Pennsylvania Game News - July 2012 - 64

A BLUE AND SILVER PICKUP was parked along the back road close to where I had a trap set. Driving past the culvert drainage, I casually waved to the man standing behind the truck and, at the same time, noticed an opossum in my trap. It appeared I would have a spectator. The man said he was waiting for his brother. Together, they planned to erect a pre-built deer stand he had made for his daughter. I told him I was trapping and had caught an opossum down by the spring. Although no farther than 40 feet away, he hadn’t noticed it. The opossum was small, and I intended to release it. The man watched as I walked to the set, gently secured the animal with my foot, and removed its back leg from the trap. Lifting the young marsupial by its scaly, prehensile tail, I placed it on the bank. It paused briefly then scurried into the woods, showing no ill effects. I quickly re-made the set. When I returned to the road the man exclaimed, “Gee, it was really something how you did that!” What evidently seemed special to him was so matter-of-fact to me. I have released untold numbers of critters over my trapping career. For a moment I thought about his comment and replied, “You know, I’ve been trapping since I was five or six, almost 50 years. By now I should’ve learned a thing or two.” Only half jokingly he quipped, “So what you’re saying is that you’re an old-timer.” With that we chuckled and parted company. Later that evening, I got to thinking about our exchange. Was I really an old-timer? Growing up, we considered an old-timer a grizzled, gray-haired woodsman who had spent a lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping, whose lifestyle revolved around the cycle of the seasons, and who was pretty well set in his ways. Someone, typically, whose outdoor experiences were evidenced by rough, calloused hands, a ruddy complexion, cavernous lines etched in his face and forehead, and a glint in his eyes that hinted at something adventurous, wild and free. That was an old-timer, certainly not me. And yet, the fact I had been a trapper for nearly half a century gave me reason to pause. I didn’t consider the man’s comment negative. Subtly, and probably unintentionally, he had made a distinction between age and experience. He hadn’t said I was old. He only suggested I might be an old-timer; there is a difference. To me, this indicated that I had attained a certain level of experience and longevity with time-tested skills that set me apart. After all, not everyone has 50 years on a trapline. Trapping is a skill I learned from my father and he from his father. At one time, the furs Dad sold helped put food on our table and presents under the Christmas tree. Although he’s in his 80s and unable to trap anymore, Dad still enjoys hearing my trapline tales. Our family trapping tradition will most likely end with me. But until then, given enough time and energy, perhaps I’ll take on a few more of those special characteristics that define a true old-timer. 
64	 GAME	 NEWS

Old-Timer

Gregg Rinkus



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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