Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 51

hunter who has ever lived is but a fleeting visitor in a brief, latter part of that
time frame. By the very nature of his
dealings with life and death, he carries
that untamed nature of the ancient wild
in his heart. It is what brings him back
to the fields and forests every year. It is
what helps to define him all his days.

I

HAVE HUNTED along many creeks
that run through hemlock bottoms
and have found all one needs to shed
the frenetic pace of modern life that
sets the blood to boiling is to sit for a
while at such a streamside near a small
waterfall. Within minutes your blood
will sync with the calming sounds of
the waters.
It might be the dark, primitive backdrop of the hemlocks and the steady
echo of the falling water chugging like
a slow drum beat in the cavity behind
the falls, but whenever I hunt along the
braided creek below my deer stand, and
sit beside a picturesque pool, I think
of the native hunters of three centuries
earlier.
Research suggests they hunted deer,
turkey, bear and elk here. I like to think
they stopped occasionally to rest at this
pool, the peaceful water-music as mesmerizing then as now. I also can imagine the progression of hunters since
then pausing here to rest and listen.
A father and son from a hardscrabble
farm at the other end of the hollow stop
to sit on the big rock near the pool. The
boy carries his father's double-barrel
hammer shotgun. The father lays the
big gobbler slung over his shoulder
between them. He opens the bird's
crop and shows his son the chestnuts,
fox grapes and bits of plants within.
He is proud of his boy, who kept up
all day and remained motionless when
JANUARY 2019	

they saw the trio of autumn longbeards.
He plucks a feather from the gobbler's
wing and slides it behind the boy's
hatband.
Decades pass. Two hunters clad in
red-and-black-checked wool and high
leather boots that lace at the knees pull
a spike buck tied to a pole between
them. They stop to get a drink of cold
water before continuing the long drag
ahead. When they slide the deer through
the riffles at the pool's tail, they pause
briefly as the water runs through the
buck's cavity. The red blood bloom in
the water dilutes as it washes downstream and the hunters head upstream,
their red coats fading into the shadowy
hemlocks.
A half-century later, a solitary hunter
in a new, waterproof blaze-orange coat
hunts through the hemlock bottom
during a snowstorm, stopping to admire
the dark waters of the pool dotted by
rocks topped with high, white turbans
of wet snow. He sees fresh tracks where
a lone deer has just crossed and takes
up the trail. The hunter is young and
strong and heads straight up the steep
hillside. The day is new, the snow, wild
and invigorating. He scales the steep
bank in two quick steps, hot on the trail.
Four decades pass. A modern day,
camo-clad hunter on an early November hunt carries a crossbow, face
painted in earthy hues. He follows a
scrape line along the creek and stops to
watch a mosaic mat of colorful leaves
spin slowly in the pool. There is a good
deer crossing here. He looks at the
deep muddy trail that scales the steep
embankment and remembers when he
took up a track here during a snowstorm
and killed a buck bedded in the slashings high above.
See your own reflection in the pool.
51



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
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 7
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 21
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 26
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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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