Sunday, December 18, 2011


The book we mentioned in the print column, "The Best Hunting Stories Ever Told," is joined by a heap of hunting and fishing books at Skyhorse Publishing in New York.
Go to
A terrific book if you're a bird dog fan is "Afield - American Writers on Bird Dogs" also from Skyhorse. This is a pleasant surprise as most of the contributions are not from the usual suspects - outdoor writers, but those outside the field, so to speak.
There is, for example" a wonderful story by Tom Brokaw and his Labradors.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


"The bears have taken over."
That was the word I got from an old colleague still hunting my former club in the Catskills up in Neversink River country.
He said he had a sow and cub right below his deer stand, but having no desire to shoot a bear shooed them away.
A neighboring camp tagged five black bears and one buck.
I just got back from Pennsy Sunday morning. Never saw a buck on my hill, but in truth I only sat in my blind about a total of six hours during the two week season since I had already filled my doe tag.
Of course there were deer tracks in the snow all around it when I went to take it down...must be the midnight shift of whitetails.
It was 12 degrees Sunday morning. Opening day, Dec. 5, it was pushing 70.
A friend, in his 61st deer season, killed a five-pointer in Mendham, but he knows the good spots and they're sure not on public land.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


What a bummer. A Massachusetts commercial fisherman hauled in an 881-pound bluefin tuna, that could have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars to the shusi loving Asian market, but federal authorities said, "sorry, Charlie - no tuna for you."
The fish was caught in a net and tuna are only allowed to be taken on rod and reel. The boat captain said nobody ever told him that and he had bought 15 tuna permits over the past four years. NOAA' s law enforcement division says the matter is still under investigation.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


A second fluke that I caught and tagged has been recaptured according to Jeff Dement, tagging director of the American Littoral Society. The 13-inch flattie was first caught in June off the nude beach at Sandy Hook and caught again in August in the Raritan Reach. The fish grew an inch and a quarter in that time and was released again with the tag intact. I'd like to see it caught once more when it reaches legal size.
Meanwhile George Horvath of Trenton caught a 28-inch striper in June, 2010 from the North jetty at Barnegat Inlet. The angler tagged it and released the fish. In July, 2011 the bass was caught again, in Chesapeake Bay. Horvath didn't say what the striper's size was on recapture.
Tagging kits are available for sale at a modest price from the ALS. Call (732) 291-0055 or go to

Sunday, November 6, 2011


With the price of gasoline, sportsmen on a tight budget may want to take a look at angling opportunities close to home rather than a six-hour drive to the Adirondacks.
A "Flyfishers Guide to the Big Apple, Great Waters within 150 miles of New York City" will be the featured presentation at the Nov. 14 meeting of the Ernest Schwiebert Chapter of Trout Unlimited at the Pennington fire house starting at 6:30 p.m.
New Jersey Audubon president Tom Gilmore, fly fisherman and book author, will give the talk which is free and open to the public.


Possible Sunday hunting is a big issue in Pennsylvania, where it has support from most hunters, but opposition from the farm bureau.
However, a bi-partisan legislative study says hunting on Sundays could generate up to $804 million in economic activity, support nearly 7,500 jobs and rake in some $57 million in state and local taxes.
The report found that hunting is worth nearly $3 billion to the state's economy with deer hunting accounting for about $1.7 billion of that total.
Other than commercial and semi-wild operations, New Jersey allows Sunday bowhunting on WMAs and private land.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SWEET (and sour) HEARTS

Sitting around the campfire with cigars and libations after a day's hunting at Stuyvesant Outdoor Adventures in New York State, we were discussing venison recipes. I mentioned making pickled deer hearts one year after collecting a half dozen from successful club hunters back when we had doe days.
I didn't think the results were all that great, but one of the guides at the lodge says he likes this recipe for sweet and sour deer hearts.
2 hearts
2 tbls flour
2 tbls fat
2 tbls salt
6 tbls vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups water
1 small onion, chopped
Clean hearts, remove membrane and large veins. Cut hearts into 1/2 inch cubes, brown flour in fat, add meat and remaining ingedients and summer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Serve with noodles.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The Jersey Coast Anglers Association would appreciate if saltwater fishermen would participate in surveys to help determine the future of our fisheries.
Run by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one is a general survey while others are species specific, such as for fluke, sea bass, porgies, bluefish and others.
Go to

