Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 49

WHEN THE WOODS are all white, brown and gray, it’s shapes and patterns that disclose a deer from the background. The dark circles of the eyes, the black nose centered underneath, the ebony-rimmed ovals of the ears, as well as the creamy tones of the antler, give this buck away.

Can you be fooled by a horizontal, fallen tree limb at deer-back height? Yes, but it’s better to have your eye stop at that outof-place line than not be observant at all. Often it’s the texture of the limb, rough if it has bark or satiny smooth if it’s bare, that we can recognize as different from the glossiness of deer hair, once we take a second look. I found an arrow-hit deer late one afternoon, when the sun had moved far enough in its arc that the light at last glinted off the dead buck’s coat. When the sun’s rays spotlighted the texture of the animal’s fur, I knew it immediately for what it was. Earlier in the day, helping on the search for the deer, I had walked through the same area. I must have mistaken the prone form for a similarly colored log or rock in the shadows, because I hadn’t noticed it. But now I was able to make a bowhunter very happy. You can get better at spotting deer when you’re hunting by taking the time to closely observe any deer you do see, whether that’s during a country drive, at a zoo or deer farm, or your next in-the-field encounter. Also examine whitetails that have been shot, with an eye toward identifying details. How does deer hair look in different lights? What parts of the deer’s body do you notice most, and why? I learned long ago to pay attention to flicks of motion and color, especially flashes of white. These could be chickadees or a deer’s nervous tail or swiveling ear. Seeing motion is easy, but discerning a stationary deer’s parts and pieces is hard. These are a few details I look for when I’m hunting: The white in the interior of its ears, rimmed in black. White or light-cream circles around the dark eyes and around the black of the nose. The pale color of the
JULY  2012 

Bob Steiner

under-chin and the throat “bib.” The light lines extending down the inside of the legs to the knees. The white of the underside of the tail and the rump, when the tail is up. The thin white rim around the edge, when the tail is clamped down, and the dark bar running down the middle of the outside of the tail. When I sit on a deer stand and watch the same woods scene for hours, I become intensely familiar with each part of the unmoving scene and unconsciously memorize it. Then, without actively thinking, “Something has changed,” my eyes might suddenly stop at an object that is different this time around in the visual scan. Often I don’t know why it is different, just that it is. I focus on the out-of-place dark line and it reveals itself as a portion of a deer’s back. Or I stare at the blotch of white and it becomes a deer’s ear. Or I concentrate on a small black orb against a light background and recognize it as one staring eye. Or maybe I puzzle out the shape and pale color of a thin branch and find the tip of an antler. I didn’t get the buck last fall — it was fall turkey season when I saw him — but I was proud of my performance that day in the game of identifying parts and pieces. I was returning from a wooded point, skirt49



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012
History of the Whitetail
Contents
Ye Ole Gun Shoppe
For Better, For Worse — Love Me, Love My Dog
Confidence
The Smiley Face Case
Prescribed Fire Brings Improved Habitat on Hunter Access Property
The Final Hunt
The Farmer’s Friend
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 - July 2012 - Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Ye Ole Gun Shoppe
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - For Better, For Worse — Love Me, Love My Dog
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Confidence
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - The Smiley Face Case
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Prescribed Fire Brings Improved Habitat on Hunter Access Property
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - The Final Hunt
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - The Farmer’s Friend
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 67
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 68
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - Cover4
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