Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 20

flatlands reverted to what you could call a dithering cockamamie status. Never learning and ever wanting to bag one, I repeatedly went back for more abuse. As a budding PSU forestry student circa 1971, I was taught by the highly revered professor of dendrology, Mr. Rex Melton, that barberries were of an exotic ornamental variety from Japan. The American variety had been eradicated by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and others for its intermediate hosting of wheat rust or some such disease. Mr. Melton always had a great story to go with each and every species of tree or shrub. In this instance, he then went on to describe the thorny Japanese plant with the yellowish stems. The low-lying shrub’s bell-shape flowers formed smallish, orange, egg-shape berries in the fall. The lush green oval leaves turned a pretty autumn crimson, and the plant remains a Halloween favorite ornamental to this day. He stated its scientific name by family, genus and species precisely: Berberidaceae, Berberis thunbergii. From that point on, we were to know it and spell it as such. In testament, our field quiz sheets had three columns; one each for family, genus and species. Mercifully, he took only half off for spelling. Although it has some wildlife cover value, the classic Martin, Zim and Nelson’s book on wildlife foods give it a rather dull scoring. Deer didn’t seem to browse on it; folks didn’t make jam of the berries, which stayed on so long you wondered if anything partook of it. Yet it always seemed like grouse central. It was part of the covert’s food and cover mix of old lilacs, blackhaw viburnum, rock piles, cracked and crumbling foundations, scattered apple trees and broken bottles, gray dogwoods and peripheral grapevine tangles. This was a “reverting farmstead” per Mr. Melton, a habitat type that spread stealthily with the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet at the base of the mountain where the farm’s more productive soils lay, there was still the active agriculture of corn, cattle and alfalfa. Moving up the mountain, the stated abandoned farms gave way to smaller trees. Then, on up the mountain’s steeper part, stands of mature oak, pine, hickory and maple ruled. There were still some rotting chestnut blowdowns here and there, which Mr. Melton described to us as the “remnants of the mighty blight,” another sad note from those painful ’30s. The Game Commission signs along the mountain were a “welcome wagon” to this Centre County Farm-Game project that became my new favorite hunting grounds. The project provided a smorgasbord of game species. Down near the bottoms there were doves, an occasional rabbit and even a wild or stocked ringneck or two. The woodcock and grouse could be found at those in between reverting zones. It was there that I had my first-ever encounters with turkeys. Squirrels, both fox and grays, were abundant on the ridges. Deer worked their way through all of it as if they owned the place. And, every now and then, bear sign would be cause for some excitement. It was the barberry grouse covert, though, that commanded most of my attention. That sector produced decent flushing rates. My own “affair with grouse” as Keystone State native grouse author laureate George Bird Evans would call it, had begun. I am somewhat ashamed to admit the number of grouse I ingloriously missed, just as those great grouse authors called it. I was sure that this grand game bird had inspired them to write, but I knew deep down that I missed more grouse than any other game bird. I read and read on the how-to’s of grouse shooting; too relaxed, too tense, too something or other. As Nash Buckingham, anGAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
The Scofflaws
The Last Shot
Hunters Connect with the Chesapeake Bay
Chasing the Dream
The Barberry Grouse
Mentored Youth Program Gobbler
The A Team
Hand-Me-Downs
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Scofflaws
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Last Shot
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Hunters Connect with the Chesapeake Bay
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Chasing the Dream
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Barberry Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Mentored Youth Program Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The A Team
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Hand-Me-Downs
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - I1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - I2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover4
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