On the first day of the year, outdoors persons all wonder what changes will be forthcoming this year.
It all used to be much simpler. You bought a license, hunted buck for two weeks then had three days for antlerless, and that was that.
Now trying to keep track of Wildlife Management Units, point counts for each area, matching the antlerless licenses to the right WMU, Dmap permits and on and on. We've gotten used to it, I guess.
Sunday hunting is still up in the air, but at least, this year we no longer need to display hunting licenses on our backs. That one was a long time coming. The fact is, changes are inevitable. And I've seen a lot of them since I started my outdoor life.
I remember the uproars that accompanied the introduction of doe hunting back in the 1960s and the introduction of spring gobbler season in 1968. Hunters proclaimed that bagging a gobbler in the spring was like shooting fish in a barrel, and within a couple years, there would not be a turkey left in the state.
When the Game Commission changed the "cub law" in bear season, that is that no longer did we have to have a bear smile at us so we could determine if it had the right molars to be identified as an adult. Again, hunters declared that if hunters could bag "cubs" it wouldn't take long to wipe out the entire bear population of the state.
My dear friend, Susie Schroeder of Altoona brought me some venison she had cooked with her special recipe, and it was so good it really did melt in my mouth. I nagged her for the recipe so I could share it with you and here it is:
SUSIE'S SECRET VENISON RECIPE
1/4 stick of butter
2 pounds venison steak
1 small onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
8 ounces sweet pickle juice
1 can stewed tomatoes
McCormick Steak Seasoning
In a large frying pan, melt butter. Brown steaks in the butter then add the sweet pickle juice (the secret ingredient) stewed tomatoes, diced onion, peppers and McCormick Seasoning to taste. Cover with water and cook on low flame for about an hour or until tender.
Not only does the pickle juice (use only sweet pickle juice) give this recipe a unique flavor, the juice also is a tenderizing agent for the meat.
You'll love this recipe.
- Shirley Grenoble
We've survived a lot of changes in the hunting laws over the years, and most of them turned out to be for the better. I remember the uproar when the turkey game farm was shut down and the trap and transfer program was instituted. Hunters were so mad about that change that the rocket nets they used for trapping were sabotaged and vandalized, and public protests were held.
Well, today we have more black bears and more wild turkeys than we have ever had. Deer populations seem to be picking up again too. Another change we have seen over the years is the rise of special interest conservation groups. Each group specializes raising funds to do habitat improvement for its target group and education programs for hunter safety. These groups have contributed to and partnered with the Game Commission in projects and programs that benefit various wildlife.
The National Wild Turkey Federation does habitat and research work on a national basis to the tune of millions of dollars. The Ruffed Grouse Society is celebrating 50 years as an organization this year. There are elk societies, Trout Unlimited, whitetail deer organizations and others, all with an aim to promote safe and ethical hunting, and habitat and research projects for all the kinds of wildlife.
So, as you begin to look forward to the Outdoor Shows in the area, remember that these groups will be represented at them. Stop by to see what you can do to help.