Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 28

Tip and the Woods Rabbit
By Paul A. Matthews
artwork by scott calpino

I

T HAS BEEN more than 50 years, as my son, George, was about seven and today he is in his early 60s. One thing I’m certain about that day, though, was that it was cold, bitter cold with a trace of wind. The ground was bare, but the wind stabbed through our coats and long johns, bringing shivers if we stood in one place too long. As I recall, it was the late small game season, probably in January, and we were hunting a woodlot known to the locals as Paul Stevens’ woods. Two or three years prior to that time, a local lumberman had done some selective cutting, leaving piles of tree tops and branches scattered throughout the 80-acre woodlot, giving the “woods” rabbits all kinds of selective cover. Now, I’m not a biologist, but for many years I have been convinced that there are two subspecies of the common cottontail, the woods rabbit

and the “meadow” rabbit. I may be, and probably am, wrong, but anyone who has hunted behind a rabbit hound for very long will tell you that a woods rabbit runs a lot farther and faster — often taking the hound right out of hearing distance — while making a much larger circle than the meadow rabbit. And another thing, the ears on a woods rabbit are flatter across the tips than those of the meadow bunny. Why this is I don’t know, unless it’s to reduce the amount of tissue damage to the ears by branches, twigs and briars, as the rabbit streaks from cover to cover. On that long-ago Saturday, we had a hound named Tip whose likeness in an oil painting hangs on the wall in front of my desk as I “pen” these words. He was a crossbreed — three quarters beagle and one quarter basset — and to my estimation the best rabbit hound in all of Sheshequin Township at the time. As long as a rabbit stayed above ground, Tip would be on its trail, giving a deep-throated bugle voice that echoed the length and breadth of Mallory Run. No matter how far or how fast the rabbit ran, no matter how many hairpin turns or backtracks the rabbit made, as long as he was on top of the ground and running, old Tip was on his trail. The first woods rabbit was far ahead of the dog. It came streaking through the brush, going past me like a freight train, leaving me standing there holding the old Lefever 12-gauge side-by-side at low port with a blank expression on my face.
GAME NEWS

28



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

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010
Contents
Bonds for a Lifetime
Memory Maker
CWD in Pennsylvania —Will it Come?
Eight in ’08
Do It Yourself Dirt Hole Set
A Shot in the Dark
Troy’s First Bear
Jamie Get Your Gun
Tip and the Woods Rabbit
Down to the Wire
November
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Bonds for a Lifetime
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Memory Maker
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - CWD in Pennsylvania —Will it Come?
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Eight in ’08
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Do It Yourself Dirt Hole Set
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - A Shot in the Dark
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Troy’s First Bear
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Jamie Get Your Gun
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Tip and the Woods Rabbit
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Down to the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - November
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - N1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - N2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Cover4
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