Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 57

EFFECTIVE SCOUTING means searching for the perfect tree to put a stand in. Evergreens are always a good choice because they help break up the hunter’s silhouette. January and February were very warm in northeastern Pennsylvania and many trees began to bud. Wild apple trees were among those fooled by Mother Nature’s cruel joke, and as a result, when the weather returned to normal, buds froze and the fall apple crop was destroyed. For the first time in 40 years none of the wild apple or pear trees I knew about or had access to, bore any fruit. It was a good thing I discovered this in early September, before archery season opened, because the lack of food in my traditional hunting areas meant I had to devise an alternate strategy. Over the years I’ve killed a lot of deer from the 10 or so hunting sites I have available to me, but this was the first time none of them looked promising. One of these sites is located inside a woodlot near a small creek, close to a hayfield. This location is particularly attractive to deer because the field is usually cut in late August, weeks before the archery season opens. The wild apple trees inside the woodlot bordering the field and the ensuing new growth of grass in the field always attracted deer, but last year bad weather and rain prevented the farmer from cutting the grass until the last week in September. This meant there was no new green growth coming up. Because deer are driven by food during the OCTOBER 2008 early part of the hunting season, I knew without the food source to attract them, hunting was not going to be good regardless of any other factor. I had to change my plan. My next step was to determine what deer-attracting food was available. Logically, acorns would be my next choice, so I checked out several large oak trees located on a hill above the low-lying field. I was astounded to find few if any acorns on the oak trees. No wild fruit, no grass and no acorns — this was shaping up to be a very disappointing season. I was beginning to feel desperate because I realized if there wasn’t any food where I hunted, there wouldn’t be any deer. Effective early season scouting can eliminate inseason frustration, and because there was little to attract deer in my traditional hunting sites, my task now was to find the deer and then figure out what they were eating. Next, I had to determine where they would be when the season opened. Fortunately, I had a friend who knew. No one knows the land better than the landowner who works it, so I stopped by the barn one evening just as milking chores were finished to discuss the deer situation with him. He listened as I explained my problem. “I have an alfalfa field at the very top of that hill and there are deer in it every evening,” he said. That was enough for me. An alfalfa field, especially one with new growth, is a deer magnet, so I decided to check it out. Alfalfa is as good as it gets for attracting deer, because it’s high in nutritional value and will continually attract deer until the advent of cold weather stops its growth. The problem with hunting alfalfa fields is that they are often large, and that makes deciding where to place a stand problematic. Seeing deer in these fields is 57

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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