Has it been hot enough for you? August, as in many years, started off with sweltering temperatures. The good news is that the high temperatures are only temporary and there are plenty of options to enjoy what's happening outdoors.
I'm sharing stories this week about seeing animals that range from the largest to the smallest creatures in Pennsylvania.
The first article reveals a growing interest in elk hunting. The Pennsylvania Game Commission reports it received more than 100,000 applications for fewer than 200 licenses to hunt this fall and winter. Get the insights of the agency's elk biologist about what to expect this coming fall.
If you are curious about the state's wild elk herd, I have a featured about where and when you can expect to see them. The photo of the week is a picture of three bull elk I photographed Aug. 5 while working on this article in Elk County. These large, magnificent wild animals can show up in people's yards and along highways in their 10-county range. My feature highlights what's planned at the upcoming Elk Expo and why you should visit the Keystone Elk Country Alliance Visitor Center in Benezette.
The final elk-related story involves a feature I wrote last fall about what you can expect if your name is drawn for an elk license. Between guide services, taxidermy and meat processing, hunters can encounter a lot of expense for these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
A column I wrote highlights some of the things I encountered during a walk earlier this week. There are interesting things to discover in the outdoors in August. I hope my column inspires you to spend a few hours outdoors, especially at night when the crickets and frogs are singing. If you can't go out, check out the video that highlights the sounds of August.
The final article I'm sharing comes from my colleague Kathryne Rubright of the Pocono Record. She highlights six things you should know about ticks that were just discussed at a symposium. Her article clarifies what many may assume about these tiny arachnids.
The weekend is around the corner. I hope you find time to explore and enjoy a warm summer night gazing at the stars and listening to the creatures.
Brian Whipkey is the outdoors columnist for USA TODAY Network sites in Pennsylvania. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-444-5928 with questions about the outdoors and related story suggestions. Follow him on social media @whipkeyoutdoors.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: August a popular time for all creatures, from elk to beetles