Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 31

side of the creek. We hadn’t gone more than 40 yards when Ernie spun around to bathe the maple in the full beam of light, and caught the twin ruby-red reflections staring at us from the backside of a massive crotch where the maple split to grow two ways. Those bead-like reflections never twitched as long as the light held them. They bored into us from the crotch, pinning us like butterflies in a display case until Ernie killed the light for a moment and then turned it back on. The ruby reflections were gone, whisked away into the darkness as though they had never been there in the first place. I can never forget that night 67 years ago, when the voice of a coonhound became the sole objective of the hunt, and where the coon always managed to save its own hide. There were other nights

after the war when Ernie and I went coon hunting with Sox. Many times we trailed that deep-throated voice through woods and across fields, and many times we spotted those reflections of “rubies” staring down at us from some lofty perch. But if I could go back and re-live two or three hours of my life, they would have to be of that rainy night back in the ’40s, when Ernie and I went coon hunting and the voice of a coonhound gripped me with a fervor that has lasted to this day. Like the bugle calls that were a part of our daily life aboard ship, the rolling timbre of a black-and-tan hound called Sox is forever a part of me. 

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

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