Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 5

We pulled into our location and stepped out into the early morning blackness. Folding chairs and blind packed into the bag on the right shoulder, decoys in the back, cased shotgun in the left hand, a full turkey vest in the front, this “pack mule” was loaded to capacity. It was only then that I realized that if I didn’t also carry my hunter across the dew-soaked alfalfa field, this would turn out to be a very brief hunt. That short 150-yard jaunt would now require a break every 30 yards just to catch my breath. The last decoy had just been set when the familiar crimson orange glow of dawn began to peek at us from over the hills. Minutes later, and less than a stone throw away, the steep embankment to our left came alive with the soft clucks and purrs of hens ready to attack the day. Tekoa’s eyes widened to the size of saucers when one gobble, two gobbles, three and four exploded from the hillside. A childlike giddiness began to brew from within my gut as my expectations soared. Tekoa would not be going back to sleep on this day. In a silent frenzy we scrambled to clear the sticks, twigs and dry leaves from beneath our feet inside our hide. The moment I had been waiting for had arrived. Ever so quietly, the tiny Remington 870 was fed its daily allowance of three 2¾-inch shells. We reviewed all the aspects of handling the shotgun safely. I reminded her where to point and not to point, pushing the safety on and off, when to shoot and not to shoot. Still too small to shoulder the shotgun, we went over how she was to ease over the stock and align the 3-dot sight. The sun slowly began to illuminate the fields around us. The chilly morning breeze gently pushed the final patches of fog from sight. The bird activity increased as they began to organize their descent to the valley that we were in. My APRIL 2010 response to them was a few subtle melodious yelps from a diaphragm call and a mock fly down wing beat to my thigh. Their aerial assault began shortly after. Three big gobblers flew down to the fields directly in front of us. About 200 yards straight out from the front of our blind, these toms began a strutting ballet performance that was sure to attract any fainthearted hen. A quick look out of the back window confirmed that we had been surrounded. Two hens were quickly approaching, intent on meeting our flock of four decoys. Tekoa asked to call a bit, so I gave her the MAD Heavy Metal slate call to scratch on. Once she began to call — and much to our surprise — we learned that it was a jake and hen moving in from the rear. He limped en route toward us, with a noticeable damaged right leg. The dilemma for me now: Do we continue to call in hopes that the big birds make it to us, or do we prepare for this much closer jake? Another peek told us that he picked up the pace of his labored gait toward us and would beat the bosses to us. The choice was hers, though. “Do you want to wait for the big ones to come or do you want to shoot this one that is closer?” “The closer one,” she answered. The barrel of the shotgun was rested on the bottom of the window as “gimpy” gobbled to within 30 yards. Tekoa put on the ear muffs and shooting glasses as she snuggled back toward me in the chair. I whispered to her, “You can shoot once he gets into our decoys and we see his beard. I’ll squeeze your leg when it is time.” Tekoa was over the stock and lining up the beads, awaiting his arrival like she was a seasoned

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

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
A Chocolate-Covered Cream-Filled . . . Gobbler
The Close Call
Silent Whispers
The Shot Not Taken
Eastern Coyote
A Grandparents’ Pride, A Grandson’s Gift
In the Company of Children
A Jake for Ben
Early Bear Management
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 - April 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - A Chocolate-Covered Cream-Filled . . . Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - The Close Call
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Silent Whispers
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - The Shot Not Taken
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Eastern Coyote
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - A Grandparents’ Pride, A Grandson’s Gift
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - In the Company of Children
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - A Jake for Ben
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Early Bear Management
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Cover4
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