Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 59

it warm. Drawing and shooting a bow while wearing heavy clothing is different than when wearing lighter clothing. Wearing a gaiter or full-face mask can affect the path of the arrow if the hunter’s anchor point isn’t in the same place. With heavier clothing, the string may come in contact with your jacket or sleeve, affecting your shot. Before heading out to hunt in cold weather it’s best to take some practice shots wearing all of your hunting clothing and to make adjustments in order to avoiding problems in the field. To test my equipment and to loosen up stiff muscles before an afternoon hunt, I keep some practice arrows in the truck and take at least a half-dozen shots at a target set up in my friend’s barn. The practice loosens up tight muscles, especially in my back, and makes drawing the bow easier. If you don’t have a place to practice shooting before heading out, consider bringing your own portable target and set it up for a few practice shots once you arrive at your hunting site. Hipps makes a small, lightweight, portable target called the Kick-N-Shoot, and it’s just the thing for a quick winter practice session. The target weighs only a few pounds and can be carried in a car trunk or even on the front seat. At the hunting site, it can be thrown on the ground for a few practice shots. Since it will stop broadheads as well as field tips, it’s well worth taking the time for a short practice session. Remember, the idea is to simply loosen the muscles needed to draw a bow, so the target need not be far away. Drawing a bow seems to be harder when it’s cold. To make it easier for me to shoot well, I drop the draw weight on my bow about six pounds from what it was in the fall. If you shoot a bow with a 70-pound draw weight in the fall, consider dropping the weight to 65 or even 60 pounds. In addition, stiff muscles and bulky clothing make coming to full draw more difficult, so also consider shortening your draw JANUARY 2009 length by a half-inch or more. If you do drop your draw weight and/or change your draw length, be sure to spend some time on the range to adjust your sights accordingly. Safety is always a consideration with me, but cold weather hunting needs special attention. If there is snow on the ground I’m extremely cautious when using a treestand. About a dozen seasons ago, an early November storm dumped about six inches of snow just as the rut was beginning. I couldn’t wait to go hunting, and that evening, as I approached my treestand, I noticed a large number of deer tracks. All indications were that deer activity was on the increase following that storm. Conditions couldn’t have been better and I was optimistic. Because of the snow, I exercised extreme caution and began my climb to my stand. When I was about six feet off the ground, my foot slipped off the step. My feet dangled in mid-air but, luckily, I was able to hang on to the step above and averted disaster. I learned a lesson that day and now when climbing trees at any time of year, I never climb without a safety harness. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Now, if there is snow on the ground, I try to stay out of the trees. Harness or no harness, I don’t want to be found hanging like a Christmas ornament waiting for rescue. Snow trapped in the lugs of hunting boots or simply covering the stand platform can create slippery conditions. When snow on the bottom of the stand platform or on the bottom of a hunter’s boots begins to melt from body heat, the resulting water can subsequently re-freeze, creating an icy platform and a dangerous situation. Never climb into or out of a stand without a safety harness connected to a sliding prussic knot tied to a safety line. A prussic knot is simple to tie and will easily slide up and down the rope but will lock in place if it is subjected to a sudden jerk. Keep in mind, a harness will prevent 59

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009
Contents
2007-08 Annual Report
Untagged Traps
Field Notes
Conservation News
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 2007-08 Annual Report
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Untagged Traps
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2009 - Cover4
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