Again this year, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary will offer its once-a-year unique opportunity to see North America's largest predatory bird during three live golden eagle programs, Saturday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. in the Outdoor Amphitheater. Programs are free, but a trail fee applies for those who visit scenic overlooks. In the event of rain, programs will be held inside the visitor center.
During each program, educators from Shaver's Creek Environmental Center will first present live hawk and owl species to show the adaptations that set eagles apart from smaller birds of prey. The bulk of each program will be dedicated to the star of the show, a non-releasable golden eagle. Golden Eagle Saturday coincides with the peak of the species' migration at Hawk Mountain.
Golden eagles are a true rarity throughout the northeast and nest in very remote areas of northern Canada. There are no documented nests in the entire Commonwealth. In fact, in Pennsylvania, a golden eagle is normally not seen at all except when passing through on migration. At Hawk Mountain, an average 123 soar by each autumn, the bulk during the first two weeks of November.
In flight, the bird's plank-like wings stretch more than seven feet as it soars south along the Kittatinny Ridge or "Blue Mountain." Adult golden eagles can typically be identified in flight by their overall dark coloring and gold 'glistening' neck, massive size, and steady, solitary flight.
"This is the best time of year to see both bald and golden eagles in the sky on the same day," senior monitoring biologist Laurie Goodrich said. "Even though November days can be chilly, the birdsusuallyfly closer for an even better view."
For more information on weekend programs or for weather forecasts, interested visitors can call the info line at 610-756-6000. For daily hawk counts, visit the Sanctuary's website at www.hawkmountain.org.
Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer Scott Malicky said that the public shooting range at Gouldsboro on State Game Land 127 in Monroe County recently was closed, and work on the new range is progressing on schedule.
"The new range is at a great location along 7 Mile Road, where there will be easier access for shooters as well as law enforcement officers," Malicky said.
WCO Cory Bentzoni said Chestnut Hill and Jackson townships have signed up 1,037 acres of land in the PGC's Safety Zone Program.
"This land now is open to public hunting and will receive the same treatment as SGLs," Bentzoni said. "These townships were good enough to sign up into the program, so please be respectful of these properties because this privilege can be revoked at anytime."
Winchester Repeating Arms has announced the return of the Model 1894 lever-action rifle to its line of firearms for 2010.This reintroduction of the most popular rifle in history will be offered in two Limited Edition models that will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Oliver F. Winchester's birth in New England in 1810, with a Model 1894 Custom Grade and Model 1894 High Grade being offered in .30-30 Winchester caliber.
Only 500 Custom Grade rifles in sets with the High Grade model will be offered.This rifle will have a 24-inch, half-round, half-round octagon deeply blued barrel, a buckhorn rear sight, a gold bead front sight, and the Grade IV/V walnut stock is finished with a rich, high gloss finish.
High Grade rifles are deeply embellished with delicate scroll work, has a deeply blued half-round, half-octagon barrel, Oliver F. Winchester's signature in gold on top of the bolt, an early Winchester Repeating Arms crest on the left side of the receiver, "Two Hundred Years, Oliver F. Winchester" and the dates "1810-2010" on the right side, aGrade II/III walnut stock enhanced with a high gloss finish, a buckhorn rear sight and gold bead front sight.
High Grade models will be sold individually, and delivery of the two commemorative rifles will begin starting in the second quarter of 2010.
Joe Kosack, an information specialist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, is today's guest on "Experience the Outdoors" with Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on Oldies 1410-AM, from 7:30-8 a.m. There will be a rebroadcast of the program Sunday, from 9:30-10 a.m., on Magic, WMGH, 105.5-FM.
Locust Valley Fish and Game, Barnesville, is holding a coyote hunt from Monday, Nov. 2-Saturday, Dec. 12, with a registration deadline Sunday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. For information, call the club at 570-467-0311, Mark Petrey at 570-778-2556, or access the Web site at www.lvfg.org.
A muzzleloader shoot will be held Sunday, Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by First Frontier Militia, at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.
Complimentary, one-year memberships are being offered to first-time members by the National Rifle Association. According to an NRA spokesperson in the membership department, this is being done in an effort to familiarize firearms owners and shooters with the organization's services and programs.
To register for a complimentary NRA membership, access the special Web site at www.nrahq.org/nrabonus/accept-membership.asp