Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 48

FINDING wildflowers, like these red trilliums, make a hike in the woods worth it, even when you’re not hunting.

tontail and the boys followed it through the snow until the rabbit’s tracks showed where it dove into a hole under a log. I couldn’t blame it. We walked a mile or so and turned around. On the way back, we saw a squirrel running on the other side of the creek. We scarcely had time to be surprised that we had spooked it — the squirrels there are accustomed to people, if not actually tame — when a red-tailed hawk flared. We stopped and the hawk lighted on a low branch on the other side of the water. It must have seen us, but it didn’t fly. The bird peered intently downward, toward the stream. Then we saw the squirrel. It was caught between the creek and the hawk. “Between the devil and the deep blue sea,” seemed appropriate. “It’s a standoff,” I whispered to my nephews, pointing. “The squirrel can’t go anywhere without giving the hawk a shot at it. And the hawk is too close to drop fast enough to catch the squirrel where it is now. Let’s see what happens.” The two animals looked at each other and at us. Other people were passing us on the path, many quickly, on their “power walks” for exercise, hardly looking right or left. No one else noticed the wildlife drama going on across the creek. The animal encounter happening there, on the edge of one of the world’s largest cities, was a display of the ageless predator-prey pact that takes place in the wildest of woods. The essence was the same. Finally, with a shake of its tail feathers, the hawk flew and the squirrel bounced up the bank, racing for a more secure hiding place, a hole in a tree. If circumstances had been different, I’d have been home in Pennsylvania that day, hunting late season squirrels or flintlock deer. Instead, my nephews and I saw a wildlife interaction we may never see again, wherever we go in the outdoors. I
48

Linda Steiner

wasn’t hunting, but this was definitely time not wasted. The season and weather were different, but I remembered the January hawksquirrel showdown the other day, when I got into the woods rather late for a spring turkey hunting morning. The birds were probably all done gobbling and I wouldn’t hear anything, I complained as I got out of the car. My husband pulled off to the side of the road, at a Game Lands access lane. I shouldered my pack and slipped my shotgun from its case. “See you at noon,” he said. “I’ll be parked where the road corners.” And he drove away. It was after 9 o’clock, but the morning was still cool and the wind hadn’t come up yet. We’d had a cloudy, rainy spring and the sunbeams sifting through the spruce along the path were a fine sight. In the brushy woods below the evergreens, just above the creek, I heard a grouse drum. A few steps more and I flushed one, which set its wings and sailed down-slope. Good, I thought, there’s a couple that made it through the winter. I’ll have to remember the spot. Maybe there’ll be some to hunt here this fall. A wood thrush trilled and a pileated woodpecker rapped out its versions of spring birdsong. I turned off the access lane and followed the trace of an old logging trail that ran along the hillside, headed up the valley. Spring beauty
game news



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011
Myths & Legends of the Whitetail
Contents
Squirrel Hunting Disease
Five Drives on Saturday
Two Merchants of Death
Family Tradition
High Tech Grouse Finds
The Future of Traditional Archery
Brunswick Barbeque
Whitetail History 101
Finally
Five Generations, One Gun
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 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Myths & Legends of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Squirrel Hunting Disease
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Five Drives on Saturday
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Two Merchants of Death
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Family Tradition
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - High Tech Grouse Finds
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - The Future of Traditional Archery
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Brunswick Barbeque
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Whitetail History 101
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Finally
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Five Generations, One Gun
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - August 2011 - Cover4
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