Hunters looking to participate in this year's Pennsylvania elk season have until Friday, Aug. 26, to submit an application through the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Pennsylvania Automated License System. This can be done at any issuing agent or through the "Buy Your Elk License" icon in the center of the agency's homepage at www.pgc.state.pa.us [1].

Applicants must pay a $10.70 non-refundable application fee to be included in the drawing. Details on the elk season and drawing are available on pages 86-88 of the 2011-12 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.

A public, computerized drawing will be held by the PGC, Friday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m., in the auditorium of its Harrisburg headquarters and presented live by webcast. At that time, the agency will award the 56 elk licenses, with the first 18 drawn receiving an antlered license and the next 38 drawn receiving an antlerless license.

By law, only one application is permitted per person per year, and PALS will prohibit an individual from submitting more than one application. Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing, however, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and view the elk hunt orientation video produced by the PGC before being permitted to purchase the elk license, which is $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.

As part of the preference point system established by the PGC in 2003, consecutive applications are not required to maintain previously earned preference points, but those points can be activated only in years that a hunter submits an application. Once a hunter is awarded an elk license – either an antlered or antlerless elk license – the hunter's preference points will revert to zero.

Applicants also have the opportunity to identify their elk hunt zone preference, or they may select "any." If drawn and their preferred hunt zone is filled, applicants will be assigned a specific zone by the PGC.

To assist applicants in making this decision, information about the elk hunt zones, as well as an elk harvest map depicting the locations of every elk taken by hunters since 2001, are posted on the agency's website and can be viewed by clicking on the "Buy Your Elk License" icon in the center of the homepage.

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Tuscarora and Locust Lake state parks naturalist Robin Tracey is the guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," Sunday, from 7-7:30 a.m. on 1410-AM, WLSH, from 9:30-10 a.m., on WMGH, 105.5-FM and on the Web at www.wmgh.com [2] by clicking the "Experience The Outdoors" link.

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Schuylkill County Sportsmen's Association will hold its 10th Schuylkill County Women's Outdoor Day for any women age 16 and older, Saturday Aug. 20, at Friedensburg Fish and Game Association, 169 Stone Mountain Road. There is no charge, but in order to provide an accurate lunch count, there is a Saturday, Aug. 13, preregistration deadline, which can be done by calling Christy Zulli at the Schuylkill Conservation District at 570-622-3742, ext. 114, or email at czulli@co.schuylkill.pa.us [3].

Scheduled events are archery, canoeing, fishing, .muzzleloader, shotgun, 22-caliber pistol and .22-caliber rifle – all presented by women instructors. There will also be a presentation of the seminar "Edible Wild Plants" by naturalist and author Kermit Henning.

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Outdoors writer and lecturer Doyle Dietz, a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association and the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Writers Association, will present "Muzzleloader Hunting 101," focusing on deer hunting with flintlock and traditional percussion ignition rifles, Saturday, Aug. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the Locust Lake State Park Amphitheatre, Barnesville.

A member of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association and the Pennsylvania Federation of Black Powder Shooters, he is one of just 14 individuals in the 28-year history of the PFBPS to receive its Pioneer Life Award for his more than 30 years of coverage of muzzleloader-related activities in newspapers, magazines, radio programs and seminars. He has taken deer, elk, bear and wild turkey with muzzleloader rifles and small game, wild turkey, waterfowl and upland game with muzzleloader shotguns.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the program shelter.

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A series of basic kayaking courses for those 12 years of age and older will be held at Tuscarora State Park, Barnesville, and kayaks, paddles and personal flotation devices are available for those without their own equipment. Maximum weight capacity is 275 pounds, and preregistration is required by signing up at the park office prior to the event or by calling 570-467-2506. There is a $15 fee for those needing to borrow equipment and a $5 fee for those with their own equipment, and each child must be accompanied by an adult.

Classes will be held: Saturday, Sept. 3, 5 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 4, 3 p.m.: Friday, Sept. 9, 4 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 15, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m.

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Bears Head Archery, Delano, located one mile off Exit 134, Interstate 81, has its 3-D course open daily to the public from dawn to dusk through Saturday, Oct. 15. Donations are accepted, and for information, contact Frank Blazusky at 570-467-0331 or docblazer@verizon.net [4].

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A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, Aug. 11, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net [5].

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This year's Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited Picnic will be held, Saturday, Aug. 20, beginning at 1 p.m., at Schuylkill County Fairgrounds. For information, call Bruce Schneck at 717-647-4362 or Mary Ann Herb at 570-544-6803.

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This year's "Lehigh Valley Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza" will be held, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 26-28, at Kempton Fairgrounds, Kempton. Show hours are: Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, call Bob Danenhower at 610-398-7609 or Rick Weaknecht at 610-683-7405 or access the website at www.lvhfe.com [6] http://www.lvhfe.com/ [7] .

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This year's Schuylkill County Sportsmen's Asociation Banquet will be held, Saturday, Sept. 10, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Community Fire Company, Landingville. For information, call Ron Blew at 570-943-2900.

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This year's "Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival" will be held, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 16-18, at Sullivan County Fairgrounds, Forksville. For information, access the website at www.pabowhunters.com [8] or call Bill Feese at 570-525-3635.

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Schuylkill County Friends of NRA Banquet will be held, Thursday, Oct. 6, beginning at 5 p.m., at St. Nicholas Hall, Minersville. For tickets and information, call Mike McCord at 570-628-1382, Gary Reibsane at 717-647-4314 or Harry Meyers at 570-691-7564.