Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 55

Straight from the Bowstring Straight from the Bowstring The Naturalist’s Eye Naturalist’s Eye TheByBy Tom Tatum Eye Naturalist’s Mike Raykovicz By Marcia Bonta By Marcia Bonta By Marcia Bonta Every year thousands of Pennsylvania hunters fill their deer tags because they did things right when the chips were down. Here’s what you need to know to maximize your opportunities. When the Chips are Down HERE’S AN OLD SAYING, “If you want fish for supper, never throw the first one back.” In a way, the same holds true for bowhunting, because, as I see it, if you want to have a successful season, never miss your first shot. It was a lesson I learned the hard way when I first started bowhunting. My first chance to tag a buck — an 8-point — was shortly after I was out of high school, in 1960. At the time, archery equipment was limited, and if a bow sight did exist, I never knew about it. Despite the lack of amenities, I felt I had good equipment. A modern recurve bow, stateof-the-art Microflite arrows and Bear Razorhead broadheads provided me with enough confidence to take any whitetail that came along. One late October afternoon a friend and I were hunting along the Lehigh River in Monroe County when I decided to leave the river flat to follow a small feeder stream uphill. The stream eventually led me to a bench proliferated with beech trees, and it was there that I decided to stake out the creek bank by hiding behind a mammoth beech. As the sun set I spotted a deer making its way down the hill along the creek. It was an 8-point and he had no idea I was there. The buck occasionally stopped to SEPTEMBER 2009 T feed on fallen beechnuts and eventually passed about 18 yards from my stand. I drew the bow, lined up the arrow and took a deep breath. It was a shot I had practiced a hundred times. Releasing the string, I watched incredulously as the arrow flew harmlessly over the buck’s back. He was gone in an instant and, although I didn’t know it at the time, so was my season. The next few years seemed like I was stuck on instant replay. Three more shots, three more misses. I was spending countless hours scouting and practicing yet the results were the same — no deer. Something always seemed to go wrong when the chips were down. I had to do something to change my season’s outcome. As the years went on, I learned a great deal about bowhunting, especially about bow shooting, and eventually my season outcomes changed for the better. Today, the challenge is not about making the shot, but rather getting the shot. I think every hunter will agree deer numbers are down in some areas. Like it or not, deer numbers were reduced because there were simply too many and farmers across the state were suffering heavy crop losses. One Susquehanna County farmer told me he quit planting corn because he was sick of the deer eating it and leaving him with nothing but stalks. 55

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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