Saturday, October 8, 2011


A "New Jersey Furbearer Management Newsletter" will be published quarterly by the NJ Fish and Wildlife Department's Upland Game and Furbearer Project.
The newsletter with info relevant to these species and of interest to trappers will be put out quarterly in PDF format on the www.njfishandwildlife website. The fall 2011 issue should be there now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The oyster catch season in Delaware Bay has been extended to Nov. 30 according to the DEP.
Many shellfish beds had closures after Hurricane Irene. The season could run into early December if quotas have not been met and water temps cooperate.
At 50 degrees oysters pretty much clam up (sorry) for the winter.
Also the DEP has OK'd commercial oyster harvesting on Saturdays during this regrouping after the storm. Oyster hauls normally are only Monday-Friday.
According to DEP there are some 40,000 bushels out of a quota of 90,000 left to harvest.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We came across an interesting article in the NY Times Digest, a mini version of the paper slipped in early morning under the doors of guests of the Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY.
It seems some customers at fly shops are not there to buy feathers and fur or other materials to hand tie their favorite fresh or saltwater creations.
Nope, it's women who are looking for brightly colored plumes, hackles and saddles to decorate their hair.
Some shops in trendy upscale areas have had their supplies depleted by the ravaging hordes of women, much to the dismay of serious fly fishermen.
Choice hackle comes from chickens that are genetically bred to produce quality material for fly tying.
This is a revolting development, and hopefully only a fad, like most fashion statements.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Rock on! That would be four million cubic yards of rock from dredging operations by the Army Corps of Engineers is being dumped on nine New Jersey reefs. The program started last month and is expected to take three years.
The reefs getting from baseball to boulder size chunks of shale, sandstone and granite are Shark River, Alex Carlson, Garden State North, Atlantic City, Great Egg, Townsend Inlet, Wildwood, Deepwater and Cape May.


The sinking of the destroyer (didn't they call them "tin cans" back in the war years?) Arthur W. Radford marked the first time a warship went down off our coast for the artificial reef program.
Sunk on August 10, the ship is on the bottom 28 nautical miles southeast of Cape May at the Del-Jersey-Land reef in 130 feet of water at the coordinates: N 38 30.850' W 74 30.656'
The ship is 563 feet long, 55 feet at the beam and displaces more than 9,000 tons.
It's expected to last 100 years as a fish hotel and scuba diving site.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


While both New Jersey and the Keystone State have early seasons for resident Canada geese beginning Sept. 1, Pennsylvania offers something the Garden State doesn't - dove hunting.
There is a triple-split season with the first opening Sept. 1 and running to Oct. 1. Part two is from Oct. 29-Nov. 6 and the final segment Dec. 26-Jan. 4.
Hunting hours are from noon to sunset during the first season and a half hour before sunrise until sunset for the latter two periods.
Daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.
Remember you need state and federal stamps, depending on what you hunt, in addition to a general hunting license.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


In a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, findings show that 80 percent of Republicans contacted view the National Rifle Association favorably and 53 percent of unaffiliated voters share a favorable view of the group.
Meanwhile 63 percent of Democrats view the NRA unfavorably.
The NRA traditionally backs the GOP presidential candidate.


Regionalized brochures are available from Fish & Wildlife detailing places to fish and what species are available.
"Great Fishing Close to Home" is the theme and there are brochures for central, northern and southern New Jersey.
They include maps, photos, fish ID charts and a list of waters in that region and what game fish are in them.
Go to to download or info on where to pick them up.

Friday, June 17, 2011


All of the fluke entered in the recent JCAA annual fluke tourney from Shark River were more than six pounders and the overall winner of the tournament was an even 10-pounder taken from there by Allan Mann Sr. of Sellersville, Pa.
More than 460 boats, down from last year, sailed out of ten ports for the event, but Shark River was the hot spot.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Black bears were taken in five of the seven counties where the 2010 hunt was held resulting in a total harvest of 592 animals according to the state.
As one would expect, Sussex County led the list with 338 bears taken by hunters with Warren County next with 112.
The average field-dressed female was 179 pounds and the average field dressed male was 257 pounds. The largest adult male was 651 pounds dressed with an estimated live weight of more than 750 pounds.
There were no hunting accidents reported for the six-day season.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


