Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 6

against the base of an apple tree that was crosswind of the main scrape 30 yards away. I pushed away all the leaves and twigs and placed a curiosity scent in a full circle around where I was going to sit, just in case the wind shifted. I chuckled to myself, thinking it was like a garlic necklace keeping vampires away. In this case I was keeping away any scent that I might have picked up in the morning after my shower. An hour later I saw the legs of five deer coming into the orchard to feed. I was glad to see they followed their regular path and I hoped the buck would come along and do the same. About 4:45 the temperature dropped, and I was debating whether or not I could maintain the position I had taken about three hours earlier (with the shotgun on my knee pointed in the direction of the scrape) with my legs already numb. I kept thinking just 15 more minutes and he’ll be here. All of a sudden, I heard a noise directly behind me. I didn’t dare move a muscle to look. I could just see the buck out of the corner of my left eye, standing at the end of the branches on the tree I was sitting against, looking directly at me. He came from the opposite direction, and I knew I couldn’t swing the gun around to get in a killing shot before the deer made it out of the orchard. We stared each other down for a few seconds and then he took two hops into the next row of apple trees and walked into a thicket. I almost collapsed. I had it all planned out, held that gun in the same position for more than three hours, and the buck came from the opposite direction. As I started to feel sorry for myself, I thought he might circle around to the scrape and just then, I saw the antlers start to enter the opening down by the scrape. I pulled up the 870, flicking off the safety. As the crosshairs found a spot behind his shoulder I squeezed the trigger. I saw the buck hunch up and take off at full speed through the orchard. I could hear him running; then I heard a loud crash. So many thoughts ran through my head: Did this really just happen? Did I miss? Was the crash the buck piling up or just a broken branch in his way? I took my time gathering up my empty casing, fanny pack and sling for my shotgun. The initial 50 yards where I thought the buck would be revealed no sign of a hit, and I started to doubt my shot. As I headed to the top of the orchard, I saw a white rump and then the rack. I just dropped to my knees and admired the 11-point trophy while thanking the Lord for my good fortune. The crash I had heard was the buck running into an apple tree where he broke off eight inches of his left G2 (next tine up from the brow tine). The break was so fresh, I’m sure it broke during his death run. I looked for the point for hours during four trips back to the orchard, and even dug the 12-gauge slug that claimed the buck out of a tree. Despite the broken antler, the buck still netted 143-1 (163-3 gross) and could never detract from the beauty and memories of the ghost of the orchard. BY COVER PAINTING DOUG PIFER YOU HEAR a light ticking sound at first, like branches lightly scraping across a metal roof, and then the sound grows louder and you realize it’s the clashing of antlers. Playful sparring often occurs between young bucks, and these are trivial affairs compared to what occurs when a pair of mature breeding bucks meet. Usually, these fights don’t end with serious injury to either combatant, but occasionally antlers become locked, sometimes resulting in the death of one or both bucks. Early November is a magical time to be in the deer woods. GAME NEWS

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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