Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 23

blind over there, they knocked down a sandhill crane earlier this morning.” The hunters pointed to a blind, No. 23, about a quarter of a mile away. “Are you sure it was a sandhill crane?” I asked. “We most certainly are,” they responded. “As a matter of fact, we were surprised to see the cranes here in Pennsylvania.” I thanked them for the information as Ittel and I started toward the next blind. Ittel said, “Oh, no, don’t tell me someone shot one of the sandhill cranes. They don’t even remotely look like a goose.” “John, I hope they didn’t either. The sandhills have been here only about a month and a half,” I replied. It’s difficult to understand how someone could confuse a sandhill crane with a Canada goose. Sandhills are tall gray birds of open grasslands, meadows and wetlands. Adults can be up to four feet tall with wingspans stretching 79 inches. They have very long necks, long legs and a gray body that is sometimes stained reddish brown, with a distinctive red forehead patch. Their beaks are long, narrow, stout and heavy, and they have tufted feathers on their rump. In flight, their wing beat is slow and rhythmic; during their round trip migrations they may fly up to 14,000 miles, and they congregate in huge numbers. Sandhill cranes hold their neck straight during flight, compared to great blue herons which fold their necks. Sandhill cranes establish permanent pair bonds and stay together year round. They winter in southern states and northern Mexico. They feed on grains, seeds, insects, rodents, snails, berries, tubers and amphibians. Geese were flying well this day and hunters seemed to be having a grand time, with shooting in all of the goose blinds. After checking the hunters at blind No. 22 we asked them if they’d seen any different birds. One hunter spoke up and said he’d seen what looked like two great blue herons fly low over their blind earlier in the morning. I asked him if anyone shot at OCTOBER 2008 the birds and he replied he could hear shooting as the birds flew over blind No. 23, but couldn’t see anything because the corn was too high. We thanked him and proceeded to blind No. 23, about 300 yards due west. I could hear voices from within the blind and we introduced ourselves as officers from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, there to perform a field check. We found a man in his 40s, Mr. Jocko Fowl, his son, 12, and daughter, 14. We checked their shotguns for plugs and asked them if they had gotten any shooting this morning. Ducks and geese may be taken from the goose blinds, but hunters are limited to 10 non-toxic shotgun shells apiece, and when they each harvest a goose, the group must check in at the administration building. Hunting ends at 1:30. Mr. Fowl reached into the blind and showed us a nice drake mallard he’d shot with a band on its leg. Deputy Ittel explained that if he called the telephone number on the band, he’d be able to find out where the mallard had been banded. I could sense uneasiness in the two junior hunters, who kept looking at their father. Sorting out facts in a situation like this can be delicate, and we always separate the father or responsible adult from the junior hunters to prevent any humiliation. I asked Mr. Fowl if he could step aside with me. Deputy Ittel chatted with the junior hunters. Mr. Fowl and I moved out of ear shot and I asked if he’d had shooting at any other birds. “No, I just shot the mallard,” he answered. “Mr. Fowl, the hunters in the blind across the field from you watched someone in your blind shoot at and knock down one of the two sandhill cranes that flew over your blind this morning, at about 7:30.” They said the second crane just kept flying over, calling to its mate. Mr. Fowl’s face turned 23

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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