Pennsylvania Game News - January 2011 - 34
majority of birds will fly to places where you, as the hunter, have to enter brushy spots to get to areas with good shooting. That evening you enjoy the company of chiggers. They have not been invited, but they make a home around your waist and any other spot where your clothing was a bit tight. I know of no other itch that compares with that caused by chiggers. I have heard some victims claim they would rather be mauled by a bear. I don’t know if I would go that far, because I’ve never been mauled by a bear, so I can’t say which is worse. I do know that after a session of serious scratching, I might look like a victim of a bear mauling. What could be more harmless than a rabbit? Nothing. But hunting them can lead to situations that result in hazards. Many rabbit hunters employ the use of a hound or two to find and chase rabbits into gunshot range. This is fine until the dog decides to go on an exploratory trek on its own. Then you go looking for the dog. Problem is, you don’t know where to look. You start exploring and you come to a fence.
Now, fences are erected to keep things in or out. Thinking you might find the dog on the other side of the fence, you carefully maneuver yourself to the other side. Soon you find it is the fence of a pasture and a Holstein bull suddenly appears. The bull probably saw the dog go through the pasture and figured some fool would soon come looking for it. Now, the domestic bull is a distant relative of the Cape buffalo, with about the same disposition. The bull has waited until you are in the middle of the pasture to make his appearance. He sees this as a great opportunity to polish his stomping and goring techniques. Your chance of survival depends on three things: your speed, the distance to the fence and the bull’s knowledge of trigonometry. If the bull runs at you instead of where you will be, you might make it to safety. If his calculations are correct, you will probably be the subject of a hospital report. These episodes are only a few examples of having “fun” while pursuing seemingly innocent activities. I’m sure all of you have had adventures somewhat like these. I hope you will share them with young outdoorsmen and women so they can be prepared to recognize “fun” when it happens.
COVER PAINTING BY JIM BORTZ
THIS MONTH’S COVER, “Middle of Nowhere,” is the 2011 Working Together for Wildlife fine art print, portraying a female bear with a couple of cubs in a pristine setting. As in past years, a limited edition of 600 prints is available. Image is 15 x 221/2 inches and printed on acid-free paper. Cost is $125, plus $10.95 s&h (for framing add $110, plus $15 s&h). Embroidered 4-inch patches are also available for $5.66, plus s&h. PA residents add 6% state sales tax. All sales benefit Pennsylvania’s nongame management and research. Order online at The Outdoor Shop, www.pgc.state.pa.us or call 1-888-888-3459.