Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 59

A

Unbearable November Birthday

STONE MANTEL SHELF extends from the fireplace at just the right height
to lean an elbow upon. There's a dartboard next to it, and the plywood paneling
behind it is riddled with hundreds of holes. Those who have hunted the longest from the
farmhouse-turned-camp would be among the first to tell you - sometimes shots miss.
Located just beyond a sign that reads, "Welcome to God's Country," the camp is a
throwback that, like so many others, has been maintained that way with a purpose.
Improvements are made over time, of course.
When I was a kid, all washing had to be done with a cloth and basin. Now there's
a shower with a pull-cord pump that wails like a train whistle. And there's an electric
heater in the outhouse that can be switched on and off from inside the cabin.
But on the whole, the place never looks much different from one time to the next.
And I'd bet it looked about the same during the 1974 bear season.
Growing up, that was a season my father often would tell me about - not because
of any great hunting success on his part, rather, because he missed the season entirely.
It was the year of my birth, and I just happened to be a bear-season baby.
Many times over the years, my birthday would fall within bear season. As a child,
that meant an earlier observance before Dad headed off to camp.
As the years went by, and Dad's return from the mountains was greeted always with
a mildew-smelling bear hug, but never a bear, that 1974 season became a running gag
of sorts. If not for his being shelved in 1974, he certainly would have a bear to his
credit by now, he claimed. I'll never forget the day I learned the truth.
While that plywood beneath the dartboard is pocked with holes, next to the stairs,
that same surface is papered with a series of 6- by 9-inch Pennsylvania maps. These
are the old big-game harvest maps from Game News, tacked there annually for some
time, either as a decoration or an informational resource.
In all the times I'd seen them previously, I'd never given them much thought. But
now I was drawn to them, and the display gave a snapshot of several consecutive
seasons past. When I realized what I might learn, I went directly to the 1974 map.
Potter County: Antlered deer - 4,092; Antlerless deer - 2,609; Bears - 2.
Two? I couldn't believe my eyes. A lifetime of ribbing for a season when two bears
were taken over a more than 1,000-square-mile area? I immediately sought out my
father to confront him with these newly unearthed facts about the 1974 bear season
as it applies to Potter County.
He kept a straight face as he quipped his response, "I hunt in Cameron."
Good one, Dad. Though I'm still not convinced he'd have taken his place among
the 19 lucky hunters to tag a Cameron County bear that year. As the records show,
1974 just wasn't a good year for bear hunting up north.
Forty years later, it figures to be better as I head to camp to hunt alongside my dad
in the Saturday opener.
If cake candles grant wishes, one or the other of our rifles will crack.
In one or the other county.

Travis Lau

NOVEMBER 2014

59



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 64a
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - 64b
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2014 - Cover4
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