My grandson just moved into his new apartment yesterday and for some reason this reminds me of the purchase of a new tackle box or bag.

You buy a new one because the old one is full then realize you now have an empty bag or box and start filling it up with more lures and paraphernalia.

Goodbye empty rooms, goodbye empty house, hello more stuff.

The angler must remember that most lures are seldom or never used. The reason is simple: they are on the pegboard at the store to catch fishermen not fish.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending a day dedicated to the introduction of women into the shooting sport. The event was being held by the Valley Inn Sports Club near Monongahela and approximately 40 women showed up and shot a variety of firearms. The shoot offered the chance to shoot at swinging targets and paper bullseyes with a handgun and rifle. There were even introductions to the difference in the semi-auto and automatic rifle.

Hey guys, watch out. Many of the women could outshoot the male of the species.

I have noticed that there is an increase in the shooting sports among women. At one time, my late wife Eileen and Helen Lewis were well spoken of as women who successfully hunted. Today, there are far more women who hunt than those who were out long ago in deer season with a rifle in their hands.

While there has been a drop in the number of male hunters in the state and, for that matter, across the country, there has been a marked increase in the number of female hunters.

The last couple of years, I have spent a few days hunting with a group from the Scenery Hill area and the best buck taken by the group has been downed by a lady hunter, Renee Magera. Then there is the aptly named young lady Hunter Weber, who accomplished the Pennsylvania Triple Trophy not once, but twice before she graduated from high school. The triple trophy is made up with a buck, a bear and a tom turkey all in the same licensing year. Quite an accomplishment for so young a lady.

Also remember, while not exactly related to deer hunting, over the last two years, the George H. Block Conservation Scholarship has been awarded two times to young ladies who did outstanding work in helping maintaining a clean environment. The award will be given again this year to a youngster, age 18 or younger, who submits an entry along with a summary in their own words of what they have accomplished in the conservation of the environment. This can include hunting, fishing and outdoor sports and any like accomplishment. Future plans can be included.

For more information about the scholarship, call Mike Weber at 724-255-0593 or pick up an application at Johnson’s Sporting Goods Store, 293 Brownlee Road, Eighty Four, Pa., 15330. While last year’s entries were hard to judge for they were very close, I have to say come on guys; you can do better. After all, I have to root for the males who enter. I have also noted that among the high school rifle teams, there is always a female at the top or at least very close to the top.

It would seem early to start thinking about big game hunting but as I mentioned last week, I have noticed an increase in activity at the benches of the local gun clubs. You see, there is another hunt that is being planned for those here at home. I personally know of 3 fellows who are preparing for hunts in Africa and one who is getting his rifle ready for Alaska and the big bears. While accuracy and bullet expansion are needed when hunting deer, the hunter of Alaskan Brown Coastal Bear and those seeking to shoot a Cape buffalo need penetration. With bear, I would hunt with nothing smaller than a .300. I wouldn’t want to be eyeball to eyeball with a buffalo with anything smaller than the .375. Sometime, stop in Orndoff’s Sporting Goods store in Graysville and ask him what’s needed on these tough animals. His Buffalo plowed into the ground approximately 20 feet from him.

The bear and the buffalo are large and heavy boned animals and one needs plenty of gun, one that is carefully sighted in. More than the load must be thought about and that includes a tough bullet that stays together and feeds reliably from the magazine.

Best of luck to my grandson in his new home. Don’t fill it up too fast or you will be searching for a newer, bigger space to fill. Now, off to look at the new lures at Cabela’s.

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