Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 15

P ENNSYLVANIA is rich in hunting tradition. Each fall, hundreds of thousands of hunters head to the fields and woods, searching for everything from fleeting doves to majestic bull elk. Following the hunting seasons, every hunter will have precious memories and loads of stories to tell — some believable, and some not quite so. This is a hunting story of the latter variety — a once-in-a-lifetime, unbelievable event that happened to me. It was a beautiful fall morning, October 29, and the 2007 hunting season was well under way. Pheasant season had opened on October 20, and things were going well. My Brittany, Lilly, and I were having a lot of fun hunting those wily ringneck roosters. We had even managed to bag a few, thanks mostly to Lilly. Just three years old, Lilly was already an outstanding bird dog. She quarters back and forth in front of me while staying well within gun range. She also responds well to the whistle, to hand signals, and to voice commands. Winged pheasants do not escape. When they hit the ground, Lilly is on them in a flash, runs them down and retrieves them for me. What a dog. My hunting plans for that Monday morning were twofold: hunt for turkeys early in the morning, and then take Lilly out for ringnecks in the afternoon. The 50-acre, swampy woodlot below our house is a turkey hunting hotspot. Turkeys will roost in the oaks and hickories there, and spend the early morning in the woods feeding on abundant acorns. I sneaked into the woods an hour before shooting time. Always before, when I came near the roosting site, I would kick a few turkeys out of the trees, but on this day everything was quiet. Umm, I thought, this is strange. Daylight arrived, and I began searching the treetops for forms of roosting turkeys. Nothing was there. The trees were empty. I tried calling with my diaphragm call. Nothing responded. I couldn’t believe it. For perhaps the first time in memory, the turkeys simply were not there. Oh well, I thought, the turkeys will be here another OCTOBER 2008 day, so I might as well get an early start at pheasant hunting. After going home, I took the Hastings super-full choke out of my Remington 1100 and exchanged it for an improved cylinder. My turkey hunting shells, magnum 4s, were replaced with high base, No. 5 shotshells. Off came my camo coveralls and on went my canvas jacket and briar pants. Then Lilly and I headed for the northern Montour County PPL fields about three miles away. PPL has a cooperative agreement with the Game Commission and a local chapter of Pheasants Forever that opens up more than 4,000 acres of hunting to the public. Pheasants Forever plants warm season grasses and other cover, and the Game Commission supplies the pheasants. Lilly and I usually find a rooster or two there. Surprisingly, no cars were in the parking lot when we arrived. After loading my shotgun, we headed into the thick cover and soon came to one of my favorite spots, a 20-acre field bordered by woods on two sides and hedgerows on the other two sides. I no sooner stepped into the field when a cackling rooster flushed wild from about 100 yards away and then landed near the end of the right side hedgerow. I whistled for Lilly and sent her into the hedgerow while I stayed out in the open field. We started working our way to where the pheasant had landed. We were about halfway there when I heard the distinctive kuk, kuk, kuk of a ringneck rooster. It was close by, in the hedgerow where Lilly was heading. The pheasant was probably nervously watching Lilly closing on his position. This is one time when I wished that I was hunting with a partner who could be on the other side of the hedgerow. That way, when the pheasant flushed one of us would be sure to get a shot. 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008

Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008
Life & Times of the Whitetail
Contents
The Essence of Whitetails
Hunting for a Greater Good
What a Story to Tell
Three Birds, Four Shells, One Grouse
The Sandhill Crane Incidents
Nevada Grouse
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist's Eye
Fun Game
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Blowin1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Blowin2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - The Essence of Whitetails
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Hunting for a Greater Good
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - What a Story to Tell
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Three Birds, Four Shells, One Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - The Sandhill Crane Incidents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Nevada Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - The Naturalist's Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Cover4
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