Pennsylvania Game News - June 2016 - 64

I

Nod to Game Lands

COUNT myself fortunate. For years my daily routine has
afforded a route through game lands. Millions mired in
gridlock would trade for my commute.
It begins near the Mason-Dixon line on the Allegheny Plateau,
hemmed by 90-mile ridges that strike southwest to northeast like
folds across a quilt.
I start west on The National Road, built in the early 1800s to
open the West beyond the Alleghenies. Chestnut Ridge and the
20,000 odd acres of State Game Lands 138 and 51 loom across
the windshield, while Laurel Ridge, graced by State Game Lands 111, another
11,000-acre tract I've hunted, hiked and fished, hulks in my rearview mirror.
From afar, Chestnut Ridge dips and climbs gently, lofted by sandstone ribs
that have borne 300 million years of weather and wear. But as I climb closer,
hair-pinning into its hollows, that soft contour yields to rugged ravines. Then I
crest the summit and the broad Ohio Valley sprawls beyond, State Game Lands
223 in the near-distance, hill farms and woodlots to the planet's gauzy curve. At
this latitude, no other mountain rises short of Colorado's Front Range.
At the summit I turn north, climbing higher along the spine. From here I
can glance right, beyond even Laurel Ridge, to the hazy line of Negro Mountain - another parallel ridge - 30 miles eastward, capped by State Game Lands
271 and Pennsylvania's highest point. When I pass here in June, the sun is just
cresting Negro Mountain's horizon, casting a salmon tint across the undersides
of oak leaves above the road.
Here, rolling deep within game lands, I'm on the remnants of Old Braddock
Road. I savor the forest that presses in all along this route, as it did when Gen.
Edward Braddock's disastrous 1755 campaign against the French and Native
Americans made its fateful way toward Fort Duquesne.
Here I settle in, but alert, for the best part of the trip. Traffic is scant. Rounding the continuous bends, I meet black bears with gamboling cubs, wide-racked
bucks, loose clusters of does and fawns, strutting grouse and wild turkey hens
leading their broods back to the woods. Twice I've seen lithe, tawny bobcats here,
plus the only fisher I've witnessed still standing in its snow-prints.
In the fall and spring I pass other hunters' pickups parked in the game lands lot
or tucked into the scattered pull-offs along the road, windshields already frosty
from their drivers' early starts. Sometimes, if I can't hunt myself that day, I nod
to their enterprise, and to both our good fortunes, patrons to
a million-and-a-half acres of game lands to hunt, admire, or
just beam in the knowledge that they are there.
64



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

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