Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 27

My truck cab fogs as Carl and I sit
down and release the hot air that's been
trapped in our waders. An icy mix of
snow and mud falls off our boots and
puddles on the floor mats.
Carl blows on his hands and turns
to me.
"I get to shoot first now," he says.
"You got it. I'll be there to help clean
up," I say, winking at Carl as he shakes
his head.
Driving the winding roads and
making the odd turn at Carl's direction,
I replay my two misses the same way I
do my jump shots after a game.
Did I lead too much? Not swing
through enough?
Because of the limited time I have at
home, each shot is that much more precious. Like most young hunters who are
focused on bag limits and the desire to
feel warm weight resting in the back of
their vest, I kick myself on not bringing
one of the ducks down.
"Did you see 'em?" Carl asks, straining against his seat belt to look at the
river. "I saw six just below the bridge.
If they are up this high they'll definitely
be by the farm."
The sheep huddle beneath a knotted
maple outside an open barn door and
watch Carolyn cut through the pasture.
Carl and I wait until she climbs over
the fence and walks another 50 yards
through a harvested soybean field before
we head to the river that runs behind
the barn.
The river is skinny and the branches
from the trees on both banks intertwine
to form a tunnel. This means that if the
ducks flush and don't find a break in
the limbs, they will have to follow the
stream until it widens.
"Here they come," I say, dropping to
JANUARY 2019

one knee and waiting for Carl to take
the first shot at 10 mallards. After his
first shot, I focus on a trailing drake and
shoot all three shells. The percussion of
the steel shot rings in my ears as I watch
the white tail feathers careen upstream.
"Did you get one?" I ask Carl, quickly
reloading and marking the flock that has
turned out of the river bottom and is now
circling the field back to where Carolyn
flushed them.
"No. I missed low. You miss too?"
Carl and I recognize at the same
moment that the ducks are repeating the
same path they have just flown.
"We get another chance," he says as
we again empty our shotguns.
The silence that follows a single miss
is frustrating. The silence that follows 10
misses in less than 90 seconds is enough
to cause madness.
Carolyn breaks through the Japanese
barberry and pauses, waiting for us to
report.
"So how many did you both get?"
Like players when a coach asks who
missed the last defensive assignment,
Carl and I stay silent, waiting for the
other to take the blame.
Carolyn laughs on the way back to the
truck. The cold rain is becoming sleet,
and we all agree our day on the water
has ended. We peel off our coats at the
trucks and say goodbye.
"Next year we'll get them," Carolyn
waves. "Shoot better against IUP than
you did today, Noah!"
I half-smile and follow their tail lights
until they turn toward State College
and I continue south to Altoona. While
focusing on the increasingly slick road,
I count the days until I'll be able to hunt
again, and dread how long practices will
be in the weeks to come.
27



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover4
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