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The outdoors is commonly referred to as “The Great Outdoors,” and for good reason.

All of our senses are used when time is spent in an outdoor setting, and quite often the sights, smells and sounds are fondly remembered for our entire lives. While one can look at pictures and videos of an environment, there is nothing quite like being there in person.

Prior to hunting out west, I found it strange that an older gentlemen mentioned the smell of sage as perhaps one of his favorite parts of visiting the area. Upon visiting the region, I realized how synonymous being there and smelling sage was, and the statement made more sense.

Once while seeking advice on how to hunt ginseng and find it, I was told by an expert that he simply looked for the “seng.” After finding the plant several times myself, I realized that once your eye is trained in recognition, it is quite easy to find after you know what to look for, much like a mushroom or shed antler.

Turkey hunters live for the audible response of a mature gobbler while elk hunters seek out a bugle much the same. Keen ears often can pinpoint the sound from several miles while another might not even hear the sound much less identify its location.

A morning spent on the lake or river as the fog lifts and sun rises is difficult to describe and provides one with a sense of awe each and every time. Coincidentally, some of the best angling activity and waterfowl flights occur during the same time periods, rewarding those who rise early and stay late.

Sadly, the first half hour and last half hour of the day are often missed by being in the comfort of your home, yet these are perhaps the grandest time to be outdoors.

While it is easy to forget, we only get so many sunrises and sunsets on this earth, and it is important to enjoy each and every one when possible.

With cooler weather in the forecast this week, spending some time enjoying and exploring our natural settings would be time well spent. Insect repellent, sunscreen and water are all important to include in your list of essentials for the adventure. The summer is not the best time to explore the outdoors, but with the right provisions, one can combat some of the discomfort.

  • The Pennsylvania Trappers Association will hold its annual rendezvous at the Clearfield Fairgrounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The event is for anyone with an interest in the outdoors, although the emphasis is on trapping and the fur trade.

While fur prices are bleak at the moment, there is much to be gained by pursuing the variety of furbearers we have here in the commonwealth.

Demonstrations are held throughout the convention by experts from across the

country, and a number of vendors provide almost

anything needed to trap and prepare pelts.

Trapping is hard work that requires attention to detail, commitment, ethics and preparation. Introducing a youngster to the art of trapping will undoubtedly create a better individual and perhaps begin a lifelong hobby. Adults, too, can benefit from learning to trap, and as I have seen with a number of my friends, it is difficult to stop once you start.

With bobcat, fisher, otter, beaver, raccoon, fox, coyote, opossum, weasel, muskrat and mink all inhabiting our state, it is difficult to grow bored with the sport.