Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 22
PASSING IT ON
By Lowell E. Bittner
HEN I was growing up, there was one day that I looked forward to with more anticipation than any other. Back then Christmas was more of a spiritual holiday rather than commercial like it is now. There were few exotic items available and, being that it was during the Great Depression, there was little money to spend foolishly (or any other way). Gifts were few and what we did get were of a practical nature. It was hard to glean much joy from new long-johns or a couple pairs of socks. So, Christmas didn’t have the same appeal as it does for kids today. Thanksgiving was okay, because of the food, but because we lived on a farm, food was always good and plentiful. My birthday was three days
before Christmas, so many times the gift(s) were merged, and I didn’t know if the socks were for my birthday and the long-johns for Christmas or the other way around. So the birthday was no big deal. July 4 was fun, but activities were limited because of financial shortages. Easter was good because of the homemade goodies (candy, colored eggs, etc.). There was one day, though, that made all others look pale. Schools, factories and businesses were closed for this special happening — the first day of “buck” season. Although deer were not plentiful then, as the season drew near, every hunter just knew that the opener would be the day he or she would get the trophy of their dreams. My oldest brother was the only one in my family who ever actually got a buck on our farm. I was never fortunate enough to get a shot or even see the deer of my dreams there. The best buck I ever took came from another part of Carbon County. Deer hunting, however, has never lost its appeal for me. Other types of hunting just don’t measure up. We did hunt for rabbits and squirrels, with a few opportunities for grouse and pheasants.
JARYD BITTNER with his first trophy, taken with the 16-gauge single-shot.