Gazette writer Zeke Wilson

Those who hunt archery will benefit from obtaining permission to trim shooting lanes in the area they plan to hunt this fall.

Depending on the archery gear chosen, an arrow is traveling anywhere from 180 to 350 feet per second and is not designed for busting brush. One small twig between the bow and target is all that it takes to deflect an arrow off course.

Elevated hunters use angles to avoid the understory vegetation, although ground hunters will have to make more an effort to allow open lanes.

If you are lucky enough to own your hunting grounds, there is no need to ask first. On public ground, where cutting trees is prohibited, setting up where a tree has recently blown over will often create an adequate shooting lane through the cover.

Fallen trees also can direct deer movement, and where one has fallen along a ridge, a travel corridor is soon created as critters detour around the tree.

Gas lines and forestry roads adjacent to young succession forests offer excellent public land shooting lanes.

Log landings often are reclaimed in a clover mix on state lands and can offer miniature food plots.

Archers should limit themselves to shots within 30 yards and become proficient at estimating yardage, purchase a rangefinder, or step off yardage to landmarks around ones hunt area.

• Ginseng season is now open, and in my travels I have seen several vehicles parked that I suspect were digging ginseng rather than scouting for archery.

Permission is required to dig on private ground, and plant harvesting is prohibited on most public grounds.

High deer populations hamper the growth of this medicinal root, and each September I discover heavily browsed plants.

Ginseng is scarce because of the monetary value placed on the root, although the current market value makes hunting its about as profitable as picking up aluminum cans.

• The amount of hornets this year seems to be above average. I have discovered nearly a dozen nests of various sizes on my property. Several times the drone of an mower engine eliminated the chance to hear the swarm, offering no warning until pain was felt.

While it appears the early turkey hatch was a poor one with lots of renesting efforts, the pollinators appear to have had a good year nesting.

• Those with trail cameras now have the woods under surveillance in hopes of capturing a picture a big buck. When cameras are used on trails, a variety of wildlife is captured in photos, including small game and predators alike.

• Any attractants or minerals used to attract deer should be removed now as the area cannot be hunted for 30 days after removal.

As the chronic wasting disease battle intensifies, it would be nice to see retailers drop deer attractants from their shelves.

• With hunting and trapping season fast approaching, it makes sense to join an organization that supports such activities. Several local sportsmen’s clubs offer everything a shooter could want along with the commitment to protect our interests.

For as long as I have been able to purchase a furtakers license, I have been a member of the Pennsylvania Trappers Association.

With Disney propaganda now compounding onto a third generation, and National Geographic currently running billboards with a mountain lion picture and slogan “What can we save?” it is time to unite.

The mountain lion is a game animal in more than a dozen states and provinces and has no problems with its population, only its available habitat.

Sportsmen must educate the general public and watch the horizon for any anti-hunting efforts. If each licensed hunter and trappers goes out this fall and recruits a new member, our numbers will be twice as strong.