Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 25

The Ranger and the Grouse By Paul A. Matthews artwork by ken hunter T HE GROUSE EXPLODED in a flurry of dead leaves and brown feathers not 20 feet from me, and by the time my pounding heart was back down where it belonged, the bird was streaking across the gorge of Mallory Run and upward into the wooded bench on the far side. Somehow, during those few split seconds my new Ranger shotgun found its way to my shoulder, the hammer at full cock. I’m certain that at the instant of firing, both eyes were closed, because to this day, 68 years later, I have no memory of a sight picture of that grouse and its relationship to the bead perched on the front of the barrel. All I remember is standing there with a curl of smoke coming from the muzzle, no grouse in sight and no feathers drifting into the laurel and brush below. That hunt actually began six weeks earlier, while Dad and I were doing the morning milking of our three Jerseys. I had remarked about the upcoming small game season and my progress at marksmanship with my Springfield-Stevens Model 86A bolt action .22 rimfire. Due to the opening of the war in Europe, the country was coming out of the Great Depression and one could afford shooting five cartridges at a sheet of paper and calling it practice. More than five shots, though, was considered a waste of ammunition. “You ought to get yourself a shotgun,” Dad said. “You would get a lot more game with a shotgun.” An image of Dad’s old single-shot 12-gauge Iver-Johnson flickered across my mind. I shot it once at a tin can. The reNOVEMBER 2009 coil seemed brutal and at the instant of firing, the barrel hinged downward and the spent shell zipped past my right ear. It didn’t do that with Dad, but certainly made an impression on a skinny kid who weighed little more than a bag of cow feed. Faced with the choice between that old Iver-Johnson with its drooping buttstock and my .22, I would go for the .22 every time. Still, the seed had been planted, and that evening after the completion of barn chores and school homework, I got out the fall and winter edition of the Sears-Roebuck catalog and pored over the gun section. There it was — a single-shot, top-break, full choke Ranger shotgun with a 30-inch barrel on one end and a thick rubber recoil pad on the other, all for $10 and some change. I had saved that much during the summer from mowing lawns at 25 cents an hour. And the next day my order for the Ranger shotgun was placed with Sears-Roebuck and Company at Philadelphia. Within five or six days after my posting of the order, the mailman left a long cardboard package leaning against our mailbox by the side of the road. It didn’t take five minutes to pull that shotgun from its wrappings and turn it over and over in my hands. There on the breech-end of the barrel in large capital letters was the word RANGER. It evoked all sorts of images in my youthful mind. Thus it was that on that first day of

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

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
The Ghost of the Orchard
Deer Wrestlers
Hunting with Hounds
A Just Reward
Mixed Bag
Cheaper by the Dozen
The Ranger and the Grouse
The Thanksgiving Day Bear
Squirrels The Hard Way
National Police Shooting Championship
On the Road Again
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Ghost of the Orchard
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Deer Wrestlers
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Hunting with Hounds
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - A Just Reward
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Mixed Bag
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cheaper by the Dozen
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Ranger and the Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Thanksgiving Day Bear
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Squirrels The Hard Way
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - National Police Shooting Championship
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - On the Road Again
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Insert 1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Insert2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover4
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