Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 64

Buck Season
MUST ADMIT that I’m not much of a deer hunter anymore. Although I shot more than 30 whitetails over the years while living in central Pennsylvania, I haven’t gotten one since moving to northern Vermont in 2003. For one thing, deer are much less abundant here; for another, in the area where I live only bucks are legal during rifle season and, because the herd is so small, rifles are not permitted to hunt does. I could maybe kill a doe if I took up bowhunting, but I’ve never gotten into that exacting sport. I don’t travel to hunt, preferring to stay on our 120 acres and on adjoining lands. I’m probably handicapping myself with this stay-at-home attitude, but that’s the way I am. I will say that I’ve come close. More than once I have played tag with a buck (I’m sure they were bucks, from the size of their tracks and their sneakiness), games that ended with a snort and thumping hooves and sometimes the glimpse of a white tail flagging off through the woods. Yes, there are deer in the vicinity. A few years ago one of my neighbors walked up on, and shot, a rut-addled 8-point in an area on our land where I sometimes hunt. (I’d opted to stay home and work that morning.) So I keep at it, although not with anything approaching the zeal I showed as a young hunter. I remember one year when I hunted every day of buck season in Centre County and ended up taking a spike (before antler restrictions) on the last afternoon. If I showed that kind of dedication here in Vermont, I bet I’d hang venison one year out of three. As it is, my wife shakes her head when I sight in my .257 Roberts, sharpen my knife and kick the leaves away from the base of a tree where I plan to stand on that first morning. I find the hunting worthwhile, even if I never shoulder my rifle. Hunting leads me to out-of-the-way corners of our land, places I rarely visit at other times of the year. I find myself viewing a familiar curve on a woods road or a trail, or a stand of maple or yellow birch or aspen, from a new angle, delivering a perspective that is wholly fresh. Moving stealthily, I may spot a snowshoe hare crouched among spruce seedlings. I may watch a mink hunting along a stream’s edge, or pause to crack a smile at chickadees bouncing in the trees while they feed. There’s a reassuring aspect to deer hunting that goes beyond putting venison in the freezer. Donning a coat that has faithfully kept me warm for 30 years. Hefting a rifle rebarreled and stocked by a gunsmith friend I went to high school with, a reminder of my Pennsylvania roots. And finding myself, yet again, leaning against a tree as my breath comes out in a cloud and dawn brightens the November woods.

I

64

GAME NEWS



Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013

Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013
Contents
Bob Mitchell Retires
Whitetail Predation
The Important Things I Learned at Camp
Weather Weenies
The Charade
The 7,658-Mile Deer
Late Season Rabbit
The Empty Seat
License Your Dog — It’s the Law
Redefining Success
A Miss in Time
Mixed Emotions
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 - February 2013 - Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Bob Mitchell Retires
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Whitetail Predation
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - The Important Things I Learned at Camp
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Weather Weenies
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - The Charade
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - The 7,658-Mile Deer
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Late Season Rabbit
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - The Empty Seat
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - License Your Dog — It’s the Law
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Redefining Success
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - A Miss in Time
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Mixed Emotions
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2013 - Cover4
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