Pennsylvania Game News - February 2012 - 48
By Linda Steiner
Most deer and bear hunters like some snow for tracking and visibility, but what do you do when the white stuff is measured in feet instead of inches?
Big Snow Hunts
’VE FALLEN and I can’t get up! I didn’t yell that out loud, but I could have. I had fallen and I could not get up. I flopped to my right. Then I flopped to my left. Then I tried to get off my stomach and onto my back. Anything to get my feet under me. But the snow was so deep in the gully I’d dropped into that I couldn’t find the bottom. Eventually I thrashed around enough that my boots found solid ground. Or maybe my rolling had compacted the snow under me enough that I could get up. I found myself more than waist deep in snow. Somehow I floundered out of the swale the way I had come in, and this time I walked around it. Or rather waded around it. The snow in the open woods was thigh high. It had evidently drifted deeper in the low spots, and I had found one. The whiteness that mounded over or filled in everything about me, smoothing all outlines and undulations, was so cold that it was fluffy and dry. Falling into that snow was like falling into fake snow; too insubstantial to get a hold of. I brushed enough snow off my camo orange hunting suit that the bright safety color showed through again. At 5-4, not a lot of me showed above the snow surface. We had a group with us that day, the “Year of the Big Snow,” as it became known afterward. We all had antlerless deer licenses for Warren County — that was back in the county allocation days — and I still marvel that we had been able to reach our hunting spot just across the county line. I remember that, surprisingly, the back road past our hunting area had been plowed. What I didn’t realize at first was that the plowing had piled the snow at least four feet deep on the road edges. We finally saw a spot where we could park the 4WD Jeep, fortunately what we were driving at the time, off the lane. We had faith that low gear could pull us out of anything. I remember, too, how the bunch of us trudged one after the other, in the leader’s broken track, back to