Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 64

Lock, Stock & Barrel The Shooters’ Corner By Jim Romanelli By Don Lewis Alien Apples LIEN PLANTS have earned a bad name: smooth bedstraw taking over pastures, honeysuckle and multiflora rose choking brushlands, purple loosestrife clogging marshes. But one nonnative plant has proven more a boon than a bane: Malus sylvestris, the domestic apple tree. The apple is a Eurasian plant brought to the New World more than three centuries ago by early settlers who, so I’ve read, at first used the fruit mainly to make hard cider and to feed their livestock. Apple trees moved westward from the Atlantic, planted by settlers and further spread by birds and mammals eating the fruit and then depositing the seeds with their droppings. Scattered over our land are scores of apple trees: young shoots volunteering in brushy fields, gnarled fruit-bearing trees on hillsides and in fencerows, medium-sized ones trying to elbow out growing space along woods edges. I work at cutting down competing trees that cast shade on the apples, whose growth and prosperity I wish to encourage because their fruits feed so many animals: deer, bears, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, woodchucks, woodpeckers, cedar waxwings, blue jays, robins, ruffed grouse — it’s almost easier to list the critters that do not feed on apples than the ones that do. The trees flower in May. Their showy pink-white blooms attract pollinating insects, including bees both native and nonnative (the latter includes the honeybee, another alien whose presence here is appreciated). A large, mature apple tree may produce between 50,000 and 100,000 flowers, a small percentage of which ultimately become fruit. Apples are high in carbohydrates, elements such as phosphorus and potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some trees bear fruit each year, some every other year. Last fall a hunting partner and I visited an abandoned farm in search of grouse. The place has more apple trees than any other spot I know. It had been a fruitful summer, and the branches were festooned with apples of every shade and blending of red, green and yellow. Large, mild-tasting apples adorned some trees, while others presented smaller, tarter fruits. Apples lay on the ground, showing pale gashes where grouse had pecked at the flesh. Three times we hunted the farm. Sneaking along from tree to tree, we communicated using hand signals. On two of the hunts we scared up only a few birds, none of which offered shots. But on a third outing, at day’s end we caught two birds out feeding. One flushed from beneath an apple tree; the other took wing a few moments later from the crown of a second tree about 40 yards farther along. My partner bagged each bird with a single shot. We returned from the hunts with our game pouches bulging with apples. Beautiful, tasty apples that recalled a farm family’s husbandry and tenure on the land. Tired though we were, after one outing we made an apple pie and enjoyed it following dinner and for breakfast the next morning. The apples were a harvest as keenly appreciated as the grouse. 64 GAME NEWS A

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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