Pennsylvania Game News - November 2016 - 25

Divergent Trails
C

OWORKER Rich Palmer asked me to join him on a pheasant hunt a couple
of years ago. And knowing that Rich has some of the best bird dogs around,
he didn't have to ask twice.
We, along with Bryan Burhans, Bryan's son Nolen, and Steve Smith, met the
following morning in Lehigh County, and Rich released the three cocker spaniels
in a huge field with some hedgerows.
It didn't take long to get into birds. After working through a section of the field,
we ran into a long hedgerow and Maggie, Rich's 8-month-old pup, and Amber,
his other female, put up two cockbirds that held tight in the cover.
Farther on in the same large field, the girls, with the old male, Ruger, got on
scent and flushed a rooster that Bryan downed with a long shot.
I was amazed at how well the pup Maggie hunted, but knowing how Rich trains
and works his dogs, I wasn't surprised. Amber was as good as I had remembered
from previous hunts, but I noticed Ruger's age and larger size slowed him down
somewhat. He still hunted hard, but he seemed to let the girls take the lead and
flush most of the birds.
Within an hour-and-a-half, the dogs had put up 15 birds and everyone had
limits, except Rich and me. I had one ringneck in the bag, when in a field on the
top of a ridge the dogs got on pheasant scent again. Maggie and Amber broke off
on the trail to my left, and Ruger peeled off to my right and down off the ridge
following hot scent. Rich said he'd follow the two females that were fast on the
trail to his left, and asked me to stay with Ruger.
The older dog was slow and methodical on the trail, and he zigzagged back
and forth down the slope, with me right on his tail. I thought we might have been
moving too slow and the bird would run far out in front and flush wild.
I pondered how we, as hunters, hunt like that when we get older. Slow and
methodical; a different "trail" from when we were younger. With experience
comes patience, just the way this dog was working the scent trail.
After about 150 yards of slowly zigzagging back and forth down the slope,
Ruger's tail started wagging faster and he picked up the pace slightly. He abruptly
turned left and put up the ringneck he had been trailing for so long. The bird fell at
my shot. Ruger, with more pep in his step now, was on the bird before I got to it.
He mouthed the bird a little. "You earned that one, old boy," I said, as I got the
pheasant from him. Ruger had taken a while, but the result was in the bag - literally.
It's not how fast you get there, just that you get to the end of the trail.

Bob D'Angelo
NOVEMBER 2016	

25



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

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