Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 17

T

HIS STory is a tribute to my late uncle, WCo Pete Aiken. My uncle was an incredible person who was more than just my uncle; he was a hunting buddy, mentor and friend. Being the land management supervisor for the Northcentral region, he taught me many things about habitat and conservation. Most importantly, he taught me that hunting was not always about the harvest, but it was management of the species. Humans have directly affected the conditions and habitats of wildlife. While plentiful numbers of game animals is great for hunters, too much wildlife in an area is bad for habitat, just as too many hunters in an area with great habitat and sparse wildlife is bad for the wildlife. We’d always agree too much of a good thing is normally a bad thing. While the perfect balance might be difficult to achieve, it is possible through education and awareness. Having an uncle in the Game Commission, and one who took daily trips to Game Lands to train his bird dogs, had its benefits. Whenever I’d plan on hunting, I’d always call or send an email for a scouting report. Based on the information Uncle Pete gave me, I always seemed to have an opportunity to harvest something. In the spring of 2010, I continued my quest of eight years to harvest my first spring gobbler. I would not be writing the following story if it hadn’t been for my uncle. I hunted hard for the first week of the season. I was into many birds, but couldn’t seal the deal. on Monday night of the second week, I received a call from my uncle, who basically said that he had a bird patterned. I knew this would be a good tip. He had put me on birds in each of the previous two years, but thanks to impatience — and a bear — the birds remained in the woods to be hunted another day. In our discussion Uncle Pete informed me that while patrolling he had been

seeing a tom with two hens in the same field every morning. Plus, no hunters were ever parked in the closest parking area. The bird was in an area that I hadn’t hunted in years, one that I refer to as “The Landing Strips.” There are four fields separated by small hedgerows. The down side is, the hedgerows have few breaks and are so thick a hunter can’t see through them. Three of the fields are only about 30 yards at their widest points and a couple thousand feet long; hence, the nickname. My uncle said the tom was in the second field, about three-quarters of the way down. He didn’t know where the bird was roosting, but suspected it was on the lower side of the first field, in the big woods surrounding the “Strips.” I asked what was planted in the field. He said he couldn’t remember, but knew it was corn the year before. So the plan was in place. I was to head out Wednesday morning, go to the second field, hike out three-quarters of the way down, set up and wait. Sounds simple, right? However, I couldn’t forget, this is turkey hunting. I made it to the parking area, as planned, at 5 o’clock, with an estimated 15-minute hike in to the setup spot. As I put on my vest, I realized I had forgotten my headlamp. There was a heavy cloud cover that morning, so I had no moonlight, no light of any kind. The only way I could stay on the access road to the fields was to look up and walk between the breaks of the trees. After a spine-chilling walk in the darkness, I made it to the Strips. I walked into the field and knelt to see what was planted, looking for some evidence of an old cornfield. All I could see was winter wheat. Thinking I must have been in the first field, I headed up to the next field. I took a knee
17

MAY 2011



Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011
Myths & Legends of the Whitetail
Contents
Long Hollow Gobbler
Oh What a Summer
Grandpa’s Last Hunt
Become an HTE Instructor?
Ready for Reds
The Memory That Will Never Be Forgotten
Overcoming a Jinx
The 28th Class
The Last Day
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 - May 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Myths & Legends of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Long Hollow Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Oh What a Summer
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Grandpa’s Last Hunt
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Become an HTE Instructor?
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Ready for Reds
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - The Memory That Will Never Be Forgotten
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Overcoming a Jinx
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - The 28th Class
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - The Last Day
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2011 - Cover4
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