport of archery is something that will reward both parties for years to come.