Outdoor notebook: Hunting mentorship isn't only among families

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Nearly 46 percent of hunters took at least one child hunting in the past year, but it may not have been a son or daughter.

Reflecting an ongoing change in the makeup of American families, a recent survey conducted by outdoors pollster Southwick Associates found that 27 percent of respondents said they had taken a girl or boy hunting who was not related to them. Twenty percent mentored a nephew or niece, 17 percent accompanied a grandchild and nearly 4 percent took a kids hunting as part of an organized activity, such as a scouting or church-related event.

"Sportsmen have long sought to share their love for the outdoors with the people in their lives, particularly young people," said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, in a written statement to media. "When it comes to hunting, introducing kids to the outdoors isn't limited to just immediate family members."

Southwick said a bi-monthly survey series at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com was launched to help improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreation. Participants are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

Game Commission

In a reshuffling of jobs at the state Game Commission, since Matt Hough was promoted to executive director this year, Thomas Grohol, former director of the state Game Commission's Southeast Regional Office, was tapped to head the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Protection. Grohol replaces Rich Palmer, who was moved to deputy executive director of field operations.

Wet flies, new digs

Dave Allbaugh of Wet Fly Waterguides will explain wet fly techniques for trout at the 7 p.m. Sept. 8 meeting of Penn's Woods West Trout Unlimited. The group's meeting place has moved to Grazie Restaurant (724-934-7880), located inside the Oxford Athletic Club on Rte. 19 in Wexford. Club contact at 412-963-2824.

New outfitter

Field & Stream, an all-outdoors spin-off of Dick's Sporting Goods, will open a new store Sept. 12 at Old Mill Shopping Center, 60 Old Mill Blvd., Washington., Pa. The grand opening weekend will include giveaways, instruction with professional anglers at a 4,000-gallon bass tank and bow practice at the Ultimate Shoot-out Archery Trailer. Opening weekend hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

Clarion River cleanup

The annual Pale Whale Clarion River Clean-up is seeking volunteers to help collect trash from frequently fished and paddled waterway. Meets 9 a.m. Sept. 6 at the Pale Whale Canoe Rental in Cook Forest State Park (rain date 9 a.m. Sept. 7). Details 800-680-0160, canoecookforest@cookriverside.com.

Snake success

Two years ago, three non-venomous Louisiana pine snakes were incubated and hatched at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium as part of a nationwide U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program to save the species from extinction. The goal was to breed the snakes in zoo captivity and introduce them to parts of Texas and Louisiana where they once thrived. Last week the snakes were photographed in the wild -- growing, feeding and doing what snakes do. The zoo is continuing its Louisiana pine snake program.

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