Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 15

Keller was well aware of what was
happening, because he was dealing
with these almost impossible conditions
every day along a Susquehanna County
waterway.

Last-Day Gem
Keller's hopes of taking an otter early
disappeared when the rain started.
Driving an hour to trap a stretch of
creek that normally ran deep, with steep
banks, his otter trapline became more
of an adventure than he could have ever
expected.
Scouting on the Saturday before
season, Keller said he saw the thaw
coming on the waterway, which was still
locked up with ice in spots.
"The meltdown came quick," he said.
Thinking things were looking up,
Keller finalized his plans and set the opening morning. He invested three of his sets
at a toilet area, placing a bedded foothold
topside, a body-gripper at what he called
the "front-door" from the water; and a
snare at the "backdoor."
The distance between the entryways
was about 20 feet. The exits, he said, were
cut about a foot-deep into the bank, from
use over the years.
What Keller thought would be a threeday waiting game evolved into a trapline
that would test his mettle.
Freezing at night. Water that rose out
of the banks 3 to 4 feet. Then, the maddening uncertainty associated with daily
trap placement as the water receded and
froze overnight.
Not to mention the daily string-along
associated with whether otter season
would be extended.
"I've trapped all over," Keller said.
"But I never dealt with conditions anywhere like that. It was an experience I'll
never forget!"
MAY 2016

Keller adapted to what the bankside
conditions provided along the rising, and
then receding creek. He reset and repositioned traps. Broke ice after 17-degree
nights. Reassured himself the effort was
worth it.
He was committed to catching an otter.
On the Saturday morning before the
season closed, Keller worked to get his
"backdoor snare" positioned right.
"I'm down there thinking, 'What am
I doing?''' Keller recalled. "Three times
I tried to get this set put back in. I was
having a heck of a time getting it done."
Finally he pulled back from the set,
and out of the awkward position he was
in to place the snare. He assessed his set,
and, at first glance, he thought, maybe he
should move it a little to the left.
But he didn't. It'll do, he thought.
The next morning at 9 a.m., he returned
and saw immediately that the brush was
tore up along the water's edge.
"But I couldn't see a darned thing,"
he said.
In a couple of seconds, however, he
noticed the catch pinned against the bank
by the current. As he began to pull it up,
the face of an otter popped through the
water's surface.
Keller, whose large male otter was
checked by Hardisky, said the biologist
told him it was the blackest otter he'd ever
seen. Hardisky also told Keller he might
be the only trapper to have taken an otter
with a snare in the season.
Keller considered his otter-trapping
experience right up there with taking a
trophy whitetail buck. He plans to have a
mount made from the big male.

Season Wrap-Up
Most of the otters - 72 percent - were
taken by trappers who lived within WMUs
3C and 3D. The remainder was taken by
15



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2016 - Cover4
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