Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 6

Quest for a Red
By Ralph Scherder

I

TRAINED the flashlight beam on
my dirt-hole set and tried to figure
out what had sprung my trap. Deer
tracks pocked the dirt pattern. A
strong, familiar smell cut through the
morning cold - rutting buck.
Sure enough, I scanned the tree
line about 50 yards away and there
he was, working a scrape. He stopped
what he was doing, took one intimidating step toward me, eyes shining like big gold coins. You win, I
thought, and I got out of there.
That dirt-hole set was made on
the knoll of what my uncle always
claimed was the highest point in the
county, which also happened to be
part of his farm. Whether it's actually the highest, I don't know. Even
now, 20 years later, I've never bothered to find out. All I cared about
then - and now - was that it looked
like a good place to catch a fox.
There was a wheat field on the
very top of the hill. Crabapple
thickets and pines surrounded it. A
brushy fencerow ran all the way up
from a small spring in the bottom
and crossed over and continued down
over the other side to a bigger patch
of woods. The whole south slope of
the hill was a huge, wide-open field
all the way down to a river bottom.
Even to a 15-year-old kid who'd
never caught, or even seen, a red fox
in his life, this seemed like the per6

fect location. Still, I'd had a set there
all the previous year and three days
so far this year, and no fox.
If you were standing at the set
location and facing south, you'd look
out over a vast valley of darkness. In
the distance were pinpricks of house
lights, smaller than the farthest stars.
It was a great area for raccoons, and
I caught one that morning in my
first set by the creek. It was only my
second year of trapping and every
raccoon was a prize.
I grew up at a good time and in a
good place. When it came to trapping, my parents left me to my own
devices. They had no qualms about
me getting up at 4 in the morning to
go check traps before school. Heck,
they encouraged it, and in fact when
I wasn't running a 'line by myself
around home, my dad and I were usually running one together at a nearby
stream. With my dad as my mentor, I
got pretty good at catching raccoons.
When it came to fox, though, he had
never trapped one. That was something I'd have to figure out on my
own, which was what I set out to do.
In high school, only a handful of
kids trapped. We somehow found
each other. At lunch in the cafeteria, I told one of those kids, Dave,
about the buck springing my trap that
morning. "Do you think he stepped
on it on purpose or by accident?" he
asked.
"I think he thought the dirt pattern was a scrape," I said.
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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
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 22
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 31
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 34
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 38
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 61
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Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 63
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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