Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 64

Lock, Stock & Barrel The Shooters’ Corner
By Jim Romanelli By Don Lewis

Making Hay
AKING HAY in Vermont can be a tough proposition. Wet weather often gets in the way, and the growing season is short. We need the hay to feed our horses over the long winter. The fields are also a boon for wildlife. In early spring, when snow still patches the land, woodcock use the field edges as singing grounds. At dawn and dusk, the male timberdoodles sit on the sodden ground and repeat their nasal peent call, then fly high into the air and, as they come spiraling down, sound their liquid flight song. After the females breed, they quit the fields and nest in thickets nearby. As the grass greens up, deer come ghosting in. There are many fewer deer in this snowy northern realm than in Pennsylvania. When I lived in the Keystone State, spotting a deer in a hayfield was a rather humdrum event; up here it sends me scrambling for the binoculars. A doe nipping off new blades grabs my attention in May. A month later, the does bring their fawns into the fields, providing more entertainment. We’ve seen moose in our fields: dark brown, almost black against the emerald grass, so big they look weirdly out of place. Last year it was a cow and her gangly calf. This past June it was a young bull, his antlers velvety thick; he fed for half an hour, and then took off at a rocking-horse canter. As the days lengthen and summer sets in, the grass grows lush and deep. In some years, bobolinks — the males have a striking black, yellow and white plumage — nest in our large hayfield. Unfortunately, the nests are destroyed if our farmer friend makes an early first cutting. I have set aside a separate field, uphill from the larger one, to be mowed only after the first of August, which gives the bobolinks enough time to bring off a brood. We usually take one cutting from our fields. The farmer mows down the grass, teds it a couple of times, and rakes it into windrows. He makes old-fashioned square bales for us, then turns the rest of the hay into large round bales for his dairy herd. After the bales have been picked up, the wild creatures arrive. First the ravens, ronking loudly as they glide in. They go hopping and lumbering about in the scalped fields, hunting for insects and meadow voles, whose grassy roof has suddenly been torn off from overhead. Coyotes invite themselves to the feast, padding back and forth, now and then pausing and darting. Red foxes make curving leaps, their front paws pinning down their prey. Wild turkeys peck for grasshoppers. Kestrels flutter above the fields, and then dive to snare insect or rodent prey. Not only do we get a barn-loft full of bales: We have a front-row seat for all the action.
64 GAME NEWS

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

Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
Three Centuries and Counting
A Different Perspective
Trappin’ a Bobcat
Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Looking Back Through Binoculars
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 - August 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Three Centuries and Counting
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - A Different Perspective
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Trappin’ a Bobcat
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Getting Extreme with Scent Control
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Wills Mountain Scrub Oak Barrens Restoration
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Greatest Conservation Story in American History
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Pennsylvania’s “Other” Fox
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Conneaut Lake Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Looking Back Through Binoculars
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - NatureInse
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2010 - Cover4
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