Wow! Talk about surprises. When I got up on November 1st, the ground was covered with snow. While you might expect some flurries around this time of year, accumulation is a bit on the rare side. As much as I hate winter, I have to admit that snow can be beautiful. In the photo, by East Brady photographer Jodie Beabout, you can see that there are still some leaves on the trees. The photo is from along the Allegheny River.
Well, fall turkey hunting is in full swing. I have been asked a number of times over the years why I don’t write more about it. The fact of the matter is that I just don’t know enough about it. I know some hunters who are true turkey-hunting masters. What information could I give them? My turkey hunting is done at the Riverside in Rimersburg. I have always had good luck there. I will say that, around where I live, there seems to be a good number of turkeys. I think I have seen more poults this year than ever before. Of course, predators will thin them out some, but there should still be plenty left.
November 1st ushered in the mandatory life jacket season for boaters. Cold water can be deadly, so it is a good rule. There are still lots of boats out on the water. I am going to include a statement from the Fish and Boat Commission that does an excellent job of explaining the situation.
“November first starts the beginning of the mandatory life jacket wear in Pennsylvania from November first until April 30th. If you're out on any boat less than 16 feet, you've got to wear a life jacket at all times. So in the cold weather months, the mandatory life jacket wear is in effect to increase survivability if you happen to fall into the cold water. Even if it's a warm spring or fall day, the water temperature can still be cold, causing hypothermia or the cooling of the body's temperature. So, during this time of the year, the weather can be 80 degrees or cold and windy like it is today. But that water temperature is always cold in the winter months, so, no matter what the air temperature is, or it's nice outside, that water temperature is definitely going to be cold if you fall into it. "In the cold winter months, if you happen to fall into the water, it's going to be cold. You're going to gasp for air, an involuntary gasp for air, which will cause you to inhale water, which will cause you to drown. So, this mandatory life jacket will keep you afloat if you accidentally fall into that cold water this time of year. The Fish and Boat Commission knows this regulation is working because, in the last eleven years, we've seen the number of fatalities in the winter months cut in half. In the cold winter months, the life jacket gives you that extra protection gives you an extra layer of warmth on these cold windy days like today. And they come in all different sizes so you can be comfortable out there on the water."
A lot of us are wondering what kind of winter we are going to have. Next week, we will look at some traditional predictors.