Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 17

me as if it were watching the train 300 feet below. I slowly reached for my .30-06, clicked off the safety, and pulled up. My heart hammered. Get the full vision in the scope. Steady now, Walzie. Hold your breath. Squeeze, I rehashed in my mind. Boom — thwmp! The bear jumped and ran into brush. I felt sure it was hit. Wow! I’d been hunting for 40 years and I finally got a Pennsylvania bear. I had to calm down. I wanted to literally jump out of that treestand like Superman, but I sat still. It took me 10 minutes just to catch my breath. When I couldn’t stand it any longer, I climbed down and quietly milled through the brush to where I’d last seen the bear. I was sure I’d hit him; he had to be nearby. I took a few steps, made a circle, and then I spotted the blood trail — a lot of blood. My heart sank. It led right to the edge of the cliff and disappeared. Gingerly, I inched my way to the edge. I grabbed hold of a sapling to steady myself, leaned over and looked all the way to the bottom. It wasn’t exactly straight down, but it might as well have been. Nearly 300 feet of craggy rocks imbedded in loose dirt with a few straggly trees and roots. Far below me I could see the rushing Little Juniata River beside the railroad track. I gazed across the ravine and could clearly see the turnoff from Route 453 to Eden Hill. There was no bear in sight. Suddenly, the dirt gave away and I was sliding as if I were on a toboggan, on my side, holding my rifle above my head. I grabbed for passing trees and rocks, anything to stop my fall. The leg-zippers on my pants gave way and my pant legs opened like parachutes, gathering dirt and slowing my decent. I felt my fingernails snap and split as I grasped for rocks, and when I was finally able to catch hold of a strong tree root and stop myself, I was nearly a third of the way down the hill. I lay there on the side of that cliff for several minutes, trying to regain my composure. The only sounds were the rushing water below and my short, choppy gasps. NOVEMBER 2008 I hugged my rifle safely to my chest. If there had been a bear down there, he was surely gone now, with the racket I’d made hurdling down the doggone cliff. I scooped the leaves and dirt out of my pants and boots and stood up. I hoped I could shuffle sideways down the rest of the way; I sure wasn’t going back up. I gingerly took a step.I stepped over a downed tree and ducked under a branch. When I looked up, I was eyeball to eyeball with a wounded bear. It was less than 10 feet away, sitting upright, ears alert, staring me in the face. He looked to be 10 feet tall and bulletproof. I swallowed hard. Then the rifle went into action — point and shoot from the hip! The bullet hit the bear’s chest and he did a tuck and roll, bouncing like a tractor tire and rolling all the way to the bottom. No, no! Don’t you dare roll into the river! It’s too darned cold for a swim, I thought. Slowly, I picked my way down the side of the cliff, carefully guarding my scope from bumps, and picking only the sturdiest looking trees to lean on or grab a hold of. Finally, I saw the bear. Stopping just short of the river, it was stretched out. Now I had another problem. At the bottom of the cliff there was a 12-foot drop straight down to the roadway. I hunkered at the top of the drop, contemplating how to get my now aching body down it. Jumping was out of the question and it was too steep for a slide. I pondered, I’m six feet tall, if I ease myself over the edge, I’ll have only about six more feet to drop. How many bones can break in that short a distance? I hurt badly enough already and didn’t like the idea. Then I noticed a tree root protruding from the bank. I grabbed onto that root and, old mountain goat that I’ve become, I rappelled to the roadway. 17

Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008

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

Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008
Life & Times of the Whitetail
Contents
A Special Bear Season
The Buck Stops Here
Hunting Like the Devil
Efficient Raccoon Trapping
Pine Hill Bear
My 50th
Once in a Lifetime
Through the Haze
Misses I Have Known
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - A Special Bear Season
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - The Buck Stops Here
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Hunting Like the Devil
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Efficient Raccoon Trapping
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Pine Hill Bear
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - My 50th
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Once in a Lifetime
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Through the Haze
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Misses I Have Known
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News -November 2008 - Cover4
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