"Vegetarian" - Indian word for lousy shot. OK, it's an old joke but for those vegan types who cringe at chowing down on something that was once alive (how can they justify pulling those screaming carrots out of the ground?) here are some facts about a game dinner.
According to a wire service report, compared to standard red meat most game is considerably healthier. A pound of boneless elk, for example, has 496 calories. A pound of supermarket sirloin has 1,202.
A broiled tenderloin of deer is comparable to chicken in most nutritional categories except?
That would be iron. Venison supplies 48 percent of the daily value, a similar portion of chicken is only 3 percent.
And speaking of iron, what type of game supplies the most? Duck, squab (pigeon) or squirrel?
It would be the latter at 118 percent of the daily value.
See, I always said squirrel pot pie is great eating, and (without too much gravy and crust) good for you.
Bon appetit.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Hunters tagged more deer in New Jersey during the 2010-11 season than the 2009-2010 period according to figures just released by Fish & Wildlife.
The buck kill was up 3.9 percent - 19,925 as compared to 19,181 and the doe harvest was up 5.6 percent - 35,478 to 33,603.
Total reported deer for the seasons just ended is 55,404. Last season it was 52,784.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Some 6,000 cubic yards of demolition concrete that was to be dumped on the Great Egg Reef last month has been postponed until May 27, sea and weather conditions permitting. The goal of the state's artificial reef program is to provide habitat for fish and shellfish and recreation for hook and line anglers and scuba divers. The Division of Fish & Wildlife says any commercial operators who have gear set in the dumping area should haul it up or risk having it destroyed. Meanwhile the state Senate has passed S-221 - the "pots off the reefs" legislation.

Monday, March 28, 2011


In mentioning Bill Dettmar is last Sunday's print column I hit the deuce instead of the trey on the keyboard. His correct house phone number is (908) 359-1830. You can also e-mail him at His cell phone is (908) 625-7322.
I don't wear glasses when I type on the computer and that might be the problem. I've been transposing letters or numbers lately.
Bill just doesn't build or repair fly rods, but a full range of spinning and conventional reel rods and will make one to your specs.
I have an old saltwater glass rod I won at least 20 years ago and Bill is giving it a makeover with new guides and grip. So if you've got some gear laying around that could use an upgrade or are looking for a new toy for the coming fishing season, give Bill a shout.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Hackettstown Hatchery and plans are under way for a celebration. Hackettstown is the warm-water fish producing facility for New Jersey anglers and has been since the trout rearing work was shifted to Pequest when that operation got up and running.


Read a headline like the above and the first reaction of long-time Jersey hunters is "good luck with that."
The antis are so well organized, and financed, here in the Garden State that a proposal to allow hunting for "the bird of peace" is not likely to happen.
Never mind that it's great sport, tough shooting and doves taste good.
The Upland Game Committee of the Fish & Wildlife Council is working on getting a dove season.
As outdoor writer Jim Stabile e-mailed me, Michigan - where he used to work - has about a million hunters and they couldn't get a dove season passed.
You want to hunt doves, go across the river to Pennsylvania.


Trout Unlimited wants a Trout Conservation Area on the Flat Brook, specifically a 1.5 mile stretch that would be open to year-round fishing. The proposal doesn't say where exactly that stretch would be, but claims the current fly fishing stretch would remain unchanged.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Nearly 75 percent of respondents to a survey taken by a Hopewell Township group to study the locale's deer situation said that "deer cause many problems and solutions are needed."
And this is from hundreds of replies that showed only 10 percent of these folks hunt deer.
The basic conclusion of the group, which it has recommended to the township committee, is that a permanent deer task force be put in place, with funding of course, and that there are too many deer and too few places to hunt them.
We'll have a more detailed report in a future print column.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Just received a copy of the Hunterdon Anglers newsletter. Great job for initial efforts. Lots of color photos, fishing reports on the Valley, how-to articles, etc.
The new club was featured in the Trentonian several weeks ago in the print version of the outdoor column.
The new outfit is soliciting members who want to participate in a club that is open to all and has a "share the knowledge" motto and attitude when it comes to techniques and fishing spots. Beginners and those who want to learn more about fishing Round Valley and Spruce Run reservoirs are encouraged to join.
For info on the club e-mail prez Ed Harabin at or board member Jim Stabile at

Friday, January 21, 2011


An Allegheny County, Pa. man has been the first to be sentenced to a jail term under the state's new fines and penalties system.
Anthony Mark Marasco was slammed with more than $4,750 in fines and will serve two concurrent 90-day prison terms after his conviction for his fourth poaching-related incident in the past 13 years according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.