Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 13
UST BY CHANCE, I suppose, the
ninth day of November has been good
to me over the years. I always seem to
see more bucks on that day than any other
during the archery season.
Two years ago on Nov. 9, while hunting from my climbing tree stand in back
of my York County home, I spotted a buck
chasing two does about 80 yards away.
They ran this way and that, and at one
point, headed straight away from my
stand. I reached for my bleat can, turned
it over three times and was amazed when
the buck did a 180-degree turn and ran
The 7-point jumped a stone wall,
stopped broadside 15 yards away and -
although he appeared nervous - stood
long enough for me to put a crossbow
bolt through him.
This past year, Nov. 9 fell on a Wednesday and I had pressing business to finish
at the office, but I was able to leave work
around 12:30 to begin a short vacation.
I'd already made up my mind to hunt
all day the next three days with a crossbow, so I figured I'd spend the remainder
of this Nov. 9 hunting pheasants.
It was just as well, too.
A light, cold rain had been falling since
morning. And while I have no qualms
about hunting small game in the rain, I'm
reluctant to bowhunt when it's raining.
Besides being inherently more dangerous getting into a wet tree stand, blood
trails disappear too quickly in the rain.
Arriving at game lands in Adams
County, I donned my orange vest and hat,
pulled the double from its case and headed
down the access road to some fields at the
back of the game lands.
Working into the wind, I spotted a ringneck running down the edge of a sorghum
strip and into a perpendicular hedgerow.
Figuring the bird briefly would stop
there, I circled and approached the hedgerow from the other side.
The cackling rooster erupting from
the cover confirmed I had made the right
move and it crumpled at my shot.
After admiring the colorful pheasant, I
field-dressed it and stuffed it into the back
of my vest.
Working into the next field, I heard
the telltale cutt-cutt-cutt of a ringneck
inside the long hedgerow that paralleled
the field's edge.
Another hunter at the far end of the
hedgerow heard it, too, and sent his English pointer into the thick cover.
The pheasant flushed, but the hunter
missed, and it cleared the hedgerow,
banked right and landed in a weed field
40 yards in front of where I was standing.
Knowing the bird most likely would
hold tight in the thick cover, I slowly
zigzagged my way over and put it up. I
dropped that one with one shot, too, and
field-dressed it and put it in my vest.
I had been hunting for only a half-hour,
but had my limit.
The rain continued on the drive home,
but stopped by the time I arrived, around
While unloading the SUV I thought,
what to do now?
I could just call it a day and skin the
My wife Debbie was working, so I
just had leftovers to heat up for dinner;
no hurry to get to that.
I could hunt squirrels for the remaining hunting time or, I could climb into
a ladder stand behind my property and