Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 24

noticed how the beech tree seemed out of place and its persona so forlorn amongst the maples, oaks, hemlocks and hickories. It rose to a height of about 40 feet, with a few gnarled limbs reaching out like craggy arms of an old weary scarecrow. It looked tired and aged, a mute testament to the toll time takes on any living thing. The beech was loped off at the top, probably from a windstorm or possibly a lightning strike. Walking by the tree, carvings on its weathered gray bark caught my eye. From its base up to about 18 inches there were signs of deterioration in a honeycombed appearance. Shredded pieces of bark from the woodpeckers lined the forest floor around its base. Walking up to the tree I placed my hand on its trunk and wished it could reveal its history. About five feet up I noticed an inscription in its bark. It read “June 1922” and “SWA,” with the last letter nearly obscured from age. More dates from this era were carved into its trunk. Reading the carvings I could only begin to wonder who was there almost 90 years ago to inscribe these dates and initials. Two high school sweethearts? Possibly two young neighbor boys out squirrel hunting after school with their .22 rifles? Maybe a deer hunter marking where he took a nice buck. If this tree could talk I could only imagine the stories it could tell of those who have passed beneath it and the countless wildlife it has witnessed. Discussing this tree with a forester he informed me that 24 beech trees can live a long time, and that this particular tree probably had its origins in the early 1900s or late 1800s. It was readily apparent how the four seasons had taken its toll on the giant beech during the past 100 years. The numerous holes drilled into its trunk were evidence of how the pileated woodpeckers were at work. I know squirrels still called this old beech home by holes farther up into its cavity. When I was assigned to Forest County I often noticed beech trees with the telltale marks of bear claws marring the trunk. Thinking back to 1922 I wondered what this area may have looked like and who might have been its inhabitants. At the turn of the century I know that Pennsylvania was deforested, and I’m certain this area was no different, save for this woodlot in its infancy and the adjacent pasture. Looking around I realized that where this beech was located would have been an excellent deer hunting spot. It was situated on top of a small hill about 30 feet above the rest of the woods and the woodlot to the east and the 18-acre reverting field to its west. Deer trails were gouged into the forest floor and resembled miniature muddy highways. I made a mental note to return and GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009
Contents
Hunting Low for High Country Bears
Double Eagle
Life & Times of the Whitetail
What is Public Access?
Fulfilling a Dream
Wild Goose Chase
Hunter Education Celebrates 50
The Old Beech Tree
Handguns for Bushytails
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
Trapper’s Tips
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Hunting Low for High Country Bears
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Double Eagle
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - What is Public Access?
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Fulfilling a Dream
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Wild Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Hunter Education Celebrates 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - The Old Beech Tree
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Handguns for Bushytails
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Trapper’s Tips
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover4
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