Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 14

State Game
Lands 87

By Cindy Ross

W

HEN Reed Johnson was 10
years old, he used to set out
from his parents' cabin in Clearfield
County in any direction that struck
his fancy and just walk. Even though
their hunting cabin sat on only a
50-acre plot, he'd wander for a good
7 to 8 miles. At his disposal was
nearly 17,000 acres of open land that
that were absent trespassing restrictions. Three huge historic tracts: the
10,000-acre Alex Deemer tract, the
5,000-acre James Graham estate and
the 1,100 acres of the original State
Game Lands 87 made up most of the
open space. It was as if the Johnson
family owned it themselves, so free
were they to explore it.
Today, the state's hunters, trappers
and wildlife enthusiasts are free to explore those same tracts. The properties are part of State Game Lands 87,
which now totals more than 15,000
acres.
Johnson's parents trusted him on
14

his own. They had given him the
knowledge of how to use a topo map
and a compass, which was so old and
big and bulky it "looked like something Columbus might have used."
Little did that boy know at the time,
but his life's mission would become
saving these wild lands from development and creating a game lands that
is in a league all its own.
Johnson's first memory of a woods
walk is with his mother who ushered
young Reed and his older siblings
down the milelong trail to Haslett
Run. The property has been in the
Johnson family since the 1950s, but
their connection to this area dated
back to the early 1800s, when his
great-great-grandfather settled in
nearby Grampian to work in the
lumber business.
Today, my son, Bryce, his friend,
Josh, and I follow Johnson through
the healthy looking hemlock forest
to the creek. The trees' lacy boughs
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 6
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 14
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64a
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64b
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover4
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