Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 31
My Wackiest Hunt
OT LONG AGO, Game Commission Information and Education Bureau
Director Steve Smith and I were in my office discussing something when
Steve began commenting on my slide show photos popping up on the screensaver
on my computer monitor. Some were family photos, some scenic shots of various
places I've traveled to, many were hunting photos, but when one came up showing
a line of hunters in a sage-brush flat with mountains in the background, Steve
asked, "What the heck is that?"
"Why that's the craziest hunt I've ever been on," I answered.
And it was, too.
Back in May of 2006, I traveled, at the printer's expense, to Utah to oversee
the printing of the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.
After driving to the town where the printer is located and getting situated in
my motel late in the afternoon, printer staff met me there and told me the printing
of the regulations digest was scheduled to begin the following day, but not until
11 p.m. It would be a long night extending well into morning.
But they told me they had a hunt lined up for me, to take place hours before
the presses would roll.
Thinking spring turkeys, I told them I didn't bring any hunting clothes, plus
I'd need to obtain a nonresident license somewhere.
"Don't worry about any of that," I was told. "You don't need a license and we
have all the equipment you'll need. We're hunting jackrabbits - they're classified
as pests in this state; there's no season, no limit and you don't need a license."
Naturally, I was game.
The next morning several printer employees in a couple of pickups pulled up
to the curb of the motel parking lot, handed me a pair of coveralls and boots, a
water hydration-system backpack, because despite snow on top of the distant
mountains, it was forecasted to reach 90 degrees, and off we went.
After traveling for miles on gravel and then dirt roads, we parked the vehicles
and started assembling equipment. I was handed a semiauto .22 rifle with open
We lined up at the edge of a large sage flat and started through it. It reminded
me of deer drives here, except for the sage brush flats that seemingly went on
forever and lack of standers.
To make a long story short, jackrabbits were running everywhere. They were
hard to see in the sage, but you'd have to take your shots when the rabbits stopped
in small openings in the brush way out in front of the hunters.
I don't know how many shots were fired on that hunt or how many jackrabbits
were bagged - quite a few (I even got one) - but it remains the most unusual hunt
I was ever on. It's one of those things I'll never do again, but I was glad I did it!