FINS

WHAT’S EATING KOCH’S CANTALOUPE? – Something’s been surgically snacking on cantaloupes in Bill and Fran Koch’s garden. The “Fins” reader who most creatively identifies the potential culprit will win a gift card, courtesy of Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. Email answers to the author at bjsmall@comcast.net.

The 2019 Elk Expo is next weekend, Aug. 17 and 18, at the Elk County Visitor Center in Benezette.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Expo features antler-scoring experts, a presentation by Pennsylvania Game Commission elk biologist Jeremy Banfield, calling contests, and 100 vendors with entertainment, food, and souvenirs.

On Saturday, the commission will hold its annual elk tag drawing at 1 p.m. There will not be a live feed of the drawing.

The elk hunt has been expanded to offer three opportunities. For the archery season, Sept. 14-28, 5 antlered and 10 antlerless tags will be drawn. Nov. 4-9 is the general season and 27 bull, and 71 cow tags will be awarded for it. A late season from Jan. 4-11, 2020 will include 29 antlerless tags.

Entrance to the Elk Expo and parking are free. There is a $3 car fee to cover the expense of shuttle service.

The visitor center is located at 950 Winslow Hill Road, Benezette.

Needy and I will be at the Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show on Saturday, and I’ll be waiting for the call that my application was drawn and that I’m going elk hunting this fall. Not long after that, I’ll see Santa Claus at Mt. Gretna and it will snow six inches.

Sunday I’ll be at Bear Gap at Weiser State Park in Northumberland County, honoring our new state amphibian, while running in the Hellbender Half-Marathon.

MELON MADNESS

The photo in my inbox of a cantaloupe with a gaping hole in it was a welcomed, distracting sight this week.

“Any idea who the new culprit is?” Bill Koch asked. “Must have a long, narrow neck? Haven’t seen anyone new, seems to dine at night. Sure would appreciate your insights.”

Bill says this is the first year he’s had such a big problem with his muskmelons. “He eats it all, except the skin/rind,” Bill adds. “He has taken to eating all cantalopes in the garden, including the immature green ones.”

My first thought was, “Who knows?” Heck, who knows how you even spell the thing? Cantaloupe? Cantelope? Cantaloup?

I have a few suspicions about what might be mangling Bill’s melons. I think Bill believes it’s a male, whatever critter it is.

I checked with my friends at Hollabaugh Bros., Inc., of Biglerville. They know a thing or two about raising cantaloupes and dealing with pests.

For now, we decided to have a little fun and ask you what you think might be chowing down on Koch’s cantaloupes.

Hopefully such a cantaloupe contest might brighten-up what has been an otherwise melancholy week, if you will.

The reader who offers the most creative (and presumably a correct) answer as to what might be behind this muskmelon mayhem, will get a $20 gift card, courtesy of Hollabaugh’s.

You can email your impressions to me, not to Hollabaugh’s please, at bjsmall@comcast.net.

DOE LICENSES LEFT

As of Tuesday, almost 9,200 of the 22,000 allocation of antlerless deer license applications were still available for Wildlife Management Unit 5A, which includes most of Adams County.

Unsold licenses went on sale last Monday, for hunters who want to pick up a second one.

QUORUM QUANDARY

The Pennsylvania Game Commission board of commissioners has canceled two meetings because it will not be able to muster a quorum.

There is one vacancy on the eight-member board and a required quorum is six. But because of scheduling conflicts, a quorum isn’t possible. So, the agency has canceled its fourth quarterly meeting set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Erie. A board working group meeting set for Aug. 19 has also fallen into the quorum quandary.

The next working group meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17. The board’s first quarterly meeting is planned for Jan. 26-28, 2020.

The board vacancy is in the northwest. Hopefully the Governor’s Office and state Senate can get a new board member in place before the January meeting.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

“In a clip from tonight’s debut of Hard Knocks, Antonio Brown is at practice with his sons. One of them says, ‘Where’s Roethlisberger?’” — ProFootballTalk

Send your wild thoughts and photos to bjsmall@comcast.net. Follow on Twitter at Arrows2010.

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